Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Visiting Dallas: A President and a Prince

 Short weekend trips to see Eric Kunze performances give me the opportunity to see cities I might not visit.  Attending the theater in the evening leaves my days free to explore and get to know my surroundings.  I've been to Boston, St. Louis, Philly, Hartford, Sacramento, Lake Havasu, Vero Beach, Washington DC, Montreal and Ottawa.  Now I can add Dallas to that list.   I was there to see him as "Prince Eric" in the touring company of "The Little Mermaid".  I had already seen him in that role in  The Music Circus in Sacramento, but this was a totally different cast and production, with more elaborate sets, costumes and special effects. 
Dallas is a city unlike Chicago or New York, where you can walk for miles and encounter a continuous stream of shops and restaurants. There are pockets like that, but are spaced throughout the city.  The Arts District, with the Art Institute and the performance hall is one such area, fronted by a large park and a variety of interesting-looking food trucks. The area around my hotel had a few shops, including the flagship Nieman Marcus and a few good restaurants I had the pleasure of trying.  Then there is Deep Ellum, a funky, artsy neighborhood with lots of clubs and music venues.  Not an area you would necessarily want to walk through by yourself in the evening.  The main thing that makes Dallas stand out is, of course, the place President Kennedy was assassinated in 1962.  Visiting the Book Depository, where Oswald worked and fired the shots and seeing the X on the street where the motorcade was when the assassination occurred was very moving for me.
 Dallas is very pedestrian friendly and there are parks everywhere.  The property at the foot of this bridge is being turned into a 10,000 acre park with playgrounds and playing fields.  One thing I appreciated about the city is that as I was walking I was never far from a park bench where I could stop and rest when I got tired.