The following is from the Aug. 12, 2008, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Professor Robert V. Kemper, an urban anthropologist at SMU, provided expertise for this story.
By ERIC AASEN and MICHAEL E. YOUNG
The Dallas Morning News
Three-and-a-half miles long and 150 years old, Ross Avenue traces the evolution of Dallas from hardscrabble frontier town to multiethnic metropolis, sophisticated and down-home and ever more diverse.
It's home to chef Stephan Pyles' namesake restaurant and Tacos y Mas ; skyscrapers and lavanderias; museums, concert halls, and tired old buildings where enterprising newcomers shape their dreams.
And it is at the center of an intense debate between a community that feels ignored and others who claim a stake on this street, with personal, financial, even historic investments. . .
Renaming a historic street puts the City Council in a no-win situation, said Robert V. Kemper, an urban anthropology professor at Southern Methodist University.
The unscientific poll to rename Industrial Boulevard was the beginning of the crisis, Dr. Kemper said, and when a road for César Chávez emerged as the unexpected winner, city officials turned it down.
"That was the flashpoint for what has happened since, and now the politicians are trying to escape the consequences," he said. "There's no easy exit."
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