Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bishop Arts District

When I first moved to Dallas, Deep Ellum was a passing legend.

Once upon a time there were mad roves of awesome people. Then the assholes came and overran the place. Now its a skeleton of its former self, and forget about exploring it unless you can drop $10-$20 on curious impulse. Unfortunately, my dear reader, Deep Ellum is dead!

One can get what they need from Deep Ellum by reading the music advertisements in the Dallas Observer, and... Deep Ellum still hosts the best location of Cafe Brazil (a reasonably priced hipster diner).

So where did its coolness go? Did DFW lose its once rowdier version of Austin's Sixth street?

There is some debate that the new cool place to go is Lower Greenville, which may well be true. But in my most recent adventures I would like to cast a vote for the Bishop Art's District in Oak Cliff!.

My wife is an expert on dive bars. In our home town of Lubbock she was a bar fly empress. Regularly considered a VIP at fine establishments which offered wells for under $3 on a reliable basis. She would not be decieved by dive-bar decorum in Addison or Corporate chain bars like the Fox Sports Forum in Plano. In fact I should do a whole piece on what a fucking nightmare the Fox Sports Forum in Plano really is.

No, my wife has high expectations, friendly intelligent clientel. Cheap drinks, bad ass entertainment. In a big city like Dallas finding this combination can be dfficult. Yet Oak Cliff has offered our salvation.

The Trade Winds Social Club. This bar has live music, movie nights, cheap drinks, awesome locals, kareoke, awesome art, and did I mention cheap drinks.

One of the first things that stuck out to me as I first encountered this amazing bar was a portrait of Jim Jones, thats right Jim "Don't drink the Cool-Aid" Jones. I saw this at a birthday party to which everyone was invited. They called it the Aquarious party where 60s and 70s chic was reinvented by the locals with aesthetic terrorist video projections by my favorite local artist: Thor Johnson.

The Tradewinds social club also has great pizza. In general my tab for my wife and I is less than $20. Its a genuine blast.

The other great spot I have visited in the Bishop Arts District is the Mighty Fine Arts Gallery.

This is the first small gallery I have visited in the metroplex and I was not disappointed.

The first thing I see is paintings of genuine atom bomb tests by Scott Winterrowd. I have a thing for atom bombs, and loved seeing these paintings first thing.

The gallery was having a party the night I went there. Once again, I was following Thor, who works as my white rabbit for the wonderland of the metroplex. The gallery offered up free beer and great entertainment and too much cool stuff on the walls to go into detail with this humble post.

Let it suffice to say, the Bishop Arts District merits further study.

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