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Why I Picked a Fight With the DMN’s Mark Lamster

The first time I met the highly regarded and very new Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster, I picked a fight. I’m not sure why, but there I was, debating the merits of living downtown, which he has rather kindly recapped in this piece about why he chooses to live downtown. I’m the steely-eyed magazine editor. I’ve been called worse. When I moved to Dallas this past summer, as is probably clear, I did not choose to live downtown. I had my fill after logging four weeks at the Magnolia Hotel, which was perfectly nice, by the way. But a permanent place down here? Not interested. So I set up shop in East Dallas for various reasons, the main one being that I had one day to find a place because of this. It’s a nice apartment, perfectly enjoyable. But I’ll move when the lease is up. You know what’s less than stellar about Fakewood, where I reside? How darn long it takes to drive downtown, where my office resides. Lamster, you’ve got me there. But guess where I’m still not moving? Downtown. These are my reasons.

City living is awesome. I’ve done it. I love it. You know what downtown Dallas is not? A city in the true sense of the word. I believe the way I put it to Mark that night in HP is that if I’m going to live in a city and deal with the inconveniences that come with living in a city, then I want the conveniences, too. Those conveniences just aren’t there yet. There’s some solid (pretty pricey) dining downtown, but where is my bagel delivery or anything delivery? Where can I get an awesome slice of pizza? Where are the taxis to flag, or the trains that can easily take me to the grocery store or the mall? Where is the density? The nightlife? Why do I still need a car? It’s just not convenient yet. But we’re getting there.

I already wrote about I-345 this morning and the possibilities tearing it down could bring, so I won’t go back into that. I’ll leave it at this. Mark, I respect your desire to live downtown. I’m positive I didn’t say that before. I should have. But for the time being, I’ll still be just outside its confines.

And thanks for the steely-eyed characterization. I’ve already added it to my Twitter bio.