Archive for December, 2009

An Eye Opener – Downtown is not as Dead as You Think

December 23, 2009

Whenever someone talks positively about Downtown Dallas, there are always people that claim that downtown is dead (or that it closes at 5pm, etc).

Such a claim couldn’t be further from the truth.  Even on a Tuesday night, several places were popping. I went to PM Lounge in the basement of the Joule for a party. At 9pm, it was already full. People were lounging on the patio of Charlie Palmer.  A few student-aged kids were walking around taking pictures and surveying the scene.

I left PM to go to a friend’s informal birthday party at Ten Sports Lounge.  By the time I left a few hours later, it was full. I walked past City Tavern, and it was 3/4 full inside the bar the patio was full.  People were hanging out on the sidewalk chatting in front of the tavern.  Again, this is on a Tuesday night.

Other than the French Quarter and Midtown Manhattan, there aren’t many places that are teeming with people 24/7. But Dallas has made great strides, and to claim that it’s the same downtown from five years ago is not looking at the big picture.  Take a walk with me in my new hood, and I’ll tell you all about it.

Transformation has No Limits

December 8, 2009
I remember reading the story about a small block in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia some years ago.  The story detailed the 2500 block of East Gordon Street, once called “The Skid Row of Fishtown.”  It was a block so dangerous, it is the only block in the area without a Google Maps Street View image.  It was essentially an alley with houses.
I remember reading the first article like it was yesterday.  The block reminded me of the the one that held my late Grandmother’s house, a street so small you had to park your car 3/4 on the curb so cars could get through.

Now, according to the new story, the Lost Block has been awarded Philadelphia’s Most Beautiful.
This can be done in any city.  It didn’t require one politician.  It took a group of determined neighbors that said “enough is enough.”
There’s not much I can add, but I hope that this story will inspire you to work to clean up your own neighborhood. It may take years (eight years in the case of Gordon Street), but it can be done.