My observations of the Dallas downtown region.
|I work in downtown Dallas. To be precise, the Uptown District. Uptown lacks the homely charms of Historic Downtown, with its dusty streets flanked by faded plaster and bright adobe, overgrown with shrubs. And it is distant, too, from the cultural heart of Dallas, the West End. There is no music to be heard in Uptown, and no vendors or parades walking on our streets.
If West End is the heart of Dallas, then Uptown is its mind. Straight streets dissect the entire district along cardinal planes, as if one had cut it like a birthday cake. Trees extend their shades to passerbys along mathematical intervals.
But it is the buildings that gives Uptown its flavor: tall buildings that defiantly rise on either side of the streets. They are buildings of commerce, of production, and of politics. From here, every order for Dallas is dictated. The city is run. And filling the gaps between the office buildings are residential complexes— apartments dyed bright pink, aqua green, perhaps dull yellow, hotels too expensive to afford, and, here and there, clusters of houses huddled together as gated communities, guarded by statues of stone. During late afternoons, the landscape changes to eerie dusk, with long shadows chasing one another across the eastern horizon.
Men and women from the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area arrive every morning in Uptown to pay it homage. Just as regularly, they trickle out, with the first ones leaving around siesta time. Most of them are gone by six. They plod, single-file, on crowded streets, instinctively heading towards the city’s main artery. From there, the masses will split ways, some heading towards hilly terrain in South Dallas, others finding refuge in the many lakes of regions north. As they part, some will turn around for a last glimpse of Uptown. They will see a jagged, unbroken skyline spanning the horizon. Edifices of stone and mortar immortalizing man’s power. Proud monuments of steel and girder to his genius. And his stubborn efforts to rebuild the Tower of Babel, even when it falls time and time again.