Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Let’s Do Dallas - Part One

If you hadn't heard, there was a tragic event last week in Austin, TX during the South by Southwest Music Festival.  You can probably find the details online.  It was so scary to hear something like that happening in Austin, of all places.  Austin is known for many, many things but it is not, in my estimation, one of those big scary cities.

I lived in Austin for two years by myself after college and I remember the bars, the coffee shops, the bats under the bridge, the Texas Chili Parlor, the breakfast tacos, the water, and of course the music.  Every time I would go back to my hometown in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, the weather would be just a little colder, and the crime reports on the news, harsher.  Dallas can be one of those scary cities.  Mention the Oak Cliff neighborhood or the JFK assassination and people visibly tighten up.

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Dallas loves Austin but Austin does not return the love.  Austin views its neighbor in the north as the very antithesis to being.  Austin is light and Dallas is dark. 

Since I've moved back, I've come to understand Dallas better.  See no one moves to Dallas for the atmosphere, the night life, the food, the life style.  In fact it repulses many, and I can definitely understand why.  People move to Dallas for job opportunity.  Plain and simple.  It brings many, many diverse people together into Dallas.  I moved back for a job.  Everyone has a story of what brought them to this place.    And you know what?  It makes the city better.

There is a way to visit Dallas that will expand your horizons, appeal to your senses, and reveal to you good, down to earth people.  Austin has live music but Dallas got soul.

When to Come –

I would definitely recommend coming during the spring or fall if possible.  Winter is usually quite mild but the summer can be a little too hot, albeit not as hot as Austin and not as humid as Houston.  Spring is our music festival and film festival season. 

The Dallas International Film Festival in April is great for film buffs. You can catch celebrities stopping in, catch great industry panels taking place in the Arts District and party in the filmmakers Lounge in Uptown and probably even see me volunteering for the transportation team, shuttling film goers to and from venues.  The program spotlights awesome documentaries, student films, animated shorts and feature length movies from Latin America, Europe, Japan, etc.

My favorite music festival in Dallas is the Homegrown Music Fest in May.  It takes place downtown, in a city park a midst all the skyscrapers.  Local acts perform and you can get the sense that Dallas truly has soul.  The line-up is usually very eclectic and included the Divine Fits, The Relatives, and the Polyphonic Spree last year.  It’s truly one of Dallas’ bests.

The Relatives

Fall is awesome for two things; Oktoberfest and THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS! Sure you can come down for football season but the Cowboys are usually shooting themselves in the foot and none of us locals can afford tickets.  Plus, sporting events here are year round.

I covered the State Fair in my first ever post but there are so many things to see and so many things to eat.  It's basically everything that makes America great and is held annually at Fair Park, which holds a large number of beautiful Art Deco buildings.

Fall also sees not one but two popular Oktoberfests!  There is the Addison Oktoberfest, just north of Dallas, and the McKinney Oktoberfest, in a northern suburb.  Now, I know the suburbs get a negative reputation pretty much everywhere but not here.  The suburbs is where the cool people are at and we have festivals pretty much all the dang time but Oktoberfest is one of the best.  The weather is perfect, the beer is plentiful and Texans honor the extensive German heritage found all over the state.

Prost, ya'll.

I'll have more Let's Do Dallas tips soon, including where to stay, what to see and what to eat in the Big D!  

What is your opinion on Dallas?  Feel free to let me know.


Image Sources - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-mine, 7, 8-mine, 9-mine, 10, 11


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