Disclaimer: The photos contained in this post, unless otherwise noted, were not taken by me, and have been located on the internet.
For those of you who don’t know me IRL, I recently moved to a neighborhood of South Dallas called the Cedars. It’s just in the shadow of downtown Dallas, technically part of South Dallas, but close enough in to call it downtown and not be lying.
It’s at the northern edge of arguably the most ‘hood’ part of Dallas – the South and South East portions. But, due perhaps to its proximity to downtown Dallas, it’s what I like to call “the white people’s hood.” Decades of blight and decay abound, but it’s not as “bad” as some other neighborhoods, even within the same zip code as us. The further south one travels from the Cedars, the more blighted the terrain becomes.
Drug dealing and prostitution are not at all uncommon, even in broad daylight. A block away from our loft is an actual $7 a night flophouse – the infamous Bunkhaus.
Vacant lots polkadot our immediate neighborhood and the surrounding environs, with grassy lots where grand old homes once stood. It’s fairly obvious in most cases that the lots have been empty for years – makes me wonder how many. Decades even?
We live in a converted loft that used to be part of reputed mob associate and Lee Harvey Oswald murderer Jack Ruby‘s ‘Silver Spur Nightclub.’
The NuGrape Bottling Plant at left, the red building was a hotel and the Silver Spur, and the old Ervay Theater at far right
In the past couple of months living here, I have fallen hopelessly in love with this somewhat-forgotten, underrated part of the city, for all the reasons I listed in the beginning of this post. I love it for its grittiness, its reality, its urban appeal. Like me, it’s an underdog, something of a loner, and often misunderstood.
The district has gone from being one of Dallas’ earliest wealthy enclaves – and the center of the city’s Jewish population; to an industrial blighted area rife with poverty, crime, and urban decay; to a quiet, slow reemergence as an affordable artist/loft neighborhood.
More to come, as I continue to explore this vibrant, amazing part of my city. I’m so inspired I’m even planning a photography book project.
Downtown Dallas from an empty lot in the Cedars