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Kelso's article on the Tarrytown Center
Ross Posted at 2007/02/08 7:39am reply to

Ross
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Obvious spot for a day labor site? How about the Meat Lady's mall?
COMMENTARY: JOHN KELSO

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I don't mean to make myself sound like a genius, but I've come up with the perfect spot for a new day labor site.

How about letting the guys looking for work hang out all day at the Tarrytown Shopping Center at Windsor Road and Exposition Boulevard?

Yep, you're right, this is the notorious strip mall owned by Jeanne Daniels, aka the Meat Lady. She's the veghead who has run off several businesses for selling meat products by not renewing their leases.

No meat allowed: That's why I'm thinking the day laborers would fit right in at her mall.

Face it, these guys wouldn't bug Ms. Daniels because they don't eat a lot of meat.

Fact is, they don't make enough money working odd construction jobs to afford that luxury. Most of them are lucky to gnaw on the occasional neckbone thrown in a pot of stew.

So the Meat Lady wouldn't have any logical reason to crab about these guys being a regular mall fixture.

She could even dress one of them up in a portobello mushroom suit and pay him $10 an hour to walk around carrying a sign that says "Go Veggie."

Another reason the day workers would be a fitting addition to the Tarrytown Shopping Center? The Meat Lady doesn't like people wearing fur.

So this makes for an excellent match. You hardly see a carpenter's helper with a dead fox around his neck. Ever seen a guy laying bricks for $8 an hour sporting a fur? Me neither.

Hey, the only time fur gets next to these guys, it's a furry creature trying to bite them on the ankle.

Why am I making this suggestion?

Well, for one thing, it's a unique opportunity for tony Tarrytown, which could use a few smelly Chevys coming around to pick up workers, to add to the, uh, vehicular diversity of the neighborhood.

And it's timely. An 11-member city task force called the Day Labor Community Advisory Committee is looking for a second day labor site for Austin.

The current gathering place is inconveniently located way the heck north at 4916 N. I- 35, a long way from downtown.

So the task force wants something a little closer to the center of town. It's considering five different sites in South Austin.

Why not put something of a blue-collar nature in West Austin for a big swinging change? And why not target Austin's only meat-maligning mall?

Now that Daniels has run off all the restaurants in her mall that sold meat dishes, foot traffic is off because there's nothing left to eat over there except a pile of cabbage.

What a convenience.

This means that there's plenty of room for the trucks pulling up to pick up the day workers. With hardly any shoppers around, you wouldn't have to worry about pedestrians getting whacked by pickups.

So, since fewer people are using the place, why not give it to the day laborers? It would be good for the neighborhood. Maybe some of the locals could hire them to trim their bushes.

John Kelso's column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 445-3606 or jkelso@statesman.com.
xander Posted at 2007/02/11 6:45pm reply to

xander
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Hi everybody. I've been lurking here on and off for a little while. My wife Karen and I keep saying we'll make it to one of y'all's get-togethers soon.

Anyway, here's my letter to the editor about the above article, part of which was published in today's paper.
-Alex

=================

Oh look, John Kelso is harping on about Jeanne Daniels again.
Must be Sunday.

I know I'm not the only one tired of his whining about Tarrytown Mall.
For someone who's been out of grade-school longer than most Austinites have been alive, he still does a remarkable impression of a schoolyard bully.
It's sad to see a person who used to have a real sense of humor reduced to such plaintive sniping. I suppose even then sharpest knife dulls with use.

As for Ms. Daniels, the last time I checked she's perfectly within her rights to decide which companies she wants to do business with. Since when were all shopping center owners required to meet a minimum meat threshold? I don't know why Kelso thinks that all businesses should be required to cater to his indulgences.

As he points out, Tarrytown Mall is the only cruelty-free shopping center in Austin.
The difference is, when I see that I'm glad we can have that kind of variety in town.
Kelso sees it and just wishes it had another burger joint like everywhere else.

