Best in Dallas

All the things you thought Dallas didn't have

Howdy, Folks!

It’s that time of year again – we’re just days away from opening day of the great State Fair of Texas. You know, I actually know people who have lived here a long time and have NEVER BEEN to the Fair. Something about crowds and a questionable part of town… Well, their loss. The fall has been Fair time in my family for my entire life. As a child, I remember well coming home with an upset tummy because my Dad would let me eat anything – corn dogs, cotton candy, ice cream bars and taffy – we found plenty even before the days of the fried food competition. Add a few “funhouse” type rides and maybe a roller coaster and it was all worth the uncomfortable ride home.

My personal favorite place at the Fair is the Creative Arts building. I won a ribbon there as a teenager for a hooked rug. I love seeing what people can do with a camera or a sewing machine or other sometimes unlikely media. And don’t miss the butter sculpture.

The Fair has really come a long way in the last few years with beautiful landscaping and wonderful displays of gardening. I understand there’s a new greenhouse display this year and I look forward to it.

Music, new cars, arts, working animals and clever animals and birds, daily parades – we can spend a day and honestly never even make it to the Midway rides. One ride that shouldn’t be missed, however, is the Texas Star. The largest Ferris Wheel in the Americas marks the skyline of the Fair. The lines are long and it’s a bit pricey, but worth the wait.

So take an evening or a weekend day and visit Big Tex. They’re putting him up tomorrow. He’s always reminded me of my late Uncle Norton, who was the real deal.

The Fair opens Friday and runs for 24 days. Tickets are $15 at the gate but look for discount tickets (at Kroger & McDonalds) and special discount days. Every school student in the state receives a free ticket – don’t let it get lost in a locker or backpack!

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September 19, 2010 Posted by | Edible, Fair Park, Historic | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Long Summer

I’ve been a slacker this summer. I must admit that when the extreme heat hits, it’s a little less tempting to get out and maybe even a little harder to brag on Dallas. But when the “cold front” arrived yesterday and I realized that the State Fair is right around the corner, I started thinking of what to feature next. We also have a new house guest, an exchange student from Korea. Suddenly I’m seeing things through the eyes of a teenager who is new not just to Dallas, but to the country. Should give me some new perspectives!

Here’s where I need the help of my readers. Suggestions? Recommendations? I would love to check out the places that you find to be unique to this area, and to hear why. And I’d love to know what you think are the best places to show off to someone entirely new to the country and the area!

(P.S. Can’t they just call them “less-hot fronts”?)

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Bishop Arts District, Creative, Dallas Suburbs, Downtown, Edible, Fair Park, Historic, Houses of Worship, Knox Henderson, Lovers Lane, Outdoors | , , | 1 Comment

The Good Guys

Not a place, but a new TV show that takes place – guess where! It’s another cop drama/comedy, but it’s cute and has a good cast (can’t go wrong when there’s a Hanks in the cast). The shot of leaving police headquarters was actually shot in the right neighborhood, and you get glimpses of Fair Park, downtown, and some neighborhoods that sure look local – not sure how much of the filming was done here. Catch the pilot here. The series starts next month.

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Downtown, Fair Park | , | Leave a comment

Dallas Summer Musicals

In the past when you wanted to buy season tickets to the Summer Musicals, you had to buy the whole season and the same time slot for all of the shows, even if not all the shows were of interest. We once split a season with someone that worked out remarkably well, but it was rare to find someone with opposite tastes to split the shows. Now, you can build a custom season ticket package with as few as four shows, selecting your preferred time slot for each individual show. You can combine shows at the State Fair Music Hall and the Majestic Theater downtown. Both of these historic venues are worth the trip and the shows are great productions. The cheap seats are no more expensive than a 3-D movie, and this is the original 3-D! I recommend that you splurge on at least one show, though, and go for the good seats. The first show, Xanadu, is already underway.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Creative, Downtown, Fair Park, Historic | , , | Leave a comment

Historic City Tours

When I served on the Dallas County Historical Commission (for almost 7 years), the response I frequently received when I told people I served was something along the lines of “Dallas has history?” Everybody knows about The Event, but many are not aware of anything happening here prior to 1963. Well, the Dallas Historical Society is here to set you straight. How did a major city come to exist on an unlikely plain? Find out on Saturday tours hosted by entertaining and informative guides which include lunch at classic establishments on the tour routes. Tours take you to areas of town like Oak Cliff, East and South Dallas, McKinney, historic Dallas neighborhoods and more. Others feature themes like Bonnie and Clyde’s exploits, local historic cemeteries, and, yes, The Event is featured in a tour that follows the steps of Lee Harvey Oswald on that fateful day.  “The Extreme Dallas Tour” (one is coming up on April 24) features little-known facts and details that even the Dallas experts will enjoy. Dallas simply isn’t as old as New York or Chicago, but we definitely have history and wonderful examples of architectural eras. Tours begin at the Hall of State at Fair Park, where the Dallas Historical Society headquarters. By the way, if you’ve never been to Fair Park during a non-State Fair time, check out this National Historic Landmark and enjoy the largest collection of art deco architecture when you can take it in without the crowds.

April 1, 2010 Posted by | Fair Park, Historic | , | Leave a comment