Donovan Does It!

Congrats to our U.S. National Team for defeating Algeria this morning to achieve their first group victory in the World Cup since 1930. Landon Donovan scored a goal in extra time that saved the U.S. from elimination, and may be remembered as one of the most heroic moments in American soccer.

 

Levee Repair Supports Trinity Project

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineering notified the city that the current levees received an unacceptable rating in March of 2009, and took away their letter of support for Federal Emergency Management Agency authorization. With FEMA backing, properties around the levees are seen as protected from a 100-year flood event.

The bad news is that FEMA has begun remapping the floodplain as if the levees were not there and the new maps will take effect in February 2012. Many businesses and property owners in the area could be required to buy expensive flood insurance as a result.

Thankfully the city has requested ordinance changes that would help property owners that are facing unnecessary remapping, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has inserted two provisions in a spending bill that would exempt the Trinity River Project from federal laws.

The legislation is an attempt to declare the Trinity River levee system “historic” under the National Historic Preservation Act. The city expects to spend $150 million to repair the levees so that citizens would not have their pockets bleeding as a result of pricy flood insurance.

To pay for these improvements, the city will tap into various bond programs and use funds from the Dallas Water Utilities. City officials are also working on a few national immediate passage of companion bills HR 3415 and S 3051 that would amend the National Flood Insurance Act.

Mayor Tom Leppert supports the legislation and he wants the levee repairs completed as quickly as possible. It is evident that he has the well being of Dallas’ citizens at the forefront of his mind, as he looks out for our safety and our wallets. 

Progress: The Trinity River Project

For years people have been wondering, “When is this whole Trinity River Development going to happen?” It has been a long process. As a matter of fact, it has officially been in the works since 1998, but informally in the works for decades. Finally, today you can see exciting and towering evidence in the heart of downtown.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Construction can be seen as far north as Northwest Highway and the Dallas Toll Road. The white arches have almost come together, and the Trinity Trust told us that the bridge might be complete as soon as this Tuesday.

The night of June 16th, we attended a party where business socialites met at the Plaza II at Turtle Creek to discuss and celebrate the development of the Trinity River Project. The party was put on by the Trinity Trust, and they shared their vision for the future that will fuse life into downtown like it has never known.

The Trinity trust is so passionate about the trails, parks, water recreation and pedestrian traffic that the project will bring to the area, that it has started to rub off on me a bit.

World-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava designed the bridge, and he sees it as “a transformation process that will remake the real face of the city.” After all in the beginning, the river is the reason why our city is what it is.

The 1,870-foot structure includes six lanes for vehicular traffic. The “signature” portion of the bridge will be 1,200-feet in length.  Cables attached to a 400-foot central transverse arch will hold up the structure.

The project will provide the city with better roads and bridges and will also alleviate some of the downtown traffic by providing alternate routes in and out of the city.

Former mayor Laura Miller said that this project will be “the sizzle” in Dallas and Ron Kirk admitted that “this can be a transformational event in the life of our city.”

This is certainly a reason for the city of Dallas to be enthralled, so go see what is happening for yourself, or stay tuned for continued updates and events from us.

More information will be coming your way on the “Topping Off Party,” that will follow the arch’s completion. 

-Scott

The Cosmic Cafe

We decided to go out on a limb today and try our first ever vegetarian restaurant on Lower Oak Lawn. Enter The Cosmic Café.

I walked in with extremely low expectations, mostly because I despise the thought of a vegetarian lifestyle. While I love meat and would never give it up, I do respect more sensitive people that choose not to eat tortured animals.

My low expectations were quickly lifted the moment I sat down. The waiters were incredibly nice and our appetizers, food and drinks came as quickly as we had ordered them. The strangest thing was that I actually enjoyed the food so much that I couldn’t shut up about it.

However I did feel very out of place and cramped. I could hear every word of every conversation around me and also felt like someone was going to try to convert me to Buddhism.

The Cosmic Café did have some good reading if you like Kundalini, a book on self-realization, or if you enjoy Nirvanasara. I’m no Buddhist, but there is nothing wrong with achieving perfect peace of one’s state of mind.

If your looking for Jerry Garcia in a bottle, frog statues of Buddah or elephants staring at you while you eat, then please believe me my friend, this is your kind of restaurant.

What I had: Veggie Delight Quesadilla, naan & hummus, and a mango/peach smoothie.

Monica had: Boca burger and an herbal iced tea.

I hate to say it, but everything I ate knocked my socks off. The food was very good at the Cosmic Café.

Rating- 8.5 out of 10

Welcome to The DDD

The Dallas Design District is where its at. Everything cool, everything new, and everything artsy is happening here. Right at the heart of our city, The DDD has come from a “to the trade only” warehouse district, to a hip, blossoming community that attracts life and creativity. 

The main things we discuss on The DDD are:

  • Dallas Design District. Evolving over the last 50 years, today’s Design District and Arts District is poised to become a major destination in the urban revitalization of the downtown and near-downtown area of the city. With the help of Trammel Crow, Jim Lake Companies, and many others, it is now a thriving, urban, creative epicenter in Dallas. 
  • The Trinity River Project.  This is the most ambitious public works project in the nation, one that is transforming Dallas forever. By improving the 20-mile swath of nature that runs through the heart of the city, citizens will have the opportunity to enjoy nature and recreation within the public realm. The Trinity Trust Foundation is truly a huge player in building bridges across the Trinity.
  • Good eats & drinks.  There are some great restaurants in the Design District who’s quality and service will tantalize your taste-buds.  Our job is to do the dirty work and find these restaurants that don’t require the treacherous task of dabbing too-greasy food or searching for a happy happy hour.  All of this, we can find in the DDD. Your welcome.
  • Life and living in the DDD. You’ll be the first to know about new businesses in the district, whether its an apartment, loft, or showroom or if there is space available for lease. We also have the inside scoop on DDD parties, street events, such as wine walks (who doesn’t want to walk around and drink wine?) and art shows. We also have a first-hand source for crime reports in the area (or more appropriately- lack of crime reports), press releases, and city government contacts.
  • Bishop Arts District. Okay so its not exactly in the DDD but its hip, cool, and just a 7 minute drive from the DDD. And it is definitely worth checking out- its like stumbling into a different city thanks to Jim Lake Companies. Before Jim Lake Sr broke the ground in 1985, Bishop Arts was nothing. Now, It is a thriving urban area with many locally owned businesses competing for storefronts in the district. 

-Monica 

Sponsored by Jim Lake Companies