Dalton the attorney comments that if Oak Cliff is laid-back, North Dallas is paranoid. "I have friends who come down here from North Dallas, and they're just petrified. They think they're going to get shot and raped," he says. "I got robbed four times in North Dallas. I figured when I came down here, my God, I'm going to be robbed every day. Hell, I've never had a problem."
But the area's perceived image as a shooting gallery isn't stopping new businesses from moving in. A few blocks west on Hampton, the walls of a new Albertson's store are going up a stone's throw from the brand-new Tom Thumb and another new Eckerd store that's already open for business, 24 hours a day. Across the street, construction crews put the finishing touches on a Hollywood Video store that will finally give the nearby Blockbuster some competition.
As these anchor businesses spread their wings in Oak Cliff, they are building a commercial nest to which upscale stores like Starbucks will soon flock. It isn't hard to imagine that the old places and their loyal customers who live in the heart of Oak Cliff will be a thing of the past.
With Mayor Kirk committed to bringing new business into the "southern sector," and with Councilwoman Miller committed to making them trendy, and with millions from bond projects like the Trinity River renewing Oak Cliff's long-neglected infrastucture, the old 'hood may never be the same--whether its residents like it or not.
Yes, there's a new day dawning in Oak Cliff. But the rooster won't be there to greet it.