Aiding Deep Ellum's Evolution

Last week I wrote an column pointing out how Deep Ellum, while not exactly in the midst of a comeback, is still supported by a number of strong pillars—Kettle Art, Club Dada, Darkside, Double Wide, etc.

Look, Deep Ellum is gonna be different, I think most rational people know that its heyday could never be replicated; and, hell, it shouldn’t—things evolve, to paraphrase Kettle Art’s Frank Campagna. But the more time I spend in this neighborhood and with the people who love/play/work there, the more I realize, it’s nowhere near as “dead” as many people say it is. That’s what I meant in my column when I noted that the development hounds are baying, but still off in the distance. There’s still time to get the cat indoors.

But thanks to the ever-vigilant hard workers at the Deep Ellum Enrichment Project, we know the hounds are moving closer, though not yet in for the kill. According to the D.E.E.P. blog, it seems the key talking points for a number of developers who spoke at recent city council meeting (and all of whom were vague about exactly which company they represent) involved repeating the words “chic,” “urban neighborhood,” and “pedestrian-friendly.” One guy, who described himself as “a representative for a major landowner in Deep Ellum,” even put all those words together, saying: “We are trying to turn Deep Ellum into a 24/7, pedestrian oriented, chic, urban neighborhood.”

OK. Let’s be really clear about this: Deep Ellum is ALREADY A CHIC PEDESTRIAN-ORIENTED URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD.

Whew…just had to get that out of the way.

Anyway, with the Special Use Permit review decisions coming in and the hounds creeping ever closer, if you care one iota about Deep Ellum or where you live, do the following things:

  1. Read the D.E.E.P. MySpace blog that details many other quotes from many other attendees of a recent city council meeting.
  2. Attend tonight’s D.E.E.P. meeting at 9 p.m. at the Monkey Bar for an update on what’s happening.
  3. Buy some hound repellent. We need to gear up for battle, and we need all the help we can get. -– Jonanna Widner

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