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Fair Park Architecture

March 16, 2022 Leave a comment

Today was our third tour of Dallas Architecture put on by the AD EX organization. This time, we were accompanied by our friends Larry and Naomi Shirey.

Fair Park is a recreational and educational complex located immediately east of downtown Dallas. The 277-acre area is registered as a Dallas Landmark and National Historic Landmark; many of the buildings were constructed for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. Fair Park has been designated a Great Place in America by the American Planning Association.

Much of the complex was built for the 1936 Centennial Exhibition. It is still the largest single entity Art Deco facility in the country. It is the home of the State Fair of Texas, the Cotton Bowl, and a variety of community events.

Barking accompanyment

March 15, 2022 Leave a comment

We have a nice paved walking trail in the green belt area in front of our house. Just right for a quick mile or two walk to keep the joints loose. And we’re not alone, we have Dog in Wall and Dogs on Balcony the greet us every time we walk by……

Categories: Traveling Tags: , ,

Main Street Architecture

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

Our AD EX tours continued today, this time of the major buildings on Main Street.  This encompassed most of the entire history of Dallas, from the original founding by John Deely Bryan to today.

Unlike Europe, here it’s all recent history, dating back only to the 1850’s.  From skyscrapers by American Pritzker winners Philip Johnson and I.M.Pei, to a hemicycle theater by Frank Lloyd Wright, and a 1970s-era observation tower named Reunion, Dallas architecture says it all. A tour of the city is a fun-filled crash course on designs by world-class architects.

Much of the history is in hotels and banks. There was huge competition to outdo the last building, resulting in one-upmanship in height, materials used and so on. In fact, at one time Dallas had the county’s largest building (Federal Reserve, 1914).

And part of the fascinating history is learning about how the buildings were used, or not used. There are several major buildings (including what is now the Statler Hotel) that were vacant for years and even decades before they were updated and repurposed.

It is almost impossible to photograph these building from the ground, the perspective makes images appear distorted. Nevertheless, I’ve enclosed some pictures to give you an idea of the buildings.

Side note: St. Patricks day is being celebrated in Dallas today, so you may see the occasional green in my pictures… especially of the AT&T Plaza!

Categories: Scenery Tags: , ,

Arts district architecture

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

We recently learned about the AD EX (Dallas Architecture and Design Exchange) organization.  This group gives low cost tours of Dallas area neighborhood for interested people. We joined them for the walking tour of the Dallas Museum of Arts district.

The AD EX Dallas Arts District Architecture Walking Tour examines buildings and developments from the 1890’s to the present day. Led by a trained tour guide, we explored the architectural detail of the District (including the designs of four Pritzker Prize laureates) as well as the institutions, individuals, and visionaries who are a part of this neighborhood’s fascinating story.

We’ve lived in the DFW area for almost 40 years, and this is the first time we really learned about the rich history of the Arts District. We’re looking forward to more tours to come.

Categories: Scenery Tags: , ,

Cataract surgery

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

Like so many people getting older, my eyesight is getting worse. Not noticeably so, as over the long haul you get used to it. Everything appears normal. Then you notice that your vision isn’t what it used to be so of you go to the ophthalmologist.

It didn’t take long to figure that my cataracts need to be removed and replaced with a new lens. So, I scheduled the surgery, one eye at a time. Now, both eyes have been done and I am in the healing process.

Despite some healing issues (that takes time, too) it is immediately obvious that there is a significant improvement. Most noticeable was color, much brighter. I hadn’t realized how my eyes used to apply a brown tint to everything. And, my focus is better. I can now actually read most everything without glasses, although a cheap set of readers does help.

The picture below (very scary!) shows my left eye (the one on the right) still dilated after a doctor visit. Both eyes have had the surgery and lenses replaced. But in general it is back to life as usual.

Categories: Health Tags:

Dallas Blooms

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

The Dallas Arboretum is one of our favorite places to take a walk. As a bonus, there is always something going on, and this time it was Dallas Blooms.  This is where the Arboretum showcases their new plantings, and many flowers and plants are in bloom. But I think the late spring and cold temperatures made the flowers later than usual.

There was a lot of work going on with new planting, and even some construction work with new concert viewing areas. Quite a few flowers were already showing blooms, although we think it will be much better in a few weeks.  Maye we’ll have to plan a return visit.

In fact, we will be back, as we have signed up for several concerts in the park.  Let’s hope for good weather!

Categories: Scenery Tags:

Museum of Art

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

We’ve never gone much to the Dallas Museum of Art, probably never.  That was for two reasons: lack of time and the distance from Lewisville to the DMA.  But now that we live in Mesquite, those restrictions are no longer valid, so we went for our first visit to the DMA.  Also, it was free, but parking was $15 :)….

That place is huge.  It would take weeks to visit all exhibits, and when you’re done, you can start over because exhibits keep being updates.  So we just used this visit to get a lay of the land, and learn the best way to get there and view the exhibits.

Categories: Scenery Tags:

The Meyerson

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

With COVID finally starting to slow down, and since we are fully vaccinated, we decided to go to a few concerts.  Both were held  at the Meyerson Symphony Hall, under strict COVID measures.  You had to show that you were vax’ed, or else had a recent negative test, before you could even get in. And masks were mandatory inside the hall and surroundings.  So we felt safe, at least, as safe as could be.

The Beatles

The first concert was a Beatles tribute, put on by a Beatles cover band, accompanied by the Dallas Symphony.  The first part featured both together, arranged to show the Beatles’ music accompanied by the Symphony.  Then at the end, the cover band by itself put up a rocking selection of popular Beatles music.  It was nice getting out!

Lay Family Organ

The second concert was a presentation of the Lay Family Organ.  This magnificent organ, built into the Meyerson Symphony Hall, is one of the world’s largest, with 4,535 pipes.  It is hard to describe just how much sound this instrument can put out!  Rivals all the amplification by big time rock bands.

In the photo, you can see the sound baffle in the ceiling, which looks like a giant horseshoe with lights.  This assembly weighs something like 50 tons, and can be lowered and tilted to make a sound chamber to suit the music.  In the picture, it is all the way up for the mighty organ sounds.  But we have also seen it way down for a more intimate performance, an example would have been the Yo Yo Ma concert.

Flamingo Gardens

March 14, 2022 1 comment

While we were in Fort Lauderdale, we went for a visit to the Flamingo Gardens and Animal Retreat. This is about 60 acres of reserve for local birds and animals, and has become quite the tourist attraction.  We enjoyed our relaxed visit, both for family time and visiting the animals.

Categories: Traveling Tags:

New boat; Ft. Lauderdale

March 13, 2022 1 comment

Tanya and Shane have been sailing for years and decided they wanted to buy a sailboat and go on the water full time. About the time we were looking for a house, they found the boat of their dreams, a Leopard 45 Sailing Catamaran. They are popular, and not easy to find, so they bought it. Located in Fort Lauderdale, it meant frequent trips from DFW to FLL to outfit their new home on the water.

That worked well for us, since they had to get rid of everything in their house. An estate auction was set up, but we had a chance to buy some of the items we were interested in before the auction. So if Tanya and Shane come and stay here, they will feel right at home!

So Stacy is settled in her house, we in ours, and Tanya and Shane about to hit the briny deep. It made sense to spend Christmas vacation together on their boat. So Stacy, Romola and I flew to FLL where Shane picked us up.

Staying in their boat worked well. It is a 3 bedroom/3 bath boat, so there was room for all of us. So we all got together and admired their new home, and even did a day sail in Miami Bay.

Categories: Family Tags: , ,