Why Does Thea Goldman Want to Ban Free Booze from the Second Saturdays Art Walk?

Have you noticed the stinky, low-class, drunken hordes tearing up Wynwood during Second Saturdays lately? No. Actually, neither has Cultist. But Joey's Italian Café co-owner and Women of Wynwood co-founder Thea Golman claims to have spotted a certain "negative element" invading our streets.

Now, if you're wondering what exactly is drawing all these unwashed and undesirable heathens to our otherwise clean and classy monthly culture club, Thea's got the answer ... FREE BOOZE!

In an email missive addressed to "Wynwood gallery owners," Ms. Goldman urges the art elite to take "a stand against the free alcohol being offered which attracts a negative element." Really, what is with this negative element stuff? Sounds like a half-assed scare campaign to us? What could be the real motivation for Goldman's memo?

"For the past few second Saturdays, Butter Gallery, Dot Fifty One, Plant the Future, and Area 23 have hosted our very chic, very elegant little WOW bars," Goldman writes. "By doing this, they have offered visitors to their galleries the opportunity to buy a good cocktail ... In addition to this, they PROMOTE A SENSE OF COMMUNITY as 20% of profits are donated directly to the Women of Wynwood which helps TO PAY FOR THE CLEAN UP following the second Saturday onslaught."

Ahh ... So this is all a business thing. We get it now. Goldman's not a teetoler trying to push through some kind of Wynwood prohibition, nor is she a killjoy looking to turn the Art Walk into a bore chore. She's just looking to bleed all us arty boozers for bucks. (Sample sales pitch: "The bars are about five feet wide, have a bartender, look elegant, and raise the tone of any opening.")

Huh? Say what? It's all for a good cause? Sure, we'll acknowledge that Women of Wynwood probably set out with good intentions. But as far as Cultist is concerned, a good cocktail is a free cocktail. Furthermore, the leading ladies of WOW should welcome the Second Saturday onslaught, not slag it.

Bottom line: We don't mind giving a few pennies to charity, so long as we're not guilted, strong-armed, or scammed into it.

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S. Pajot