The Rekindled Dallas-Fort Worth Rivalry is ... Really Boring

Categories: Neighborhoods

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The current iteration of the debate began when Larry McMurtry, writing in Texas Monthly, ranked Dallas well below Fort Worth among Texas cities, dismissing it as "a second-rate city that wishes it were first-rate."

That sentiment wasn't particularly surprising. Anyone who's read his books knows that McMurtry's sensibilities tend more to the cattle-and-cowboy culture of Fort Worth than its glitzier neighbor to the east, but the Morning News' Steve Blow nonetheless moseyed rather reluctantly to Dallas' defense with the rousing proclamation that "Dallas suits me and a lot of others just fine these days. It's easy. Good stuff is happening."

This was taken as a challenge to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy, who declares that his town's "old prairie rivalry with Dallas is stirring again."

As evidence, he cites Dallas' exclusion of Fort Worth from its commemoration of the Kennedy Assassination, the fact that the guests at this year's Final Four, which will be in Arlington, will mostly stay in Dallas, and a debate over whether a new Houston-to-North Texas bullet train should stop in Fort Worth or just Dallas.

And if a grandmotherly dispute between rival metro columnists isn't enough to convince you that the cities are officially back at each others' throats, there's also a pulse-quickening nomenclature debate. That was the topic of KERA's "Think" yesterday: what the Dallas-Fort Worth region should properly be called. I didn't listen but can only assume it involved D's Tim Rogers repeatedly decrying "Metroplex" as the linguistic spawn of Satan.

But -- and it pains us to say this -- Steve Blow was right. Fort Worth is fine. So is Dallas. Both have different things to offer, and a lot of those things are good on both ends. There may be the occasional boast, with Dallas touting its shiny baubles like the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Fort Worth showcasing its vibrant downtown and western charm, but whatever rivalry there was has been sucked out as fuel by the exploding suburbs, as has been the one thing people actually care about: the Dallas Cowboys.

That leaves Dallas and Fort Worth in the same boat, trying to keep from becoming mere flotsam on an expanding exurban sea.

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32 comments
Tested
Tested

I was born and raised in Dallas but now live in Plano.  I suspect I'm like a lot of my neighbors in that respect.  The fact is Dallas has had a hard time figuring out what it wants to be and has been distracted by having others try to impose a template on it.  Now it's slowly starting to sort it out and get it right.  Fort Worth has never had that problem.  The truth is this story is exactly right: they both have something to offer but run the risk of getting lost as they're surrounded by exploding suburbs that grow increasingly more powerful each year.  I don't really believe there is a "rivalry" anymore between the two cities.  This whole region needs to work together to address the major issues we face: transportation and education. Look around and you'll find that's already happening.  

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Dallas is Dallas and Ft. Worth is Ft. Worth ... Thank God!


Personally, I believe that the analogy for the Dallas-Ft. Worth area is not Houston but rather Los Angeles ... think about it before you respond ...

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

"I didn't listen," but I'm gonna comment on it.  top notch standards of journalism.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

"DFW", Fort Worth, "Metroplex" and the really inane "North Texas" all fall away the farther you go...we are called "Dallas" by most in the world, so go with the flow.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Why do they even refer to that football team as the Dallas Cowboys, anymore?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Well, Larry is pretty much right about Dallas being second-rate with first-rate hopes. Having recently been to Germany I find Dallas to be second only to Berlin when it comes to inferiority complexes. 

whiteguiltlib
whiteguiltlib

Nicholson why does it pain you to say Steve Blow was right? Steve Blow writes white-bread liberal pablum, just like you do. The main difference between you and Steve Blow is that you use cuss words and he does not.

monstruss
monstruss

 "...and a debate over whether a new Houston-to-North Texas bullet train should stop in Fort Worth or just Dallas." 

Take the TRE, you dick!

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

Rogers is right about the inanity of the "Metroplex" term.  The term is intended to make the area sound like one big city or even one big community.  It's not. And pointing that out has nothing to do with any rivalry. It's just a really dumb term... but one that also promotes idiocy such as Dallas mayors selling out their city with the thinking that what's good for Collin and Denton Counties is good for Dallas; good for The Metroplex.

How many people in, say, Keller, could tell you anything about, say, Elmwood?  How many people in Little Forest Hills could give you good directions to Saginaw?  Etc., etc.

People in these neighborhoods have nearly nothing in common and shouldn't be treated (via government policy, especially) as though they do.

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

Timmy tries very hard to stoke city rivalries against Austin, Fort Worth or Houston. But you know what? Most of us just yawn. His sensibilities reflect in-bred thinking.

