Klyde Warren Park is Every Kind of Wonderful. No, Really. I Have Video.

Categories: Schutze

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So a couple weeks ago Angela Hunt calls me up and tells me I have to go down to the new deck park. Then maybe two days later my wife starts telling me I have to go down to the new deck park.

So Sunday I was about to embark on the very important task of disengaging the electric valves from my wife's pot watering system and mucking out all the scunge and slugs and stuff so the valves could be safely stored for winter, and I thought, "No."

No, I really needed to tear myself away from the valve-scunging job and go look at that new park. At least that way, the next time anyone brought it up, I could stop them and say, "I have seen it already, but thank you so much for thinking of stuff I should do."


We took the dogs. It was my idea, because one of them, Dorothy the healer-mix, bites. I like to make new friends when I walk, but I think they should prove their mettle first.

Here's the thing. This summer my wife and I were in Chicago, and we spent an afternoon in Grant Park. It is just wonderful. It's urban heaven, with every-which-way kind of people out there speaking a jillion languages and picnicking and kicking balls; it is humanity at its sunny best. And I remember thinking with a real knife in my heart that this could never happen in Dallas.

It has happened. I saw it yesterday. Klyde Warren Park is Grant Park. Yesterday the new deck park built above the sunken portion of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway between the Arts District and Uptown was every wonderful park I have ever seen anywhere in the world on a beautiful day, with all kinds of people and kids and dogs on leashes, big family picnics spread on quilts, food trucks as far as you could see, impromptu Frisbee football played by kids of all ages who didn't even know each other, and not a sour note in the air.

We walked up and down. It's big. It's crazy with little venues and spaces and things to do. Dorothy, the biter, bit no one. I even experimented, letting the leash out a bit when I passed people who looked like they might need a wake-up nip, but she turned her face up to me reproachfully, like she was saying, "Boss, please, this ain't that kinda joint."

The whole park, three blocks long from St. Paul Street to Pearl Street, was one long smile, like the beaming face of a buried giant, bright as a new penny, rising up out of the soil laughing. And a long time coming.

I wore the hatcam. I do that anyway when I take Dorothy into urban venues, mainly for litigation purposes. But when I got home I watched the choppy video several times, marveling. This is really a whole new moment in the life of the city. I think I was for this from the beginning, wasn't I?



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34 comments
bbetzen
bbetzen

Very well said Jim, and I agree. This park is a wonderful addition to Dallas! As the park develops it should include connections to Dallas History, such as historical markers in the park to document that this land was once Little Mexico.  Across Pearl to the northeast was Freedman's Town and the State-Thomas area.  We should celebrate this history that connects to what is now the majority of the people in our city.  Such connections to Dallas History will make visits to Klyde Warren Park that much more meaningful.   Here is a connection to a 1944 map of Dallas that shows this history and these connections: http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2012/10/little-mexico-klyde-warren-park.html

DanaDee
DanaDee

What I wouldn't give for Dallas to have really nice parks throughout the city.  A good model city to follow in connection with city parks is St. Louis.  I've never seen a city that has so many spacious, well-planned and designed parks that have something for everyone as I have in St. Louis.  And it gives the city unbelievable character.   In Dallas, you might have a park here and there--but most of them look like barren, dried up lands--little table seating, no play equipment, few, if any, trees, empty pools at some that are no longer in use and need to be filled in--and one that I know of doesn't even have access (no joke).  It's off of Hillcrest north of LBJ, and I believe it's called Hillcrest Park. 

stevenr11
stevenr11

I'm sure it will be just as wonderful during the 6 months of the year that air temps are in the one hundred degrees and above range. I remember going to an art fair downtown some years ago, I believe it was in June or July. It reminded me that there's no place hotter in Dallas, Texas than downtown. Well, no place hotter since they closed the Mrs. Baird's Bakery at Central and Mockingbird anyway.

 

And, gosh, who can deny the civic contribution made by Klyde Warren? No, there's nothing about this park not to like.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

Your writing talent leaves me speechless.

 

I love James Herriot; you need to do a book about Dorothy.

You are so good when you write about dogs.

 

I finished reading this at my DISD desk and I thought, "Life is good."

No matter what, life is good.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Jim.  And Dorothy.

kduble
kduble

Here I was eager to visit the DO site for my daily dose of Jim's negativity, and low and behold! Dallas actually did something right!

 

Seriously, Jim, if you can throw in a little something positive every now and then to spice things up, it could even help your readership. People like unpredictability.

Bremarks
Bremarks

I am in love with the Deck Park.  Heck, Amanda Burden was even talking about it on KERA this morning, all the way from New York City (and I say that in the hickist way possible).

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

The good Jim Schutze writing today. Those on an all-bile diet are going to have indigestion.

