I’ve probably spent more time in the Sixth/Fourth street areas than is healthy since moving here 15 years ago. I was down there practically every weekend from 1996 to 1999. These days, I only get down there about once every couple of months. I managed to get out for SXSW one night this year and saw Unsane in a tent at the corner of Red River and Sixth and Don Caballero at Emo’s later that same night where I ran into some old bandmates. The Wife and I happened to be out one night during Mardi Gras last month as well.
It seems to me that not only has the police presence increased over the past few years, but I think they’ve also become more aggressive. They look like they’re just waiting for an excuse to jump on somebody and throw their ass in jail. There’s got to be some sort of middle ground. I keep thinking of the cops in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. They’ve always give me the feeling that they’re there to prevent any major stuff from happening, but they’ll generally tolerate some stupid drunk nonsense. They know that the people are there to spend money and have a good time. Sure, if someone gets really out of hand, you’ve got to crack down, but I think the APD is really overreacting. I’m all for thinning out the dirty hippie jam bands and treating fancypants actors like everyone else, but aren’t they taking it a little too far?