Friday, February 15, 2013
If Buzzfeed says Texas is Utopia, Dallas is its capital
Below are our 10 favorite things about Dallas.
Our journalistic colleagues over at BuzzFeed have come up with a list of what we thought everyone already knew: “50 Sure Signs That Texas Is Actually Utopia.” Says the New York City-based website (so you can’t say they’re from Oklahoma or Louisiana, and therefore hopelessly biased): “Texas is the best place on Earth, and real humble about it to boot. Here are 50 of the 10,000 things that make it special.”
We certainly agree, but we go further: We hereby proclaim that Dallas is, in fact, the capital of Utopia — Utopia City, if you will. The BuzzFeed piece mentioned several Dallas-specific things — the State Fair of Texas, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez, Deep Ellum blues — as well as many that occur in Dallas as well as other parts of the state, such as Tex-Mex, the best country music, breakfast tacos, sweet iced tea, and homecoming mums.
Here are 10 more reasons (plus an extra) why we think Dallas rules Tex-topia, in no particular order:
1. The TV show Dallas, in both its incarnations, but especially the current one since it’s filmed here. We may have lost actor Larry Hagman, but J.R. Ewing will forever be ours and no one else’s. He’s the Lifetime Mayor of Utopia City.
2. The Dallas Arboretum. Last year’s Chihuly glass exhibit was spectacular, but the arboretum rocks all year, every year. It’s squirrel and bunny heaven, and the perfect spot for relaxing and enjoying the gorgeousness of White Rock Lake, native flowers and trees, and the exquisite DeGolyer House.
3. The Arts District. We’ve got the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Wyly Theatre, the Winspear Opera House, Strauss Square, Sammons Park and its reflecting pool, and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts all within a 10-minute walk of each other. Not to mention world-class dining like Samar and Tei-An Soba House, just to to mention two of my favorites. I also include the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Klyde Warren Park in this category, since they, too, are within walking distance of the Arts District.
4. Amazing architecture. From the 1902 Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe (designed by Nicholas J. Clayton) to the the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (Santiago Calatrava) -- opened in 2012, we’ve got world-class architecture all around us. In the Arts District alone, we have four buildings on Flora Street constructed by Pritzker Prize-winning masters: the Wyly Theatre (Joshua Prince-Ramus with Pritzker winner Rem Koolhaas), Winspear Opera House (Norman Foster), Nasher Sculpture Center (Renzo Piano), and the Meyerson Symphony Center (I.M. Pei). Pei also designed the Dallas City Hall; Pritzker winner Thom Payne designed the Perot Museum. Fair Park, built in the late 1930s, has the largest collection of 1930s Art Deco exposition buildings in the world. Check out the Dallas Center for Architecture if you’re not convinced.
5. Oak Cliff. Dallas’ first suburb has the grand, leafy beauty of the Kessler Park area, the charming boutiques and eateries of the Bishop Arts District, the historic Texas and Kessler theaters, and much more. Not to mention Jason Roberts, a Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year finalist in 2012, whom we described as “a relentless promoter of bicycling and other resident-friendly initiatives in Oak Cliff.” Oak Cliff survived Dallas’ worst tornado, in 1957, and went through a period of being deemed scuzzy and run-down. Now it’s deservedly thought of as ultra-hip and fun.
7. Dean Fearing. Great chef, great alt-country guitar player, great cowboy boots. He's the Dallas triple-threat in one extremely talented, gracious man.
8. Neiman Marcus. Want Fashion Week inspiration, something to wear to your best friend’s wedding on a private Caribbean island or the job interview of your life? It’s all here, in the sensuous, ultra-deluxe world crafted by the inimitable Stanley Marcus. Visiting the downtown flagship store is like no other shopping experience in the world, with unbelievable service, displays so gorgeous they’re museum-worthy, and while it’s generally pricey, you can find things to fit almost any budget. And, believe it or not, it’s dog-friendly!
9. Kelly Clarkson. OK, she’s actually from Burleson, but we dang well claim her. Her American Idol audition (for the show’s first year) was at Dallas’ historic Sons of Hermann Hall, so there you go. Six albums (including one of greatest hits), multiple Grammys (including a brand-new one for Stronger in the best pop-vocal album category) and near-universal adoration later, she’s our home girl to the max.
10. Sports. Three world-championship teams, the Dallas Cowboys (five Super Bowl wins), the Dallas Stars (1999 Stanley Cup winners), and the Dallas Mavericks (2011 national champions). The Texas Rangers have been American League champs twice (2010 and 2011); let’s hope the third time’s the charm and we’re adding a World Series title come fall.
11. It’s not Houston. Self-explanatory to anyone who’s been to Houston.