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Dallas, Texas

This material courtesy of Arlene Mason

Dallas, Texas is located in the southwestern United States in the northern part of Texas. The population of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is over 6 million, but it doesn’t feel like there are that many people in the area because they are spread out over 9,000 square miles.

There are more myths and misconceptions about Dallas than any other city. Myths like cattle drives down Main Street, cowboys on horseback, shoot outs in the street, and JR Ewing are only some of the things people believe about the area. The truth is there are no cattle drives through the center of town, except, however, in Fort Worth (about 30 miles away), they do run a few Longhorns through town as a tourist attraction. There are no cowboys, or even people wearing Stetson hats, in downtown Dallas. In fact, like any other metropolitan area, there are just people, in business attire going to and from their offices. Briefcases and cell phones, have replaced gun belts and the typical Dallas business person commutes by car, bus, or “light rail”, and not on horseback. JR Ewing is a fictional character, but the most famous real character to live in Dallas, is President George W Bush.

If the truth be known, no one wants to change these misconceptions, they like the idea of being different. So, you can see herds of bison and longhorn cattle on the outskirts of town. You can go to a rodeo and or a “stock show”, which is like a dog show for cattle, and plenty of stores will sell you a cowboy hat.

If you move to Dallas, a good GPS system or Mapsco is essential. You will need to remember that the freeways have names, and the numbers really don’t mean anything. For example, I-35 is Stemmons Freeway, SH-190 is President George Bush Turnpike, I-635 is called the LBJ Freeway and the short freeway that connects I-35 to I-45 is called Woodall Rogers. The Mixmaster is in the center of town, where I-30 and I-35 combine; the High 5 connects LBJ Freeway (I-635) to Central Expressway (SH 75). There is traffic on every one of these, so it is important to remember which one is which and where it goes. President George Bush Turnpike runs north and south at one point and east and west at another. You can be traveling south on E. Northwest Highway, and you can take the North Dallas Tollway to just south of the Oklahoma border. It is all very confusing, even to native Dallasites.

The weather in Dallas tends toward hot. In the summer you can expect to see 100 + temperatures, where you go from your air conditioned house, to the air conditioned car, to your air conditioned office and back again. Then in the winter the temperature rarely gets below freezing, but you can expect one or two ice storms a year. Further, no one knows how to drive in snow and there is no real snow removal equipment, so the best thing in a snow storm is to stay home and drink hot cocoa.

Dallas, Texas is an interesting place to visit; but a far better place to live. Once you figure out where you are and where you are going, you will find that the people are nice, the prices are cheap and you get used to the weather.