Welcome to my place... Dallas

‘Dallas is most famous for Dealey Plaza, the grassy knoll and the assassination of President Kennedy’

Deirdre DiMenna is from Kilkelly, Co Mayo. She moved to Dallas five years ago after spending 10 years in New York.

Deirdre DiMenna is from Kilkelly, Co Mayo. She moved to Dallas five years ago after spending 10 years in New York.

 

Deirdre DiMenna is from Kilkelly, Co Mayo. She moved to Dallas, Texas five years ago after spending 10 years in New York. She works in energy law and lives with her husband and their two children.

Where is the first place you always bring people to when they visit Dallas?

Dallas is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, which is made up of Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and their ever-growing suburbs. The first place I would take visitors to the Dallas area is the town of Grapevine. It has festivals and events year round, from Polar Express trains at Christmas to craft beer festivals in summer. It is a western town with lots of restaurants and artisan workshops including a glass-blowing studio, wine making and a vintage railroad. It gives a taste of a real old western town.

Southfork Ranch, just outside Dallas, is also a popular destination for those who want to see how the Ewings lived! It is a fun and interesting visit with props from the gun that killed JRto a fully set dinner table complete with Waterford Crystal.

The top three things to do there, that don’t cost money, are ...

The Stockyards just outside Fort Worth highlights its historical cattle industry. Here there are stables of cattle and horses, you can get your cowboy boots at Leddys and experience a flavour of the old west. Each day, they have a cattle drive complete with longhorns. You can take the girl out of the farm…..

Klyde Warren Park is a huge park in the middle of Dallas and offers everything from giant blocks and a storytelling tree for kids, to food trucks and random yoga classes. It’s worth checking out the park’s calendar of events for your time here as it hosts concerts and shows.

The Star in Frisco, just outside Dallas, is the training ground and headquarters for the Dallas Cowboys football team. Although I can’t say that I’ve become a huge American football fan, The Star District is a great place to hang out with a 50-yard replica turf field to play on and lots of Cowboys sculptures and memorabilia. It is an interesting look at the surroundings of the world’s wealthiest sports team.

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Dallas?

Tex-Mex is the traditional food of Dallas/Fort Worth and a trip to Joe T Garcia’s will fit the bill nicely. Located not far from the Stockyards, Joe T’s has a small menu - but what they do, they do right. They have beautiful outside patio areas with fountains and gardens where you can eat outside – again when it’s not too hot, whenever that is.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Dallas’s place in history?

Dallas is of course most famous for Dealey Plaza, the “grassy knoll” and the assassination of President Kennedy. Now the Texas School Book Depository is a museum dedicated to the events of that day. The plaza itself is a small area where two Xs mark the locations where JFK was shot. (A few years ago the marks were “accidently” paved over but have since been re-drawn.) It is a chilling view of a not too distant history.

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Dallas?

Where else are you going to find a pair of authentic cowboys boots but here? A visit to Cavenders boot shop and its huge array of cowboy boots will have you heading home with new leather footwear or at least a mug with Y’ALL on it.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live overseas, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We would love to hear from you.

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