I photographed many cities before I got to do the long awaited Dallas, the city awarded the best international skyline of 2014.
Conveniently located in Downtown Dallas is the Crown Plaza Hotel. I choose this hotel because not only was there a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport, the hotel was walking distance to the free M-Line Trolley and the D-Link 722 Bus line. The two routes took me to more places than I had time for so I was glad I opted out of renting a car. The hotel itself was nothing to brag about although it was plenty tall giving me this wonderful shot of the iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
First Night Out
On the mid-August day, it was unbearably hot during the day and I reserved most of my exploring for the evening. The first evening I hopped on the 722 which took me across the Trinity River. It has since discontinued service across the river but serves the downtown area. I walked along the river up to the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge. This bridge was more than a means of crossing the river, it had games, food, activities, and most importantly misting fountains to cool you down. I was here for the view of the skyline, although it was impressive, it was not what I had in mind. Reunion Tower was not in frame and skyline was unbalanced with taller buildings off to one side. I didn’t get the skyline I wanted but I left with an up-close shot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
While I was on this side of the river, I also hit up Bar Belmont, which according to the Yelp had a good view. Apparently the reviews are a bit outdated because a building obstructing half the view was erected since the previous photos were taken. Failed again with the skyline. Nonetheless I enjoy the quiet ambience of a totally empty weeknight and I ordered the Cabrito based on the Barkeep’s recommendation, which I didn’t find out until afterwards that it was a fire roasted kid goat. Remorse aside, it was yummy or perhaps I was just really hungry after a long day.
Cabrito & Masa and the obstructed view.
A New Day
During the day I explore what else this photogenic city has to offer. Every photographer must have a few spirally golden ratio shots and Thanks-Giving Chapel was the perfect little place to snap the shot as well as take in a moment of tranquility in this busy city. Another place to relax was Klyde Warren Park. It did not have the view I was looking for but It had literature, games and food.
Since I was in Dallas, I had to get some BBQ and I chose the brisket from Pecan Lodge. I normally don’t go for such fatty meat but this was lean like beef jerky with flavor to match. I hit up Ellen’s Southern Kitchen for Fried Okra which were mediocre but found their poached eggs & cheesy grits to be the best grits I ever had. I am no connoisseur when it comes to grits but I had genuine southern grits and this was elevated to another level.
Once I filled my tummy, I was on the hunt for the perfect skyline. I got across the river via the 722 again except this time I stayed within the vicinity right off South Hudson Street. Backtracking up the Jefferson Boulevard Viaduct offered me several elevated views with the two street directing the eye to skyline in the center. It was a good view but I continued to explore.
Up the hill on Perimeter road I found a native Dallas photographer who I chatted with briefly and confirm this was the best spot he found. There was a patch of water which provide a nice reflection but the river was thin. Perhaps had I been here after the rainy season I would have gotten a better picture but this would have to do within my restricted time frame.
The final shot.
I celebrated my somewhat successful skyline photo with a frozen Margarita from the Iron Cactus, which is also available in blue, but I stuck with the original yellow Dallas drink. I was ready to head back to the airport thinking my effort might all be worthwhile if I get my photos in an art gallery someday. While waiting for my flight, I found an photo gallery with captivated patrons sprawled out on the benches confirming my time well spent.