Homegrown is a Good Thing, Plant That Bell and Let it Ring: There Is Life in Downtown Dallas!

I've got just a few nits to pick (naturally) with the (first annual?) Homegrown Music and Art Festival held yesterday at Main Street Garden, but they're for another time and another place. I prefer instead what an old friend of mine said with great sincerity and a big grin four Shiners into Analog Rebellion's set: "Pretty cool for Dallas." While the younglings skittered across the fountain (which, when running, doesn't look so much like a sea of hovering coffins) and frolicked on the playground (which was clearly designed by someone who'd never been a kid or been on a playground), the growed-ups drank and sweat and drank some more to a locally made setlist that filled the concrete canyon with a joyful echo. We saw a few visitors checking in for the Windpower Conference that kicks off at 10:30 this morning; some were under the impression downtown Dallas is, in fact, quite happenin'.

We arrived 'round 3 and stayed close to four hours and filled some free time by wandering the skyways and tunnels of downtown (even the 6-year-old who lives in my house can't understand why Dallas has "an underground food court" and why there are no stores save Neimans). Some attendees remarked upon the sparse attendance during hot-n-humid daylight hours (the Statler is both remarkable mid-century modern masterpiece and estimable breeze barrier); others thought it was just the right side of comfortable. And by the time we left, as The O's were taking the stage and the sun was dipping beneath the skyine, the park was starting to fill up with people and the slightly buzzed promise of what's to come.

Now, if only they'd open the park cafe -- the Lily Pad, which was supposed to be up and running for the fest but wasn't -- and get some real retail downtown and make parking free and ... well, another time, another place. Till then, jump for a few photos of the fest. And a reminder: They really need to fix that "Statler shroud."

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