In previous posts I’ve discussed a number of interesting and historical attractions that grace the downtown Dallas district we call the West End, but I’ve never actually addressed the reality of the West End itself. Well, that changes today! If you’d like a quick-and-dirty tour of the West End, hop in, fasten your seatbelt, and read on.
In a way, the West End is Dallas’ answer to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, or maybe Sixth Street in Austin. We’ve also got something called “Deep Ellum” (about which I’ll blog another day) that fills that role to some extent, but the West End has fewer artists roaming the streets, and better shopping. The area has its own brand of gritty urban charm, if you like that sort of thing, as you can see in yon photo.
But you can get that in just about any large city, and the fact is that these days, the West End is the kind of place where you shouldn’t go out alone after dark. For heaven’s sake, they play classical music over the loudspeakers at the local McDonald’s to keep the gangbangers away. (Apparently it works, too.) Why is it that police departments can’t seem to keep a city’s cultural centers under control? It seems to happen in every city. For Dallas, it’s true of Deep Ellum, the West End, and the Fair Park area, which combined account for about 85% of the city’s culture and at least half of its crime. Why is this? Are they too busy patrolling Highland Park and Turtle Creek, where the important people live?
But that’s grist <> $6.75 a pint at Dick’s, and that’s cheap compared to the $9 you pay at the West End Pub down the street. (The only other place I know that has Belhaven on tap is The Gingerman, near the Quadrangle).
Oh, and by the way: while Planet Hollywood and the Hard Rock Café may be gone, a cooler kind of clientele has moved in, one that better fits with the general funkiness and slightly-shabby milieu of the West End. Want an example of what we’ve become? This may not be the best picture ever (I took it from beneath an overpass that now splits the West End in half) but I believe it says it all.
Yeah, baby. I wonder if they have Belhaven on tap?