Deep Ellum Outdoor Market Is More Proof Of The Neighborhood's Upswing

Can we quit being surprised about Deep Ellum being kind of awesome yet? Because between the group of excellent new bars and restaurants opening in the neighborhood, last Saturday's downright packed Dallas Observer Music Awards showcase and the first-ever Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, it appears as though the 'Ellum is doing just fine for isself, thankyouverymuch.

I sweated my way over to the covered parking lot at Elm and Malcom X behind Cafe Brazil around noon to find 23 area crafters, artists and retailers vending DIY crafts, guitars and vintage cowboy boots. Personal favorite Lula B's brought hand-painted end tables, while I picked up a wallet made from a Springsteen Born In the U.S.A. cassette jacket from threeRdesigns.

Organizer Brandon Castillo, who's moved back in with his folks in Plano to save cash while the market gets on its feet, may not have long to wait before he's back in the 635 loop if Saturday's attendance numbers are any indication. The 28-year-old says he hoped for 360 people to wander in over the course of six hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.-- instead, he said they counted about 805. On a hundred-degree Saturday. (Perhaps having the DOMA's in the lot next door didn't hurt.)

"I was very much surprised with the turnout," Castillo told me this morning. He was inspired by the El Rastro market in Spain, where Castillo lived for a time. "I was amazed that they had it every week," said Castillo. He decided that Deep Ellum "needed its own representation."

Naturally, a Deep Ellum 'do isn't complete without live music, and the DEOM featured sets from Seryn and the Marfalites -- which somebody caught on video. It's after the jump.

The next DEOM is scheduled for August 21.

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