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These Deserted Deep Ellum Photos Are Heartbreaking.

Dallas Photographer Joe Uribe Visited Dallas’ Bustling Deep Ellum Entertainment District On Saturday Night To Document Its Temporary New Ghost Town Status.

All photos by Joe Uribe.

Just two weeks ago, Dallas’ most-bustling entertainment district was humming along as usual, and business in Deep Ellum was good, with swarms of people descending upon the neighborhood for its vibrant music, nightlife, dining and retails offerings.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

On Monday, March 16, the City of Dallas alike ordered all restaurant dining rooms, bars, taverns, lounges, nightclubs, health clubs, gyms, arcades, theaters, billiard halls and music venues across the city to temporarily cease operations — the most notable exception being restaurants able to provide takeout or delivery offerings. On Wednesday, March 18, Dallas City Council extended that order, likely through April 29. The next day, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded these measures statewide through at least April 3.

Even before Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins upped the county’s coronavirus response on Monday by ordering a shelter-in-place mandate for all citizens in the county through April 3 as part of an effort to get those who weren’t heeding officials’ best social-distancing practice suggestions to stay at home whenever possible, the economic ramifications of these measures were already being felt.

The worries at the front of Dallas small business owners’ minds from earlier in the month became reality as sweeping job losses and closures across the area service industry ranks started rearing their ugly heads.

viral photo set shared to Facebook by Dallas photographer Joe Uribe shows some insights into why these closures and layoffs are taking place. While prohibitions on public gatherings are absolutely the right call in the face of the pandemic, Uribe’s photos of a suddenly deserted Deep Ellum from this past Saturday night offer insight into why so few businesses in the neighborhood are capable to riding out these forced closures long-term.

The images are at once reassuring (in the sense that people are listening to our officials’ just mandates) and heartbreaking (in the sense that our favorite spots are slowly being choked out).

For both reasons, they’re important visuals representative of these uncertain waters we’re all navigating together at the moment. Many thanks, then, to Uribe for allowing us to publish those photos here for your viewing.

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