June 2005 Issue

On the Cover

Hello to a River

Fourteen of them, actually. From kayaking the Colorado and rock climbing along the Pecos to tubing the Pedernales and birding on the Rio Grande, here are the most enjoyable and exciting things to do on some of our favorite Texas waterways.


Brooklyn Heights

A one-on-one with Brooklyn Pope reveals her to be—off the court, at least—a fairly typical fifteen-year-old girl. But when the game clock starts, she’s the future of women’s basketball. Maybe basketball, period.


Happiness Is a Warm Gun

In the state with the nation’s most celebrated concealed carry law, is it any wonder that the annual convention of pistol packers, peddlers, and promoters was number one with a bullet?

Run With the Devils

There was a major don’t-try-this-at-home aspect to my two-day ride on this primitive and unpredictable river. But as scary as it was, it was every bit as beautiful.



Music Review

Who Is Mike Jones?

Who? MIKE JONES. Who? Mike Jones. It’s a mantra repeated on almost every song of this aptly named Houston rapper’s major-label debut, WHO IS MIKE JONES? (SwishaHouse/Asylum/Warner Bros.) None too shy about self-promotion, Jones even works his cell phone number into his music. Such incessant hype has earned Jones

Music Review

Pearl: Legacy Edition

Thanks to movies like The Rose and, okay, to JANIS JOPLIN herself, the Port Arthur native is remembered as a drug-addled mess. But as one of the great white blues singers of her generation, Joplin left significant work behind. What’s illuminating about PEARL: LEGACY EDITION (Columbia/Legacy) are the demos

Music Review

Another Day in the Sun

In the eighties KATHY MCCARTY was co-leader of Glass Eye, a peerless Austin band that attracted a cultish national following. Her songs were awash in mysterious imagery and old-world melodies, and no one expected her music to stop along with her band. Yet McCarty delivered her acclaimed 1994 Daniel Johnston

Book Review

Professor, Banker, Suicide King

In the wake of America’s obsession with Texas Hold ’Em comes the tale of Andy Beal, the Dallas banker and amateur numbers-theory whiz whose poker-playing exploits are chronicled by MICHAEL CRAIG in THE PROFESSOR, THE BANKER, AND THE SUICIDE KING: INSIDE THE RICHEST POKER GAME OF ALL TIME (Warner). In

Book Review

Bitter Milk

BITTER MILK (Picador) doesn’t lack for offbeat and entertaining citizens to populate Chilhowee Mountain, the backwoods East Tennessee setting of Austinite JOHN MCMANUS’s first novel. There’s Avery Garland, who suffers from gender dysphoria. And her overweight nine-year-old son, Loren, and his prattling alter ego, Luther. And patriarch Papaw, who’s

Book Review

36 Yalta Boulevard

Former Austinite OLEN STEINHAUER (currently of Budapest) invents a fictional Soviet bloc nation circa 1967 as the setting for 36 YALTA BOULEVARD (St. Martin’s Minotaur), the third in a series of brainy espionage novels featuring commie spy Brano Sev. Sev has fallen out of favor with the comrade lieutenant

Get Out the Vo

The demographics of one legislative district in Houston have changed so dramatically that they allowed a novice Democrat to unseat an eleven-term Republican powerhouse. But the real story is what could happen elsewhere in the not-so-distant future.


Pat's Pick

La Barranca Grille

Poor Laredo. Not even its most rabid civic boosters would call it a mecca for fine dining—or at least they wouldn’t have until last October. That’s when La Barranca opened, instantly creating a local venue for big nights out. In charge of the kitchen is 29-year-old native son Alberto Gutierrez,

Happy Trails

Happy Trails

Helen Cho on Houston. For some good, cheap Chinese or Vietnamese food, go to Bellaire.

Texas Tidbits

Texas Tidbits

From a sock hop in Galveston to a basketball competition in Austin, Juneteenth celebrations across the state commemorate the emancipation of slaves.

Web Exclusive

Water Rats

Freelance writer and former Texas Monthly intern Stayton Bonner, assistant managing editor Stacy Hollister, editorial director Christopher Keyes, and new-media director Charlie Llewellin talk about exploring the state’s rivers for this month’s cover story.

Web Exclusive

Shooting Star

Photographer Sarah Wilson on basketball phenom Brooklyn Pope, whom she shot for this month’s issue.

Web Exclusive

Just Write

Author John McManus on his book Bitter Milk and the writing process.

Web Exclusive

A Cook’s Tour

From tamales and chile con carne to boiled fish and macaroni with mushroom sauce, the first-ever compendium of Mexican American cooking, Mexican Cooking: The Flavor of the 20th Century—That Real Mexican Tang, takes readers on an unusual culinary ride.

Web Exclusive

Just Say Vo

Senior editor Pamela Colloff on state representative Hubert Vo’s winning campaign strategy and Houston’s Asian community.


June 2005 Contributors

Mark UlriksenAlthough San Francisco illustrator Mark Ulriksen has been to Texas several times (“I even got a traffic ticket from a no-nonsense cop in Amarillo, my first ever”), he had to do some catching up on state politics for “Carole Keeton Strayhorn Has Guts…”. “I’m pretty familiar with

Pat's Pick

Tyson Cole

Word of Mouth | Tales and tidbits from the pros.In April the 34-year-old chef and co-owner of Uchi, a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar in Austin, was named one of the ten best new chefs of the year by Food & Wine. Is it really that difficult to slice raw


Around the State

Around the State

June—People, Places, Events, Attractions06.02.2005As the REPUBLIC OF TEXAS BIKER RALLY gets under way for the eleventh year June 2–5, Austinites prepare once again for the low, eardrum-piercing rumble that thunders throughout the city like a doomsday alarm. Some 40,000 leather-clad, bandanna-armored easy riders will be contributing to the Doppler effect

Boone Pickens

“The record’s clean. I’m sure that I haven’t done everything that everyone would like me to do. But I’ve never hurt anybody.”

Roar of the Crowd

Time Out

S. C. Gwynne’s “Safe at Home” is not really about the children [April 2005]. It is about the parents’ need to be “the best.” By having their children compete for regional, state, and national titles, parents can feel that they have done a superior job of parenting. The fact

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