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					explore                                                        happy trails, old west clichés—
                                                               dallas has emerged as a business,
                                                               fashion and cultural destination




   urbane
                                                                    My hometown of Austin has a venerated music and film scene and, every
                                                               other year, the best free entertainment going: the goofball Texas Legislature.
                                                               San Antonio is the center of Latino culture and home to the Alamo. Houston is
                                                               all about energy and the space race. Fort Worth has high art and the state’s
                                        BY EVAN SMITH          hat-and-cattle heritage. But what’s the unique selling proposition of Dallas?
                                                                    The cliché is outsized opulence and high-society hijinks, but the reality is
                                   PHOTOGRAPHY BY              more nuanced. Yes, everything’s bigger in the nation’s ninth-largest city, but
                                    CAROlYN BROWN              there’s plenty to do on a small scale—and across a wide spectrum. When my
                                                               wife and I and our kids (a spunky 10 and 6) spend a day in Big D, here’s what




    cowboy
                                                               we like to do.

                                                               Tripping The arT fanTasTic
                                                                   We begin at the Nasher Sculpture Center, in the downtown arts district.
                                                               This still-nascent indoor/outdoor museum exhibits some of the finest modern
                                                               and contemporary sculpture on the planet—by the likes of Brancusi, Cham-
                                                               berlain, de Kooning, Judd, Serra and Twombly—collected over a lifetime by
                        Dallas’ iconography has evolved        the late world-class philanthropists Raymond and Patsy Nasher. The Renzo
                        beyond Stetsons and cowboy
                        boots. The Texas city now features
                                                               Piano–designed building contains a comfortable and inviting 10,000-square-
                        landmarks, like the geodesic Reunion   foot gallery, but the real revelation is the one-and-a-half-acre garden out
                        Tower (left) and the revolving
                        Magnolia Petroleum Company
                                                               back—a wonderland for the eyes and imagination, with massive installations
                        trademark (top, middle), a red         that you can walk through and among or just gaze at for hours. Rarely does an
                        neon pegasus that was restored in
                        1999. The indoor/outdoor Nasher
                                                               art space leave such a lasting impression; after making the full rounds the first
                        Sculpture Center exhibits some of      time, I wanted to do it again. Immediately. And then come back the next week.
                        the world’s finest modern sculpture,
                        including Magdalena Abakanowicz’s
                                                                   We’re more plain-old history buffs than tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorists,
                        Bronze Crowd (top, right).             but we like to head next to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the vast



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                                                                                                                                                                   The Renzo Piano–designed Nasher
explore                                                                                                                                                          Sculpture Center is the culmination of
                                                                                                                                                                      a lifetime of collecting by the late
                                                                                                                                                                   philanthropists Raymond and Patsy
                                                                                                                                                                 Nasher. The museum’s one-and-a-half-
                                                                                                                                                                 acre garden offers massive sculpture

                             the heart of texas                                                                                                                      installations that visitors can walk
                                                                                                                                                                       among or just gaze at for hours.


                                  Dallas is a city of givers.
                                  The constellation of the stratospherically generous stretches
                             far and wide, but the brightest star these days is T. Boone Pickens,
                             the wildcatter, takeover artist and water baron of yore who
                             donated a total of more than $400 million in 2005 and 2006.
                                  The beneficiaries of his benevolence ranged from the Dallas
                             Center for the Performing Arts to the American Civil Rights Coali-
                             tion in Sacramento, but his biggest gift went to the Oklahoma
                             State University Foundation in Stillwater—more than $165 million
                             to build various athletics facilities, including Boone Pickens Sta-
                             dium. (Pickens is a graduate of Oklahoma A&M University, which
                             later became OSU.)
                                  This year, the 79-year-old is on pace to meet or beat his own
                             philanthropic precedent. On a single day in May, he gave $50
                             million each to two medical campuses in the University of Texas
                             system: Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and the M.D.
                             Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
                                                            Speaking of cancer, the greatest cause célèbre
                                                       headquartered in Dallas is Susan G. Komen for the
                                                       Cure (formerly the Susan G. Komen Breast Can-
                                                       cer Foundation), which was established 25 years
                                                       ago following its 36-year-old namesake’s death by
                                                       her sister, Nancy Brinker. With 75,000 volunteers
                                                       and 122 affiliates in 47 states, Komen invests in
                                                       research, education and health services—some
                                                       $1 billion to date—making it the largest source of
                                                       nonprofit funds targeted to battling the disease.
                                                       Among its most successful events: the 5K run/
                                                       fitness walk known as the Race for the Cure, now
                                                       with 1.5 million participants in 120 separate races
                                                       across the globe. • E.S.
                   Dallas philanthropist T. Boone Pickens (top) and
                   breast cancer activist Nancy G. Brinker (bottom).




