Thursday, July 8, 2010

Last Day in the Big D

Well, this is it. I'm surrounded by boxes. My desk is empty. Our year in Dallas is over. And, I think we did it right.

When Rachel and I moved here, we vowed to give the city a chance and to live here as if we were on a year-long vacation. At last count, we have visited somewhere between 60 and 70 restaurants or bars in the DFW area. That averages more than one a week. However, considering that we spent one week per month in Jackson and that we had favorites that we visit repeatedly, I'm really surprised I have any money left.

But, we didn't stop at restaurants. We saw plays/musicals/performances at every major (and a couple of minor) venues. We visited every building in the constantly expanding Arts Center. We went to the world-famous Texas State Fair. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. We have met many people from Dallas that haven't done half of the things we have. I find that extremely sad.

Unfortunately, I think that's a common thing. Let's call it "local apathy". To an extent, I may have been a victim of it before in Jackson. After a while, you get accustomed to going to certain places and say, "I'll try that new place another time." Two years later, the place is closed down because no one ever made it there. (i.e. The Auditorium in Fondren).

The moral of the story is not to get too comfortable where you live. Try new things on a regular basis. Don't be afraid to change plans. If something comes up, do it.

A city like Dallas can survive on low turnout. There's such a large audience here that even a poorly publicized event can draw at least a small crowd. Jackson doesn't have this luxury. We need to people to show up. We need people to take the initiative to find things to do and do them. Join email lists. Pick up a JFP weekly. To twist the words of JFK, "Ask not what your city can do for you. Ask what you can do for your city."

Fight local apathy. Be a citizen, not just a resident.

I'll be resuming my role as town crier and informant tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do!


1 comment:

  1. Woo hoo! Can't wait to have you back in town. Great reminder about being an engaged, and not apathetic, citizen of your town. If I hadn't had Darren visiting me in San Francisco and Sonoma, for example, I wouldn't have gone to half the places that I did. You get stuck in your same ol' habits and don't do the "touristy" stuff.

    I'm really glad that I got Amy Steadman to give me a tour of the Eudora Welty House (right down the street from my old place in Belhaven) before she moved!