SHOCKED TO FIND THAT GAMBLING IS GOING ON IN HERE Four people believed to be the owners of the Capri Game Room at 10418 Telephone Rd. (just north of Fuqua) were arrested recently on misdemeanor gambling-related charges, Craig Malisow reports. Across the street from the Capri is an HPD substation, and inside the structure, surrounded by a sea of blue-painted walls, are 122 video slot machines. The arrests have had a ripple effect on several other nearby game rooms, but Malisow is confident the changes will be temporary: “In a strip center just up the road, two others have closed. But the Just Gold game room a few hundred yards from the Capri is still open. The owner, Lourdes Rodriguez, is just one of many game room owners with landlords who won’t ask any questions as long as the rent is paid every month. While Just Gold, and this stretch of Telephone Road, is quiet for right now, the heat will blow over as it always does, and things will get back to normal. The promise of big money might just be an illusion for the suckers who play, but for the owners and vendors, the money is very real indeed.” [Houston Press] Photo: LoopNet
Telephone Road south of I-45 has changed forever, declares John Nova Lomax:
Gone is the Mexican Catholic blue-collar neighborhood to the north around Queen of Peace church, its place taken by a string of hot sheet motels, clip joints, massage parlors and other such venues of vice. This is whatâ€™s left of the Telephone Road Mark May, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Culturcide and others have written songs about.
But itâ€™s all impossibly sadder. The Telephone Road that Earle and Crowell sang about in the rollicking songs of that name is long gone. Crowellâ€™s version is set in the â€™50s and early â€™60s, and Earleâ€™s in the early â€™70s. Todayâ€™s Telephone Road far better fits Earleâ€™s â€œThe Other Side of Town.â€
There’s more street-level reporting in Lomax and David Beebe’s latest narrated and well-lubricated walking tour, which starts Downtown and heads east along Leeland, through a neighborhood called Edmondson Addition:
Boarded-up hovels line some streets, awaiting inevitable transformation into the (mostly shoddy) condos that are springing up like dandelions here. Other streets reminded us of some of Galvestonâ€™s less opulent older districts â€“ one and two-story wood frame houses standing on bricks, interspersed with brick warehouses and workshops.
The story includes Lomax’s encounters with Golfcrest’s underground shopping-cart economy and his retelling of a Telephone Rd. crack-and-hookers tale too uh . . . racy to fit into a song lyric.
After the jump, a very different portrait of Telephone Rd. from an earlier era.
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