Archive for the ‘DFW Living’ Category

Free Daytime Meter Parking in Deep Ellum

Looks like the bloggers at DallasBlog beat me to the post. Free parking is apparently now officially in effect for Deep Ellum from 6am – 6pm.

I just wish that the press would stop the Deep Ellum harassment though. Come on guys. Quotes like “Deep Ellum has been on a death watch for some time now” really feeds the stereotype of this place. I would more likely say downtown Dallas in general is on a death watch. The forgotten west end, the struggling grocery store, the empty skyscrapers…it’s all dead like Deep Ellum too. The only thing other places in Dallas lack is such a rich undercurrent of cultural history like Deep Ellum. Maybe that is why more people keep poking the stick at a “dying” Deep Ellum, cause that’s the only place in Dallas they really care about.

Boo to the commenter who said “How about getting rid of the low-lifes, criminals and actually showing a police presence. That’s why nobody goes to Deep Ellum.” I live here and I have yet to be accosted by a criminal or low-life. Some homeless people, yes. Some crazy cracked-out street walkers, yes. But that comes with every city. I see maybe one a day, but it’s definitely nothing like other cities I have been in. Santa Monica for example has an outrageous amount of homeless people, but that doesn’t stop people from going there!?

Regardless of the whole “death” thing, my props to Scott Bennett for posting the news and encouraging people to re-visit Deep Ellum. Hurray for free parking…and goodbye damn meter Nazis driving everyone away from their “struggling” businesses.

Double Wide

This past weekend I went to Double Wide for the first time since they re-opened, and it was a good time. What is really great about DW is that you can see a band, have some drinks on a patio or at the bar, as all three are separate areas, which means if you are not feeling the band you don’t have to pay a cover to stay and drink, you can just go to the bar and rock the juke.

Above all it made me realize how those of us who live and work in Dallas have to support places like this if we ever want it our city to reach its full potential. There is always talk about crime and safety issues, but what major city doesn’t have that problem? I for one have found parts of LA and NY far sketchier than Dallas. You just have to be smart when you are out. What really brings out the worst in an area is when there is nothing going on. In those dead parts, where no one is around, is where most crime happens. The more businesses that open and stay open the better. So next time you are out think about that before you leave your hood for greener pastures. The grass maybe a tad brown right now, but it is amazing what a little water can do.

This Should Be An Unnecessary Post

I’m trying to avoid making blanket statements, but have the people in Dallas lost their senses of humor? If one were to use the comments to my recent “Neighborhood” post as the benchmark, the answer would be yes.

My post was SATIRE. It was an attempt to poke fun at something that I have observed over the eleven years that I’ve lived in the DFW area. Not that I’m comparing my piece of crap post to this, but have any of you read A Modest Proposal? Do you really believe that Swift was advocating the eating of Irish babies? No, it was SATIRE.

The nascent idea of the post was a running joke among my friends. I love Williams Chicken. In my opinion, they have the best fried chicken in the industry. However, Williams Chicken stores are (typically) located in really bad areas. Add to that the odd prevalence of liquor stores in low income areas and you get the root of satire magic.

My post was a satirical attempt to highlight the dichotomy of DFW life; really life in any large metropolitan area. There is a HUGE difference between what you find in a low income areas vs middle-class or higher areas.

Here are some typical businesses that you see in large quantities in low income areas: pawn shops, payday loan stores, liquor stores, industrial warehouses, convenience stores.

Do you think that you’ll ever see a convenience store that sells “rock kits” of glass tubes and SOS pads in Frisco? Hell no. They can’t afford the rent. The companies that can afford it are Starbucks, Banks, PF Chang’s, Chipotle, Central Market, and Target.

Do you find it odd that it’s difficult to find a liquor store in the ‘burbs? I’m not talking about beer or wine stores, but stores that actually sell hard liquor. I have to drive twenty minutes from North Garland to get to the closest one. Do you find it odd that it’s difficult to find a pawn shop in Richardson?

Brian from Art Prostitute says in his comment that I’m a racist. I would have liked to believe that someone so involved in the arts would understand that there is more to a piece that just what you see with a quick glance at the surface.

My shit may not be good, but it certainly is art.

And also another quick thought. Are the only posts that people are interested in posts about gallery shows and openings? Lately, it seems that all the new posters are getting shit for posting anything else. I applied here because I’ve been a reader for a while and the posts dried up and I thought I could offer a different perspective.

Formula for a Good Neighborhood

The Metroplex is growing like crazy from the influx of folks moving here from all over the country. One of the most stressful things about moving from out of the area is figuring out if you’re moving into a good neighborhood.

All of the real estate sites provide information about schools, crime rates, sale comps, but are those statistics really valid?

I think not. So, I’ve devised the following formula to help you find out if you’re moving into a good neighborhood.

It’s a little bit of work, but isn’t your peace of mind worth it?

The formula uses the types of businesses that are within a two mile radius of your prospective home.

It is as follows:

(B+HV) X Sb X (PfC +Ch) X (LS + WC)

In laymen’s terms, take the number of banks and add the number of Hollywood Video stores. Take the result and multiply that by the number of Starbucks. Multiply that by the product of the number of P.F Chang’s and Chipotles in the area.

And finally, multiply that by the number of liquor stores and William’s Chicken locations (not KFC, not Church’s–has to be William’s Chicken).

If your result is over zero, you may want to consider another area.

TAKS Day

If you’re a parent of an elementary aged kid, you’re well aware that today is Math TAKS day. There’s so much hype surrounding the test, you would think that it’s the MCAT.

