Since I moved to Louisiana, every few months I’ve met someone who’s spent time in Montrose. It’s this trendy suburb in Houston, the kind the South’s accused of lacking, and the folks who bring it up are usually bemoaning the neighborhood’s changes. They’re always white. Always a stone’s throw away from rich. Rocking flannel and Converse, or a leather jacket and boots, or a floral-print skirt just this side of tattered. One guy, a tattooed teacher, told me he missed the block’s grit: Montrose used to be this place where you never knew who’d beat the shit out of you. Now the notion’s less plausible, which really is a shame, or at least that’s what this guy said. That’s usually how those conversations go.
But every now and again somebody brings up Dirk’s. It was this coffee shop on the corner, one that’s been closed for a minute. But it felt like the neighborhood’s nexus, the thesis of the place, and its phantom still hangs between West Main Street and Branard. Read More