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             The casual Twisted Root Burger                                                                                                                          The Spirit of Centennial marks the entrance to the Smithsonian-
explore      Company features impressively
             dressed-up versions of America’s
             favorite food and Texas’ best
                                                                                                                                                                       affiliated Women’s Museum, where the accomplishments and
                                                                                                                                                                                     achievements of American women come to life.

             hand-cut fries.                                                        archive of photographs, artifacts and other
                                                                                    “interpretive materials” related to the vibrant life
                                                                                    and tragic death of President John F. Kennedy.
                                                                                    The museum is housed in the old Texas School
                                                                                    Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald
                                                                                    shot the president from a window on the south-
                                                                                    east corner of the sixth floor (hence the name).
                                                                                    The sniper’s perch has been carefully recreated
                                                                                    and preserved behind glass, so you can see a
                                                                                    precise approximation of what it looked like on
                                                                                    that fateful day in November of 1963. The exhib-
                                                                                    its are arranged chronologically, so you step off
                                                                                    the elevator into what is, quite literally, a more
                                                                                    innocent time—the groovy early ’60s—and then
                                                                                    experience events as they unfold. By the time
                                                                                    you’ve reached the moment at which a somber
                                                                                    Lyndon Johnson is sworn in on Air Force One,
                                                                                    you really feel like you’ve relived history.

                                                                                    fair games
                                                                                         For lunch, it’s worth the short drive over to
                                                   The 277-acre Fair Park is a      Deep Ellum, an eclectic neighborhood with a
                                                    recreational complex best       rich cultural history. Tucked among the assorted
                                                known as the site of the largest
                                                 state fair in the United States.   tattoo shops and dive bars is a terrific place to
                                                 “Big Tex” has been welcoming       eat: the Twisted Root Burger Company, whose
                                                            guests since 1952.
                                                                                    menu features plain and impressively dressed-up
                                                                                    versions of (per the name) America’s favorite
                                                                                    food, plus the best hand-cut fries I can ever
                                                                                    remember eating. The place is informal in the
                                                                                    manner of a restaurant/bar, and the vibe is
                                                                                    casual; when you order at the counter, you’re
                                                                                    given a card with the name of an obscure TV
                                                                                    or movie character (I was “Art Vandelay” from
                                                                                    Seinfeld), which they shout out when your order
                                                                                    is ready. A fancy feast it isn’t. But fun? Definitely.
                                                                                         Because all we want to do after a big meal
                                                                                    is walk it off, our preferred afternoon stop—our
                                                                                    only stop, actually—is Fair Park. The 277-acre
                                                                                    recreational complex is best known as the site                midnighT cowboy
                                                                                    of the largest state fair in the United States, the               After a late jaunt to the Uptown neighborhood—one of the
                                                                                    State Fair of Texas, which begins on the last                 voguish shopping and entertainment villages popping up in
                                                                                    Friday in September and runs for 24 days, until               urban areas all across the country, with high-end boutiques,
                                                                                    the third Sunday in October.                                  movie theaters and chic eateries situated around and under
                                                                                         But the rest of the year there’s so much to              handsomely built condominium and loft buildings—we could
                                                                                    see, including the Cotton Bowl, a truly legendary             hardly do better than head back to the arts district to have
                                                                                    football stadium where the famous Red River                   a drink at the bar of Stephan Pyles’ eponymous restaurant
                                                                                    Shootout, between the University of Texas and                 (soda pop for the kids!) followed by a long, lingering dinner.
                                                                                    the University of Oklahoma, comes off each fall;              So many chefs became duller than their favorite knives when
                                                                                    the Hall of State, a limestone memorial to the                they achieve celebrity, but not Pyles, a fifth-generation Texan
                                                                                    heroes of Texas history; the Smithsonian-affiliated           and founding father of Southwestern cuisine who has hung
                                                                                    Women’s Museum, where the accomplishments                     his apron in too many big-time kitchens of his own creation to
                                                                                    and achievements of American women come to                    count (three of the most famous are Routh Street Café, Star
                                                                                    life; and the Dallas World Aquarium and the city’s            Canyon and AquaKnox). The fare here is global, influenced
                                                                                    fine Museum of Nature & Science, two must-dos                 by Spain, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and it’s all
                                                                                    for the young and young at heart.                             good—the product of a master foodie at the top of his game.


