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CNN Discovers Deep Ellum...A Little Late

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So, today CNN.com gave Deep Ellum and Club Dada a shout-out in its annoying story, “Dallas Takes Big-City Fun Downtown,” by Elsa K. Simcik. Annoying because it’s one of those surface-y, glazed-over stories about how downtown Dallas can be fun, because of new “revitalization.”

Thing is, the all the supposedly fun, new destinations and activities cited by Simcik predate this supposed revitalization by years—some by decades. I mean, c’mon, do we really need another story telling tourists to go to Dealey Plaza? Other supposedly hot suggestions include the French Room at the Adolphus, the Majestic (where you can see “comedy acts like Jay Leno” woo hoo!) and the West End -- because, you know, there’s awesome stuff in the West End, like, um… Landry’s Seafood. Oh, and Hooters.

And then here’s the part about Deep Ellum:

For the opposite take on the city, go to the opposite side of downtown. On the east end, you'll find funky Deep Ellum, where the vibe is young, artsy and eclectic. The area is known for its live music scene with bars like Club Dada (2720 Elm St.) featuring up-and-coming and even well-known acts. Even dinner can be offbeat if you check out Monica's Aca Y Alla (2914 Main St.). Folks come for the unique Mexican dishes as well as to sneak a peek at Monica, the restaurant's transgender owner.

First, don’t get me effin’ started on the suggestion that one go to Monica’s to gawk at the freak show. Second, it’s irritating how Dallas continues to plug away at the Deep Ellum myth without supporting it any more. The only person quoted in this story is John Crawford, “president and CEO of DowntownDallas, a private organization that serves as downtown Dallas' leading advocate.” Crawford talks about the number of restaurants in Dallas and the arts district, both fine parts of our fair burg. But he’s not quoted as saying a damn word about Deep Ellum. To be fair, maybe he did and the author didn’t put it in the story, but I remember a time when Dallas’ suit-y mouthpieces couldn’t shut up about Deep Ellum. They pushed it like crack dealers slinging rocks, because it was a money-maker. And now, they don’t care.

I’m glad, though, that Club Dada got some ink. That club—and several others in Deep Ellum--just keep fighting the battle. –- Jonanna Widner

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