Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DALLAS: FOOD TRUCKS, A CATHEDRAL, AND A CHRISTKINDLMARKT

After spending an hour and a half in the Dallas Museum of Art (about a third as long as I would have liked to stay here and about three times as long as Bob would have been there on his own), we crammed three more things into our evening.

1. Directly across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art is the Klyde Warren Park, a 5.2-acre urban refuge created by Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren and named for his only child. The park has lots of seating and a nice track that was busy with walkers and runners and a quinceanera party when we were there.
However, as nice as the park is, what drew us across the street were the seven food trucks stationed along the park's perimeter. America's growing obsession with food trucks has been fully embraced in Dallas:
We walked up and down the line-up, struggling with what to choose. This menu tempted us. I was especially intrigued by "The Dead Elvis." 
However, we ended up at the Texas Burrito Truck:

I didn't let that little misplaced apostrophe
on "Taco's" stop me from eating here,
but I thought about it.
We shared a Tree Hugger Burrito: wheat tortilla, goat cheese, brown rice, black beans, caramelized onions, grilled peppers, grilled corn salsa, roasted garlic, guacamole topped with avocado crema drizzle, avocado, and cilantro:
Yummy!
We also had dessert from CoolHaus: Architecturally-Inspired Gourmet Ice Cream:
I had to throw in a cup of Belgian dark gourmet hot chocolate.  Worth every calorie:

2. When we first walked out of the DMOA, before we crossed the streets to gorge ourselves, we were greeted by several minutes of pealing bells calling all of Dallas's good Catholics to Saturday night mass. (Please excuse the horrible video quality. You can listen without watching.)

The chill in the air and the approaching dusk made me think of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Bells":
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells--
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

(I think I just like the word "tintinnabulation," a word Poe invented to describe the lingering sound of a bell after it has been struck.)

After we finished our dinner, we went in search of the source of those lovely bells and found, just a block away, the Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe, or the Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Built from 1898 to 1902, it oversees the second largest Catholic church membership in the United States and has an average Sunday attendance of over 11,000 worshipers. 
The bells we heard are housed in the 224-foot-tall bell tower, a $20 million addition constructed in 2005 that houses 49 bells. The tower was part of the cathedral's original architectural drawings, but wasn't added to the main building for over 100 years:

There was a service going on inside, so we had to settle for a bit of window peeking:

One of the small side chapels
The Cathedral interior is relatively simple
The view through a window in one of the side doors:

If/When we get back to Dallas, I'd like to take advantage of the guided tours that the Cathedral offers.


Back outside, we admired the city lights and decided that Dallas really is a beautiful place.

It is not at all like the Dallas I was expecting. I have to admit, my preconceptions of the city were based on this:
I looked and looked, but I couldn't see J. R. Ewing, but then I remembered he got shot in 1980. Then I remembered that he didn't die.  Still, no J. R., not even in the business district:

Downtown Dallas was lovely in December--lots of twinkly Christmas lights, lit-up steel and glass skyscrapers, clean streets, and an overall safe feeling.


3. Our last activity on our first very full day in Dallas was a visit to a nearby Christkindlmarkt, my attempt to gather some of the Christmas spirit far away from my usual Christmas activities at home. This was the market's 4th year, and judging by the crowds, not its last. It was held 20 miles west of Dallas in Arlington (home of the very first Six Flags theme park) on the grounds of the Texas Rangers' Stadium. It's not quite the same as the Christmas markets set up around the base of Europe's finest cathedrals, but I guess a baseball field would be considered a place of worship by some.

There was a large (and very crowded) Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Shop:

There were schnitzel and wurst and beer and gluhwein--red wine mulled with spices and raisins (a potent-smelling drink if there ever was one):

The scenes and scents (especially that gluhwein!) kept pricking my heart, reminding me of spending Christmas 2000 in Germany with Bob, our kids, and my mother:
And there was this man and his shop:

He was reason enough all by himself to drive twenty miles on a cold winter night:
What a great way to end our first day in Dallas.  Who needs J. R. when there are nutella crepes?

4 comments:

  1. Funny how TV shows linger in our memories and affect our perceptions even after being dormant for decades. . I love the food trucks.

    Nicely done as alwsys Judy!

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  2. I believe the Dallas show theme song was the one you played for Texas when we first arrived. Brought back lots of memories, as did the Christkindlmarkt for our time in Europe with your Mom. Our destinations for this trip were far from exotic, but we had a really great time. Loved the bells, just hearing them again makes me want to be there again to listen to them reverberate through downtown, not knowing where they came from, but enchanted by them.

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  4. Now here's a city in my future--now that the Butler's are moving there. I look forward to trying some of those food trucks and checking out the local charm.

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