Downtown Through the Eyes of a Gamer

Downtown Arlington offers many places to explore — and there’s something for everyone.

The area has a taste of the old days and the modern world.

Because of my love for post-apocalyptic video games, I tend to look at unique areas like this with a different eye. I look for objects and places that stand out that would be iconic for that area and how they might appear in such a game.

Though Arlington doesn’t have a “traditional” downtown with skyscrapers, it’s iconic for the city. From J.R. Bentley’s English Pub, which has been in Arlington since 1979 and just remodeled, to the Levitt Pavilion, which hosts free concerts almost weekly, the atmosphere is totally unique. Downtown provides that homey, small-city feel perfect for an evening out on the town or a weekend of family fun in the heart of Arlington.

Knapp Heritage Park, located at 201 W. Front St., takes you back into the pioneer days. It would provide a perfect location for a player to explore and wonder what this little settlement was doing in the midst of a once-bustling downtown. The composition of the park — a couple of cabins, a lone schoolhouse and a barn — might suggest it was its own community, perhaps developed post-civilization as we know now.

The more modern Levitt Pavilion, located at 100 W. Abram Street, would be an eerie blank space wedged in between office buildings, contrary to its packed lawn on weekends now.

But classics like J.R. Bentley’s and J. Gilligan’s Bar and Grill would serve much the same purpose as they do now: good eats and drinks, albeit far more deserted, which is definitely not the case now.

So even if you’re not trying to get ideas for a video game, venture your way to downtown Arlington and explore a little. Maybe you’ll find yourself chillin’ out at Mellow Mushroom for a slice of pizza with the family or sporting a jersey to support the Mavericks at the College Park Center. Arlington’s got it all; but you can’t truly experience it unless you’re there.

How do you see places when you explore them for the first time?

Rebekah Tomlin is a journalism senior at UT-Arlington and the Copy Desk Chief for The Shorthorn student newspaper. She is a lover of copy editing and video games.