So I went to Dallas last weekend. I had never been to Dallas, or really anywhere in Texas, before this trip and I have to say, “Meh”. Fort Worth was nothing but tract housing chain restaurants and giant malls, kinda lame. Although there was a trailer park that was called “Wheeled Estates”, I thought that was hilarious. Dallas was a little different; it had a nice vibe and lots of really great museums. It didn’t feel like there was really anything interesting about it though. I mean, when you go to London or San Francisco or Seattle or Portland or pretty much any other major metropolitan area there is a feel to the city that is different than anywhere else in the world, Dallas didn’t have that. The art museum was FANTASTIC but that’s bought culture. Someone bought that stuff and brought it there. The architecture was somewhat interesting, most notably the Perot Museum of Science and Nature. What a cool building, look it up. By the way, the grassy knoll is not even a little bit a of a knoll. It was more like a slight rise. Lets just say that if you were on a bike you would barely even notice it let alone downshift to get up it. And that is the biggest thing I noticed. It is really freaking flat. It’s a good thing I got the navigation system with the rental car because I would never have made the flight home on account of me being lost.
The navigation system did try to kill me on the trip though. I was looking for a sort of trendier area called the “Near South” district, which is on West Magnolia Street. So I set the sat nav for ‘W Magnolia St.’, it decided to take me to ‘E Magnolia St.’, which is totally different. I knew the area was getting more and more dangerous because the amount of landscaping in front of houses was decreasing at the same rate that the amount of package liquor stores was increasing. Just as I rounded the corner onto E Magnolia, in my bright red ford focus with un-tinted windows, I see the street is lined with cars that have been ‘donked’ (you know, the old Caprices and Grand AMs with like 33” chrome rims and bright terrible paint jobs) and like 30 or so ghetto ass black guys of which about 75% to 80% were sipping on some sort of liquor, stuffed in a brown paper bag of course. First of all, people really do this? I thought the brown paper bag was so cliché that it could not have been real. Seriously, whom are you fooling? If a cop rolls by they’re not going to be like “I wonder if all these guys are drinking?” or like “that must just be gator-aid in those brown paper bags. keep it moving.” Second I would like to clear up that I am not racist. I don’t freak out when I see a group of black guys or anything but you need to understand, these were not go to work have a 401k black guys. These were gold teeth and neck tattoo black guys. Like, if I had another black guy in the car with me he would probably be like “dude we need to get the hell out of here.”
So anyway, I’m driving right through the middle of the annual meeting of winners, in my bright red ford focus, thinking to myself, “don’t stop, just keep driving”. Every head was following my car as I slowly drove through. It was a dead end. So here I am, in my button up gingham shirt, glasses, domestic late model economy car, trying to do a k-turn at the end of this narrow street with thirty black guys staring me down. A group of youths playing basketball at the end of the street, one of which could not have been more than 15 and had his entire chest covered in tattoos, completely stopped their game to watch me. I felt like Mike Myers in Austin Powers trying to turn around the little cart in the alley. Sort of hilarious yet sort of terrifying. But how do I know, they were probably all very nice. I probably could have stopped and asked for directions and they would have been happy to help… and offer me a beer.
So that’s Dallas. All in all I had a good time. I would like to come back and explore a little more but just remember, stay away from East Magnolia Street.