I've just gotten home from a doctor's visit that accidentally resulted in an emotional detour on the way home. I normally see this doctor a little closer to home, but I needed to see him sooner rather than later, so I agreed to drive to his office in Dallas. Perhaps not surprisingly, I got a little lost upon leaving the office. I was close to downtown, so I knew that if I could find my way to Deep Ellum, I'd be able to get home, albeit by the long way. After turning a few times, I spotted Elm Street. I was home free.
But I had no idea what was in store for me. I spent a fair bit of time in Deep Ellum in my youth, beginning as a teenager when I served as an intern of sorts at my drama teacher's theater and leading to many nights spent club-hopping and afternoons browsing through eclectic shops. This was where I learned how to be cool. I had heard rumors that the area was dying, but what I saw was heartbreaking, the first thing of which was a faded announcement on the side of a building asking to save Deep Ellum and its 100 years of history.
The shops and clubs were almost all closed. The original signs were still there, but 'For Lease' or 'Rezoning Requested' signs hung on the windows and doors. I passed by the clothing shop, Moda, where these came from:
Articles, the home furnishings and unusual goods store was also closed. This was where an exclusive Christmas Party was held that I attended with my fiance two weeks before he died in a car accident on one of the highways leading into the area. I still have the invitation. And finally, the club, Trees, where I've seen many a band, and also where I lost my $100, custom made by a dental assistant, vampire teeth. Just a few weeks later it was the first place I went with my husband the night we met.
I don't know if anything will be done to save Deep Ellum. Maybe there are things underway right now of which I am unaware. I hope so. Perhaps its time has come though, as all things must pass eventually. I know I am not the only one who has had significant events take place here and has strong memories of this place. I've shared a little of my story in the hopes that it will at least add to the collective memory and keep the place alive in our minds.