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The Eating Plaza: Positive Portents

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The folksy tunes of The Dallas Family Band moved through the air as the large musical group wound its way through a crowded, vibrant City Hall Plaza, usually a barren, human-repelling concrete landscape interrupted by abstract sculpture and, occasionally, scrawny trees. The mass of people was sitting on folding chairs and tables, chairs made from reclaimed palettes. There were shade-giving structures. A child was playing with a piece from an oversized chess set. This, dubbed The Living Plaza, was the work of Jason Roberts, Brent Brown, Andrew Howard and friends, taking to heart the proposed changes to City Hall Plaza suggested by William H. Whyte decades ago. Also included was a solar-powered shipping container from which two teams of street vendors were selling their fare.

This coincided with the city council's vote to approve zoning changes that would permit mobile food vendors in the Arts District. (The measure passed!) One of the stalls inside the container operated by The Oak Cliff Crepe Company was going strong, though, offering a variety of the French pancake, including the pedestrian Nutella-filled version, for three bucks. At one point, the line was 10 deep.

If they weren't burned, the crepes had gossamer edges that clung to chin and fingers. The best part of the snack was the center, thin and just chewy enough to enjoy the lemon juice and sprinkled sugar coating the inside of the folded crepe. I'm chalking it up to the wind that must have been wreaking havoc on the cooking surface.

The other concern was out of its barbecue sandwiches and tamales -- unfortunate for me but delightful for the folks milling about City Hall Plaza, some wearing ties, some with beards, some with beards and ties. That was refreshing and hopefully harbingers of the improvements coming to downtown as well as The Oak Cliff Crepe Company's product.

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