Let’s visit Dallas

A well-rounded city growing out of the stark North Texas prairie, Dallas has a jumble of ultramodern skyscrapers, the largest arts district in the United States, museums of the highest quality and pulsating nightlife.

Whole swathes of the city have been reinvented in recent times, like the Design District breathing new life into an austere neighborhood of warehouses, or Klyde Warren Park, on the former route of a freeway.But if you’re hunting for old-time Texas trademarks like big steaks, BBQ and honkytonks among the upscale restaurants and high-culture, you’ll find them with little trouble.

Dallas will also forever be tied to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, and at Dealey Plaza you’ll discover how the city has come to terms with this tragedy.

Dealey Plaza

The landmarks at Dealey Plaza, like the Texas School Book Depository, the Grassy Knoll and Elm Street as it bends down to the railroad tracks, would be unremarkable were it not for the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

The cityscape at Dealey Plaza is mostly unchanged, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993. It’s hard not to be moved looking up at the corner sixth floor window from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired his three shots, seeing the X that marks the spot where JFK was struck by the fatal second bullet and standing on the bank from which Abraham Zapruder took his famous footage.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

All the context you could want about the assassination of John F. Kennedy is available at this thorough and even-handed museum housed in the former Texas Schools Book Depository and opened in 1989. As you work your way up to Lee Harvey Oswald’s sixth-floor roost you’ll find out about JFK’s career and the landscape in the early-1960s, taking in the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War.

The deed itself is covered in great detail, with hundreds of photographs from the scene and analysis of the Zapruder film (the Zapruder family donated the copyright to the museum in 1999). Inevitably there’s also background on the myriad conspiracy theories swirling around the assassination, to the point where even obsessives may pick up a new titbit.

Arts District

Dallas lays claim to the largest urban arts district in the United States, on 20 square blocks to the south-east of Uptown, and with a rare concentration of cultural attractions.

We’ll visit plenty of the attractions in this area, like the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Klyde Warren Park and the Winspear Opera House.Respected venues and institutions are shoulder-to-shoulder in the Arts District, from the vaunted Dallas Black Dance Theatre in the east to the Dallas Museum of Art in the west.

What do you think?