I can’t stress enough how important it is to read Angela Hunt’s latest column in the Advocate. I’ll give you the basic jist, but it’s definitely worth a read because it falls right in line with what Vishaan Chakrabarti told us ahead of The Dallas Festival of Ideas: Quit worrying so much about being “world class” and start worrying more about quality of life. Take care of that and the rest will follow.
Jump from an excerpt from Hunt’s column that is particularly important.
First of all, you’ve got to let go of this world-class nonsense. You spend way too much time talking about being a world class “this” and having a world class “that.” Then you petulantly threaten that if you don’t get a gazillion dollars to spend on some shiny new bauble, your friends won’t think you’re world class. You must stop trying to out-fancy the more popular cities and focus on being the best Dallas you can be. And stop worrying about what your friends think.
Speaking of your “friends,” I’m worried you’re being overly influenced by this crowd you’re hanging around with, these rich kids. When they say “jump,” you say “how many horse parks do you want?” I just don’t think they have your best interests at heart, and I think they manipulate you to line their own pockets. Do they even live in Dallas, or do they retreat to their manses in the bubble when it comes time to return your friendship? What does that tell you about how much they care?
Your friends from the suburbs are another matter. I like them. I do. And I think it’s important for you to work on projects together. But you’re letting them take advantage of you. You’re more than willing to spend your own money and pour concrete over a huge swath of Dallas parkland so they can get home a couple of minutes faster. Once you give them what they want, they’ll drive past, and won’t even stop by to visit. Is that really what’s best for you and your residents?
Nail, meet head. Seriously, go read the whole thing right now, and don’t forget to attend tonight’s Community Roundtable discussion moderated by Peter Simek at Dallas Heritage Village. The discussion, which starts at 6:30 p.m., is focused on issues affecting the downtown Dallas neighborhoods from Victory to Deep Ellum. Go and get involved, Dallas, because real change starts at the grassroots.