By Mike Marrero photos by Bryan Coonrod
Season 2 Decks in the Park – Episode 1: April 24th 2014, The Night I Forgave Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller.
In 2004 former Mayor Laura Miller played hardball with Jerry Jones over the future Cowboys stadium and lost. One of the projects the city had planned to save funds for were the revitalization of Downtown, investment in Uptown, and what is now our Arts district including Klyde Warren Park. While there was a way to have both in Dallas, nearly 10 years later on April 24th 2014, I finally forgive Laura Miller.
What I would describe as a glorious evening began with me parking about a 5 minute walk away. I had an easy time with parking, parked near the Federal Reserve Bank. It was around 8pm, so the sun was setting, the temperature was perfect, and as soon as I got close enough to see the size and scope of the event I was about to be a part of, I just started smiling. I will forever have the scenic snapshot in my mind. I felt a sense of pride for our city. To outsiders, we were no longer hillbillies riding our horses to work with oil derricks and tumble weeds in the horizon. What I saw truly reflected we are a hip modern city in the center of a 6 million person media market.
As I walk up, the first thing I see are people, I estimate nearly 3,000 of them. It was very diverse with no clicks, everyone was welcome. Not to sound like a hippy, but there were good vibes all around. Young, old, tired and weak, all races, when it came to diversity it was Ellis Island. Ok, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. We were on the south side of Uptown, and it was a Thursday night, so there were plenty of gorgeous young professionals dressed up to continue their night on the town after they got their fill of music and libations.
I would be comfortable bringing family to Decks in The Park. This was pretty civil compared to what I was expecting for electronic music. I noticed groups of friends and families with blankets and picnic baskets. I saw that some people had pizza delivered, some had brought Pei Wei, and others had bought items from the available food trucks.. With so many people there, you would think it was too crowded, and I tell you it was just fine. There was plenty of personal space, room to sit-stand-walk-and talk. Outside alcohol is prohibited, but I could tell a lot of people were way too happy from drinking Ozarka “water.” It was not overbearing, but the occasional waft of Mary Jane would float by. It’s probably pretty easy with new E-cigs and one-hitters to get away with it these days.
Security wasn’t obnoxious, I didn’t really see any but I am sure there were plenty undercover around. There were no fights, drama, or ambulances called, etc… it was a very peaceful and happy night.
The event was sponsored by Sewell Subaru, Earth Day Texas, Travelocity, Prime Lending, and Events Moderne. I would like to give a big thank you to the sponsors. Keep it up!
Next time I intend to sit on the patio at Savor. Savor is Klyde Warren Park’s main restaurant with Executive Chef John Coleman behind the wheel. The chef driven menu of shared plates and supercharged pub fare looks delicious. I plan on getting their burger, which is a Short Rib & Brisket Blend, Tomato Jam, Spicy Aioli, Lettuce, Tomato, Bacon, and Brioche Bun. Nearby Lark in the Park is another tempting option too. For our night cap, we chose to take a short walk to the newly renovated 2100 Ross. San Salvaje, a new Stephan Pyles Salsa concept is in the space formerly occupied by Samar. The patio has been reconfigured to enlarge the indoor seating area, and will open this week.
The only items I feel they need to work on are more restrooms, organizing the beer line and having a second station, and the musical talent or talent direction. I am not a DJ, but I’ve been socializing in Dallas since 1996. I know good electronic music and have industry friends that were with me this night, and others whom I’ve known socially for over a decade who weren’t. Paul Paredes (Paradise) had a good set, I liked it… I felt Spinderella headlining and opening with Mash-Ups of De La Soul, Young MC, Nirvana was disappointing for someone that has seen Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Keoki, DJ Icey, Chemical Brothers, Crystal Method, Prodigy, Carl Cox, BT Armin Van Buren, Timo Maas, DJ Rap, Sasha & Digweed, among many others. I don’t expect a major headliner, that costs money, but I would like to see some effort in getting music that actually makes me and my friends want to at least shake our head, maybe even heaven forbid DANCE! It definitely was ambient music for me, appealed to the masses, but I guess that is what you need for a successful event like this.
Decks was a great night, highly recommended, would make an excellent date or family event.