The myth of Dallas often eclipses the actual city. Thanks to Dallas the TV show, Dallas the city lives in the shadows of oil rigs, oversized cowboy hats and big money. Stereotypes aside, we're creating our own identity that is actually pretty awesome. It's time to put down the cowboy boots and Cadillacs caricatures and acknowledge what is actually true about this city we inhabit.
We've rounded up (no, not with a lasso) 10 of the stupidest things out-of-towners believe about Dallas. Instead of explaining that you don't own a pair of cowboy boots for the 10th time, shatter Dallas' worst stereotypes with this truth-bomb.
We're all conservative Republicans. Even if the (overwhelming) majority of the state likes to vote red, like the other major urban areas in Texas, Dallas is full of left-leaning Democrats, believers in climate change and progressives of all stripes. There is a thriving gayborhood and we're soon to be home to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, which is like flipping a massive bird at our bass ackwards state politicians. Elected officials in this city are responsible for proactive domestic violence prevention programs, a cutting-edge prostitution diversion plan, and most recently, housing unaccompanied immigrant minors while other cities and our own governor protested. It's also worth noting that in 2012, President Obama handily defeated Mitt Romney in Dallas County.
There's no culture here.
Sure, we've got a reputation for being a soulless business hub, but even the snobbiest art, music and theater fans can find something to love in Dallas. If you're too indie for the fresh-from-NYC touring theatre companies and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, try experimental theater at Ochre House Theater or Dead White Zombies or a weird local noise band at Club Dada or the off-beat Two Bronze Doors. Do you really think that Erykah Badu would live in a place that was completely devoid of culture? Nope.
We're all Cowboys fans.
Much to the chagrin of the fans who still cling to the good old days, not everybody here loves "the Boys." Dallas has a healthy number of transplants. The people who move from Pittsburgh and New York to take advantage of Dallas' comparatively low cost of living and lack of a state income tax certainly don't leave their sports allegiances at the door. Even if Jerry World bleeds blue and silver, sports bars host healthy rivalries. And you'd be hard pressed to find a Romo fan.
Dallas is full of rich people. Sure, high profile residents like Mark Cuban and George W. Bush and a ridiculously high percentage of billionaires per capita may be swimming in money, but most of Dallas still swims at local, public pools. By and large, we're a middle and working class city. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census, $56,945 is the median household income in Dallas, which is higher than both the state and national average, but solidly middle class. Still, one in four people in Dallas lives in poverty, so the wealth here isn't as equally distributed as people might think.
We all have big hair.
Sigh. Even though Dallas is the home of Neiman Marcus and a global fashion (read: shopping) destination, people still believe that we're lacquering ourselves in Aqua-Net and teasing our bleach-blonde tresses up to be with Jesus. With the sheer number of "salons" like Dry Bar that will charge you $60 to dry and flatten your hair with a hot iron, you'd think this one would've died years ago.
We all sound like a bunch of ignorant hicks. When visiting the Jersey shore, Dallasites might sound like sweet Southern belles. If only those brusque guidos knew that the rest of the state considered us the snooty cousin who adopts a British accent after studying abroad. The Dallas accent is much more Midwestern than any drawl from the Deep South, with just a touch of twang thrown in every now and again to keep things interesting.
Fort Worth is just a few minutes away. Even if you manage to somehow find that magical hour when traffic doesn't exist on the 32-mile trek to Fort Worth, it's still going to take you the better part of an hour to get there. Our sister city is definitely worth the drive, thanks to its world-class museums and lively downtown area, but for most Dallasites, Fort Worth might as well be on the other side of the country.
It's always hot. We know, the summer months feel like an eternity even to people who have lived in Dallas for decades. But then, October gives way to perfect fall temperatures and a winter that contains one inch of snow on average. Also, springtime in Dallas doesn't get enough credit, however brief it may be. We have more nice weather days than most other major American cities (although Los Angeles might hold the official title).
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We all work in the oil industry. It's true that there are too many oil-related businesses in Dallas to name, but plenty of us have jobs in industries that don't involve petroleum. This myth may persist because of every $30,000 millionaire with a BMW that tells potential one-night-stands about their important position in "oil and gas," whatever that means.
We're all really obsessed with the Texas State Fair. This one is true. The Texas State Fair rules. Sorry, other states, that your fair vendors don't compete to see who can deep-fry the weirdest and most delicious things. Can I have a corny dog and a Kool-Aid pickle now, please?