What Do The Kessler, the Trinity River Toll Road, Forest Lane Have In Common? This Item.

LilesatKessler.jpg
Photo by Dylan Hollingsworth
A certain "sleepy-eyed Dr Pepper addict with grizzled blond dreadlocks"
That's a mighty nice piece about The Kessler in The New York Times this morning; nice illustration too, courtesy the great Paul Rogers. The story's by local boy Ben Fountain, the att'y-turned-author who wraps up his semi-regular from-the-mean-streets-of dispatches with a trip to the Oak Cliff venue -- the polar opposite of his July '10 destination, the Highland Park Village. (In between, as you may recall, Fountain speculated on real estate and toured a few topless joints, just to make sure they hadn't gone economically flaccid.)

Fountain visits The Kessler and discovers, why, hey, lookie there, you don't need big money in this big-money town to make something good happen. All you need is "a fifth-generation Texan" with connections and experience working for "finance behemoths" (Edwin Cabaniss), "a sleepy-eyed Dr Pepper addict with grizzled blond dreadlocks" (Jeff Liles, duh) and a small bank in Waxahachie to churn economic development where none existed before. And, sure, maybe Urban Acres and Luckie's Smokehouse and Cliff Notes would have eventually taken root there, but they hadn't till The Kessler became the anchor for that stretch of Davis. Writes Fountain toward the end:
Meanwhile, Big-Deal Dallas continues to struggle. The vast plan to renovate the Trinity River area with parks and a billion-dollar tollway is going nowhere fast. Budget pressures are chipping away at the city's plans for a trio of "marquee" bridges, and the Riverfront Boulevard "gateway" project is looking D.O.A.

Who knows -- maybe the Ewings can bring some of their big-deal magic back to Dallas once again? In your dreams. Meanwhile, for a slice of real life, there's always the Kessler.
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Photo by Harry Wilonsky
One of many classics parked on Forest Lane last night
Oh. Right. That billion-dollar Trinity River toll road. That reminds me: You have read this this morning, right? No? For those without access to what lies behind the pay wall, here's the takeaway: "The corps' assurances were never so direct as the city and the road's chief cheerleaders made them out to be." No, you don't say. I gotta roust Schutze.

Also: Last night's Forest Lane cruisin' reunion brought out thousands -- and turned a fast-food, Big Box stretch of Northwest Dallas into an honest-to-God ... community, that's the word. Live music, parking-lot sixers, classic cars for as far as the eye could see and a food trailer selling fried pies. That, right there, that was a Better Block -- a Better Mile, matter of fact. Take that, Oak Cliff. Didn't see a TV camera anywhere, nor a News reporter, and we stuck 'round till it turned into a Taco Bell midnight. (Thanks, Albertsons, for your canned goods.) I think next time I'll look into filling up some of that empty retail in the old FedMart strip -- pop-up Hit Records, anyone? Brother Hurley shot a million photos. Look at 46 of 'em. Hard. Much more to come tomorrow.
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Yourethejournal
Yourethejournal

"That, right there, that was a Better Block -- a Better Mile, matter of fact. Take that, Oak Cliff. Didn't see a TV camera anywhere..." LULZ!

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

The Kessler is the Dallas I live in. Yesterday, after church, went on a hike at La Reunion with a Naturalist, seeing native grasses. Went home, showered, and went to see the great Max Hartman in Ponzi at Kitchen Dog, then had a beer at Meridian Room.

Dallas the TV show will not likely show that Dallas, but it's here and I love it.

Great article.Great Post.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

Big Deal America isn't fixing anybody (or the TRtrollroad).  As a few of my fellow local farmer's market vendors and I conversed yesterday--it's us small guys and gals, growing our businesses organically, who will be growing, hiring and paying the taxes.

Howard
Howard

Geez, the Trinity is a flood plain engineered to prevent the Dallas core (including downtown) from being flooded over. Everybody needs to get over trying to turn it into something more, especially monkeying with its engineering to the point where it no longer can effectively function as a flood break.

So many news stories written, so many developers, so many council members, mayors, community activists, dreamers, money wasted (and mostly taxpayers') over the decades and generations -- all yelling over one another, but all in denial and (purposely) forgetting this fact. The Trinity ain't the Mississippi nor can it ever be.

Fix/maintain the roads, lights, infrastructure, pay the cops, firefighters and teachers living wages -- it's never been hard to fix this city. Wake up from the Trinity dream, Dallas.

Texaspainter
Texaspainter

I like the passive aggressive way DMN said that Angela was right. Again. LOL! Oh, Billy Deckard, we hardly knew ye!

Lorlee Bartos
Lorlee Bartos

Heads ought to roll, indictments ought to flow. 

I was one of the spokespeople during the first Trinity River election.  I stood there with my jaw dropped as the opposition would simply stand there and lie.  Everything we said about the toll road was true then and still is.  So we have wasted 13 years of political capital and millions of dollars on a folly of the landed interests.  Much like the barge canal that was the previous idea.  Just let that river be and make some parks. 

I am able to say "I told you so" but it doesn't give me much pleasure when I consider the lost opportunities all that money would have bought. 

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I about fell out of my chair when I saw the DMN's front & center story about the Trinity Toll Road scam--- would love to get some insight from you guys as to why that story was allowed to appear in the DMN, and why now????

Gullible Voter
Gullible Voter

I would like to see Uncle Wick explain why he and the DMN used their wonder twin powers to sell us the Trinity Toll Road scam.

BTW, why didn't Lindenberger explain why our elected power mongers sold us this road? I mean, we already know, but why did he only explain the "what?"

OED_Denizen
OED_Denizen

Hopefully you will have noticed that the DMN didn't take a hit for their part in the Trinity Tollway story!!

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Jim's working up something for tomorrow. Trust me.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

oh heck, my number 1 rule is never trust a man that says "trust me".

El Rey
El Rey

So much awesome all in one post. Thanks for the update!

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