May 02, 2006
Immigration rallies from yesterday

I was at my desk all day yesterday, including for lunch, so I didn't see any of the immigration rallies that took place. The Chron tells about how some businesses were affected.

Businesses from downtown to North Houston closed to avoid operating with skeleton crews. The worker shortage also forced some restaurant owners to don aprons and cook.

In Houston-area schools, many desks sat empty as students skipped class and attended rallies. Traffic also seemed lighter to some commuters, and taco trucks were scarce on the Bayou City's streets.

"It's like a Christmas holiday," said Bruce Olive, co-owner of the Texas Commissary near North Wayside Drive, where 40 drivers park their taco trucks every night. "Nobody went out."

But the Houston economy didn't come to a standstill, and many employers reported business as usual.


Ziggy Gruber, co-owner of Kenny & Ziggy's Delicatessen on Post Oak Boulevard, found himself in the kitchen making sandwiches Monday.

Management pitched in, working a double shift Monday to help produce a limited menu of sandwiches and soups for diners, Gruber said.

Some of the dining space was closed off because of the smaller staff. And paper plates and plastic ware were used to cut down on dishwashing duties, Gruber said.

He said he supported his immigrant workers' rights to protest and knew in advance at least a handful would attend the rallies.

"Everybody deserves the same opportunity," said Gruber, whose grandfather hailed from Hungary.

As many businesses scrambled to fill shifts, at the three Cheesecake Factory restaurants and the Grand Lux Cafe, dishwashers, cooks and busboys received a $100 bonus to keep restaurants running Monday.

Anyone have a story to tell? Leave it in the comments if you do. Meantime, South Texas Chisme has a news roundup and Dos Centavos has a blog roundup. Aaron Pena has pictures from Austin, while Daily Kos has news and pictures from Denver, New York, and Chicago.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 02, 2006 to National news | TrackBack

The restaurant at Preston station was closed. Big deal.

At Richmond and Kirby, Ruichis and Pappasito's open, Ninfa's closed. *yawn*

I'd like to thank the organizers for having their party in Memorial instead of Downtown. Kept things nice and simple during the commute home instead of messing up things and getting attention like the last time when they screwed up Rush Hour and an Astros game letting out.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on May 2, 2006 9:41 AM