Taking it to the Streets | Classic Schlock | Roadkill

"taking it to the streets," by kimberly thorpe, June 4


Living downtown would be much more attractive if the 65 percent to 80 percent of mixmaster traffic could be eliminated that originates from outside Dallas for destinations the other side of Dallas. Such traffic should use the loops around Dallas. Technology to help such diversion of traffic to happen more easily is available.

I have lived downtown for 3 1/2 years. I've been encouraged by some movement in the right direction, but overall, downtown Dallas has a very long way to go before it will be what we want it to be. A recent trip to New York City cemented this in my mind. It's going to take groundbreaking shifts in thought for our downtown to achieve the street life we want. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be around to see it; I'm jumping ship and heading to Manhattan in a few years.

Courtney from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com

If mixmaster traffic can be cut in half, then living downtown would be even more attractive! Pollution and noise would be less. The alleged need for our Trinity River park to have a noisy toll road going through the floodway would be eliminated.

We need to continue to make life downtown more attractive. Cattle trucks driving from Florida to the Texas Panhandle through the mixmaster do not make living downtown more attractive.

Bill Betzen from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com

I love hot dog carts! I recommend adding carts to Lower Greenville for feeding time for the lovely bar clients. The hot dog guy in Austin who set his up by his favorite bars does nicely. Just beware of the crazy dude with his camera and his pepper spray and his racist rants.

Tex from Dallas, via dallasobserver.com

Good article. And not to be dismissive, but no analysis of downtown ever mentions the underground tunnels, and I feel it is a key element. Downtown will always look like a ghost town (at least during the day) so long as all the business people are under the city like moles. I think most people don't realize how much commerce goes on under the city or how far those tunnels extend.

Mark, via dallasobserver.com

"Classic Schlock," by Ben Westhoff, May 21

Rock Stars Wanted

I just read your article, "Classic Schlock." I have to disagree with your stance. Now before you think I am an Oldie Olderson defending my generation's music, I must tell you that I am 29. While I enjoy some of the artists you seem to champion (My Morning Jacket, etc.), I would have to take Van Halen over them any day of the week. To me, the most obvious thing missing from most of these new artists is FUN.

I think there are several downsides to dismissing what has come to be known as classic rock. For one, those bands seem to have a reverence and respect for the artists that paved the way for them. When I hear TV on the Radio, I don't hear any musical influences. I hear art and fashion and frankly, little musicianship. I am not a big fan of Rush or Queen, but those guys can play circles around today's bands. And I have respect for that. I also think today's bands are nameless and faceless. I don't know anyone who can name a single member of Death Cab for Cutie or pick their faces out of a lineup. But I bet you half the population can name all the members of The Who or Mötley Crüe.

I do somewhat agree with your point about listeners being lazy, though. However, I think the listeners get lazy when they stop purchasing the new CDs by the classic artists. Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the most consistently popular bands that tours and plays large venues every year. But when they put out a new CD, it barely sells. It's not because it's bad, it's because people just want to hear the stuff they already know. And today's bands are missing another element I enjoy about the classic bands: They just don't seem like rock stars. I actually saw Death Cab last year; they look just like my next-door neighbors. And nerdy ones at that. I don't want bands I go see to look like me. I want to go see a band that wears its rock star lifestyle on its sleeve. The best rock music was always about having fun and being rebellious.

Mike Lowrey, via e-mail

"Scene Stealers," by Pete Freedman, June 4

Pest Control

In your article you use the phrase "pesky neighborhood association" with so much derision I can almost hear you spit the words out to the sidewalk.

Yes, the city needs a cultural center and a music center and a skateboard center and a place for free whatever. Just do me a favor and stop whining about how those pesky neighborhood associations are screwing you over.

We live here, and if collectively we decide that bogus event permits, large crowds, heavy traffic and trashed-out streets are what we really want to live in, as well as give up our parking spaces for your friends, we'll let you know.

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