Posts by Rick Lopez
In case you still haven’t read this week’s paper (shameful!), a group of Rosemont students are en route to Tennessee today for the final round of Destination Imagination, a global competition that allows children to showcase their critical thinking and creative prowess in arts and science. Thanks to the school’s Facebook page, we got a glimpse these little geniuses up before dawn, ready to get scootin’ south.
Show some love for these awesome kids representing Dallas and Oak Cliff.
If you’ve got a green thumb and a dirty car, there’s two Oak Cliff fundraisers that could use you help on Saturday.
From 8:30 a.m. to noon, the Friends of Oak Cliff Parks will be completing the restoration of the butterfly garden at Founders Park, which already has some visible progress thanks to the efforts of 38 athletes from Adamson and Sunset High Schools. Volunteers will get snacks and a mountain of gratitude. The group will meet at Memorial Plaza. If you have spading forks, shovels, clippers, loppers, or wheelbarrows, bring them. If you don’t, contact Barbara Barbee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Williams at email@example.com, and they’ll find some use for your elbow grease.
Also, Sunset High School‘s Purple Marching Machine has organized a car wash from 8 a.m. until noon at the parking lot of CVS, 2427 W. Jefferson Blvd. The group notes it takes 14 cases of water to keep the band hydrated at events, so donations in the form of bottled water will gladly be accepted in lieu of cash.
Today is National Bike to Work Day, and the folks at Bike Friendly Oak Cliff promised a huge surprise this morning at the group’s “energizer station” at the Jefferson Viaduct. And, boy, did they deliver. In addition to KIND and Cliff bars and a swag assortment from DART, a mariachi trio was among the surprises today.
“I love the idea of just tapping into the different aspects of Oak Cliff culture,” said Jonathan Braddick, a board member of BFOC. “It was worth the money we spent to get them out there.”
After setting up camp at 6:30 a.m, the bike traffic was off to a slow start. “We realized people don’t ride to work that early,” Braddick said. But almost 50 bicyclists passed through the station before 9 a.m.
“It was awesome. More people did the bike to work than ever,” Braddick said. “Some of them didn’t even stop. They went right through our tent. But most people came and hung out for a bit.”
So, how does BFOC top this morning’s act? Braddick’s already thinking. ”Next year, we might do a marching band or something,” he said.
As I mentioned on Election Day: Kidd Springs Park was hit by an avalanche of political signs.
As of noon Sunday, Scott Griggs — who won the seat for Dallas City Council District 1, arguably the most-watched race in North Oak Cliff — had taken all his down. Then, by this morning, so had Delia Jasso’s camp.
Friday is National Bike to Work Day — which is every day for some serious cyclists in Oak Cliff.
This year, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff is teaming up with BikeDFW and DART to create an “energizer station” at the Jefferson Viaduct’s new bike lanes.
From 6:30 an 9 a.m., the group will offer safety checks and free beverages and snacks.
“This is the first time BFOC has done a station,” said Jonathan Braddick, a board member of the group. The station idea “started in Richardson last year. I heard their turnout was really good. Hopefully, we’ll see quite a few folks showing up”
While the group plans to present bagels, doughnuts, and KIND snacks, they’ve also got a secret up their sleeve. They plan to put a south-of-the-Trinity spin on their site, which is among five planned for that day (there’s another station not too far on Akard Street).
“We’ll give you a hint. Think loud and fun, with a bit of Oak Cliff culture,” clues the invitation to Friday’s event.
There’s no doubt to the public that Kidd Springs Recreation Center is a polling site today.
It’s also evident that the two North Oak Cliff darlings in a head-to-head battle for District 1 will go to “Hunger Games” lengths for your vote. It might be hard to tell from this photo, but there’s political signs — perhaps hundreds — for Scott Griggs and Delia Jasso every couple of feet along
an eternital stretchtwo blocks of the rec center’s entrance.
I’m not doing the exact counting, so you’ll have to count for yourself in the video above. (Lower your volume, or enjoy some lovely chirping, wind, and fat-guy breathing. You’ll also witness some volunteer lethargy at 1:00.)
What I did count, however, was the number of ballots submitted as of 11:15 a.m. Just 75. I had the polling booths to myself for a good five minutes, but then I saw three voters come in immediately after I feed my ballot to the counter.
Care to offer your predictions?
I’ve never seen the inside of the Old Dallas Power & Light Building near Tyler and Sunset streets. I jog past it at night, and sometimes the top floor is lit up like a bar, complete with neon signs and strobes. It’s intriguing.
This Saturday, me and other curious souls can take a peek at this neighborhood landmark (borrowed for a night from Kessler Park’s John McCall) and support the Kings Highway Conservation District’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
The group is hosting a free silent auction from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring live music, food prepared by titleholders of the Blues BBQ & Bandits contest, and cocktails courtesy of Four Corners Brewing Co. and Oak Cliff Beer and Wine.
The auction block will include gift certificates to nearby retailers (Bolsa, PhD, Tillman’s, Lockhart’s, Oddfellows, and Clairevista Health Club to name a few), plus hair and beauty packages, original artwork, and two rounds of golf at Stevens Park Golf Course.
“That’s just a smattering of our donations this year,” organizer Rebecca Cooper said Monday. ”As in past years, we’ll also have a significant wine pull.”
Sounds like a party! Click here for more details.
Sunset High School’s choir, concert band, and jazz band will take center stage at the Meyerson Symphony Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
This is the first time the school’s musical department will perform at the renowned venue, said Jon Sarver, the school’s choir director.
“The band and choir program has grown over the years,” said Sarver, who’s been with the school since 1996. “We thought it would be an incredible opportunity for the kids to perform there.”
Tickets are $10. Click here for more information.
Mother Nature is a fickle woman. Last weekend, it was perfect weather for shorts and sandals. Later in the week, DART riders were back in sweaters and jackets for the morning commute.
Who needs a groundhog as the season’s climatic soothsayer when we have Aunt Stelle’s Snow Cones, whose 51st season in Elmwood (some history here) begins promptly at 2 p.m. on Saturday?
Even the greeting on their answering machine confirms this. I had called to ask about the “Pink Lady,” which for some reason costs 25 cents extra and is apparently a customer favorite on many review sites. Obviously, I called too early.
According to Oak Cliff lore Aunt Stelle’s own Facebook page — the business opens like clockwork the last weekend of April through Labor Day. Only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If any readers want to tell me more about the Pink Lady’s allure or their favorite flavor, I’m all ears.
A sampling of signs and booths that amused me to no end:
1) “Free Dream Interpretation.” How Santa Fe.
2) “Get Gay Stuff.” Are we talking T-shirts, or something that will have you sitting on a bag of frozen peas the next morning? Nope. T-shirts.
3) “Amazing Holy Tea.” Not from the Vatican or Israel, but from here, in Dallas.
4) “Black Vegetarian Society of Dallas.” So specific. I feel left out.
5) “Poo B. Gone.” A lovely lady offering the dirtiest service: pooper scooping.
Hope you had a good time, too. A shout out to the Friends of Oak Cliff Parks for creating an awesome garden — without a dime from the city — for festival-goers to enjoy.