Kim and I drive two blocks from our house and park in front of a Swiss chalet-looking building. It houses a hair salon, a Mexican ice-cream store, Tienda Chori’s and empty storefronts that signal a neighborhood in transition.
Community Culture And Diversity
Tienda Chori’s, a Mexican grocery, taqueria, botantica and craft store is new. Inside a husband and wife team stock shelves with authentic Mexican products.
It is an irony of opposites with children’s Lucha Libre masks on one wall and statues of saints on the other. Pottery and Mexican crafts line one aisle opposite the video poker machines. Mexican soccer jerseys hang next to piggy banks and religious candles. CDs of cumbia, musica Nortena, Tejano and Mexican pop are stocked next to herbs, potions and charms for healing.
Next door, a new barbecue joint is in its final construction stage. Across from that is the Kessler Theater, a mixed-use space for art installations, concerts, dance and performance art. Formerly owned by Gene Autry, it served as movie theater in the early 1950s.
Across the street from Tienda’s are an upscale hair salon, Urban Market–an all organic grocery store and Oak Cliff Pizza. One block north is Nova, an upscale gastropub with a blend of global cuisine in a lounge-like environment that transformed a former Dairy Queen into a friendly, hip place to hang. One block south of Tienda’s, the successful 1950s diner Norma’s holds standing room only crowds every day.
Further down the street, a new American style doughnut shop sits directly across from a unique Mexican pastry store. Two art galleries, owned by brothers, a handmade chocolate truffle store, a pet grooming salon, an El Salvadorian restaurant and a resale shop round out some of the unique offerings on this street.
My neighborhood isn’t as diverse as New York City but it is changing. New city codes aim at stimulating the corridor while retaining its cultural flavor and social and economic diversity. People from all walks of life are drawn to the historic Winnetka Heights neighborhood that sits directly behind Tienda Chori’s.
Communities Of Acceptance And Inclusivity
Some Anglos find any cultural influx threatening. On the whole, our neighborhood embraces each new venture with surprisingly little tension. It is more than tolerance. It is acceptance and inclusivity at its best. It is a community that expands as it draws peoples from far away and their unique flavor makes the cultural community stew taste different.
Love’s vision is that we look beyond our nation and see each other’s humanity. A humanity that isn’t something we confer on each other, it is the desire of the Divine, faith, the Universe. Divinity knew us before we were aware of ourselves. That knowledge and compassion is our ground.
We talk about social justice and shared power in democracy. True community doesn’t happen because the economy can afford it or the Constitution requires it or the Geneva Conventions establish it. It happens because we intentionally see each other as part of a larger human family. We are community. We are connected.
For community and neighborhoods of acceptance, we gave epic thanks.
Please join us in this global celebration of epic thanks and gratefulness. Epic Thanks is a global celebration that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. It is about harnessing social media for good. During the past two years, this global event built two classrooms and a library in Arusha, Tanzania. Visit Epic Thanks site to learn more, and to bring your grateful heart to the party by sharing your gratitude, and giving in honor of that for which you’re most thankful. This is the first in a series of post for Epic Thanks: Tweetsgiving 2010.