Ten Easy Ways to Improve Old East Dallas That Don't Involve Lofts I Can't Afford

ross1.jpg
Photo via TexasPopCulture.blogspot
Hope you're happy. This sugartripped architectural heart attack is gone forever.
Old East Dallas, Old Town, Smash and Grab Headquarters -- whatever you want to call it, I live there and I love it. But last week the dose of visual insulin you see above was dismantled, replaced by a boring brown brick exterior. Then I started noticing the other improvements popping up along Ross, and I started to wonder:

Am I about to get priced out?

See also:
- In Search of Valley Ranch's "Urban Sophisticates"
- Junius Heights Man's Battle to Keep His Water-Friendly Yard

Ice Cream Palace McDonald's (across Ross from Disco Fiesta) was more than a fascination. It was a reminder that our specific geographical nook is cobbled together from different eras, because in East Dallas things shouldn't be new and uniform.

But that's changing. We're too close to downtown, Deep Ellum, the Arts District, Expo and Greenville for builders to turn a blind eye to our earth, and this string of recent new construction up Ross Avenue warns that the yuppie invasion is nigh. You can't even stop at a seedy red light off Peak without Crossfit runners surrounding your car, jogging in place like a hive of angry, disposable income-having bees.

Soon we'll be forced out of this squatter's wonderland. Let's stop all of these economic advances and improve the area for those already leasing its dilapidated, ancient apartments. Here are 10 ways to improve Old East Dallas while keeping it just shitty enough for me to live there.

1.) Statewide Holiday for Shopping Cart Lady -- An Old East Dallas fixture, shopping cart lady is an unlikely guru who's taught us valuable lessons about life and love. If you live within a three mile radius of Bryan Street Tavern, you've seen her.

Riding on top of her trash treasure mountain, Shopping Cart Lady diligently holds a radio while Sunburned Boyfriend pushes her rolling throne, moving her grandly from block to block. It's her unrelenting faith in other human beings that's made her a neighborhood spirit animal. Just think: Have you ever trusted a significant other enough to let them push you in a shopping cart? She, to the best of our collective counting, has had such faith in five different suitors over the last eight years. Somebody cue the Journey anthem.

2.) Improve the Smell and Interior Lighting at Disco Fiesta, Leave Everything Else the Same -- Never look at your own reflection while shopping at Disco Fiesta; it's like checking your makeup in a haunted house of mirrors. Suddenly you're 20 years older, weathered and depressed. Also, the store smells like fish, feet and deep sorrow. But the bargains!

3.) Sell One Non-Sugar Bread Product at 7-11 -- You just want to cook an egg sandwich in your shitty little apartment but cannot find those few, basic ingredients required at 7-11. That's annoying. While there is egg and cheddar you're stuck smashing them between two, off-brand cinnamon rolls or a pair of neon-colored Mexican pastries. Let's try a little harder locally-based, neighborhood bodega.

4.) Crossfit Street Gangs -- If the Crossfit kids must dangle their healthy attitude in our faces, we should at least get protection out of it. Their jogging squads could double as neighborhood patrol, safeguarding our front passenger windows from early morning meth head looters. I'm sure that jogging while swinging a tube sock filled with oranges improves balance and upper body strength, so why not put it to use?

5.) Fewer Slum Lords, More Slum Ladies -- To be clear: I do not want fewer low-rent options specializing in vague background checks and shoddy credit history. Those we need. What I want is a little gender equality at the management level. Why can't there be more lady slumlords not fixing my appliances, stealing my deposits and misplacing my rent checks for weeks at a time? Lean in, slum ladies. Lean in.

6.) Supermarket Sweep, ALDI Edition -- Yes, you'd watch a reinvention of the competitive shopping game show Supermarket Sweep filmed entirely at an East Dallas ALDI. Of course you would.

Just imagine the contestants frantically searching for quarters to unlock their shopping carts. Then attempting to rack up a massive grocery bill off hundreds of items that cost $3 or less. But the best part would be those ALDI moments -- where time simply stops as they pause, holding the non-food merchandise, transfixed by its inherent mystery as the clock ticks away. "What on Earth are you? And why are you so inexpensive?"