2texans
2texans

Soooooooo what do you get from Mary Suhm now? Variances for a bigger chicken farm for your wife? Oh I get it, it's your once a year 'gift' to City Hall to balance out everything else you write during the year. But this Park's success has as much riding on it as the Nasher ordeal and I figure 1 out of 2 wins for corporate Dallas is as good as it may get. If you saw this morning's editorial in DMN, you know from whence I speak. And one more thing, I know Grant Park, and KWP ain't no Grant Park by a long shot. Grant Park has a soul.

monstruss
monstruss

I'm sure it's really nice and everything, but why did they have to name the park after a billionaire's kid? 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Jim, I am absolutely certain that the deck park is wonderful and idyllic.  The high population density and lack of green space north of Woodall Rogers is probably a significant driver in the usage of the new park.

 

Filling in the moat known as Woodall Rogers will do wonders for the city and this part of Dallas.

 

Without saying, the addition of any new park space to the City of Dallas is a wonderful thing.

 

Nevertheless, I do question the amount of money that was spent by the City of Dallas and other governmental sources on this one park.

 

I have to wonder what could have been done to have improved the parks system, particularly those parks in the southern sector.  I also wonder how many pools, libraries, road repairs and other basic city services could have been improved with the same amount of money.

 

In other words, we are living in a shotgun shack with a leaky roof but we have a new 52" plasma color TV inside and a brand new car outside.

Daniel
Daniel

See, Jim? When you cast aside your negativity, get out of your irascible comfort zone and lighten up a little, you get an average of 1.66 comments per hour.  

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Is anything even real anymore?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Deck Park is not the Tuileries, but for Dallas it's awfully nice.

PatentLawya
PatentLawya

Who are you and what have you done with the real Jim Schutze?

icowrich
icowrich

 @stevenr11 All of the water features on the park are designed to bring temps down by 10 degrees relative to the rest of the city.  A 100° day should be 90° in the park.  That's still not ideal, but it might be tolerable under some shade. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @2texans She told me I could shoot somebody and get away with it.

Bobtex
Bobtex

 @monstruss

 Because the billionaire handed over $10,000,000.00 to help pay for the park.  At least the park is named for a human being, and not one of our corporate patrons.  Be glad that the park's namesake has a heart, not a logo.

kduble
kduble

 @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  Much of the money was donated for this specific purpose. There was also a seed grant that was part of the 2009 stimulus bill. It makes no sense to talk about other ways the money could have been spent. Had it not been for this idea, there would have been no money.

Daniel
Daniel

@JackieJoyner-Rhys

I, too, was moved by Jim's sap-o-rama piece about all the wonderful activities they have on the deck park --  a 5.2 acre area that has a full-time staff of 25 to 30 people, and all of this only "20 minutes down the Dallas North Tollway" for visitors -- code for "an easy and safe drive for rich white people."

 

But it's just such an astonishing contrast -- all of these little leotard children doing precious yoga in the deck park while less than four miles away children the same age are dodging bullets and beatings so they can run crack.

 

Am I allowed to say that? That it's a contrast? A stunning contrast? A heartbreaking contrast?

 

 

TurdFerguson
TurdFerguson

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz

 Thanks for the reference Myrna, you showed me something there. Been to Belgium and the Netherlands but next time I will have to visit France and find Tuileries Gardens.  Merci beaucoup!

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @PatentLawya Yeah. I dunno. I think they slipped me some kind of a Mickey. How do you now if they're putting Thorazine in your coffee?

observist
observist topcommenter

 @Bobtex  @monstruss

 Couldn't the billionaire have thrown in an extra penny to make your decimal places meaningful?

kduble
kduble

 @Daniel  How would those kids have been any better off had we not built the park. Do you think forgoing parks out of concern for disadvantaged kids is kid-friendly?

whiteguiltiswimpy
whiteguiltiswimpy

@Daniel "an easy and safe drive for rich white people" -- and what, exactly, is wrong with that? Put a cork in your pathetic white guilt.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @Daniel  @JackieJoyner-Rhys The scene at the park is very diverse, except that it's all people who would think going to a park with family and friends is a fun thing. That has an odd way of stratifying things. It tends to cut out the crack heads, for example, the meth-billies and the Park Cities beer-shot-gunners and all those people I do so look forward to schmoozing with, but I guess I'll have to look for them in other venues. Otherwise, it's very everybody -- same thing I saw at Grant Park.  Who goes to parks anyway? A certain kind of somebody, no matter the ethnicity.    

TurdFerguson
TurdFerguson

 @JimSX  @ScottsMerkin

 Scott's remark was TicketSchtick, greatly appreciated as always.  But it must be said that there are actually people frequenting the area.  Never thought it to be possible, but joggers, families and so forth are now cruising the Uptown/Downtown corridor.  Who woulda thunk it?  It is really working, at least a little bit.  There may yet be hope for Dallas.  Too cool.

James080
James080

 @JimSX  @PatentLawya Come on Jim, shake it off. We need you to flesh out the back story on this Dallas County IT scam the DMN covered Sunday.  You're no fun at all when you actually like something.

Daniel
Daniel

 @kduble  @Daniel Folks, I was directly quoting Jim (with appropriate tense shifts) from a fairly recent post he made right here in these "pages." Just lightly spritzing the fella.

 

I happen to think the park is terrific. Really, does anyone think otherwise?

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