What I Saw on a Sunday Adventure to Downtown Dallas

Photo Feature by Erasmo Calzadilla

HAVANA TIMES – Last weekend I cycled from my suburban neighborhood to downtown Dallas. I thought I was going to deal with a dangerous and annoying traffic but instead I found a network of tree-lined cycle paths, one of whose branches leads up quite close to the city center.

I still cannot connect spiritually with this city. It all seems so gray and strange that it reminds me of a Doors song (People are strange). But this time it was different.

I entered the city through a peculiar neighborhood called Deep Ellum. Old buildings decorated with graffiti in full color, young people hanging out, zero stress, tattoos and flashy hairstyles, joy, good vibes… A little mole in the middle of “the other”.

However, something inauthentic was in the air, the veil of falsehood that covers all the sites made up for the arrival of tourists, I suppose.

Another detail that caught my attention was the types of murals. Almost all I saw had a purely aesthetic purpose; not the slight echo of a social struggle could I perceive in them. As if the grayness of capitalism only had a counterbalance in the misplaced imagery of cyberpunks or the colorful hippies and gays. Nothing that would aspire even a Bansky, much less the political graffiti of the Logan district in San Diego.


And the infamous cult of  sports that spreads among the human mass of the globe also has its place in Deep Ellum, as a preamble to what you’ll find in downtown and the rest of the city.

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Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

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14 thoughts on “What I Saw on a Sunday Adventure to Downtown Dallas

  • White man? Hahaha! Frederick Douglass raged against injustice. His world view at the time was antislavery. Politically, he was openly pro-US Constitution. What verter avatar to rage against Castro tyranny?

  • Another vapid comment from the troll who calls himself Moses Patterson and has the nerve to use as his profile picture a man who was very critical of the United States, Frederick Douglass. What is the name of that white man behind the curtain?

  • And he is hilarious, in a grumpy way. Everyone doesn’t have to be “nice”.

  • Hey Erasmo. We had a great bike tour with you last April in Havana. To your critics: the great thing about Erasmo is that he takes his intelligent, critical point of view everywhere. The two countries he has lived in are both flawed, of course, because all countries are flawed. He has thanked US citizens for support in earlier posts. I spent a lot of time in Cuba explaining to people that the US and Canada both have deep and terrible problems – in Canada, mostly if you are First Nations and especially on some rural reserves. Keep up the interesting writing, Erasmo.

    Leslie (and Frank) from Alberta, Canada

  • Welcome to the US. Please don’t make the mistake to assume the the freedom offered in the US means perfection. On the contrary, freedom means the right to strive towards perfection. Hence, “a more perfect union”. Along the way, mistakes, sometimes grave, have been and will be made.

  • Hello everybody. Thanks for your comments.

  • Of course you can and should complain. But those complaints should be based in the truth.

  • In otherwords, America, love it or leave it. i.e., don’t complain. Entonces, why not Cuba, love it or leave it ?

  • Most American cities have such ersatz “arts and entertainment” districts now. In these districts you are unlikely ever to see creative, original art or music. To begin with, the rents are such as to preclude the presence of authentic artists. Just the ones who follow trends, but never lead. Most of the folks hanging out at the bars, clubs and concert halls are poseurs, weekend visitors from the even more sterile suburbs, tourists or yuppie scum. Interesting observations, though. For another report on utter alienation and cultural vertigo I refer you to “Letter from London: City of Gilt” (“Searching for the Town I used to Love”) by Tanya Gold in the March, 2017, issue of HARPER’S.

  • He seems disappointed that the Evil Empire he was taught to hate is not so evil. In fact, the country that has taken him is at times benevolent but, worse yet, most times, indifferent. No one cares that he is Cuban. It must suck to suddenly realize that you are not the center of the universe as he was led to believe in Cuba.

  • Yes he does, isn’t he fresh off the boat as a so called “political refugee” and living off government aid (U.S. gov that is). He sure doesn’t seem to feel any gratitude. So far all his articles seem to be putting down everything around him!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’d like to introduce myself to you. I’m Tahnee and I grew up in Dallas, studied in Denton, lived in San Francisco for 6 years and have been back living in Dallas since 1996. I made my 1st trip to Cuba last month and made some wonderful new friends that I have continued to communicate with since. Not sure what you’re looking for in Dallas, but perhaps I can show you something authentic. Yes, people are strange everywhere and of course you’re strange to many as well. The images you’ve shown can also be considered “authentic” to Dallas and it’s people but just as big as Dallas is, the people vary as well.

  • Erasmo sounds disappointed that there were no billboards or murals that read “Vencermos o muerte”. Not even one “Hasta la victoria”. Such a shame.

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