Wednesday, January 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022
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MOVING TO THE MECCA-PLEX

The good, the bad, and the essential of the place we call home
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MOVING TO THE MECCA-PLEX

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So you’ve moved to the Metroplex. Well, the first thing you need to unload is that name. It’s not practical and it won’t help you survive in this 2,964-square-mile area. There aren’t many people who know where it came from. But there are lots of opinions on where it should go.

Have you ever wondered what a “Metroplex” is? By definition, “metro” is a metropolitan railway and “plex” is, well, there really is no definition. The closest you can get is “Plexiglas” (a trademark for a plastic) or “plexus” (a network of interlacing blood vessels or nerves). So, in truth, we should be called the “Metroplexus.” But then, 201 listings of the White Business Pages would have to change.

One look around will tell you that the communities of Dallas/Fort Worth have more to offer than just a homogenous catch-all name. There’s farmland to the north, rolling hills to the south, the piney woods to the east and the frontier to the west. Corporations across the country have recognized the potential of this area and have moved in, creating a newcomer wave that is crashing (and cashing) in all over Dallas and Fort Worth to the tune of 68,000 people a year.

Dallas/Fort Worth is the home base for potato chips, micro-chips and wing tips. We brew beer, bake bread and broker big deals. We corral cattle, pump Dr Pepper and finagle finance. The majority of the work force is in professional or technical jobs and the rural ranchland that once surrounded us has been transformed into the high-tech terrains of Silicon Valley and the Golden Corridor.

So it comes as no surprise to those natives (or those who’ve been here at least three football seasons) that by the year 2000, census takers predict that we’ll be just one big spot on the map, superceding even the L.A. basin in population.

There’s no need to tell commuters that. They’ve already found out that the best parking lot in the area is Central Expressway, between Mockingbird and Fitz-hugh, 7 to 9 a.m. In fact, some newcomers will find that they need never get out of their cars-they can live their entire lives going from one drive-in convenience to another, communicating with the outside world via cellular telephones or just plain aggressive driving. There are fast-food drive-throughs for meals, Doughboy drive-ins for fast cash, Shoe-throughs for keeping a step ahead-even Doc-in-the-Boxes for the occasional cold.

But there’s a lot to do and see-and not all can be done from the front seat of a Volvo. So get out. Explore. The next 90 pages will help you find the best bets and avoid the duds. We’ll put you on the right road, find your neighborhood, and tune your radio dial. We’ll even get the kids in school. Then you’re on your own.