7.) Open One Drive-Through Coffee Shop That's Covered by my Auto Insurance Policy -- If Geico knew you occasionally drive through the warrior auto gauntlet of Starbucks at Haskell and Gaston they would immediately drop you. That place is a hyper-caffeinated shitstorm. An auto enema. And no matter which way you enter or exit, it is the absolute wrongest way humanly possible.

8.) Some Less-Stabby Gas Stations -- There's a drought of places to fuel up within the East Dallas area, so you're forced to go to the one unstabby gas station that exists, even though it is always 2 miles away, in the opposite direction.

9.) Abandoned Field Progressive Mini Golf -- The overgrown field is an East Dallas staple. They're like backyards that someone else is legally required to mow every other month. I think we should plot 'em out, build a putt-putt hole on each one and play through. It's a community builder.

10.) No Microbrews Allowed -- Keep that mess in Oak Cliff, Expo Park, Greenville and Deep Ellum. Over in East Dallas we want our beers served in small, cylindrical paper bags, not on charmingly stained paddles with chiseled tasting cup inlays.

My Voice Nation Help
62 comments
Poonariffic
Poonariffic

Right the only option for gas is the Exxon near city place. Even that one is stabby after dark. All abandoned fields could be dog parks. My mom lives in Bryan Place - pretty much the most darling housing community down there. How many points for hitting crossfit runners?

Obummer
Obummer

Yo as long as Sandra Fluke be get’in her free birf controls pills what diff’ do it make?

jacob.zahm
jacob.zahm

East Dallas is fine.  After growing up in St. Louis, I find it amusing that people think it is even remotely dangerous.  

jeffreybiehler
jeffreybiehler

They forgot #1: "kill the cancer that is the Dallas Observer."

Jessica Bratt
Jessica Bratt

Oh, sometimes I do miss east Dallas. And they nailed the smell in "Disco Fiesta". Fish, feet and despair it is indeed. I personally found this article very spot-on, unlike some bitchy crybabies who have obviously not tried to get gas at 3:00am on Ross or Haskell. Stabby doesn't even begin to cover it.

PammieG
PammieG

And the BEST feature of the Disco Fiesta, They play the best music. I have never been disappointed....De Peche Mode, Radio Head, Squeeze are just a few on constant rotation. Disco Fiesta DJ RULES!!

Sandy Powell
Sandy Powell

I'm scoping out the fields for progressive mini-golf right now.

Tricia Lewis
Tricia Lewis

I miss the old McDonald's facade too, but my eyeballs are getting a little less diabetic every time I drive by the new one.

Willie
Willie

As a longtime resident and lover of the east side, this diatribe is spot on.  My reckoning of the creeping assholiness came many years ago when my favorite Mexcan dive restaurant, El Tio's, got torn down for that insufferable CVS big box shithole at Ross and Haskell.  Now the other day I see the old Otra Parte hightclub is gone, wiped off the face of the earth.  I will get my gun out when Texas Paint and Wallpaper, which sells the g-damned best Benjamin Moore paint, is run out of the neighborhood.

It's not just the gentrification that's so troubling, it's all the $30,000 a-hole yuppy dinks that are creeping in like the plague.  Egad, I saw four of them sipping wine and proper-laughing at Whole Foods last night---I wanted to brain them.

The Crossfit patrons are another clan of a-holes.  They should be rounded up and sent to Arlington and made to dodge rush hour traffic.

Suziecat, after Trader Joe's opens, the empty storefronts will start to fill with XYZ crapolas selling junk to the $30,000 crowd, and when the city finally paves that stretch of Greenville, you'll know the lid of the coffin has been slammed shut.

Luckily, I can still drive down Columbia Avenue at night, knowing I'll be dodging folks moseying across the poorly lit road.

Thank you for the opportunity to vent.  Time for the first beer of the weekend.

suziecate08
suziecate08

cripes I just want to go bar hopping on lower Greenville again.  Does anyone remember the Profit Bar?

confessional?  too much has changed - I barely recognize the place anymore. Sad

BBurnett
BBurnett

Well, sadly, this is an inevitable occurrence all over the country. What's old is cool again. But in Dallas, I think we have an amazing lack of self-inspection. We bow down to developers, have no voice to the City and its leaders, have little to no firm neighborhood associations.

christina.v.saez
christina.v.saez

I wouldn't worry just yet. I saw a guy pull a gun on a chihuahua yesterday on Gaston and Munger.

