What Garland Road Really Needs is a Touch of Frisco's Class

Well, I guess Eric Nicholson and Jeff Siegel just know everything, don't they? Nicholson, our own blog editor here, and Siegel, a columnist for the Lakewood Advocate, have been having fun making of Lincoln Properties, a real estate company, over a scheme to get Garland Road in East Dallas re-named as "Arboretum Boulevard."

The motivation for the name change is obvious. People think of Garland Road as kind of a tough area, because it has always been kind of a tough area. It's not a slum, for goodness sake. There are all kinds of respectable useful businesses up and down Garland run by nice people. It's more of a working street. People do work there.

So Lincoln Properties wants class it up a little as part of a plan to enhance the value of their many holdings there. They want to give it a classier image, in other words -- sort of get it out of the East Dallas funky mode and make it seem more like something you'd see in suburban Frisco.

Well, hey, Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Siegel, some of us who have lived in funky East Dallas long enough might not mind a little bit of a makeover. Did you ever think of that?

I've been looking at a map of Frisco, and it seems to me they have a lot of cool names up there that would be really nice here in East Dallas. I personally wouldn't mind getting classed up a little.

For example, in Frisco they have a lot of "at" names for neighborhoods: Country Club Ridge at the Trails, The Village at Cobb Hill, The Village at Panther Creek Phase 1, The Villages at Willow Bay.

I don't think it would be asking too much for us to have some "ats" in our names, too. It's not like we'd be asking for the moon. We could have "The Hamlet at Macho Auto Sales," for example, or "The Borough at the Spillway."

Just think about it as something you could tell people at a party. "Oh, yes, well we live in The Hamlet at Macho Auto Sales. It's very dull, which is exaaactly what we wanted."

Come to think of it, they have a lot of "The" names in Frisco: "The Trails of West Frisco," "The Fairways." It seems to me we could change things up a little just by adding some "The's" to the names we already have. Maybe we could also stick in an "of" here and there. We could have "The Repair Shops of White Rock." How about, "The Rabbit Warrens of Little Forest Hills," "The Tenements of Home Depot," or "The Huts of I-30?" Would that help?

But Lincoln Properties is right. If you want a real do-over for an area, you have to rename all the streets. I'm looking at Frisco, and I see they name their streets for their cars a lot, plus they put "Way" and "Drive" on it, too, like Alfa Romeo Way and Bugatti Drive.

It might be a mistake to use Frisco car names in East Dallas. A lot of people might not be familiar. People are so touchy here. They might take something like "Bug-atti" the wrong way.

But I'm looking out the window, and you could even change my own street to "Dodge Ram Way" or "F150 Drive," something like that. That could be cool. I think a lot of people would like that.

They also name their streets up there for the food they eat. I see one that's even named for an appetizer -- Bruschetta Drive. So we could do that, too. We eat appetizers. We could rename most of Columbia Avenue "Chips and Salsa Way," for example, or "Crazy Nachos Drive." That might drive up the values.

I just think Nicholson and Siegel are a tad too quick on the skepticism trigger. We need to pause and consider whether Lincoln Properties might be on to something. Instead of being all wise-ass and raining on their parade, maybe for a change we could be a little bit positive in East Dallas and encourage them to do even more.

Arboretum Way Drive at the Villages of Rocher Blanc? Hmm? That's French for White Rock, pronounced "RO-shay," very very shaaay at the end, don't you know. I can see it.

"Hey, Jim, where you headed?"

"Home Depot, get Sheetrock."

"The one on Skillman?"

"Oh, goodness no. I buy my Sheetrock exclusively at the Home Depot on Arboretum Way at the Villages of RO-shaaay Blanc."

"Oh, TOUCH YOU, man. What an asshole."

Which is exaaactly what we wanted.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze

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