First Look

Why You Should Break Bread At Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren is the park I want to be when I grow up. KW is the golden child of parks. Somewhere Mama Park is saying, "Yep, that's my boy. He sure was a stinker when we were raising him. But, we certainly are proud now."

The family and I made a spur of the moment trip to Klyde Warren Park on Sunday. I wanted to show the kids the whole idea of the deck park, so before arriving, I drove along Woodall Rodgers Freeway and pointed out the park ahead of us, and then dove down into the dark tunnel beneath. Halfway through, we banked right and came back up for air on Pearl Street.

Like many other people this weekend, I took things in with a new perspective. Primarily, it made me happy to watch parents with their kids. I noticed a lot of pudgy faces covered with ice cream. A kid in a full Batman costume kept spreading his arms out to cast tall shadows in the sun with his cape; his dad had on a Batman shirt (his wing man). I also noticed a patient lesson in chess with an antsy curly-headed 5-yea-old. When dad starting texting, the child bopped him on the head with the chess box. He took his beating and put his phone down then quizzed her on what a king can do. She knew.

Jim Schutze captured the essence of the park a few weeks ago with some video footage. He compared it to Grant Park in Chicago. I've experienced similar scenes at parks in other cities that bring people together in a particular way that I haven't seen before in Dallas. Not that the city wasn't capable, I think it just takes a unique setting to create this particular "vibe."

I attribute part of that good energy to the location. Under the park, Woodall Rodgers pumps cars out like a palpitating arteries while the park is a slow tempo. Tall buildings that straddle the park are enormous tokens of progress and bare feet in the cool grass is primitive.

If you haven't yet, break bread at Klyde Warren Park. Bring your dog, maybe a book, a blanket and find a patch of grass. There are often food trucks on the weekends and a couple of hotdog stands around the park. Or, better yet, pack a picnic. When you're done, try to find the guy on the bicycle selling ice cream for a buck twenty-five. Maybe teach a game of chess, or play CandyLand, no matter how much of a time trap it is. It'll get cold soon, so hop to it.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.