Dallas Journals

One Day in Big D: JFK, Ringo, and the Metroplex

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A July 2006 trip to Dallas by callen60

Fountains at Texas Discovery Gardens Photo, Dallas, Texas More Photos
Quote: On the road to see Ringo and his All-Starrs, we spent a day in Dallas remembering JFK, chasing Tex-Mex food, and hanging out at Fair Park.

One Day in Big D: JFK, Ringo, and the Metroplex

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Overview

Fountains at Texas Discovery Gardens Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
I don’t know if it makes me feel old or affirmed to have my teen daughter discovering the same music I did at the same age. And she’s not the only one: I wonder if there’s some sort of Piagetian stage for appreciating the Beatles that adolescents reach when they’re 13 or 14. At any rate, our house has been full of the sounds of the Fab Four for the past year. When we both stayed up late to see Ringo on the Tonight Show, and I heard he was touring, I immediately went to the web to see if he’d be anywhere near our mid-American town.Dallas, huh? Never been there. Tickets were pretty reasonable (for these days—at least before the Ticket Master charges were applied), the drive isn’t too bad, we...Read More

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grand Prairie

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn Express Grand Prairie I-20"

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grand Prairie Photo, Grand Prairie, Texas
Quote:
If you’re traveling for pleasure and not business, I’m not sure what would bring you out here. It’s a ways from Dallas (30 minutes), farther from central Fort Worth, but about 15 minutes from our ultimate destination (the Nokia Theatre). This is a very new facility, which opened in October of last year, and still in excellent shape. Our two-queen-bed-room was spacious, furnished with an arts-and-crafts-feel to the armoire, lighting fixtures, desk, etc. We had a mini-fridge and microwave in the room, plus a small sitting area.The hotel is right off the south side of I-20, behind a shopping center. This part of Grand Prairie has clearly been developing recently, and you’ve got several chain ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 29, 2006

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Grand Prairie
4112 S. Carrier Parkway
Grand Prairie, Texas 75052
(972) 264-4002

Avila's Mexican Restaurant

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Restaurant

Avila's Mexican Restaurant Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
Now this was more like it. We heard about this place from a friend who grew up in Dallas, and whose family is still friends with the Avila’s who run this restaurant. We were worried they might be closed on a holiday Monday, and drove out near lunchtime to see if we’d have to make other plans for dinner: the ‘Open’ light was on in the window, so we headed off to Fair Park. Located on Maple Avenue, in what looked the commercial section of a large Spanish-speaking neighborhood, Avila’s looked to be one of many places run by folks who lived just a few blocks away.We came back a little after 5 pm, one of the first guests for dinner. T...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 29, 2006

Avila's Mexican Restaurant
4714 Maple Avenue
Dallas
(214) 520-2700

Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen

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Restaurant

Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen Photo, Grand Prairie, Texas
Quote:
When we asked the hotel desk clerk about a good place to eat, she suggested Cheddar’s next door. Maybe they’re required to do that, but it wasn’t the answer we were hoping for. When we shared our dreams of great Tex-Mex food, she steered us to Don Pablo’s, across I-20 about a half-mile away. This place looks and feels like a competitor to Chili’s: as the website says, "Don Pablo’s is part of the Avado Brands portfolio of restaurant concepts." I vastly prefer a restaurant to a concept. Maybe it’s a little telling that although they started in Texas, 90% of their 100+ locations are elsewhere, mostly in the northeast.Perhaps we should have known better than to think we’d find some...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 29, 2006

Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen
3975 S. Carrier Parkway
Dallas
(972) 642-9545

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza

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Attraction | "The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza"

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
I wasn’t yet in school when JFK died in Dallas, but like a lot of forty-somethings, his presidency, his death, and the aftermath were a part of my life: the grief that followed, the search for answers, the rejection of the official ones, and the idealization of Kennedy and the early sixties all lived on into my teens.My daughter picked this place, but it was first on my Dallas list, too. She’s read a lot about the sixties and listened to the music, beginning with the Beatles, and anything from that era brings you to Kennedy pretty quickly. I was worried that this museum, in the building and on the floor where Oswald shot Kennedy, would be full of sensationalist, conspiracy-promoting materi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 29, 2006

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza
411 Elm St.
Dallas, Texas 75202
(214) 747-6660

Fair Park

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Attraction | "Fair Park and Texas Discovery Gardens"

Fair Park Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
Why aren’t more people here? That’s what I kept asking myself all afternoon, as we walked around the large grounds, home of the Texas State Fair. There’s an impressive collection of things to do here: several museums, music venues, an aquarium, a few restaurants, gardens, swan-shaped paddleboats on Leonhardt Lagoon, and even the Cotton Bowl on the Park’s northeast side. Leonhardt LagoonThe whole current complex dates from the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, and many of the buildings are on their second or third use. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark 20 y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 29, 2006

Fair Park
3809 Grand Ave
Dallas, Texas 75210
(214) 670-8400

Museum of Nature and Science

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Attraction

Museum of Science in Fair Park Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
One of the few museums in the Metroplex that was open on a Monday, this was my daughter’s first choice in Fair Park. The building itself was a nice combination of original, art deco design with an added IMAX theatre and atrium that fit together rather nicely. We had lunch in the atrium’s Café Max (eh) before heading into the museum itself.Although I love science, I have mixed feelings about science museums, and this place reinforced them. Do they get kids excited about science? Are they just running around pushing buttons, and watching something happen as a result? Is jus...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 29, 2006

Museum of Nature and Science
3535 Grand Ave.
Dallas, Texas
(214) 428-5555

Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie

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Attraction

Quote:
This was the reason we were here: Ringo! Backed by this tour’s incarnation of the ‘All-Starr Band’, he appeared for one night at this new (2002) facility in Lone Star Park. It’s located a little east of the half-way point between the downtowns of Dallas and Fort Worth in the northern part of Grand Prairie, a sprawling suburb that feels like about four different communities developed at four different times.The theatre is pretty easy to get to: it’s just off of I-30, east of N. Belt Line Road, a fairly major north-south thoroughfare. Lone Star Park appears to be mostly an undeveloped piece of land, now home to a racetrack and the Nokia Theatre. The theatre is laid out in a fan shape, which ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 29, 2006

Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie
1001 NextStage Drive
Grand Prairie, Texas 75050
(972) 854-5111

John F. Kennedy Memorial Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
Located a few blocks from the Texas School Book Depository, this simple structure by renowned architect Philip Johnson sits at Market and Commerce Streets, well hidden behind ‘Big Red’, the former Dallas City Hall. I didn’t know of it before our trip to Dallas, but it made sense to seek it out following our visit to the Sixth Floor Museum. Built and dedicated in 1970, the plaques at the entrances state the monument’s intent:The joy and excitement of John Fitzgerald Kennedy's life belonged to all men.So did the pain and sorrow of his death.When he died on November 22, 1963, shock and agony touched human conscience throughout the world. In Dallas, Texas...Read More