If you're not presently a Cliffdweller, here's hoping you really like where you live before you read this week's feature, "Greener Acres," about the biking, gardening and quality-of-life-obsessed activists Jim Schutze christened "bikos" earlier this year. Most every moment I spent writing and reporting the story was also a moment spent half-considering how hard it would be to unload a Deep Ellum loft in this market. (And then, of course, the La Grange staff would refill my iced tea, and I'd be reminded how much I love my own underdog 'hood.)
Great thing about Oak Cliff is, you really don't have to live there to feel a part of the remarkable activism that's going on in the area. There are two events -- that I know of presently, there's probably more -- going on this weekend around Jefferson Street if you'd like to see for yourself how the OC is rolling right now.
First up, the proprietors of Oil and Cotton, a creative-educational art space at Tyler and Jefferson, are inviting folks over for a painting party (tonight) and move-in shindig (tomorrow). They're turning the existing space -- 'twas an antique shop -- into a community-oriented "mini-Bauhaus" type of thing, and they have no intention of doing it alone. It simply wouldn't be the Oak Cliff way. There will be beer and tacos for anyone who wants to help out -- and you'll get to meet Kayli House and Shannon Driscoll, the talented women behind the operation whom you presumably took note of when you read about them in the feature this week. You read that, right? OK.
Oak Cliff is also into helping those who help themselves help Oak Cliff -- namely, in this case, Vicki Fitzgerald, long-time board member of the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League (see above) who is presently undergoing treatment for cancer. A fundraiser called Heart of the Neighborhood will be held at the historic Kessler Theatre this Sunday afternoon, sponsored by the OOCCL, Winnetka Neighborhood Association and the Turner House.
I talked on the phone briefly this morning with OOCCL President Michael Amonett, who calls Fitzgerald "the best thing that can happen to your organization," should she decide to lend her time and talent to a cause. "She gives 120, 150, 300 percent" to every endeavor. And so Oak Cliff's going to try and give something back to her, with more than $20,000 in auction items, including an autographed Dallas Cowboys football and chef-cooked dinners for you and your friends at home. Tickets are $20 and the event starts at 4 p.m., and admission includes two drinks and tasty snacks, too.
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Wouldn't kill ya to ride, rather than drive, neither. (No two-wheels? Maybe stop by the OCBC. Just a thought.)