There’s no doubt that the Near South Side is in flux. As the neighborhood continues its transformation from an urban wasteland into a bona fide cultural district, the attendant growing pains will become more intense. Seemingly every other week, a Near Southsider complains on Facebook (or to me or someone I know) about crime in the neighborhood. Of course. Poor areas are crime-ridden, and to their felonious residents, all of those young professionals and hipsters with their iPads and MacBooks, fancy bikes and fancy hybrids, high-def TVs and musical instruments, are just golden geese.

In other words, a fight instigated by some gun-toting young thugs at 1919 Hemphill last Wednesday really shouldn’t shock anyone.

As documented here, 1919’s Rick Vandeveerdonk, who figured prominently in Jimmy Fowler’s October cover story about the long-standing DIY venue, reportedly stared down a loaded gun and took a sucker-punch to the face that’s left him unable to eat solid food. The thugs also broke one of the venue’s glass entrance doors.

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Police informed Vandeveerdonk that the thugs are part of a gang, Varrio Centro or the VCs.



  1. Not shocking at all.

    I had a retiered Fort Worth Cop tell me that he never responded to a burglary at a house with a big dog!

    Near South side should take note and start getting dogs. The will help with the hoodlems and Near South Side other nuisance CATS!