Saturday, April 16, 2011

Exploring Downtown Dallas

For the first time in a long time, I walked around downtown, just seeing what there was to see.

Starting near City Hall and the main library, I walked north to Pegasus Park, passing and admiring the old Federal Reserve with its neoclassical columns, noticing how blank the ATA&T buildings are, though the trees and fountains of their park (where there was once a street) are lovely.  A beautiful, cool morning.  A surprising number of people around, mostly young, often with children or dogs.  I stuck my head in the Adolphus Hotel (est. 1911, 100 years old) to enjoy the dark paneling, secluded bar, and the French Room's frolicking putti and lady-like nymphs (no slipshod, slippery drapery for them!).

Adolphus Hotel image courtesy of The Portal to Texas History
(if any objection to this use, please ask and it will be removed)

Pegasus park is nice, with trees and big rocks; small girls in spangly outfits were hopping up and over them.  If you tip your head way, way back you can see Pegasus atop the Magnolia Building.  Some of the new condos around here must have a fantastic view of its red neon at night.  Many old buildings in this part of town have good details if you look up.  The Kirby building, for instance, is faux gothic with big faces staring back at you.  And a charming lobby.

Wandering into Neiman Marcus, I took the '50-'60s elevators to the Zodiac Room.  Quite a few casual chic young matrons with strollers there.  Old money, Neiman Marcus - with that shabby elegance of old money with nothing to prove.  Some beautiful things in the "decorative stuff" department.  I walked on to the newest downtown park, a big lawn with romping kids and dogs and overlooked by the old Dallas Hilton, a vintage '50s modern building that is due to be (well we hope) refurbished.  A lot of character.  After that, a stop in the Urban Market grocery, which, honestly, looked a bit wilted, though their cafe seemed livelier and their alley/courtyard green and pleasant.

Returning to the car, I drove to the Farmers' Market to walk around the vegetable booths - buying yellow squash, green beans, and corn on the cob.  I surveyed Mexican pots and glazed lizards and sun faces at the pottery place and smelled spring flowers and herbs at the landscape nursery.  Lunch was a huge corned beef sandwich.

A successful survey.  I should do this more often.

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