Committed for the Long Haul

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Committed for the Long HaulMy Dallas Story

Name: David Martin

City: Dallas

Neighborhood: Uptown/Victory Park

Company/Title: Winstead PC – Associate

When did you move here? Where from?
May 2015, Los Angeles

Where else have you lived?
Tulsa, Miami, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles

What made you decide to Say Yes to Dallas?
Although I lived in Los Angeles for eleven years and attended Law School there, the best job opportunity was in Dallas with Winstead PC. It was an added bonus that family lived here.

How did you choose which part of town to live in?
I live on the border of Uptown and Victory Park. I wanted to live near the city center and be a part of the revival that is happening in Downtown Dallas. Living near Downtown also allows me to walk to work.

How has your opinion of the Dallas Region changed since moving here?
Honestly, I did not enjoy my first 4-5 months in Dallas. I initially found it to be a little closed and pretentious. But, the longer I stayed, the more I noticed and appreciated the diversity and depth to the city. Dallas is best reflected in the unique character of its neighborhoods. Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville, Bishop Arts, Knox/Henderson, Downtown, West Dallas, Oak Cliff, Fair Park, the Cedars, and Uptown (just to name a few) all provide different expressions of the city. I have also come to appreciate the fact that Dallas has great people from a wide variety of backgrounds and is becoming more diverse by the day with the arrival of people from different states and countries. I have been struck by the entrepreneurial, “can-do” spirit here. It’s a great attitude for a great city that still has so much potential to be better.

Tell us about your city/neighborhood. What do you like best? What makes it different?
There are so many great spots in my neighborhood. I love grabbing coffee at Magnolias or the Weekend. I enjoy catching up with friends at The Ginger Man or Katy Trail Ice House for a casual beer and food, as well as Bowen House or Parliament for a cocktail. I love walking through Klyde Warren Park on the way to the Joule Hotel in downtown for a meal at CBD Provisions, Americano, or a cocktail at the Midnight Rambler. Walking through the Joule is a must for anyone new to Dallas, as the hotel itself is a work of art. I am also enjoying the newly opened Commissary in downtown for lunch. I also love that there are so many museums and theaters nearby, including the DMA, Nasher, and Perot.

Where do you go and what do you do on the weekends or days off?
On Saturday mornings, I love going for a run on the Katy Trail (also a must for any newcomer or visitor) or over the pedestrian bridge on the Trinity River. I also love biking down the Katy Trail, across downtown, and riding up the Santa Fe Trail to White Rock Lake. One gets to experience neighborhoods both east and west of Highway 75 along the route, and it weaves a beautiful tapestry of the city. After the run or ride, I love grabbing brunch or breakfast tacos with friends at Velvet Taco. In the evening, I enjoy watching live music in Deep Ellum at the Armory, Twilite, Adair’s, and The Bomb Factory. I appreciate the fact that the people here seem to get together often and are always looking for an occasion to celebrate. Other venues I appreciate are Balcony Club (Lakewood), Deep Ellum Brewery (Deep Ellum), The Skellig (Henderson), Blind Butcher (Lower Greenville), and Truck Yard (Lower Greenville) – trying the Philly Cheesesteak at Truckyard is a must! On Sundays, I typically attend Highland Park Presbyterian Church, followed by brunch at the Front Room and an ultimate Frisbee game in the Park Cities.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to move here?
Give it time. Don’t be shy.

What is the one thing that you could have done to make your move easier?
Be present. And stop expecting for mountains or a beach to be here. Dallas has beautiful places, including Cedar Hill State Park, The Trinity Forest, White Rock Lake, Turtle Creek, and Lakeview Park.

What is your passion, and how does Dallas help fulfill it?
My desire is to be an agent of social justice in Dallas. I want to help facilitate the further integration of people of different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and national origins. Dallas is a city with a big heart, filled with hundreds of organizations aimed at helping the vulnerable and forming relationships with those in need. I have had the privilege of working with Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), an organization devoted to the formation of vibrant, healthy, and crime-free neighborhoods, and The One Heart Project, a mentoring program for incarcerated youth. Hit me up if you want to be a mentor! There are also numerous professional organizations aimed at career and industry development.

What would you miss most about the area if you had to leave?
The people. And the tacos.

Tell us about the work environment here.
I walk two blocks to work, which is so convenient. Dallas is more and more becoming a walkable city. People here work hard and are serious about what they do, but they also respect family. One will have some late work nights here and there, but it is rare that work will swallow you, as it can in some other cities.

What is your favorite restaurant in your neighborhood?
CBD Provisions

What is your favorite outside activity, and where is your favorite place to do it?
Running and hiking – Cedar Hill State Park or the Katy Trail

Favorite festival/event?
The Turkey Trot

Where do you go to experience culture? Why do you like it?
The Eyeball in Downtown. I react differently every time I see it.

Where do you like to shop? Why?
Bullzerk – incredible and insightful Dallas t-shirts, pictures, and fun gear.

Who is your local hero? Why?
Mayor Mike Rawlings – he has business grit and a compassionate heart.

Where do you feel you are nearest to your “tribe” in the Dallas Region?
At Highland Park Presbyterian Church, the community figures out faith together, which inspires us to love our city. I also feel at home at the Time Out Tavern (a.k.a. The T.O.T), where we come together to drink beer out of plastic cups and play shuffleboard.

How do you interact with your community?
I am passionate about raising the quality of life for the poor and maintaining relationships with those in the city who are vulnerable. To that end, I have volunteered with Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), an organization dedicated to bringing about safe and healthy neighborhoods, along with The One Heart Project, who provides mentoring for incarcerated youth. One Heart needs mentors; so hit me up if you’d like to be one!

Do you travel often? Easier or harder to do here?
I travel a moderate amount. Dallas is extremely easy to travel from because of the two major airports and the ability to fly direct to almost anywhere in the world.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
After some initial hesitation, I am committed to Dallas for the long haul.

Photo Credit: Merissa De Falcis