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Even with the trendy Bishop Arts district and now the fancy Belmont Hotel, I still find myself defending Oak Cliff. And I don't even live there. My Plano friend Klint had some reservations about a dinner outing down that way, but what do you know, I think he was pleasantly surprised. (Whether he's gone back, I don't know.) My other Plano friend Koen refuses to head that way for fear of getting shot. I even threatened to kidnap and force him to the Cliff for a nice dinner at Hattie's, but he works out a lot and I'm usually not in the mood for a sleeper hold. I keep telling these Plano folk I wouldn't defend it if it wasn't worth it. Great old architecture, hilly roads and El Ranchito will always prevail as reasons to head that way. Plus, it's got that whole Lee Harvey Oswald and Bonnie and Clyde thing going—I suppose if you are going to get shot, it may even be by someone famous. One other reason to get your scared butt that way is the Belmont's Art With a View exhibit. La Reunion's artists-in-residence will be showing works with an Oak Cliff theme. Art With a View—La Reunion in the OC will be on display through March 14, with an opening reception at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Belmont Hotel is located at 901 Fort Worth Ave. For more information, call 1-877-476-3378 or visit
Jan. 24-March 14
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Rich Lopez