There is an old saying that goes "everyone in the world hates the U.S., everyone in the U.S. hates Texas, and everyone in Texas hates Dallas". And unfortunately, its pretty true. Whenever we travel to other cities in Texas, people actually tell us they feel sorry for us since we live in Dallas. I often get a bit offended by these statements. Because I love my city and its definitely not getting the reputation it deserves.
Dallas has had a bad reputation based on a lack of culture, limited outdoor activities, a city where stuck up attitudes and plastic surgery reign, and a lackluster food scene. But things are changing. The city shouldn't only be known for the Cowboys, a sprawling suburbia or big hair and big wallets. The culture and art scene in Dallas is growing, diversifying, and Deep Ellum is a prime showcase for this change.
Deep Ellum is a historic neighborhood located in downtown Dallas and is full of art and entertainment venues. The neighbored was built by immigrants and minorities and the diversity is evident from the architecture to the general atmosphere of the area. Its history is full of rich culture and memorable stories that have turned Deep Ellum into a landmark for Dallas.
As the entertainment and art scene flourished, graffiti artists flocked to Deep Ellum to display their craft. Many music venues even used graffiti to advertise their upcoming shows. In keeping with tradition, the 42 Mural project invited artists to paint murals throughout Deep Ellum to preserve the history and heritage of the area. This project not only offers a glimpse into the importance of Deep Ellum, but also offers free art to thousands of visitors.
As you walk among the streets in Deep Ellum, you will randomly be met with bright, and powerful images painted on the buildings. Each mural has its own personality and message. The murals increase awareness of art in Dallas and provide exposure to artists. While there isn't exact addresses for each mural, the Dallas Morning News has created a map that will help you navigate the area.
Although Dallas has been known for chain restaurants and subpar BBQ, its cuisine is also getting a facelift and Deep Ellum is at the forefront of the movement. Pretty much, Deep Ellum has art, music and food and its all good. There are great restaurants and bars to stop and enjoy a meal during your tour of the murals. We chose Braindead Brewery to try their infamous coma burger and drink a cold beer. It was beyond delicious and was a perfect way to end our day in Deep Ellum.
Walking outside with a toddler when it was 100 degrees outside wasn't my best idea. She was in great spirits but Milena was definitely exhausted half way through the tour. So we managed to see as many of the murals as possible before booking it home. We plan on heading back down in the fall to fully enjoy the art and atmosphere of Deep Ellum and hopefully get some better pictures of the murals.
I'm excited for my city's change and know firsthand the foodie and art scene is growing. Yes, Dallas is a metropolis of suburbs and its definitely not getting the attention like our neighbor Austin, but it has its own charm and unique vibe. I always tell people with Dallas you have to search a little harder for its culture but its there, its vibrant and its definitely worth visiting!