Friday, November 23, 2012

A Visit to the Rock and Roll Barbershop




  Dallas isn't a barber shop town. I don't know where Dallas guys go to get their haircut, but it's not at  a barber shop. I mean real barber shops, where they finish your cut with shaving cream and a razor.

  Since my move from Fort Worth (a real barber shop town) four years ago, I started getting my haircut at the A&A Barber Shop in Casa Linda Shopping Center. But when the shop closed this summer, I was became lost and shaggy.
   I experimented with a variety of so-called barbers, who were really just 'stylists,' a legal designation for someone licensed by the state to cut hair but not use razors.

   I even ventured into a barber shop that catered to an African-American clientele. Though it was probably the best hair cut I've ever received, I could never get the gentleman to realize that he was cutting my hair way to short.

   Today, I finally found a home, The Arcade aka The Rock and Roll Barber of East Dallas. Ray Rowell may own the only Barber Shop / Guitar Swap Shop in the world. Ray has been cutting hair in the Case View Shopping Center for the past 21 years. (located at 2327 Gus Thomasson Rd, just behind the Burger King, as indicated on his business card). Ray not only services your sartorial needs, he also runs a used guitar shop. Looking for an old six string, this would be a place to start.



   The demographics of the neighborhood has changed a lot since Ray started at the Arcade. 21 years ago there were six barbers that charged $14 for a cut. Not it's just Ray and his wife and it only cost $12 for his service. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why here are so few barbers left in Dallas. Ray isn't quite sure how much longer he might survive.
 


  The Arcade Barbershop and the Casa View Shopping Center offer a glimpse of east Dallas past, when this part of town was an up and coming suburb. The architecture now seems dated, but in the 60's and 70's this was a major shopping center with a Sears, a J.C. Penney's and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders original dance studio.

   
   Whenever you choose a new barber, there is a moment of anticipation when the chair is turned toward the mirror. I quickly released a sigh of relief. Not only a great haircut, but Ray left my sideburns long. How Rock and Roll.

 

   

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Sneak Peak inside the New Perot Museum

    For the past year, a futuristic building has been rising just north of downtown's Woodall Rogers Freeway. On December 1st, the public will finally get a chance to step inside the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science.



   I got a chance to check out the exhibits before the opening date. I was not disappointed. This amazing showplace will quickly become of Dallas' signature attributes.
  This museum starts with a ride to the top of the building offering dramatic views of downtown. Museum goers work their way down 5 1/2 floors of exhibits. Parents be warned,  it may take a couple of trips to see everything the Perot Museum has to offer. Here are my favorite displays

1. Bird Flight Simulator
Make sure you go to the very top of the 4th Floor (Floor 4A) 


                                        2. The Earthquake Simulator




3. The Digital Music Studio

4. The Mini Tornado (you can even get inside it)

5. Race the Dinosaur (or a cheetah)
Don't skip the basement, where you'll find an exhibit called 'Sports". 


6. The Building Itself.
The entire building is an exhibit itself, including the glass escalator

The Glass Escalator as seen from outside the building





Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coming to Dallas - A Whole New Side of Town

   Ask someone to name their favorite thing about West Dallas, and there's a good chance they might reply, "I've never heard of West Dallas."

   West Dallas has long been forgotten, separated from downtown by the Trinity River. But this spring, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge connected Woodall Rogers Freeway to West Dallas. Maybe you've never noticed what is on the other side of the bridge but you soon will.
   Developers are rushing into this long forgotten part of Dallas which features cheap land (for now) close proximity to downtown and suddenly has access to three major freeways. (30, 35E and Woodall Rogers all now have exits into West Dallas.)

  I revisited the area this week and found a buzz of activity. Get ready Dallas, a whole new side of town is coming soon

In the shadow of downtown and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the  patios that will be part of Trinity Groves takes shape

Trinity Groves, looking west

The limestone patios of a develop that will feature numerous new restaurants


A new microbrewery just west of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Babb Brothers BBQ, a catering company from Arlington about to open it's first store

An art deco style redo takes shape. Sadly, it replaces the recently finished Sheppard Fairey mural  which was just finish earlier this year. (Pictured below)