I went to one of my very favorite stores located in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas the other day: Bishop Street Market. I always find something unique at Bishop that can be a great gift or just a splurge for myself. About 12 years ago I briefly worked in the neighborhood for an adult literacy and GED school that is still in the area. The school now only offers high school diploma tracks broken into 1/2 day sessions. The students were always wonderful, but back then the pay lacked greatly for the work involved. I still have a friend that works at the school.
Bishop Street Market was one of my favorite places to go at lunchtime. I try to stop by once or twice a year now to say hello to the owners if I am in the area. Bishop Street Market is not the only place I like to go in the neighborhood. I also like to see what kind of eclectic, artsy stores are new, as well as occasionally visit favorite restaurant haunts such as La Calle Doce, The Charco Broiler, Gonzalez, Tejano, Gloria's, and Norma's Cafe. I was excited to see a pub called Quinn's operating in a defunct Long John Silver's location. Many more of my favorites are in or near this east Oak Cliff neighborhood.
Another reason I went to Oak Cliff was to see the resurrection in progress of an old theatre once owned by Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy. It is called The Kessler and is in the final stages of being remodeled to showcase live music and performing arts. I was impressed and can't wait for this venue to open in 2010. For lots of good info and links about The Kessler, go to the Facebook link!
I went to the open house last Sunday afternoon to check out the new place and was very excited. I can't wait to see some live music in the coming months at this now-being-revamped historical location. I happened to see a 15-year-old musician who played the violin, guitar, and mandolin and sang, too, named Ruby Jane from Austin perform for the open house crowd. Unbelievable. Check out her website here. She plays with Willie sometimes.
--Ruby Jane at The Kessler on Dec. 27, 2009 (sorry for the grainy pic--I'm no photographer)
--The Kessler, a work in progress
Oh, and there are now lots of murals in the neighborhood that celebrate the area!