Despite the Texas heat – Peter, Irina, Justin and myself took a train to the downtown Dallas area to do some exploring. Finding parking there would be a nightmare, so we choose to use the light rail instead. Justin and I did this same trip last year, and strangely enough, on the exact same day in July. You read the blog post about that trip downtown here.
We left our car at a station near Justin’s house, and took the train from there. The railway system in Dallas is referred to as the “Dart Rail” (Dallas Area Rapid Transit). DART operates buses, light rail, commuter rail, etc.
Irina and I painted our nails while on the way to town… Multi-taskers! 🙂
Nothing like a Rockstar to get us going…
… See, the Rockstars are working already!
Even though we were downtown on a weekday, I found the streets to be surprisingly uncrowded. That might perhaps be subjective due to the fact that I have been living in Asia for 3 years!!
I immediately noticed how clean and well maintained everything was. I feel like I am experiencing a case of reverse culture shock because I am NOT used to all the things that I lived with before. I find myself amazed at the smallest things! People smile and say “excuse me”. No one pushes when we stand in a line. I haven’t seen anyone spitting or throwing trash on the ground. Justin constantly has to remind me not to stare at people – but I really feel like I have been living on another planet!! It’s all so fascinating!
Look at that.. Not a single piece of trash on the street, and the cars are staying in their own lanes 😉
(See what I mean)
Dallas County Courthouse
We found this simple concrete memorial to President Kennedy in downtown Dallas near where the President was assassinated. The design symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy’s spirit.
The square granite memorial above reads:
“The joy and excitement of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s life belonged to all men. So did the pain and sorrow of his death. When he died on November 22, 1963, shock and agony touched human conscience throughout the world. In Dallas, Texas, there was a special sorrow. The young President died in Dallas. The death bullets were fired 200 yards west of this site. This memorial, designed by Philip Johnson, was erected by the people of Dallas. Thousands of citizens contributed support, money and effort. It is not a memorial to the pain and sorrow of death, but stands as a permanent tribute to the joy and excitement of one man’s life. John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s life.”
The memorial is a square, roofless room, 9m high and 9m wide with two narrow openings facing north and south. The walls are made up of 72 white concrete columns. Eight columns extend to the ground, acting as legs that seem to hold up the monument.
Dallas County Courthouse
Built in 1891 of red sandstone, this courthouse is a historic governmental building located across the road from the JFK Memorial in Dallas. Also known as the Old Red Courthouse, it is now the Old red Museum, a local history museum. In 1966 it was replaced by a newer courthouse building nearby.
Me, Justin, Peter and Irina.
The old courthouse is beautiful from every angle.
We crossed the road to find some shade and relax with our feet in some cool water.
Above you can see Reunion Tower in skyline. This tower is a 171m observation tower and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dallas, Texas. This building is the 15th tallest building in Dallas. We wanted take Peter and Irina up to the observation deck however it was closed for renovation and not open to the public.
Entrance to the Grassy Knoll
A little birdie came to say hello to us.
Above and below, the John Neely Bryan north pergola concrete structure.
The Grassy Knoll
The grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza is a small, sloping hill inside the plaza that became infamous following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The knoll was above President Kennedy and to his right (west and north) during the assassination on November 22, 1963.
Peter clowning around.
The pathway leading to the grassy knoll.
Dealey Plaza – “National Historic Landmark”
Dealey Plaza is a Dallas city park on the west edge of downtown Dallas where the three streets converge (Main Street, Elm Street, and Commerce Street) to pass under a railroad bridge known locally as the triple underpass.
Behind the trees above, to the left, is the former Texas School Book Depository Building.
(Picture from Wikipedia)
The Texas School Book Depository (now the Dallas County Administration Building) is the former name of a seven-floor building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. This building is notable for its connection to the assassination of JFK. Apparently an employee in the building, Lee Harvey Oswald, fatally shot the president from the sixth floor window on the southeast corner.
This X marked on the street is the spot where JFK was when the bullet hit him.
We explored this Museum last year so while Peter and Irina entered to look around, Justin and I went to relax in a nearby coffee shop.
Across the road is the cafe belonging to the museum.
Justin’s favorite: Oatmeal Cookie
Iced drinks to cool us off.
I bought a few postcards and wrote messages while we waited for Peter and Irina.
Wow, there’s a sign you won’t see in China!!!
A replica of John Neely Bryan’s cabin.
John Neely Bryan was a founder of the city of Dallas.
We tried on a few cowboy hats and boots…
While looking for a place to get coffee we discovered that there were more Subways than Starbucks on every block. We entered Renaissance Tower to find some shade and cold drinks.
Starbucks Refresher – Very Berry Hibiscus
(made from green coffee bean extract)
Fountain Place is a 60 story solid glass building in the heart of downtown Dallas. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in the Dallas skyline.
On our way back home…
Waiting for our train.
Within minutes of arriving back at the Esser house, we were in the pool.
Definitely nothing better than cooling off in the pool after a long day of walking around.