GOOD TIMES

The Dallas image is of black glass buildings and blue serge executives. Dallas is a city of understated elegance, of subdued opulence. We quietly drive our earth-toned El Dorados home after work each day and calmly count the new fortunes we have made by being citizens of a thriving city that makes most of its money on paper. Dallas is the city that is renowned for having the quietest football fans of any of the 28 American metropolises that participate in the National Football League. Dallas, if the image is to be believed, is one of the only booming urban areas in this country in which the word “party” never becomes an active verb.

That Image, of course, is wrong. We are hedonists to the last soul, all 914,000 of us. The Eighties are an era in which we Americans have chosen to be good to ourselves, to reward our senses with gratification ranging from a dip in our new hot tub to a weekender in Puerto Vallarta. And Dallas, as we all know, is very much an Eighties city. We don’t just like to party, we live for It. We spent more than $385 million drinking in bars last year. That’s almost as much as the entire city budget. That’s more than last year’s gross revenues for corporate giants like Dr Pepper, Southland Royalty, Southwest Airlines or Mary Kay Cosmetics.

The same basic impulse that causes us to be particular about the material treasures we amass for ourselves – the LaCostes, the Polos, the Cartiers – causes us to have a penchant for the party. If we are truly living the good life, then it only follows that the way to live it is through the good times. “Let’s party” has become the litany for the Eighties. Call it escapism if you will, it’s also Just plain fun. The following pages explore hedonistic Dallas. They are our guide to the good times. Welcome to the party.

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