All change isn’t good change

I was struck by the article "Strip on the verge of a comeback" by News Editor John Wright in the Feb. 5 issue of Dallas Voice and wanted to submit my two cents worth.

I was heartened by the headline. But the article left me feeling a bit sad and angry.
While it’s a good thing for startups to take hold in the Oak Lawn community, especially in a down economy, the nature of those startups matter, too.

Perhaps I’m an old fuddy-duddy — having come of age in the 1970s and ’80s when Oak Lawn centered around a welcoming place like the Crossroads Market, with its workshops and books and community activism — but wanting to "cater to the bar crowds" with a flashy Subway, as Subway owner Chet Whisenant said, leaves me a bit cold.

Replacing the bookstore and gay community "home" that Crossroads Market became for so many of us gays and lesbians with two fast food restaurants and a nightclub, as the article said, may be progress to some. But not to me.

Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, said that the worst thing for the strip was to have empty space, and that, "We’re just hoping that all the new merchants that come on are as excited as we are about preserving the street, about re-beautifying it, and about bringing back the glory days of Cedar Springs."

The glory days did indeed include bars and restaurants. But they also included the crown jewel that was Crossroads, a meeting place and home for the heart.
It’s sad such a gathering place seems to not be in the cards for those in our community that decide such things.

Jan Brubaker

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 12, 2010.
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