13 December 2011

Dallas: Year Two -- Can I Start Complaining Now?

I guess it's my town now since it hasn't been returned to it's rightful owner?

I am noticing an alarming trend when it comes to the choice of where I call home. Maybe this has been the case the whole time of my existence, but my ears seem to be listening better to the chatter of passive-aggressive rumblings. The grass always has to be greener, doesn't it?

The two year anniversary of the came with very limited fanfare. It was just another day for The Lovely and me. This is a good thing, because I want to be comfortable where I lay my head. But along with this complacency and predictability comes an added dose of responsibility for tracking and absorbing what goes on here. From the micro (my apartment building has been purchased yet again, now to a soulless megalith of a corporation that wants to be the next Merc Building) to the macro (more parks are being built downtown while no one wants to reside in the largest office buildings downtown) to the regional (worst drought in years has destroyed water sources while Dallas is selling water?) to the global (AMR has filed for bankruptcy because they don't know how to run an airline while AT&T has no concept of anti-trust laws). I almost feel just as responsible to follow how Dallas is coming along as I do with Information Security. Working in parallel, both subjects can change in a blink.

This brings to mind the same situational awareness of my prior inhabited township. The town they call Corpus Christi...that has a familiar crisp to my tongue when saying the name, but not the same familiarity of memory. It's as if I disavowed any knowledge of that town as soon as I moved from there. But it's amazing how the exact same issue that plagued the City By The Sea (I will not add "Sparkling" because that town has a huge litter problem, starting with every Wal-Mart parking lot) is dragging down the continued development of Dallas. I know, right?

At least with downtown Dallas, they had a jump start on development that was not leveled by a hurricane in 1919. But the same pains exists. There was an slow but deliberate exit of big companies from the largest buildings. The loss of HEB in Corpus was just as huge as the lights going out in the First National Bank building on 1401 Elm. Corpus losing Whataburger corporate headquarters is just as huge as residential developments at the Bulter building falling through. There's more graffiti and human waste across the street from Dallas City Hall than there is at the old white six-story building off of Staples Street.

Continue that with the frustration of a thought-to-be popular city council and a "pro-business" mayor, and that is where you can achieve parallel construction in two different townships simultaneously. Ironic that moving from one Texas town to a big Texas city would essentially have the same internal conflict.

Adding fuel to this grass fire is a healthy dose of logic not being utilized. Enter Patrick Kennedy. When I first read about him, The Lovely and I were three months into our living arrangements at the same lofts that he lived. Only difference was the Dallas Morning News wrote an article about him. When you talk the talk and really know what you are talking about, it's impressive. But, when you can walk the walk and prove it on a global scale...that puts you in line for "a cabinet post!".

An explanation: Mr. Kennedy decided to forgo his car for the sake of designing a better city. Thankfully, his focus was on downtown Dallas. Dreadfully, he seems to be running into the same bureaucratic resistance we would run into if we wanted to speed up the line for a driver's license renewal at the DPS office. It is jaw-dropping as to how some of the simple (and cheap) solutions are right there for the taking, yet the mindset is just too locked into the status quo.

So, I will continue to dodge speeding cars through crappily-marked crosswalks while attempts at "improvement" go self-served or silent. But every city has their idiosyncrasies. Portland has birds painted all over the city for some odd reason. Seattle's weather still sucks. San Francisco has a 50-50 chance of being dropped from the continental shelf. NYC is way, way, WAY too expensive for a married couple to live above the poverty line. Chicago has Cubs/Bears fans. See, the pitfalls are everywhere.

But, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world...right now.

Lessons Learned, my three things.
1) I will admit it. I do have a love affair with my FJ Cruiser. I even have a stupid nickname for it. And I love my road trips with the UAV (Urban Assault Vehicle). But I do love clean(ish) air and using my fully-functional legs and feet. That's a primary reason why I live downtown.
2) You know what other love affair needs to end? Home ownership. Way too overrated. If I am not having kids and adding 19,000 more hours in a car per year, then I will start looking in interest rates and pretentious neighborhoods. Plus, I hated mowing the lawn when I was a kid. You can't take it with you when you die, people.
3) I voted for Kunkle. Just saying.

I have to say this was the quickest two year period I have ever spent in one place...other than college. I am still on back order some some blog post, so enjoy the continued tardiness. Talk later.

No comments:

Post a Comment