Dallas: Manatee Eating Lettuce, Modern Art, and Bull Riding

I'm still planning a few posts involving Dallas, but this will be the last about what we've been doing. We're about to pack up, take a quick vacation, and move to our next city! I could stay here longer. Much of Dallas is like a good poem. I could enjoy many of its parks and environments regularly and still want to return to them. This doesn't mean I want to live here forever though, just that I don't feel entirely ready to go. Here are some things we've done recently.

Luche Libre Wrestling (above): Cinco De Mayo festival! We were enticed by one of the biggest festivals at nearby city hall. It had everything from big name performers like Nelly to Luche Libre Wrestling. The event was entirely free and was tied to the immigration march of thousands of people through downtown. Si Se Puede!


Arboretum and Botanical Garden: A short drive or bus ride from the downtown area, the arboretum was a beautiful experience. If you're not particularly into intentionally sculpted landscapes or interested in the labeled trees and flowers, I'd recommend exploring White Rock Lake first. Walking around the lake is just as beautiful in many ways as the garden. Avoid $10 parking by walking from the nearby lake parking or taking a bus.

Crow Collection of Asian Art: Right next to the Dallas Art Museum and just as free. If I had known how small it was, I would have stopped in much sooner, but I kept putting it off because of time I thought I'd need. Now I want to go back and we're out of time! A Tantric art exhibit grabbed my attention as it related to a book I'd just finished. Interesting exhibit for people of all maturity levels as it can be viewed spiritually/abstractly, carnally, or both.


World Aquarium: This "Aquarium" has everything from ant-eaters and monkeys to snakes and panthers. Instead of a bunch of tanks or even just a bunch of really big tanks, multi-level green
houses allow views of many animals from different angles and create the feeling you're in a jungle. I generally dislike zoos and aquariums and there wasn't anything magically different about this one, but I don't regret going. Go on a weekday to avoid the crowd!

Main Street Garden: I mentioned this park briefly in one of my first posts about Dallas, but it keeps getting better. Giant sized jenga pieces and other games are now available at the taco "stand". Nachos and tacos are only $1-$2. It's a great place to relax with a beer or soda in the early evening or afternoon before the sun sinks behind the taller buildings.

Deep Ellum Bark Park: Right on Commerce outside of the downtown is this huge dog park. It's rarely crowded and we haven't had any issues with rude owners or dogs.  White Rock Lake dog park gets very crowded. The Main Street Garden Dog Park is often used as a dog bathroom which doesn't work well since it's all concrete (grass first, people!). The dog-related art that decorates the park is a bonus and worth checking out even if you don't have a dog.


Fountain Place: Another place I briefly mentioned, but didn't emphasize. Definitely worth adding to a "must see" list for walks or visits to downtown. It's hard to take a good picture of the place because it's so big and curves around a corner. Just imagine walking through a forest of trees and fountains like in the picture above, the sounds of the city mixed with rushing and splashing water.


Bull Riding: I wasn't too enthusiastic about this, but I figured it was a must for being in Texas. That's a lie. I was really looking forward to this, I just had mixed feelings about using animals for entertainment. Because most rodeos are now regulated for proper treatment and it's usually the riders who get hurt, we went. I'm glad we went, but I couldn't get into it regularly. A few seconds of excitement with a lot of waiting in between.

Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art: Best museum in the Metroplex! Classic modern fare with some newer work thrown in to keep things interesting. I much prefer the newer, but can understand how some people enjoy the familiar: Warhol, Pollock, Lichtenstein, Bacon. Below are a two favorites of mine and Lindsay's. The third being a favorite of Lindsay's. The building itself was a work of art as many great modern art museums are. The "trees" in the above picture are actually a sculpture by Roxy Paine.

 And the Branches Became as Storm Clouds
Trenton Doyle Hancock

 These Final Hours Embrace at Last; This Is Our Ending, This Is Our Past
Robyn O'Neil

 Untitled (Collage 1)
Jackson Pollock