Then There Was Deep Ellum's Better Block ...
|Courtesy Patrick Kennedy/Walkable DFW|
Patrick "Car-Free" Kennedy agrees. Over on Walkable DFW he posts his account of the day's doings and writes there was nothing much doing at all, matter of fact. Which may have something to do with the fact Castillo, who lives in Plano, built his Better Block all by his lonesome and without the support of the community -- all the makings of a cautionary tale. (And, perhaps, just maybe, could be, possibly the Rally to Restore Sanity offshoot at Lee Harvey's kept some folks otherwise preoccupied.) Writes Kennedy, who offers copious visual proof, Deep Ellum's Better Block failed because it was lifeless, bereft of energy -- a wall of steel barricades and empty storefronts, not a panoply of greenery and people.
The common emotion of suburban style development is one of fear, of retrenchment, backing away from any form of engagement with anyone else, the bad scary "other." The emotion behind the Better Block is one of love, of re-engagement, of curiosity of what others are up to, and wanting to meet and be around other people.
But the emotion that has made the Better Block so successful is brazenness. Where bureaucracy, political timidity, or ineptitude all too often prevent places for people, the Better Block just did it, inspired by an outgrowth of frustration with all of the above.