When I started this page, I thought there was nothing to say about my hometown, Dallas Texas. When I was growing up there in the 1960's, it seemed to consist exclusively of skyscrapers, strip malls, and blazing sunshine. For good food, entertainment, and--dare I say it?--culture, you had to go to Austin or San Antonio. However, Dallas did have energy and know-how: whatever was considered worth doing (i.e., NOT libraries or opera) tended to be done quite well. Trash was collected, streets were clean, city offices never closed early, checkout lines were short--the kind of thing you can get nostalgic for in other U.S. cities (naming no names).
I was reminded of Dallas efficiency when my Google search turned up the Dallas City Hall homepage. From this single portal, you can pay your parking tickets and utility bills, report a lost pet, take a tour of Dallas neighborhoods, apply for a loan to start a small business, find an ESL class, register to vote, and much, much more. It's a model civic website--and after 20 years on LINGUIST List, I know how difficult such a thing is to design. So I decided to find out more about Dallas, as it is today. And it certainly has changed: Dallas is one of 11 U.S. global cities . . .