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Oak Cliff is often referred to as the area of Dallas most like Austin. There are several similarities. South Congress has the San Jose and we have the Belmont. We both have wonderful historic architecture, greenery and topography. Independent entrepreneurs are responsible for much of the retail and restaurant destinations that make us unique. And we both are famous for the independent, eclectic, diverse nature of our residents.
A few years ago, a group in Austin came up with a slogan in response to redevelopment that could possibly diminish their character. They called it "Keep Austin Weird". It served as a reminder to those seeking to develop in Austin that identity and personality were things of value that residents didn't want to lose. Not only were the residents concerned but also those beyond Austin's city limits who have great affection for the city even though they might not live there.
With redevelopment on the front burner now in Oak Cliff, I wondered if we could have something similar. Keeping Oak Cliff "old" or "green" or "independent" or "diverse" were all possibilities, but didn't quite do it. Vicki and Bob Young of Kessler Park left me a message on my voicemail at work one night and when I heard their idea, I knew it was perfect. "Oak Cliff. Keep it Real". "Real" could mean all those things that we wanted to say and more. A nod to the old architecture we all love as well as a caution to possible new construction that would hopefully not be hurried, impermanent or out of scale and character with our area. The sort of buildings that hurt your eyes and that frankly aren't very cool, green or real. "Real" also spoke to the people, the environment and the heritage of our area: all of the things that give us our identity, set us apart and make us who we are.
Get one and let them know you're watching.
President, Old Oak Cliff Conservation League
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|Last Updated on Saturday, 06 June 2009 21:28|