Sunday, November 06, 2005

The FW in DFW

Saturday I went to Forth Worth with some friends. We had a really great time and although this wasn't my first visit to Forth Worth I was really enjoyed the downtown. It somewhat resembles Austin in the sense that its very much in tune with its Texanness. The stores aren't trying to be destinations and the people dress in jeans and t-shirts. In spite of the fact that Fort Worth is separated from Dallas by only 33 miles (roughly 44 mins) the cultures could not be any more different. It was a fantastic excursion. One negative hampered our visit. The Forth Worth Water Gardens, designed by Philip Johnson, are still not in operation since some kids, and adults, visiting on a church trip about a year ago died while attempting to take a swim in the wee hours of the morning. I must admit I was, and still am, more upset that this public space has been ruined than I am about the death of these people. If you go to the link you will see some pictures of the Water Gardens. Some of you might recognize it from Logan's Run, one of my all time favorite Sci-Fi movies. Yes, this is indeed the spot at the end of the movie where the throngs of young and beautiful came to gaze upon the old cracked face of Peter Ustinov.

Fort Worth has succeeded in keeping many old buildings with architechture that is unique to the American west while having added modern skyscrapers to its downtown.

This is main street near Sundance Square. You can see at the end of the street the Tarrant County Courthouse. Many of the county seats in Texas have grand courthouses, many of which were built from Texas granite. Tarrant County courthouse is one of the most impressive of the county courthoues.

We found a really nice shop on Main Street that had a lot of cool clothes. They were mostly for women but I still had to try on this lovely scarf for myself. Kim and Melissa found some cowgirl hats. There is something oddly arousing about women in cowboy hats to me...

Here we are on Main Street.

Afterwards we headed over to the Forth Worth Stockyards. This used to be one of the major beef manufacuring and cattle trading centers in the U.S. until the 1960s. Its a real kitschy but also a lot of fun. There is a rodeo every Friday and Saturday night and we got box seats right down in front! The choreographed cowgirl cavalry with flags were fabulous and many of the cowboys were really attractive. The only downside was before the rodeo started the emcee led the crowd in a christian prayer, they didn't even attempt to make it a non-denominational prayer. In spite of the prayer and the blatant fact that rodeo is horribly cruel to animals it was a lot of fun. I tried my best to get a picture of #125 from the front but in spite of my attempts to imitate a calf he refused to turn my way to attempt to rope me. Trust me he was hot.

After the rodeo we headed over to Billy Bob's, The World's Largest Honky Tonk. I was blown away at the enormity of this place. It's massive. The center of it is a large preformance area where you need to pay to get a seat. Around that is standing room with bars all along the walls. Outside of the preformance area there is a sit down restaurant, an arcade area with pool tables and video games, a room to ride the mechanical bull, and a hall of fame where all the preformers have stamped their hands in cement plaques. It's like Las Vegas for the Cowfolk. I found Loretta Lynn's plaque and had to be a cheeseball and take my picture with it. I love her music especially her last album, Van Lear Rose.

We also found an empty room that we assumed could be rented out for private affairs. It had the kind of warmth that one would feel from a room in the hotel from "The Shining." All over the room there were mounted animal heads. Behind the bar on glass shelves with a mirrored wall there was a multitude of taxidermied animals ranging from turkeys, to bobcats, to badgers.

On the drive home we were next to a truck carrying flammable materials and we very at ease knowing that in the event that the truck might catch on fire, or possibly explode, that it was equipped with a fire extinguisher.


Blogger Jim said...

Fort Worth is great! I liked the downtown area for the reasons you mentioned. I always found interesting that they faux-painted the newer building to look like 3D red brick from the old era. Stockyards are a hoot, I've spent many a not so sober night at the Cadillac Bar :)

Its ironic that FW has the largest modern art museum in the country (until NYC reopens).

(Logan's Run is in my SciFi collection too, lol :)

9:41 PM  
Blogger tim said...

I've been to FW. I took the Tarantula Train from Dallas to Forth Worth and back. It was quite a hoot. I can't remember if the Tarantula Train ends in the stockyards. All I remember is that it was quite kitschy. I loved Dallas more though.

9:47 PM  
Blogger tornwordo said...

Hey I didn't know that about Logan's Run. (Also, one of my fave sci-fi flicks) I wish I had visited when we drove through there all those years ago.

Also, the big rig picture is priceless.

Great read and pics!

5:35 AM  
Blogger Spider said...

Looks like a great time! Are there plans to ever re-open the Water Park - what a beautiful place it is! Love the rig pic - funny how people thihk isn't it! btw - love the beard!

7:32 AM  
Blogger The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Howdy dude!

Looks like you had arip roaring time ;-)

have fun


9:48 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Logan's Run! Yee-haw!

12:49 PM  

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