Donna Mann
Donna Mann

I do miss the sugar dripping, candy-coated McDonald's. Now it's just a big, brown, blob of a building. No character what-so-ever. Sad.

Les Playcool
Les Playcool

I feel less intelligent having read this. Dallas Observer has really taken a shit over the years. If you're afraid of getting stabbed at a gas station then you are obviously weak and don't belong in OED. If yuppies bother you then maybe you should go find somewhere else to live, somewhere full of other closed minded complainers that bitch about shit that doesn't matter that are afraid of change. I hope you burn in hell.

ccates35
ccates35

I'm from East Plano for the same reasons. The paleta man, bicycle guy (he pulls a homemade trailer of recyclables), the Super Pak, the Super Bowl (know why everything is super in East Plano? Because East Plano is super) are all things I would hate to see priced out. Your part about ALDI made me LOL. We have an ALDI and a Mariachi Terry's Supermercado. Don't even get me started on the Fiesta. So I guess if you get priced out of East Dallas and don't mind the Spanish accent, you can always come to East Plano. Just make sure you lose the hipsters in Richardson. 

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

Shopping cart lady and her boyfriend are the cause of numerous 911 calls when they get drunk and decide to beat each other senseless...which is quite often, yep that's great.

Like the idea of the crossfit gangs though,

Rebecca Finnegan
Rebecca Finnegan

Keep Dallas douche. Anything non-yuppie must be converted. Lame. :/

Tara Manning
Tara Manning

"If you live within a three mile radius of Bryan Street Tavern, you've seen her." But I haven't! I've only been an [east] Dallasite for a few weeks though. Hilarious.

sleepyhead420
sleepyhead420

I married a girl from East Dallas and have lived on the East Side since 1986. I don't like all the changes since they started selling beer here without a membership. I ride my bike around my neighborhood and I see all these people from Oak Cliff cruising around eating at new bistros. I don't understand - don't you have places in  your own neighborhood? I liked Gabriella too. You can't even dump your kid at the FOE pool anymore because its overrun with hipsters. The Arboretum is now Dallas' premier SUV parking facility. Can't you all just go park somewhere on Preston? Am I a curmudgeon? But, oh yes, Hollywood Heights is really gorgeous nowadays. I rode down Monte Vista...pretty!

Daniel
Daniel

@jacob.zahm 

After you've stumbled upon a 20-year-old woman being assaulted, as I have (and recently, too), you might be a little less glib. 

But make no mistake, I'm stayin' until they kick me out. 

sleepyhead420
sleepyhead420

@Willie Hey, you think you have it bad? They tore down our free beer burger joint for a PF Changs. I went to the one at North Park for a work deal and I swear they poured brake fluid on cat food and served it to me. The architecture looks like Six Flags does Asian. The horror. Okay, the CVS is still worse.

Jamie_L.
Jamie_L.

@Willie What really freaked me out was the rezoning sign just posted next to La Victoria. KEEP YOUR YUPPIE HANDS OFF MY $2, FOOT-LONG BREAKFAST BURRITOS AND OCCASIONAL TAMALES (IF I'M FEELING RICH THAT DAY).

yoka
yoka

@suziecate08 I still remember the night my friends and I got thrown out of the Profit Bar.  One of our group lost his balance and fell backwards into a table full of young ladies.  Before we could somehow turn this into an advantage, we were shown the door; moments later our friend urinated all over himself on July Alley.  Seems like not long after that the Profit's owner found God or something and quit selling booze there.  I never went back.


Anyone remember Tango?  Nick's Uptown?

MeanGreen
MeanGreen

@BBurnett Yes, let's save those dodgy car lots and corner stores that make up east Dallas, so much history. There's very little worth saving on the east side.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@BBurnett That's the irony here.  This area is D14 and D2 where the councilmembers are supposed to be progressive, independent, and not beholden to developers.  As the comment spats over the last couple of weeks show, there are firm neighborhood associations in D14, just not this part. 

And they probably won't have a strong neighborhood association until the area is completely gentrified.  Then people will fight about subterranean garages that peak above ground and other nonsense like it's Highland Park.