DMZ3
DMZ3

@Scruffygeist My feeling is that Dallas is trapped with a kind of perpetual inferiority complex. It's a city with a culture wrapped around striving for "world class" in a very middle class keep-up-with-the-Joneses way. So Dallas is constantly trying to borrow and incorporate ideas from elsewhere, but by doing so, comes across to everyone else as sort of contrived and second-rate. 

Daniel
Daniel

@Scruffygeist If Lou Reed named an uncharacteristically orchestral album after us -- then, then we would be world-class. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@monstruss no shit, let the bullet train stop in Dallas only, thats why we built the TRE to connect each city.  Why have a bullet train go to both.  now if only the TRE went down 30 in stead of a round about way up north, I might use it

DMZ3
DMZ3

@MikeDunlap Nope. It's one big economic region and you're stuck in it. It's impossible to have major infrastructure projects like DFW Airport with a provincial mindset that says different neighborhoods, cities and suburbs have nothing in common. Actually, the whole design of the region is so people can live in one place, shop in another, and work in a third place - all connected by superhighways and the DART. Without all of that, Dallas wouldn't be anything more than another Waco or Amarillo.

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

@MikeDunlap Huh? The word "Metroplex" drives mayoral behavior? That's a bit of an overstatement, Mike. I like our Metropolitan Complex. Save the Metroplex from branding fascists like Tom Rodgers.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@RobertStinson ahh, he's a yankee transplant trying to be more holy, or Texan than thou.   Fuck that carpetbagger, he don't speak for Dallasites or Texans.  I'm a 6th generation metroplexian.  My Great, Great Grandfather was the second mayor of Arlington.  My Great Uncle an influential Ft Worth city atty, my Grandfather and Father worked for the city of Dallas for twenty years each.  What the fuck does transplant Tim Rogers have to tell natives?  I repeat myself, Fuck that carpetbagger.

DMZ3
DMZ3

@Scruffygeist Not saying the city doesn't have its virtues. But these virtues tend to be Order, Cleanliness, and Security. The city prizes getting up early, going to work, and making it to church on Sundays. It technically "works" but doesn't make for a sexy world-class city, even while it tries desperately hard to do it.

whiteguiltlib
whiteguiltlib

@RobertStinson - that's a rather graceless way for you to admit that I'm correct, but I accept it anyway.

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@RobertStinson It doesn't drive it.  But it is indicative of a mindset frequently  demonstrated by local officials in promoting things that are positive for some North Texas areas... and detrimental to others.

What's good for Arlington is good for Arlington.  More power to them.  But as a Dallasite I couldn't care less about that podunk town.

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

Well, that's harsh. Actually, he's a Californian, not a yankee.

Daniel
Daniel

@DMZ3 You have nailed it just about as succinctly as I've ever seen. That's preCISEly it: Dallas suffers from Striver Anxiety. And, just like the social striver, Dallas could actually be interesting if it would just let its damn hair down and be its authentic self. And, again just like the social striver, Dallas sadly may have already lost all touch with any "authentic self," and pretty early in life, too.


I suggest our new marketing slogan be "Dallas: Babbitt Slept Here." 

airbornjman
airbornjman

@ScottsMerkin @MikeDunlap  Now if Arlington could get some light rail through downtown and a bus system going up and down Cooper, Collins, Matlock, and East/West on a couple of streets, we'd be set to go. And also developing the entertainment district with more mixed-use buildings. 

airbornjman
airbornjman

@MikeDunlap Arlington is not a podunk town. It is a large city with many wonderful parks and great neighborhoods. In addition to that, it has many great places to visit and shop. Anyone calling Arlington "podunk" clearly has no knowledge of the city. Arlington is headed in the right direction with Viridian, Cowboys, Rangers, and many other projects going on in the city. It will be relevant and increase in importance in years to come. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@MikeDunlap i dont believe Arlington fits the description of podunk in any way shape or form.  Its the 3rd largest city in the Mehtroplex and has a lot more to do than walk across an expensive fake suspension bridge to some grassy park over a freeway (I like the park, put away your saber)

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@RobertStinson went to Notre Dame.  I thought he said today on "Think" that we was from Conn. or something.   He still don't have any standing to declare/describe what North Texas, DFW, whatever is, and what it's called.  This whole area was built around the Trinity River, first and foremost.  Then came the cattle drives, the Railroads and then the highways/airports.  The whole metroplex is indeed interdependent and these semantic games and rabble rousing is cheap journalism from someone unequipped to comment with any perspective. 

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