The individual appeal of Deep Ellum | Danielle Mio Sogno

Detail view of the mosaic pool at Indie Deep EllumPhoto credit: Danielle Mio Sogno

Since I’m creative myself, the word In the sparks something inside. Even as a child I proudly wore my uniqueness. Bell bottoms, long sleeve graphic tees, a feather clip in my wild, unruly mane. I played the organ, violin and maracas when I felt like it. I have always drawn or painted, and writing came naturally. Not much has changed now. Throw in a few decades, swap out the organ for a Larrivée guitar, and add in a career in real estate and writing. Bohemian, indie vibes across the board.

Art has always been the lens through which I see life. Song lyrics, a lively and atmospheric mural on an old brick facade, a roof garden, shishito peppers from the farmer’s market or lyrical poetry at a slam event – all of this arouses emotions. They make life richer and give it meaning. Cultures are preserved, societies emerge and neighborhoods are woven together through the universal language of the arts.

I see real estate the same way. Not the four walls that make up a business, but the place where it is located and what life might be like for its residents on any given day. What would a daily walk look like and what is nearby? show me the sunsets Would pets be equally happy with the amenities? Are there real neighbors and ways to interact with them often? Does the property reflect the personalities and lifestyles of its residents? These details are important to me. Yes, I want to know resale value is there, all repairs are negotiated, and the plan design is working for my customers. All that ball of wax is a given. I can do that in my sleep. It’s the little things that make me think. I would like to imagine my client’s German Shepherd, Rex, accompanying him on a morning walk to the coffee shop and being stopped for compliments by at least three neighbors on the way back. I want to know that my other client can walk over to her Bickram yoga class, get a green smoothie, and still have time to walk to work.

My thought process is not unusual. As a real estate agent, I’m aware that I have to consider all of these things when helping clients find their home. However, customers will have planned their everyday lives long before they drive, before we look at real estate. This new place for them is a golden key to whatever they wish to preserve, nurture, manifest or transform. There is almost always a social aspect and yet also a privacy factor. Whether renting or buying, home is home.

The developers of Indie Deep Ellum have also thought about it. They knew that incorporating the material of local muralists and artists into the structure of the building would offer more than a taste of the inspirational aesthetic. I felt it as soon as I got to the parking garage. Artists Ryan Stalsby and Drigo collaborated to produce a deeply accurate recording of prolific neo-soul queen Erykah Badhu. The state-of-the-art fitness center has a luxe grunge vibe with huge graffiti artwork by Leighton Autry. Views of the Dallas skyline abound – my favorites being the perfect time for sunset. I want you to know, my readers, that there is indeed a mosaic pool here. A Botticelli-esque portrait of a love goddess graces the pool. Both the aerial and close-ups make stunning talking points, or can be the tranquil backdrop for a moody and thoughtful social media post. The diffusion technique used to create the masterpiece plays tricks on the retina for a unique visual experience with unlimited colors.

A ten minute walk takes you straight to Stirr. The steps to the upper level ask, “What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?” and I think the answer, even from an existential perspective, would have to be their peach bruschetta. This goes well with her old-fashioned stirr. The ambiance inside is sexy and somber, and the rooftop offers some of the best views in town. The staff, always personable and welcoming, sets the tone for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. An Uber will take you home in two minutes… yes two.

Now that you know your mode of transport, stick around for a while. Stop by Deep Ellum Art Co. and catch a performance by the California Honeydrops (they’ll make your soul smile) when they drop by, or Children of Indigo (sublime ear candy). Capture the local flavor of Austin native Jackie Venson for an unforgettable sonic adventure. Her velvety voice and insane guitar skills enthrall along with her looper pedal magic. The venue primarily promotes local artists and was born out of a desire to make art accessible to all. Free shows (in addition to ticketed events) regularly bring this experience to the public.

Next time you fly out of Love Field, look down. You may see Venus staring at you (that mosaic pool is in Southwest Airlines’ trajectory, and it’s no coincidence). Celebrate your perspective – it’s uniquely yours.

Badu mural collaboration by Stalsby and DrigoPhoto credit: Danielle Mio Sogno

Indie Deep EllumPhoto credit: Danielle Mio Sogno

Aerial view of the Mosaic Basin at Indie Deep EllumPhoto credit: Danielle Mio Sogno

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