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                                                                                                             comfort food
                                                                                                             W h i le Da l las may conjure up i mages
                                                                                                             of cowboy hats and rodeos, the Texas
                                                                                                             metropolis has a generous streak that
                                                                                                             stretches to the dinner table. Located in
                                                                                                             the state known for its “go big, or go home”
                                                                                                             attitude, the city can only be expected to
                                                                                                             employ a similar demeanor when helping
                                                                                                             those in need.
                                                                                                                 In September, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
                                                                                                             hosted The Opening, a Culinary Arts Expe-
                                                                                                             rience, to benefit Chefs for Humanity. The
                                                                                                             organization, headed by Food Network’s
                                                                                                             Iron Chef Cat Cora, provides meal assis-
                                                                                                             tance to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
                                                                                                                 With special appearances by Cora,
                                                                                                             chef Dean Fearing and Bon Appétit editor-
                                                                                                             in-chief Barbara Fairchild, The Opening
                                                                                                             offered guests a backstage tour of Fearing’s
                                                                                                             kitchen, cookbook signings, classes and
                                                                                                             seminars, and
                                                                                                             a multi-course
                                                                                                             gala dinner to
                                                                                                             benefit Chefs
                                                                                                             f o r H u m a n i t y.
                                                                                                             The Ritz-Carlton
                                                                                                             chefs also shared
                                                                                                             their culinary
                                                                                                             knowledge with
                                                             A Dallas shopping institution, Neiman Marcus.
                                                                                                             attendees.
                                                                                                                 The Open-
                                     At this point, all that’s left to do—and no trip to Dallas
                                                                                                             ing was just one
                                would be complete without it—is make a pilgrimage to the
                                downtown Neiman Marcus, one of the most famous links in                      more way to
                                one of the most famous chains in the world. Opened all the                   have fun while
                                way back in 1907 (yes, somebody’s having a birthday), this                   giving back to
                                particular store is so elegant and extravagant, so architec-                 the community.
                                turally significant, so full of life—and gloriously fashionable
                                                                                                             W h a t ’s m o r e ,
                                duds—that just stepping inside is a rite of passage in the lives
                                                                                                             it’s yet another
                                of Texans and a transformative experience for one and all, on
                                par with eating at Chez Panisse in Berkeley or sipping a cock-               reason why Dal-
                                tail at the Oak Bar of the old Plaza Hotel in New York. I defy               las is ear ning
                                you to get out of there without putting your credit card on the              a philanthropic
                                                                                                                                                            The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
                                counter; balloons should have come down the millionth time                   reputation as-                                 with Chef Dean Fearing,
                                our fashion-forward daughter asked us to buy her this or that.                                                              Bon Appétit editor-in-
                                                                                                             sociated with                                  chief Barbara Fairchild
                                In a city of big things, no retail establishment—no establish-                                                              and Iron Chef‘s Cat Cora
                                                                                                             operative mov-
                                ment, period—is bigger. •                                                                                                   host The Opening, a
                                                                                                             ers and shakers.                               Culinary Arts Experi-
                                                                                                                                                            ence to benefit Chefs
                                                                                                             • AMANDA CHAN                                  for Humanity.




ABOVE PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF NEIMAN MARCUS                                                                                                                   ritzcarlton.com    81

				
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