I started this website in 2019 to have a place for my writing. I’ve changed directions a few times since I began this journey. It took some trial and error to figure out what I wanted to do with this, and more precisely, how to do it.
Nowadays, the focus of my website is on exploring the past and present of Arlington, Texas. I call my content “Local Unknown.” The name is a tribute to Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” docuseries, one of my favorite TV shows, and one of the few things I actually sit down and watch. While I’ll never be able to travel the world as Tony did, maybe I can bring that same adventurous and wanderlust spirit to my hometown.
I was born in Arlington but grew up in the neighboring town of Mansfield. Growing up, Arlington was always the big city next door, which is still today. After 24 years in Mansfield, I was looking for something different. Moving to Arlington seemed like a natural choice, so that’s what I did in 2007. Even after more than 15 years in this city, I still felt like a stranger and more of a long-term visitor than a resident. It was only recently that I started to explore Arlington in depth. When I did, it led to a strong interest in local history and learning more about my hometown.
I serve on Arlington’s Landmark Preservation Commission and volunteer with the Arlington Historical Society, where I’m a board member, newsletter editor, and social media manager. I consider myself an “Arlington Advocate,” especially when it comes to local history and lesser-known stories. Even though I’m still learning about this city and its history, it’s become a passion of mine.
I was surprised when Arlington became my muse — I surely didn’t see that coming. I see myself as a writer, photographer, local historian, and something of an urban explorer, with Arlington as my primary subject. If you’re looking for trendy things to do around Arlington, you probably won’t find them here. Instead, maybe you’ll learn a few things about Arlington that you didn’t know.
While local history is my main interest, today and tomorrow are just as fascinating. I hope to tie together Arlington’s past, present, and future with my efforts.
Arlington is my home, but I venture past the city limits whenever I can, and especially like visiting small towns. I prefer the road less traveled. Most of my exploration falls under what I call HOAC — history, oddities, arts, and culture — including Texas Historical Markers, cemeteries, downtowns, historic jails, architecture, abandoned buildings, train stations, public art, and ghost towns. I also like local breweries and little cafes — hey, a man works up a thirst and appetite with all of that exploring!
And finally, while I do this blog for fun as a hobby, I want it to lead to something more significant in the future. My dream is to grow from writing blogs to writing books.
Jason S. Sullivan, 04-15-23
Jason is 40 years old and lives in Arlington, Texas, with his wife, Jennifer, and their three cats – Cavender, Merry, and Milo. When not exploring, he enjoys writing, reading, photography, listening to music, and watching documentaries.