Aren’t public spaces fun? Finally, Dallas builds a worthwhile one, one that actually gets the people of this city to use it and spend time in it, and what happens? Our prissy side comes out. The side of Dallas that says, “Sweep it up, and keep it clean.” Â The side of Dallas that buries pedestrian ways and tries toÂ segregateÂ foot and vehicular traffic. The side of Dallas that reminds us that, at heart, Dallas is a valet town.
Let’s put it this way. Remember when you were about 7 or 8 years old, and your mom or dad’s old friend from college — let’s call him Burt — well, Burt came to visit? And your mom or dad said, “Hey, this is ‘Uncle Burt.’” And you thought, “Burt is not my uncle.” And Burt smelled, and Burt had real weird teeth, and he drank too much, and he laughed from his diaphragm and kept asking you to sit on his lap? Remember how afraid you were of Burt? Then what happened?
Well, for one. Burt went away because he was only visiting. And then, what happened when he came the next time? Well, BurtÂ wasn’tÂ as scary because you remembered him. Burt still wasn’t fun to be around, but you could handle him a little better. You went to your room after dinner. You knew how to half smile and how to take a step away from him so heÂ wouldn’tÂ get too friendly. You pretended you were a little more shy than you actually were. And then Burt, who really just wanted to drink with your dad and talk about the good old days, left you alone. And you, well, you just walked away. And then, when you grew up, you found out Burt had studied all sorts of crazy things — like mirco-ecologies of algae in the Great Barrier Reef — and you found out that Burt was kind of cool in his own odd way.
Well, you see, the homeless guys at Main Street Garden — they’re Burt. Your big papa, Dallas, has been friends with them for a long, long time. I know, it’s the first time you’ve had to actually spend some time in the living room with all these Burts, but don’t worry, you’ll figure it out. You’ll learn how to brush him off, or engage in brief, polite chatter. Maybe he’ll make you laugh because, you know, he’s actually kind of funny. Maybe someday you’ll find out what Burt likes to eat or dreams about while sleeping on that park bench. Or maybe you’ll just get by by figuring out how to give Burt the polite cold shoulder. Either way, it’s going to be okay. You’ll get it. I know. It takes time.
Now jump to watch the first 10 minutes of the documentary Dark Dayz, which you all must now rent. Don’t worry, Premiere Video has it. That’s in a strip center. There’s usually ample parking.