One Per­fect Day: Dal­las

Your guide to mak­ing the most of 24 hours, deep in the heart of Texas

Qantas - - Contents - Cather­ine Mar­shall.

DAL­LAS has shaken off the shoul­der pads, big hair and wheel­ing and deal­ing – hall­marks of the epony­mous 1980s TV show that made the city fa­mous. Yes, there’s some­thing fa­mil­iar about the glass-and-steel sky­line that rises from the flat Texan land­scape but the cranes piv­ot­ing around it in­di­cate a city on the move. Founded on cot­ton, oil, ranches and rail­roads, Dal­las is a di­verse eco­nomic hub and one of the fastest­grow­ing cities in the United States. Scores of Amer­i­can com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing For­tune 500s, are head­quar­tered here. And while the city has re­tained some of that old charm – cow­boy boots, South­ern hos­pi­tal­ity, Tex-Mex – it’s now also home to so­phis­ti­cated food, wine and arts scenes.


Join a med­i­ta­tion or tai chi class or go for a walk around Klyde War­ren Park (kly­de­war­ren­, an ur­ban gar­den built, im­prob­a­bly, over the freeway that con­nects Up­town, Down­town and the Arts Dis­trict. Grab a cof­fee from one of the food trucks lined up around the park.


Dal­las is well ser­viced by trains and buses but Uber of­fers ease of move­ment be­tween its diver­gent at­trac­tions – and the chance to chat with the res­o­lutely friendly lo­cals. Hop in your ride and head to Ellen’s South­ern Kitchen & Bar (1790 North Record Street; +1 469 206 3339), lo­cated five min­utes away in the West End. This his­toric ware­house-filled area is un­der­go­ing tech­no­log­i­cal re­fur­bish­ments such as the in­stal­la­tion of free pub­lic wi-fi and in­ter­ac­tive dig­i­tal kiosks of­fer­ing mo­bile-charg­ing sta­tions, touch­screen maps and pub­lic-tran­sit sched­ules. Ellen’s menu fea­tures plenty of South­ern com­fort food such as bis­cuits, gravy and grits. For a true fu­sion of old and new, try the grits Bene­dict: poached eggs on a bed of spinach, crum­bled hick­ory ba­con and cheesy grits.


Walk five min­utes to The Sixth Floor Mu­seum at Dealey Plaza ( for a solemn, thought­ful look at the life and death of one of the most beloved Amer­i­can pres­i­dents, John F. Kennedy. It was from the sixth floor of this for­mer book de­pos­i­tory that Lee Har­vey Oswald fa­tally shot Kennedy as the pres­i­dent’s mo­tor­cade passed by in Novem­ber 1963. Peer down from the win­dow through which Oswald aimed his ri­fle and un­der­stand how this pleas­ant Texan streetscape was trans­formed into a site of deep na­tional grief.


Lighten the mood by ex­plor­ing the Arts Dis­trict (dal­lasarts dis­, a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk away. Span­ning 28 hectares and 19 blocks, it’s the largest con­tigu­ous ur­ban arts dis­trict in the US. Don’t miss Dale Chi­huly’s bright glass flow­ers adorn­ing the win­dows in the Ha­mon Atrium at the Dal­las Mu­seum of Art (; free ad­mis­sion) or the vast, thrilling col­lec­tion by mas­ters such as Miró, Pi­casso, de Koon­ing and Gi­a­cometti at the Renzo Pi­ano-de­signed Nasher Sculp­ture Cen­ter (nash­er­sculp­ture­cen­


It’s a 10-minute drive to Trin­ity Groves (trin­i­ty­groves. com), a six-hectare restau­rant, re­tail, arts and en­ter­tain­ment de­vel­op­ment in gen­tri­fied West Dal­las. The space is crammed with con­cept restau­rants launched by up-and-com­ing chefs as part of a unique in­cu­ba­tor pro­gram. Chal­lenge and de­light your taste­buds at Chino Chi­na­town (chino chi­na­, where chef Uno Im­manivong blends Chi­nese and Latin Amer­i­can flavours in dishes such as chicken tinga won­tons (chipo­tle chicken, yuzu gua­camole, Oax­aca cheese) and elote (grilled corn, Cotija cheese, tog­a­rashi and Sriracha aïoli). Af­ter­wards, pop into Cake Bar (cake­bar dal­ for a slice of South­ern-style sweet­ness.


Love him or not, for­mer Amer­i­can pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush is pre­sented in vivid, fas­ci­nat­ing de­tail at the coun­try’s new­est pres­i­den­tial li­brary (georgew­bush­li­ A 10-minute drive will de­liver you to the nine-hectare Bush Cen­ter, set on the cam­pus of South­ern Methodist Univer­sity. Spend some quiet time brows­ing the ex­hi­bi­tions that trace Bush’s pres­i­dency. Most stir­ring is the Septem­ber 11 re­mem­brance dis­play, which fea­tures a soar­ing, bat­tered steel beam from the World Trade Cen­ter.


It’s 20 min­utes by road to Bishop Arts Dis­trict( bish­oparts­dis­ – Dal­las’s best-kept se­cret, ac­cord­ing to those in the know. The sag­ging weath­er­board bun­ga­lows typ­i­cal of this South Dal­las neigh­bour­hood are be­ing re­vamped and the main streets re­flect this cre­ative spirit with a bur­geon­ing col­lec­tion of restau­rants, bars, cof­fee shops, gal­leries and bou­tiques. Fuel up with a slice of French silk choco­late pie with pret­zel crust or but­ter­milk chess pie from spe­cialty shop Emporium Pies

(From top) AT&T Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter in the Arts Dis­trict; for­mer Amer­i­can pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline are im­mor­talised at The Sixth Floor Mu­seum

Down­town’s flashy sky­line flanks Klyde War­ren Park, a green space “cre­ated out of thin air” over an eight-lane freeway

Willem de Koon­ing’s Seated Woman at Nasher Sculp­ture Cen­ter (left); the Ge­orge W. Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary and Mu­seum houses a full-size replica of the Oval Of­fice

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