So here we are. The new year has arrived and, with it, many resolutions. Self improvement overload? You bet. How to be a better this or that … a better spouse, parent, broker, manager, producer, leader, lover, golfer, church-goer, etc.
This year, instead of pledging to commit to a new diet or self-improvement plan, why not change things up? Why not set a resolution for personal growth by creating a Dallas bucket list of things to do.
I’d like to suggest one that helps you connect or reconnect with urban Dallas. You’ll not only become better acquainted with downtown, but a better cultural citizen—one who’s empowered with knowledge, fun experiences, and a visceral sense of pride in our great city. By investing time in our rebounding central business district, I think you’ll be surprised by what you find.
As you know, 2012 brought a number of transformative gifts to Dallas—a bridge, two urban parks, and a museum among them. Why not pledge to visit these new projects and some other landmarks of Dallas? Interact with the visions of past, present, and future leaders of our city. Partake in their dreams and share the experience with family and friends. Then become a vocally proud and passionate ambassador of our great city.
Take up the challenge and become connected. Inspiration comes to those who take initiative!
Here’s my partial personal “Dallas CBD Challenge” list for 2013. They may provide ideas in getting you started.
• Dine at the at the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel and stroll the Belo Gardens Park, Pioneer Park, the Kennedy Memorial Cenotaph, and John Neely Bryant’s Cabin.
• Dine at Mesomaya and spend an afternoon at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
• Take the pups for a walk in Klyde Warren Park and enjoy a picnic “date lunch” on the great lawn or at one of the half-dozen unique food trucks serving patrons of the park.
• Drive the Margret Hunt Hill Bridge, Calatrava ‘s latest masterpiece, over the Trinity River. Then either enjoy a great Texas-sized lunch at Babb Bros. Barbecue and a new tap brew at Four Corners Brewing Co. in the new Trinity Groves development of West Dallas or drive on to the Bishop Arts District and grab lunch at Hattie’s or Veracruz, then explore the neighborhood’s retail shops.
• Visit Fountain Place’s fountains, have lunch at Dakota’s, and visit the Dallas World Aquarium.
• Dine at Stephan Pyle’s new restaurant Stampede, then enjoy an evening stroll through the Klyde Warren Park. (The park is a completely different experience at night, when the lights of Uptown and downtown Dallas come alive.)
• Visit the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art at least once this year.
• Visit Main Street Park then “cocktail crawl” Main Street, starting at the hip new Union Park; enjoy the views from the Joule’s rooftop bar, and then sink my teeth into a juicy, aged bone-in rib-eye at the Dallas Chop House.
• After dining in One Arts Plaza, see a show at each of these venues: the City of Dallas’ new Performing Arts Center, the Winspear Opera House, the Meyerson Symphony Center, and Annette Strauss Park.
• Pledge to Ride DART downtown to the Bryan Street/Pearl Street station. Visit Cancer Survivor Park and the Crow Asian Art Exhibit.
• Ride, hike, or bike the Katy Trail to Victory Park and dine at the Tavern and then enjoy a concert at the House of Blues.
• Ride, hike, or bike the Katy Trail to the West End, and visit the 6th Floor and Holocaust museums one afternoon.
• Lunch in Deep Ellum at Adair’s, enjoy a home-grown brew at the Deep Ellum Brewery, and visit the Farmers Market, which features the area’s best supply of high-quality organic produce and landscape shrubbery.
By taking on this challenge, you will discover a remarkably fun and sophisticated municipality. Dallas has matured into a new millennium city that can finally compete with the culturally rich and diverse heavyweights from around the world. Long known for its frontier spirit, its Dallas Cowboys, its larger than life billionaire entrepreneurs, J.R. Ewing, and its unique “can-do attitude,” the city can now truly boast of a cultural depth not seen before.
So please consider “two-stepping” your way through Dallas in 2013 by “stepping up and stepping out” at least one day a month. Pledge to enjoy your city’s urban landmarks, retail areas, cultural arts centers, and treasured historic landmark treasures. You’ll be glad you did.