Discovering Dallas!

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Over the weekend, we traveled to Dallas, Texas, for a birthday weekend with my better half, Teresa. We tried to squeeze in as much sightseeing as possible, but we’ll need to make another trip sometime to see the rest of this city. I’ve been here many times, but I always find more to do.

The above photo is from the Sweet Tooth Hotel, with a new art exhibit that had just opened up dedicated to yarn. Partnering up with the Craft Yarn Council, they’ve created this masterpiece that you can walk through and photograph.

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For any photographer, these pop-up art installations are excellent. At the end was a place to eat, which you could see in the bartender through the underwater room’s portholes. The colors and light are for anyone with a camera. Your only limited by your imagination. Plenty of photographers were there taking photos of their muses to make their photo art. The place had multiple objects made of yarn, including a giant pink cat. You were even able to check out drawers to see food made out of yarn. The talent here is unmatched, and I look forward to their next exhibit we can see and photograph. Some added elements to the experience, like scavenger hunts, ended with us taking home a yarn souvenir.

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We stayed mostly in the downtown area of Dallas. It was easy to navigate, and we took an Uber or Lyft now and then after our feet were tired. While I didn’t have any photos of the food, we found some great places to try nearby the Sweet Tooth Hotel. I’d suggest Mio Nonno Trattoria, a lovely dress place across from the Italian basketball arena. Nearby is the Imoto if you need some fabulous sushi.

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The Magnolia Hotel is one of the oldest in the city. I had stayed here about eight years ago on business, but it was nice to stay here for fun. The hotel is known for the famous red Pegasus that adorns the top of the hotel. I only used my wide-angle lens when I was there, or I would have tried to photograph the top of the hotel where the Pegasus glows red at night. As far as hotels, it’s nice but still has that classic architecture with it. If you’re planning to visit, I’d recommend staying here for a few nights.

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Since eight years have passed, a new park has is now in the area. In front of the Magnolia hotel is now the AT&T Discovery District. The park is unique, and it looks fabulous. It lights up at night, and with the giant LED TV shining on the park, it felt like having my own giant strobe to use for my photography subjects. The TV lit up the area so well, and I was able to photograph at a lower ISO than I usually have to. It had plenty of art around and even had an HBO Max area filled with an AT&T Experience Store, where you could see all this Wonder Woman memorabilia from the newest movie and shop for AT&T gear.

The good thing about being spread out and having a lot of space in the park is that it helped people give each other space since we’re in a pandemic. Around the area were lots of restaurants and places to grab a beer or play some cornhole.

Of course, my favorite part of the park was the dome that lit up different colors that people took pictures of the whole time. It was always busy, but it pulled the park together and is the signature art piece inside it. Probably one of my new favorite pictures is the one below. You’ll see why with all the colors that it creates in the park.

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After spending the night at Discovery Park, we had to visit Deep Ellum. The last time we saw the area, we spent most of our night time here. It glows at night, but with the pandemic, a few things are closed up. So we spent the day exploring some of our favorite places, such as Rocket Fizz.

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This place has so much soda and candy; they have it stacked everywhere. We always go in to find some hard-to-find candy that is rarely available in stores. We also got some chocolate soda and mucus punch for the boys to try when we got back home. Always make a stop at this place. You’ll find something you didn’t know you were looking for when you visit.

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Yes, there is a pandemic going on, and yes, you should take precautions. We were always masked up and socially distanced as much as we could. These stickers were all over Deep Ellum, and like the place, they made them look artsy. If you ever have the chance to visit, please go. This place is always fun and always has a lot of stuff going on, even during a pandemic.

We enjoyed our time in Dallas. The city has become a place that glows with photo opportunities around each corner. Just look at this place I found that was near the American Airlines Center. The colors, clouds, and reflections make this photo, but hundreds of sites made this kind of imagery.

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One of the last places we visited was a place I learned about a long time ago in a photo book. Until seeing a random TikTok video a few months ago, I realized this place was in Dallas. For some reason, I just assumed this was a European chapel, but it wasn’t, and only a couple of hours from where I lived.

The Thanks-Giving Square sits downtown between skyscrapers, all alone amongst a large garden and water sculpture. The place was beautiful and serene. Even on a day when it was not sunny, this place still shined with its many stained-glass windows that spiraled down. I took hundreds of pictures of this place, and even with the wide-angle, it was hard to have the whole thing in one frame. I laid down to fit as much as I could of the windows in my camera.

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I have hundreds of photos from different angles and even straight-on, but I chose this to include in my blog because it showed how big this chapel felt. It looks small, but it creates silent beauty in the glass. I would have stayed there forever taking photos, but there were plenty of people going in and out, and for a few minutes, Teresa and I were alone to enjoy some peace in the chapel to ourselves.

These are just a few things in Dallas that you can do, but we fit this along with many great restaurants into two-days worth of fun and exploration. I’d suggest a wide-angle when visiting Dallas. With little room to back-up for photos in the city, it did shine.