Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life in the big city

I ran a thousand and twelve errands today--well, not really, but it seemed like it. Breakfast with a friend, the office to wrap a book for mailing, the post office (whooppee! my passport is not expired!), Central Market, the vet for dog and cat food, and finally gas--figured I'd get it now before prices went any higher (should have gotten it last week). My VW can go a long time on a full tank of gas, with the local errands I run. But as I did all those errands and was cheerfully greeted as a friend in the breakfast restaurant, the office, the vet, even Central Market, I thought about the prediction that Fort Worth may grow bigger than Dallas. I don't want that, thank you. Oh, I know civic leaders boast about population growth, attracting new industries, etc, But I like Fort Worth just the way it is; maybe I even liked it better twenty years ago--though we sure do have more restaurants to choose from these days.
I moved to Fort Worth in 1965, as a fairly new bride. It was a small city then, but we were told not to worry--we'd be going to Dallas for restaurants and entertainment. We never did. We had come from a small college town in northeastern Missouri--12,000 I think if the schools were in session. The arrival of the Dairy Queen was as big deal! There were two, maybe three, restaurants where we liked to eat. My ex was a Bronx boy and I grew up in Chicago, but we thought Fort Worth, with two classic restaurants, several country clubs, and a really friendly atmosphere was just about the perfect compromise between big city and small town.
Today, Fort Worth is still a small town to me in many ways, but  that's because I don't live all over the city. Most of my doings are in my own corner of inner southwest Fort Worth, around TCU. I eat in restaurants where they know me, I shop at stores where they know me. I tried a new cleaners the other day and found the owner had gone to school with my oldest son. It's a very comfortable world. Oh, yes, I venture afield some, and that's fine, but I like my small world. A friend of mine always says there is no six degrees of separation in Fort Worth--two at the most. You always run into people who know people you know, and the connections are fun and funny. A friend of my daughter friended my by-marriage-sister-in-law (I guess that's what she is) on Facebook and asked how Patty knew my daughter. Patty replied that we're all related by marriage. Small world.
Will population growth change Fort Worth, or will I still have my small corner of the world? I don't know, but I view the construction of the new tollway with concern and trepidation. I don't want it to change my back roads around town.
And speaking of restaurants, Betty and I tried The Tavern on Hulen tonight. The menu is different--pork nachos, brisket tacos, a BLT salad with blue cheese, a crab cake salad--so many choices we were hard put. But we split the brisket tacos, with black beans and guacamole so good we asked for an extra side. Moderately priced. And the crowd was our age--saw several tables splitting entrees, so we were right at home. We agree we're going back. The waitress tells me it is not a chain, although the owner has two places in San Angelo.

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