What Travel Writers Say

Dallas, Texas - think big - really, really big!

© By Mike Keenan
First, the history. Everyone of a certain age will remember precisely where they were on Friday, November 22, 1963 at 12:30 p.m. in much the same way that younger people recall where they were on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The Kennedy assassination and the terrorist attack on New York City's World Trade Towers, two horrendous events that scared our psyches. The Texas School Book Depository (now the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza) is a must-see and offers visitors a glimpse into the life and times of President John F. Kennedy.
     Dallas now boasts world-class architecture including five buildings designed by I.P. Pei, the designer behind the Pyramide du Louvre and the recipient of the AIA Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Pritzker Prize. Pei's works include Dallas City Hall, Fountain Place, One Dallas Centre, Energy Plaza and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
     Dallas Arts District, the largest urban arts district in the nation, includes five venues designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects: Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center by I.M. Pei, Nasher Sculpture Center by Renzo Piano, Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House by Sir Norman Foster, Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre by Rem Koolhaas and the Annette Strauss Artist Square by Sir Norman Foster.
     This skyline shouts out the city's "Live Large. Think Big."™ mentality and includes: the Bank of America Plaza, the Magnolia Hotel Dallas (topped with the flying red Pegasus), Fountain Place, Reunion Tower, Renaissance Tower and the Chase Tower.
     Fair Park is designated as a National Historic Landmark, offering the world's largest collection of 1930s Art Deco exposition style buildings. Modern facades enhance the city, with their ultra-contemporary elements, technological advances and structurally distinctive concepts.
     Hunt Oil, with its illuminated H-shape, and Victory Park, the ultra modern entertainment district marked by LED "super screens," dazzle in the new Dallas. The Cowboys Stadium, which opened June 2009, has become a signature landmark for the area, with gigantic video screens, a retractable roof and distinct arches spanning the length of the stadium. The city also includes a number of architecturally stunning private residences, such as The Rachofsky House.
     The largest urban arts district in the United States spans 19 blocks. The Dallas Museum of Art, the district's anchor, features 23,000 works of art, covering 5,000 years of history.
     Fair Park was declared a National Historic Landmark for being the site of the original 1886 State Fair of Texas and the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. Nearly 300 acres of park space and eight museums and venues are open year round.
     Trivia buffs will delight to know that Dallas is the ninth largest city in the US with a population of 1,299,543. It attracts 28 million people per year, home to 24 Fortune 500 companies including Exxon Mobil, JC Penney, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Texas Instruments, Radio Shack and others.
     Did you know that the frozen margarita machine was invented in Dallas?
     The integrated circuit computer chip (which became the microchip) was invented here in 1958. The 52 foot 'Big Tex' statue that greets visitors at the annual State Fair of Texas is the tallest cowboy in Texas.
     With the roof enclosed, the entire Statue of Liberty could fit into the new Cowboys Stadium. During the winter holiday season, the Galleria Dallas is home to the country's tallest indoor Christmas tree. The largest permanent model train exhibit in the country is on display in the lobby of Dallas Children's Medical Center.
     The Trinity River Corridor Project, when completed, will be more than 10 times the size of New York's Central Park. Highland Park Village Shopping Center, developed in 1931 has the distinction of being the first planned shopping center in America. The first convenience store, 7-eleven, got its start in Dallas and the corporation is headquartered there today.
     Lamar Hunt, founder of the American Football League and son of oil tycoon H.L. Hunt, was a noted Dallas resident when he coined the phrase 'Super Bowl.' And finally, if we are talking really, really big, the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is home to 41 of the richest Americans, five professional sports teams, plus NASCAR and Indy racing. If you enjoy golf, there are a mere 200 courses!
     This place is big - really, really big!
The Sixth Floor Museum, Dealey Plaza  The Sixth Floor Museum, Dealey Plaza

Cotton Bowl Football  Dallas Arboretum

Museum Of Art, European Galleries  Dallas Skyline

Kennedy Memorial  Uptown Nightlife

West Village At Night  Wide Lens, Plaza Crowd

Lat/Lon: 32.8° N 96.8° W
Click for Dallas, Texas Forecast

Mike Keenan writes for QMI Agency (Sun Media) Canada's largest newspaper publisher, printing 44 daily newspapers as well as a web portal, Canoe.ca. Besides regular columns for the St. Catharines Standard, Welland Tribune and Niagara Falls Review. Mike has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. His work is found in QMI published dailies such as the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, Vancouver Sun, London Free Press, Calgary Sun, Winnipeg Sun and Edmonton Sun.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau

If you go
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Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Dallas
About.com: http://dallas.about.com/
Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau: http://www.visitdallas.com/

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