The New Dallas
I’m not a Texan. I can’t stress that enough. I moved to the Dallas area when I was 9, and went to college in Abilene, so people frequently say, “Oh, you’re basically from Texas,” like anything northern was just overwritten. But that’s not true.
Case in point: a few days ago I was talking about how much I used to love hockey in elementary and middle school, when my friend asks, “Why’d you love hockey so much?” Yeah, it’s because I’m from Pittsburgh. You grow up watching Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in their primes, you start to love the game.
Anyway, all that to say that I never thought I’d like Dallas. I came here just to take the next career step, with my eye on crossing the Mason-Dixon into the promised land. Then I got divorced, moved into the city and found out pretty quickly that this is simply a great city.
If you’re not from here, and you haven’t visited and taken the time to get to know the city over the last few years, it’s be easy to be surprised—even if you’re local, but don’t spend time in the downtown area. There are plenty of surveys and articles to make you feel better about your tendency to think the city and show that uses its name are a perfect match. Unfortunately – or I guess fortunately, for my sake – you’re wrong.
There’s the marketing hype: the largest urban arts district in the country, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Klyde Warren Park, the Trinity River projects. But it’s not just hype; multitudes of great things are happening here, and more are planned. The city is interesting, exciting, advancing, and it could be so much more. The potential is here, but we’re so reluctant to take the steps necessary to make them happen. Wick Allison of D Magazine has detailed the background of the greatest urban success in the city, Uptown, and why it was such a risk for the developers. While it was a risk then, we’ve seen the results, and we know the potential. It’s time to move on to the next great idea.
So, here’s to The New Dallas, hopefully starting with A New Dallas.