by Danielle Leahy photos by Jacque Manaugh
Hi, I’m the new Dallas, have we met?
Often bemoaned as a big name city with only small town fun, Dallas has long been considered a cultural wasteland of chain restaurants and pg rated community theater. Lacking in large scale public transportation, arts projects, or community involvement, for many of Dallas young professionals and up coming adults, a night on the town was usually limited to the current bar rotation on the fickle five hundred’s short list. Families trying to arrange weekend visits of public attractions could find little supporting infrastructure or options to make a drive into the city worth it for a family of four.
But something has been changing these last few years: the expansion of the Dart rail system and commuter bicycling advocates, the emergence of the food trucks bringing high quality low cost food to the places Dallas needed them most, and the convergence of the slow food, locally sourced, and gastro-pub phenomenon have lent a soul and depth to the Dallas cultural scene that has long been missing. There are now a lot of great thing about Dallas. These articles will hope to spotlight some of them.
Ahhh… February the magic month of Love. No matter how long the length or type of relationship few dates have the romantic potential of a day spent walking hand in hand in an art gallery or enjoying a beverage outside on a patio, under the stars and next to a fire.
Starting at the Dallas Museum of Art with lunch at the Art District’s food trucks, making your way thru history at the grassy knoll, then jumping into the future with coffee at the Dallas Omni before heading off to the South Side on Lamar for a local art show, and finally wrapping up at the infamous Lee Harvey’s leaves you with the perfect day for two and all under one hundred dollars.
Start: The Dallas Museum of Art- With general admission at just $10 per adult and FREE the First Tuesday of every month the Dallas Museum of Art houses much of the city’s best art. With new smart phone tours available for anyone to download and the amazing children’s workshops throughout the week the DMA is great starting point for any Dallas art lover. (Cost: $20)
Lunch: Jack’s Chowhound, the Nammi Truck, 3 Men and a Taco, and Gondolfo’s just to name a few. The Food Trucks of Dallas are ready and waiting on a daily basis in the Dallas Art District. With a weekly schedule posted and daily updates on their FB pages it is no trouble at all now to have a great bite to eat while taking a break from your museum tour without having to spend an arm and a leg. Enjoy your meal on the park benches along Flora Street and you can be back inside the DMA or head over to the Nasher Sculptur Center or Trammel Crow Asian Art Museum in just a matter of steps. (Cost: $20)
Visit: Down Ross Ave to the West End and then Dealey Plaza. Take a stroll thru the historic West End, watch the street performers and take in the sights. Head down Market St. for a tour of the Kennedy Memorial and then pay your respects at the grassy knoll. Finally you can see the John Neely Bryan cabin replica, Dallas’ founder before heading down Lamar Street towards the new Dallas Omni Hotel. (Cost: FREE)
Sip: The Dallas Omni Hotel/Convention Center– Opening in 2011 with a bright burst of light the new Omni single handedly forced the Dallas skyline into the future. Located right off the red and blue Dart lines and with over 1,000 rooms the new Omni is a model of the latest the hospitality industry has to offer. Stop by any of their 4 restaurants or the Morsel’s Cafe for pre-dinner drinks or coffee and enjoy the atmosphere in this gorgeous hotel. (Cost: $15)
See: Wear and Tear exhibit at the South Side on Lamar- Local photographer and craveDFW contributor Jacque Manaugh makes his solo debut at the south sides Jannette Kennedy gallery on February16th-25th. This collection includes powerful photographs that range from gritty, natural portraits, to colorful and abstract cityscape prints, most of which have never been seen by the public. A percentage of all the proceeds will go to the East Dallas Boys and Girls Club. Be sure and check out the artists in residence along the South Side promenade as well. (Cost: FREE)
Dinner: Lee Harvey’s– “Don’t let the wood paneled walls fool you, we’ve got great food at Lee Harvey’s”. The menu headline says it all. The much loved dive bar off Gould Street is as famous for its history as it is for its food and drinks. The tacos and hamburgers are two do not miss items with steaks, sandwiches, salads, and even vegetarian friendly food rounding out the menu. Grab your food and head outside to one of the Dallas best patios and enjoy live music Friday and Saturday nights as you relax by the fire pits, under the stars. (Cost: $45)
Well there we have a perfect day to enjoy art, Dallas, and your special someone and all without breaking the bank. Stayed tuned for the next $100 Day Trip as we explore other great areas of the Dallas Metroplex like the Bishop Arts, Uptown, Grapevine Lake, and even Denton just to name a few.