Introduction to “Local Unknown” blog series

Local Unknown is my new blog series exploring my hometown of Arlington, Texas and the local area. It focuses on local history, oddities, arts, and culture.

In my younger days, I dreamt of being a travel writer. I didn’t fully know what that meant, but it sounded exciting. I liked to write, and I thought it would be cool to travel and write about faraway lands. 

Now that I’m older and more pragmatic, a nomad lifestyle has less appeal. I’ve discovered that I don’t like to travel as much as I thought I did. (I can’t afford to travel as much as I would like either.) I also realized there’s a whole world in my neighborhood, city, and nearby that I haven’t explored yet. I haven’t earned the privilege to travel the world when my hometown lies untouched. 

I live in Arlington, Texas. It’s located in the Dallas and Fort Worth (DFW) area. Lately, I haven’t felt like a local to this city. I’ve started to feel like a visitor or even a stranger. I’ve lived in this area my whole life and should be an expert on all things Arlington. But if someone asked me about the local history or places of interest, I wouldn’t be able to provide much insight. I wanted to change that and forge a relationship with this city.

Tourism has a profound impact on this area. But I’m more interested in the local things, and less about the tourist attractions. I’m interested in what I call HOAC — history, oddities, arts, and culture. These are the things that truly give a city its personality, and they’re often overlooked. DFW is a treasure chest of HOAC. It’s everywhere.

One of my favorite TV shows is Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. He travels around the world and experiences local culture and cuisine. I wanted to do something similar, although I don’t have the means to travel the world with a film crew. But I can travel around my world, the DFW area, and still experience amazing things.

This isn’t my first attempt at a blog series like this. I’m determined to make this one work. I’d love for this to turn into writing for a local historical society, visitors bureau, or travel magazine. Plus, what better area to start exploring than where I live? May the exploration begin!

Post and photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 08-12-20

3 thoughts on “Introduction to “Local Unknown” blog series

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