Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Best ways to cruise the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas
Going to the bridge itself is not required.
Call it a bridge birthday party: The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge celebrates its opening weekend in Dallas March 2-4, and there are more events on the calendar than one person could possibly attend. The city of Dallas and the Trinity Trust host a three-day party on the bridge March 2, 3, and 4; and folks in West Dallas are throwing their own party with beau-coups events for fans of the bridge, some that extend well into March.
Note that the bridge is not open to vehicular traffic until late March.
The bridge is said to be a symbol of connection, bridging the gap between Downtown Dallas and West Dallas. The arched structure is an important component in the Trinity Project, which will cost $2.2 billion in full, including the $182 million Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Famously designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge, for some, will usher in change and progress for West Dallas. At the very least, it's an icon that city officials hope Dallas will be referred to and remembered by.
The list of things to do on the bridge March 2-4 is nearly as long as the bridge itself: There's a $200 evening featuring Lyle Lovett on March 2; a free fun run on March 3; a formal ribbon cutting on March 4. There's even a butterfly release.
To help Marge blow out the candles on her birthday cake, here are the best ways to experience the bridge, whether or not you actually go to see her in person.
Best place to watch the bridge from afar: Five Sixty. Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Reunion Tower will give you a birds-eye view of the bridge, where you can comfortably enjoy a meal without fighting for a parking spot at the bottom of the bridge. At night, the bridge will be washed in color.
Best place to take your kids: Parade of Giants on the bridge. At 1 p.m. Saturday, giant puppets honoring important people in Dallas' history will parade across the bridge. The procession will include Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, Bonnie and Clyde, and more. Your kids will get a history lesson and a feast for their eyes – as long as they're not afraid of huge heads.
Best place to scope out West Dallas: The Foundry. A quick drive in West Dallas will show you plenty of abandoned warehouses, but soon there will be a new brewery, an incubator for new restaurants, a new market, and much more. Post up at The Foundry, a brand-new beer garden owned by the guys behind Smoke and BarBelmont, and see what's happening on that side of the Trinity.
Best place to look at the bridge without looking at the actual bridge: Sun to Moon Gallery. A photography exhibition called Intimate Views: The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge features photographs by Scot Miller, who's been snapping pictures of the bridge since August 2011. He photographed it “from all angles, at all times of the day, in all weather conditions,” and the fruits of his labor will be on display at the art gallery on Levee Street. Best part: This peek at the bridge comes with no traffic jams.
Best place to hear free music: The bridge on Saturday night. Yes, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band are playing a show on the bridge Friday night, with tickets going for $200 each. We recommend waiting another 24 hours and going to the bridge on Saturday night for Burning Hotels at 7 p.m. and Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights at 8 p.m., with fireworks afterward. It's all free.
Best place to take in some street art: Singleton Boulevard. Graffiti artist Shepard Fairey – he of the “hope” Obama posters – has painted several walls in West Dallas just before the bridge's opening. Check out a photo gallery of the murals he did, with info on the location of each one so you can do a self-guided tour. You can also take a guided tour from the Dallas Contemporary.
Best place to tailgate for the opening of the bridge: Dallas Main Post Office. If you're the type to show up early, grill some steaks, and drink an ice-cold beverage before doing any kind of sightseeing, the Main Post Office is a good place because it's right near all the bridge action. We're kidding. Sort of.
Best place to stay away from the bridge altogether: Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum. Looking to trade all that paved paradise for flora and fauna? Avoid the bridge and do something equally family-friendly by visiting the new Dallas Blooms exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum. The exhibition has nothing to do with the bridge, but for some, that's the best part about it.
Are you going to celebrate the opening of the bridge? Tell us where.
See more stories in:
- Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge opens to vehicles March 29
- Photos: Timeline of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in two minutes
- Photos: Attendees at Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge walk on bridge for first, only time
- Photos: Birthday cake on the abandoned Margaret Hunt Hill bridge
- Concerts in Dallas-Fort Worth worth your watch: March 1-3
- Looking for dinner and a game of bocce? Try Samar by Stephan Pyles
- Photos: Dallas Heritage Village Charleston'd its way through history on Saturday
- First look: Read Contemporary shows obscure work by emerging Aboriginal artists
- Photos: Design District's artsy new vino retailer, The Wine Poste, opened grandly on Saturday
- Photos: Homegrown hopmasters debut new beers at Brew Riot in Oak Cliff