I spent six days in Dallas, Texas in late April for a conference followed by a few days of leisure.  I attended the Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium put on by the Online Learning Consortium.  The conference was held at the downtown Sheraton Dallas Hotel.  I stayed around the corner at the Hotel Indigo, a classic early 20th century  building.  The hotel when originally built was the first to bear the ‘Hilton Hotels’ name.  The building was a real gem of architecture built in 1925 in a horseshoe shape with grand facades and a concrete bridge on the 10th floor.

As I explored around Dallas I saw many more amazing buildings built during a time when the city was booming, likely with the Texas oil rush.  Some of the buildings were now in a little rougher shape then others and it appeared that there was a high vacancy rate in the downtown area.  I have always enjoyed exploring urban decay and grand old buildings and Dallas did not disappoint.  I found some parallels to the old buildings found in downtown Detroit.  Right around the corner from my hotel I found the Dallas Statler Hilton, a 20 story hotel which appeared completely abandoned.  It looked as if it had been quite the place during its’ time.  I learned later that  the hotel had been required by Hilton and was slated for redevelopment

Downtown I also discovered Dealey Plaza the location of the John F. Kennedy presidential assassination in 1964.  I didn’t actually realize where I was at first, having just gone out for a casual walk.  It was quite a feeling discovering myself in this monumental location.

I further explored the downtown area which appeared kind of quiet after dark as the offices vacated and people retreated to the suburbs.   In talking to some friendly locals I learned that downtown Dallas is undergoing somewhat of a revitalization as people move back into the city and new businesses are opening. I found quite a large farmers market just outside of the downtown core and the cool area of Deep Ellum, a haven for live entertainment and restaurants.

One evening I treaded out quite a ways into the suburbs and was caught in a torrential downpour.  I have never seen rain like this and I live on the West Coast!  It came quick and hard, quickly filling the streets with 10 inches of run off.  My umbrella was useless.  I had to take retreat under an awning at a church, I could not walk due to the rain and the cars plowing through the rainwater proved a splash hazard as well!  Finally it subsided and I was able to make my way back downtown, hopping puddles and rivers of water flowing through the streets.

During my leisure time I decided to rent a car and drive north to Denton where the annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival was taking place.  It’s quite a large event with multiple stages and heaps of arts and crafts available to view.  I caught a few great acts at the festival but it was super muddy from the rain the night before which made moving around quite messy.

Overall a fun trip to Dallas, Texas!

CC BY 4.0 Visit to Dallas, Texas by Michael Paskevicius is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.