Ross Posted at 2007/02/11 6:51pm reply to

Ross
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hi alex! nice letter, i'm happy to hear at least part of it got published today. he seemed very childish in the article with his little cracks.
Blorf! Posted at 2007/02/11 7:30pm reply to

Blorf!
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I actually just wrote back today, so probably no response for me. I took a different tack though. Won't publish the letter on the board until i get a respone back from John though. happy

And no, I did not simply write, "John Kelso is raping Tarrytown Vegan Culture" in all caps.
karenw Posted at 2007/02/11 9:40pm reply to

karenw
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Ross Posted at 2007/02/11 9:53pm reply to

Ross
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hi karen! right now we're shooting for a potluck on the 25th, though we're still deciding where to have it.
i'mouttahere Posted at 2007/02/12 10:43am reply to

i'mouttahere
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Well written response letters. Never heard of this mall, but now I'm going there and giving it my business.
xander Posted at 2007/02/12 10:54am reply to

xander
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Hi Ravenheart. It's where Nu Age Cafe is.


i'mouttahere Posted at 2007/02/12 11:16am reply to

i'mouttahere
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cool, guess I'm having lunch there happy
thanks!
Ross Posted at 2007/02/12 11:59am reply to

Ross
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i'm not a fan of nuage, you can find discussions on it if you're interested why, but i still believe the property owner should have the right to decide what businesses to host.
i'mouttahere Posted at 2007/02/12 5:44pm reply to

i'mouttahere
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Thanks, just checked out that discussion. I totally understand everyone's feeling of being duped. A while back I mail ordered and consumed Vegan Supreme marshmallows thinking they were an awesome alternative to the gelatin ones. After a year of spending extra and eating these, I learn they contained gelatin the entire time. angry
Pandi Posted at 2007/02/12 7:29pm reply to

Pandi
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>Thanks, just checked out that discussion. I totally understand everyone's feeling of being duped. A while back I mail ordered and consumed Vegan Supreme marshmallows thinking they were an awesome alternative to the gelatin ones. After a year of spending extra and eating these, I learn they contained gelatin the entire time. angry



I did the same thing. :-(
Ross Posted at 2007/02/12 7:39pm reply to

Ross
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>Thanks, just checked out that discussion. I totally understand everyone's feeling of being duped. A while back I mail ordered and consumed Vegan Supreme marshmallows thinking they were an awesome alternative to the gelatin ones. After a year of spending extra and eating these, I learn they contained gelatin the entire time. angry

totally! it was more than just being duped, though. we still to this day haven't gotten any sort of response or anything from them, when i know for a fact that at least most of us were courteous in our emails.

anyway, i couldn't believe the marshamallow thing. i think everyone was absolutely baffled that it could happen. i did get a bag last year from vegan essentials, though, post-fiasco. i hope they were safe...
Moniker Posted at 2007/02/21 12:21pm reply to

Moniker
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Ross Posted at 2007/02/21 12:44pm reply to

Ross
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these are good points, i didn't even know about the not allowing milk-based candy at the gas-station, which is definitely odd considering that she allows it at the other places, INCLUDING NuAge cafe which has milk in their soy nuggets. seems a bit weird.
karenw Posted at 2007/02/21 8:41pm reply to

karenw
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I think what she's trying to do must be very difficult. She has many different kinds of tenents, with different kinds of products, service models and customers. She's probably trying to figure out how to best apply her principles to each of these individually in ways that make some sort of sense for the tenant. I don't know that she's doing a perfect job, but this is really something nobody's even attempted before. Personally, I feel its important to at least applaud the effort. I don't think we can expect her to be perfectly consistent or just have it all down pat, you know? Just my thoughts on the matter.
Moniker Posted at 2007/02/22 2:03am reply to

Moniker
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You are perfectly correct, and her efforts are applaudable and what she is attempting to do is difficult - but at the same time, running a small business like The Grocery, Texas Frenchbread and Formosa (and most recently Bill Broaddus Tarrytown Mechanic) is also difficult, and difficult becomes impossible when your *landlord passes away and bequeaths his property to an individual who will not tolerate your business. So, while I applaud her convictions, I sympathize with the business owners and their families too. As for my healthy dose of criticism to Ms. Daniels, it should be noted that I don't know a damn thing about running property - it's just that I often wish she had sold her property and built a real Vegan center from scratch, that way everyone would know the rules and what they are getting into in the first place without anyone being displaced, and Ross would be happy because Nu Age wouldn't get to be sneaky with the cheese. On an up-note, Ms. Daniels is paving the way for Vegan property owners and any controversy and criticism only smoothes the road for those following in her footsteps.

*I don't know for a fact if the Tarrytown mall was bequeathed to her, that is just what I heard from people in the neighborhood, so if anyone knows better, let me know.
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