Paul Bowen loves to taken in and enjoy his Hillcrest neighborhood on foot.
1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: My name is Arthur Paul Bowen. I am a recovering lawyer, freelance writer and consultant--"consultant" being Latin for "give advice but don't take any responsibility for the results." I returned to Little Rock about 1983 after being with East Arkansas Legal Services in Forrest City. I live in the People's Republic of Hillcrest--I have been here since 1993 or so. In the last year I have written for Soiree magazine, the Democrat-Gazette, Blood, Dirt and Angels and Bourbon & Boots, where I have somehow become the de facto men's fashion editor of all things. I am also a frequent contributor to KUAR's Tales From The South. Google my name--hope you see something you like.
It is my high privilege to talk to the Econ classes at Catholic High and Mt. Saint Mary's. I have also spent time with various classes at UALR and I have signed up to be a mentor at the law school. I don't get to be around young folks much. When I do, I get far more back than I allegedly impart. I guarantee you that.
It is also my equally high privilege to be the President of the Board of the Hillcrest Residents Association. Great folks to work with. So far, so good.
2. If you could only eat at one local restaurant for a month, what would it be? It would probably be Hillcrest Artisan Meats. Brandon, Josh, Tara and Kevin make great soups and sandwiches. It has a friendly atmosphere and there's always somebody from the neighborhood to shoot the bull with. And if there's not, Brandon and I bitch about our golf games. Here's an example of the wonderfulness there:
I managed to acquire the bronchitis that was going around recently, so I went in to get some some soup. They wouldn't take my money and Tara offered to bring food to me while I was sick. I'm guessing I'm not the only person to whom this kindness has been extended. H.A.M is a major "Hillcresty" kind of place. And I love it there.
3. It's the weekend -- what's on your agenda? I like to get breakfast at Leo's. If the weather is nice, my buddy and personal attorney Rick Sellars play golf somewhere. I attend Pulaski Heights Methodist Church (although I have been known to visit the Baptists and the Catholics on occasion). I try to cover various faith traditions so long as they are within walking distance. Sunday is also my reading day. I read the Democrat-Gazette, the New York Times and I catch up on whatever else I've gotten behind on. I used to enjoy cooking for people other than me on Sunday nights--I need to get back to that.
4. Where do you make sure to take out-of-town guests when they visit? I always take out-of-town guests to the Clinton Presidential Library. It is pretty interesting regardless of one's political persuasion and there's always some other cool exhibit going on. The Arkansas Arts Center is also a great place to kill an afternoon. A friend of mine was stunned to see a painting by Whistler here. Well, why not?
5. What do you think is LR's best kept secret? Little Rock's best kept secret is simply what a cool place it is. Whenever I take out-of-town folks on a tour, they never fail to mention how pretty it is here--especially in the Fall. Knoop Park, the River Market, great restaurants, UAMS, Children's Hospital, Dickey-Stephens, The Rep, a vibrant arts and music scene and friendly people that look after each other. It's just a great place to live and not the little jerkwater town that some people conceive of before they actually spend time here.
I love my neighborhood. I love it that folks show up on my porch. It's OK when people buttonhole me on the street about stuff in the neighborhood, even if I can't do the first damn thing about it...Everything is cool. I love Little Rock. I love Hillcrest. And I'm leaving here feet first.