Spa City visionaries

posted by rexnelson on July 17th, 2014

A small group of visionaries is starting to drive development in downtown Hot Springs. Let’s hope that their vision is at last being transformed from a mere dream into a beautiful reality. The Spa City: There may be some life left in the ol’ gal yet.

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My perfect summer meal

posted by rexnelson on July 7th, 2014

What does an Arkansas summer taste like? Here’s a hint: You can save the chocolate gravy for a visitor from up north.

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Dogpatch country: Circa 2014

posted by rexnelson on July 3rd, 2014

For Arkansans of a certain age, Dogpatch USA comes to mind when Newton County is mentioned. Dogpatch, some believed, was the thing that would turn this remote, lightly populated county into the center of tourism for Arkansas.

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The Fragile Five (and the shame of Hot Springs)

posted by rexnelson on May 22nd, 2014

The 2014 list of the most endangered places in Arkansas has been released. The most important sentence in the documents distributed by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas was this: “Despite general recognition of the importance of the buildings along Central Avenue in Hot Springs, some property owners remain resistant to making required updates and investing to make the buildings safe and suitable for occupancy.” The status quo is no longer acceptable in downtown Hot Springs. Every tool available to government must now be used to force those property owners to act. What they’ve allowed to occur downtown borders on being a crime.

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“Gay Panic in the Ozarks”

posted by rexnelson on May 20th, 2014

Former Congressman Ed Bethune had no idea when he started writing his first novel two years ago — titled “Gay Panic in the Ozarks” — that its release would come in the midst of an Arkansas firestorm about gay marriage.

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A new owner for That Bookstore

posted by rexnelson on May 15th, 2014

Chris Crawley came home to Blytheville to die. Now, he is healed and running the most famous bookstore in the state.

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Arkansas Delta food tour: Part Two

posted by rexnelson on April 24th, 2014

From the Johnny Cash home at Dyess to the strawberry shortcakes at the Bulldog in Bald Knob, the great Arkansas Delta tour rolls on.

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The great Arkansas Delta food tour

posted by rexnelson on April 23rd, 2014

The excursion into the Arkansas Delta took us more than 400 miles and allowed us to eat at 10 places before dusk on Good Friday. Barbecue. Catfish. Tamales. Shrimp. Strawberry shortcake. Yes, we did it all in one day.

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Examples for the Spa City

posted by rexnelson on April 17th, 2014

Hot Springs business, civic and political leaders: You’ve neglected the state’s most noted stretch of street for far too long. People across the state are watching to see if you take advantage of this window of opportunity or squander it. History will not judge kindly those who were on the wrong side at this critical juncture in the history of Hot Springs.

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Little Rock’s downtown renaissance

posted by rexnelson on March 13th, 2014

Artisanal cheese, expensive bicycles, boutique hotels, ballet studios, hip restaurants, cigar bars. Is this downtown Little Rock or is this Portland?

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