The city council’s Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee will be briefed this week about the latest item to come off the assembly line at the city’s bad idea factory: renaming the Continental Pedestrian Bridge after former mayor — and guy who supports a plan that would cause 85 feet of the bridge to be torn down — Ron Kirk. I get the impulse to try to slap someone’s name on pretty much whatever as a way of honoring them. But there are better ideas.
The Omni Hotel. “But Zac,” you say, even though no one ever uses someone’s name in this sort of conversation and it’s just a weird convention that people like to use, “Ron Kirk didn’t get the convention center hotel built. That was Tom Leppert.”
“Who?” I say.
“Nope, doesn’t ring a bell.”
“You did all the posts about his hand gestures?”
“I’m just kidding. Of course I know him. And that’s why it would delight me to no end to have Leppert’s big dumb idea and pretty much only claim to fame during his thankfully brief time in office to be named after Kirk and not Leppert.”
“Why are you still quoting yourself?”
Mockingbird Lane. This is sort of wishful thinking (and selfish, because I happen to use it a bunch), because my feeling is that if it is Ron Kirk Lane, he’ll maybe lean on someone in the city to make sure it isn’t completely garbage 100 percent of the time.
Riverfront Boulevard. The other day I was out on a walk, and my route took me over to Riverfront, formerly known as Industrial Boulevard. A Japanese tourist was ahead of me as I passed Dealey Plaza and I eventually caught up with him at the corner of Riverfront and Commerce. We had a confusing conversation because he wanted to know where “riverfront” was, and it took me a minute to realize that he meant it in a lower case way and then another minute to explain that the Trinity River was close to Riverfront but not exactly right next to it.
So Ron Kirk Boulevard is fine. I like the irony that, in 20 years, when a highway is running along the river, you’ll have to use Kirk Boulevard as a reliever. I also like the idea of Kirk getting stuck in traffic on a road named after him, so both Mockingbird and Riverfront are pretty good ideas. I mean, I came up with them, but I’d still say that.
Highland Park Village Theater. I saw Kirk and his wife, Matrice, there once, one of two times I’ve ever been there. I don’t remember what I was there to see. I want to say Jack Reacher. Yeah, I saw it in the theater. I’m a big fan of the work of Christopher McQuarrie, I guess. Anyway, I do remember that Kirk was wearing a sweater. I’ve poorly recreated it below.
I don’t know if it should be The Ronald Kirk Theater or Ron Kirk’s Highland Park Village Theater. I could go either way, although if pressed I’d say the latter. The Ronald Kirk Theater is more of stage play name. It probably doesn’t matter much. Everyone will end up calling it The Kirk anyway.