Are there places you won’t go? For me, for a long time, that was Dallas. It wasn’t anything about the city itself, just bad memories about things that happened there a long time ago. Bad enough to keep me away for 14 years, and likely they would have kept me away forever if I hadn’t been offered a work project that would mean travel to Dallas.
I was terribly nervous leading up to the trip, but this is a project I love being a part of, so not going was never really a consideration. It didn’t hurt that while DC had just been hit with another round of snow, I arrived in Dallas on a bright sunny day with temperatures in the low 70s. I dropped off my bags at my utterly charming little hotel, and raced over to the Nasher Sculpture Center, eager to wander around their lush, green sculpture garden and soak in the art, warmth, and sunshine.
Leaving the Nasher just before closing, I wandered over to Klyde Warren Park, a vibrant, modern space that was bursting with people and activity. It had amazing playgrounds, a drum circle, games to check out, a lending library, splash pads, and dozens of people spread out on picnic blankets. The modern architecture, art, and energy that had been infused into the downtown area was impressive. I’d read about the efforts to revitalize the business-centric downtown area, but this was the first time I’d experienced it and it was nice to get lose myself in the bustle and buzz of the hundreds of people lounging around in the park. After a few hours admiring all the architectural details, indulging in food trucks, and people watching, I felt a little warmth growing within me for Dallas.
The days went by quickly. I spent a little time with relatives who live in the area, ate at a few excellent restaurants, and even got chauffeured around in an SUV with a longhorn skull mounted on it’s grill. It was easier than I imagined not to dwell on the past, and get to know a different Dallas.