Poonariffic
Poonariffic

Hipsters live west of 75 - the east side of Richardson is old people, Asian markets and me.

mdd0124
mdd0124

@ccates35 Don't forget about backwards wheelchair lady, usually riding down 14th or 15th. 

HopelessRomantic
HopelessRomantic

@logic4dallas Where's your sense of romance?  Brawls are shopping cart lady's way of letting the neighborhood know old boo is getting replaced with new boo. Everyone in East Dallas, but him, knows this. If you don't already live there, you'll like Oak Cliff. They are the Captain and Tennille of Dallas. Food trailer courts, clothing they think is ironic and hats, keep them together.  Whole Foods, sweaty, messy, nasty love and letting our fingers doing the walking on 911, if it leads to great make up sex, keep it real. Shopping cart lady is my hero.

todd
todd

@sleepyhead420 I live in Richardson (gasp) but often enjoy the exotic locales of East Dallas, OC, Cedars, et al.  If you don't want our business, have your Secret Police set up checkpoints to check our papers.  We'll all scurry back to the hole we crawled out of and you can have your blissful utopia. 

Daniel
Daniel

@Willie East Dallas trivia: In the 80s, El Tio was called El Gallito, and one of its waitresses was the young Edie Brickell (who lived at Swiss and Carroll).

Willie
Willie

@yoka @suziecate08 Yes and yes.  And when Greenville Avenue Country Club had the pool in the back, where you'd go on those beautiful sunny weekend days to chill out.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@MeanGreen @BBurnett If you are renter in a decent, affordable apartment, then you might think your home is worth saving.  When those lots and corner stores become the "lofts we can't afford," then it's pretty much over because the apartments get sold, torn down, and become townhouses or retail.

Jamie_L.
Jamie_L.

@HopelessRomantic I once heard them arguing because he's hooking and thus gets to sleep in nice beds while she, instead, sleeps in the shopping cart. She shouted the he doesn't understand, that she's just grumpy because she's tired and wants a good nap. I thought "Shit, I've had this same fight so many times." She's The Great Unifier.

Willie
Willie

@todd  The east side of Richardson has its moments, but your police force is all Nazi.  Many years ago a friend of mine was in his front yard, howling at the moon after a good drinking binge.  The police arrived and instead of escorting him into his house, they coaxed him onto the sidewalk, made him eat concrete, cuffed him, and threw him in jail.  They took virtually all his clothing from him, including his sneakers.  He didn't have a belt to take away because earlier that evening it was eaten by a pit bull owned by a woman that did not like the fact that my buddy had romantic dialogue with her.  That woman lived in east Dallas and she was exotic. 

HopelessRomantic
HopelessRomantic

@todd   Whenever someone from Plano relocates here, because they married right, for some reason they become much more nostalgic and protective than the natives. When you see the light and move down, don't be that guy.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@todd @sleepyhead420 No, they will send the poor to Richardson instead.  And there aren't secret police, just historical districts and conservation districts. 

Is Richardson cool, cause I hear they may be relocating me?

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@Willie @Jamie_L. That whole area is about to change.  The $$ condos are starting to populate the area and there are more vacant lots being prepped for constructions. 

yoka
yoka

@sleepyhead420 @yoka @suziecate08 Ouch.  I hope not.  I don't care for sports bars, but I love Mexican food enough to be pretty tolerant...give me a pretty good Huevos Rancheros for a fair price and I'm happy.

todd
todd

@Willie @todd  Are you really trying to say that the RPD is more fucked than the DPD.  Have you forgotten about some of the scandals that have plagued that department?

todd
todd

@Willie @todd Really, you are going to try and say that Richardson's police force is more fucked up than Dallas'? 

HopelessRomantic
HopelessRomantic

@Willie @todd You gotta admire East Dallas women, who can get men to say thank you, after she chews his hide and tosses him out, just before his arrest for drunk and disorderly.

HopelessRomantic
HopelessRomantic

@vaginianave Take a step back Billy Jack and have a little fun.

vaginianave
vaginianave

"Natives", my ass.  You, or your parents were "implants"(boobs) at some point...Natives.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Health & Beauty

Loading...