My wife is a third grade teacher and my son is a third-grader so I see the pressure that comes from both sides of the desk. The kids are pumped and drilled like they’re preparing for an academic decathalon and the teachers are prodded and pressured like the fate of the school depends on the results (which isn’t too far from the truth).

So, my question of the day is this: do two days of testing really measure what our kids have learned over the year with any accuracy?

In my opinion, the answer is no. I think the TAKS is an effective measure of how well we teach our kids to take tests and in some cases, how effective testing concessions are for kids who are “troubled”. For example, an acquaintance of mine has a son who has ADHD (a quick aside, you notice how everyone now has medical labels firmly affixed to them? When I was a kid, they just called them “little shitheads”) who is, let’s put this delicately, a frickin’ moron. Because he’s a moron, he gets special concessions during the test. He takes each part over two days, instead of one; he’s in a room by himself so that he’s not distracted by things like “people breathing” and stuff. Anyway, he scores a 100 on his TAKS test. There’s no way this kid is any smarter or more educated than 99% of the rest of kids in Texas. A perfect score from a little troglodyte who will probably drop out of school at 15 and lead a life sucking on the teat of society.

What do you think of the heavy emphasis on this one test?

Hefty News Day in Irony Land

This is one of the things I love about the media:

I guess the Pulitzer is more important 60 people falling SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY FEET to their death.

Remind me to cancel my tickets on the Wylie Coyote Bus Line…

Hello everyone in Dallas.

Here are some parties coming up this week. I will be with Dj Nature on the tables on Saturday with Spankrock and Tuesday at the Streets party.

So Spankrock is bringing the fire to Texas with one show in Austin, and one in Denton (940 wins again!!!). If you’re not up on these guys get your limewire/souseek game in order!! The joints are “Blow”, “Backyard Betty”, “Put That Pussy On Me”, “Fukstick”, “Grit City”, “Rick Rubin”…. I could go on. It’s that Bmore nasty shit that the momies go nuts for. These guys were one of the few groups that really came out ahead at SXSW and they blew the roof off of Winter Music. It’s that crazy. I copy pasted the Pitchfork Review so you don’t have to take MY word for it. But, 4 months from now when Good Records has it in the top 5 you won’t even remember that I “told you so”. I’ll be warming up the spot for these guys so get your early drink on at Fry St. Fair, then take you lush ass to Hailey’s for the live sex show.

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Deep Ellum WiFi

I’m just getting settled in my new place in Deep Ellum, but still having to make the commute between Denton and Dallas until we start moving the gallery there, which hopefully will be taking place sometime this week. To make my commute a little more bearable, I’m trying to work some in Dallas and travel between traffic rushes, but am looking for WiFi connections to get work done while I’m sitting out traffic. Unfortunately, Deep Ellum is dry on internet. The only places that offer it in my neighborhood are Murray St. Coffee (103 Murray Street), and Cafe Brazil (2815 Elm St). My first thought was that there are so many businesses down there that use the internet, that it would be more available. Looks like I was mistaken. I have yet to use either of these places for internet access, so I’m not sure how they fare yet…I was just wishing I’d be able to leech internet from my home. Wishful thinking I suppse.

I have been talking with the Deep Ellum Association president and there is supposedly a plan in the works to install free WiFi across the whole of Deep Ellum. Hopefully when things get more settled I’ll have more information on that, until then, I know that once our gallery is set up there, we are going to be sure to offer the internet as well!

DFW Airport Terminal D

First time I visited the new DFW Airport Terminal D, it was too early in the morning to take notice. I was an extra in an American Airlines commercial. It was more fun to ogle the craft services table and read a book. Last night, I picked up Erik at the terminal. After finding rock star parking, I enjoyed standing in one spot as numerous moving sidewalks propelled me forward. So disco. And sedentary. This terminal is the land of flat screens, terrazzo floors, slickity slickness, and really confusing signage. I had to ask 3 people where the baggage claim was (the airport workers were equally lost, or wanted to keep me lost). Once Erik and I got ourselves together, we went on a scavenger hunt for the ATM, which led us through the snazzy new Hyatt, built right into the terminal. All very sci-fi and kinda Asian sleek. We happened through the new restaurant at the new hotel, which was a sea of haircut men in polo shirts – a business man mating ground. You could feel the stock market groaning through their conversations, and the expense accounts simmering on the plates at the tables. Where are the prostitutes, I was wondering. I thought these demographics go hand in hand. I wonder if those men were wondering the same thing? In any event, it really was sleek and sophisticated. And the food smelled great. If I was to be stuck at Terminal D without an Admiral’s Club membership, knowing what I now know, I’d hide out there. They had a swanky coffee shop too (called Moka). That reminds me. Future post idea: the independent coffee shops in Dallas (let’s all support them!). Gachet on Greenville is my favorite. Okay, I’ll save that for another post….cheers!

A girl could get used to a life less ordinary

My best friend called me around 10 Friday night and asked if I’d be interested in coming to work a photoshoot at the Hotel ZaZa with him. (I’m a licensed hair stylist and do side work on weddings/special events and such.)
They desperately needed someone to handle makeup [he was handling the hair]. He also asked if I had a friend that could potentially fill in for a missing model. I happened to be hanging out with a friend who is a knockout, so we decided to go.

We go up to the suite to meet my friend and get the scoop on the shoot. The room is just pimp. There’s a full bottle of Absolut and a carafe of fresh pineapple juice for cocktails (which my BFF had already made a decent dent in). The room-called the Medusa suite- is decorated in dark blues and golds, lots of gold brocade and decadent fabrics. It has a killer balcony with a great view of Uptown, and overlooks the Dragonfly club downstairs.
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