WELCOME TO DALLAS, TEXAS
In "Big D", sports has seemingly formed a holy alliance with shopping and the arts, occasionally yielding surprising encounters. Some brothers wear cowboy hats and boots as gracefully as an Armani suit. And many sistahs can tell you who starts on the Dallas Cowboys and point to the brand new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington with pride. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is an integral part of the city's major arts district. This "All-Pro" sports, shopping and arts alliance branches across the metroplex and infuses all aspects of your visit.
When Downtown, All-Pro shoppers don't miss a chance to explore Nieman Marcus showcase department store since 1907. Next they sample Dallas Underground, which consists of three miles of tunnels lined with shops and restaurants connecting a cluster of skyscrapers. When they surface, you can't help but notice the iconic Fountain Place, Bank of America Plaza and Reunion Tower. All-Pro culture hounds find Dallas Arts District a most welcome treat. Spanning a master-planned 68 acres on the north side of downtown, this district is home to Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Meyerson Symphony Center, Booker T. Washington School for the Arts, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and three historic churches. When the new opera house, two theatres and artist square open in late 2009, it promises to become one of the top 3 comprehensive arts districts in America.
West End, formerly a warehouse and distribution center on the western end of downtown, captured international attention when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in adjoining Dealey Plaza. Today the plaza is a National Historic Landmark and the Texas School Book Depository has been re-imagined as The Sixth Floor Museum, representing one theory of how events unfolded on that fateful day. Nearby buildings were saved from demolition in the 1970s. So today, a mix of museums, historical sites, restaurants and bars attracts 7 million people annually to West End. On the east side of downtown, Pioneer Plaza, with the largest collection of outdoor bronze sculptures (cattle) in America next to the massive convention center and near Farmers Market. As a result, downtown supports a 19-20 hour day of activities.
Though across State 366 Freeway, Victory Park (map) looks and feels like an extension of Downtown. Its master-planned combination of chic hotels, designer boutiques, spas, sports bars, restaurants, lounges, and American Airlines Center attracts All-Pro sports fans and yuppies alike. A forest of construction activity should sustain it as one of the hottest real estate markets in Big D.
Just west of Victory Park, several notable trade buildings and hotels along I-35 Freeway dot the landscape. They include Infomart, World Trade Center, Trade Mart, International Floral & Gift Center, that comprise Dallas Market Center (map). The market center and convention center make Dallas one of the most popular convention destinations in America.
Few places speak of elegant exuberance like Uptown-West Village (map), located next to both Dallas Arts District and Victory Park. This district showcases the widest range of upscale boutiques, fine dining, famous hotels, Dallas Theater Center, art & crafts galleries, antique shops, and cineplexes. West Village, the “ultra-chic” sub-district of Uptown, contains more than 70 shops and restaurants alone. A highlight every visitor should explore is the McKinney Avenue Trolley, which travels along blocks of restaurants, cafes and nightclubs in its route connecting Uptown with the Dallas Arts District. Of special note within a few blocks of a trolley stop, is the captivating Freedman’s Cemetery Memorial. Its a nicely decorated pre-Civil War burial ground of slaves and free persons of color.
Travel north along Greenville Avenue (map) through another of Dallas' favorite nightlife destinations. Further north, more shopper havens call for your presence, particularly the gargantuan Dallas Galleria and NorthPark Center. An expression for shopper's glee is now appropriate. If All-Pro shoppers can’t find it in Dallas, you can't find it …"
Fair Park (map) holds the region’s largest collection of family attractions, the African American Museum, and the nationally famous Cotton Bowl. Other family attractions include the Dallas World Aquarium complete with rainforest waterfalls, expansive animal habitats at Dallas Zoo, and as no surprise for Texas, its theme parks contain some of the tallest, fastest thrill rides.
Deep Ellum (map) gets its name from early 20th century pronunciation of Elm Street, when it was a center of Black culture and one of the nation's leading producers of Blues music. It’s the reason Blues and Jazz roots run deep here. In terms of new school entertainment, Deep Ellum and other areas also represent a vibrant Hip-Hop scene for Dallas.South Dallas Cultural Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Booker T. Washington School for Performing Arts, which graduated Erykah Badu, and Black Forest Theater anchor the list of Afrocentric attractions. And few ministers command the admiration of Bishop T.D. Jakes at the immense Potter’s House.
Magnificent palaces of every pursuit and out-sized affection for the Dallas Cowboys are just metaphors for the heart of “Big D”. They’re giving a (one last time) All-Pro shout out, “Welcome to the land of Living Large.”