Friday, May 21, 2010

Downtown Dallas

If I were to choose one unforgettable impromptu trip in 2009, then it's my trip to Dallas, Texas! Based in McKinney, Texas, my Aunt Jeannie and Uncle Jay were very generous to sponsor my roundtrip ticket from Charlottesville (Virginia) to Dallas-Fortworth which is worth $630. I'd say it's pretty pricey for an interstate trip, but, heck, it's been four years that we haven't seen each other. So there.

For lack of any significant tourist attraction in McKinney, the awesome couple brought me to Dallas one fine spring Saturday. One notable thing is, the road trip was without traffic and one will be amazed by just watching the sceneries along the freeway. Known as the third-largest city in Texas and the eighth-largest in the United States, Dallas is way, way different from the image that instantly pops up in my mind whenever the place is mentioned. It's more than the place where JFK was shot and the TV series of the same name way, way back.

A glimpse of Downtown Dallas and a bit of its skyline

American Airlines Center, the home of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League, Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association, and the Dallas Vigilantes of the Arena Football League

This is, I think, the most credible proof that I have been to Dallas. One of the most recognizable landmarks in Dallas, Reunion Tower is a 561-feet observation tower and a fine example of modernist architecture. Beside it is the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

Souvenir shot inside Hyatt Regency Dallas where famous landmarks of the city are displayed

Fountain Place is a 60-story late-modernist skyscraper in Dallas. The building is known for its unique architecture. It was designed as a large, multi-faceted prism. Its various slanted sides cause the building to have a completely different profile from all directions. The building gets its name from the array of 172 dancing fountains in the plaza at its base.  

At the Reunion Boulevard with my cousins Harvey & Julia

West End Historic District

We also did a walk-a-thon at the West End Historic District. The area that would become the West End originally consisted simply of a trading post, established by John Neely Bryan, the founder of the city of Dallas. The district reached nationwide prominence in the 1960s, however, when President John F. Kennedy was shot in its Dealey Plaza. 

 At the giant dinosaur in West End Market Place with cousins Pinky, Julia & Harvey

Strolling in the Market Street

The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture is a museum in Dallas. The building was formerly the Dallas County Courthouse, affectionately known as the Old Red Courthouse and built in 1891 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style.

 The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a museum located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building (formerly the Texas School Book Depository). The museum examines the life, times, death, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. It is located at the very spot from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy.

I was pointing to the exact spot (marked with "X") along Elm Street where JFK was shot. Here, there were tourists participating in a JFK guided walking tour.

The Dealey Plaza Historic District was named a National Historic Landmark in 1993 to preserve Dealey Plaza, street rights-of-way, and buildings and structures by the plaza visible from the assassination site, that have been identified as witness locations or as possible assassin locations.

Apart from the precious time I spent with my favorite aunt & her family, I was very grateful that my trip to Dallas was laden with historical value and childlike fun. Notwithstanding the tired legs caused  by our impromptu walking tour, I wouldn't mind going back there... soon! LOL!

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