We got to talking and catching up with ease, like old friends, and he invited me to go with him to Austin for a couple days! The next day he took me for a drive around downtown Dallas to check out the skyline; I got to see it during the day and at night, too, which was cool.
|At Nasher Sculpture Center
Saturday, August 13th
Today I checked out the Dallas Arts District, a fantastic collection of museums in Downtown - and "the largest urban arts district in the United States!" First I visited Nasher Sculpture Center, "recognized as one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, and one of the few institutions in the world devoted to the exhibition, study, and preservation of modern sculpture, with a collection of more than three hundred sculptures together with twentieth-century paintings and drawings and masterpieces by many of the most important artists of the past 125 years – rotated in thematic installations throughout the Center’s seamless blend of indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces." Its current exhibition, "Statuesque" (April 9 - August 21) brings together a dynamic group of six international artists – Pawel Althamer, Huma Bhabha, Aaron Curry, Thomas Houseago, Matthew Monahan and Rebecca Warren – whose work reveals a renewed significance of the figure in contemporary sculpture. Featuring ten large-scale sculptures, this exhibition marks the Nasher Sculpture Center’s first exhibition to be presented outdoors, on Nasher's 1.4-acre Sculpture Garden."
|At Dallas Museum of Art
I found Nasher's small size very appealing - I was able to see all the wonderful pieces of art without rushing, had a pleasant water-side stroll under the giant weeping willow out back, and walked through a room of big, orange balloons! Yup, I've never seen something like that before - my inner child went wild!
With a little time left before the day was done, I added the Dallas Museum of Art to my ticket for only $3 more. Located just across the street from Nasher, the whopping 370,000-square-foot Dallas Museum of Art "ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. The Museum’s collections contain over 24,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. It's especially known for its arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia, and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art." Keeping a brisk pace, I barely saw everything in the two hours I was there!
|Driving to Dallas Cowboys Stadium
Monday, August 15th
This afternoon I paid a visit to the Stockyards National Historic District of Fort Worth, (aka "Cowtown" or "Where the West Begins"), "celebrating Fort Worth's long tradition as a part of the cattle industry and was listed on the National Register as a historical district in 1976. The listing included 46 contributing buildings and one other contributing structure."
"The Stockyards consist of mainly entertainment and shopping venues that capitalize on the 'Cowtown' image of Fort Worth. Many bars and nightclubs (including Billy Bob's Texas) are located in the vicinity, and the area has a Western motif. There is also an opry and a rodeo. The Fort Worth Stockyards are the last standing stockyards in the United States. Some volunteers still run the cattle drives through the stockyards, a practice developed in the late 19th century by the frontiersman Charles "Buffalo" Jones, who herded buffalo calves through the streets of Garden City, Kansas."
|Looking Eastward on the Main Drag of the Stockyards District
Upon my arrival, I stopped into the Visitor's Center for a map and general information, then I wandered around the heart of the Stockyards District, checking out Cowtown Coliseum (where they do rodeos), the stockyards stables, the Livestock Exchange building (now used for local businesses), and the Stockyards Station Shops & Restaurants building, where strolled through the stores, grabbed some Blue Bell ice cream and a couple souvenirs at Longhorn General Store, and had an appetizer sample and margarita with chambord at Riscky's Barbeque. I drove over to nearby Billy Bob's, to check out "the world's largest honky tonk," which houses "the World's Largest Belt Buckle," hand-prints of many country stars that have played here, a mechanical bull, and 127,000 square feet of bar, dance floor, and stage space!
Before leaving Fort Worth, I took Chet's advice and explored the Water Gardens in downtown, 4.3 acres of 3 pools of waterfalls and s series of terraces, "frequently billed as a 'cooling oasis in the concrete jungle." Unfortunately, the pools weren't "turned on" so to speak, so I didn't get the effect of the gardens, which is the main attraction. I can imagine how cool it would be though!
Other than amazing art and the stockyards of Fort Worth, the week between the 9th and the 16th was filled with all kinds of spontaneous activities:
Advance movie screening of the movie, "Warrior" - terrific film!
A night at the bars with Chet
Visiting his friend's house
Homemade Pizza Rolls & the movie, "Paranormal Activity 2"
Another night at the bars with Chet, lol - watched some two-stepping at Round-Up Saloon
Seeing the marvelous, new Dallas Cowboys Stadium - "The world's largest domed structure!"
Kicking back one night at Chet's balcony-side pool
Scary Movie Night, including "The Last Exorcism," "The Devil," and "Hostel" - well, it certainly helps make up for my horror movie fast of the last few years!