Quick -- spot the real Southfork Ranch, the one in Parker. Good for you. (It's the one on the left.) The other one's a replica built in the mid-'90s by "corrupt Romanian billionaire Ilie Alexandru," as he's described on Ultimate Dallas. The only real difference, aside from a few exterior alterations, notes the fansite: It's much bigger and way gaudier than the rather modest TV-set-turned-tourist-attraction just north of town. And, it sits on 247 acres in Slobozia.
"Southfork Dallas in Hermes Land" is a cross between an amusement park and a resort based on the Southfork ranch including a 132-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower, vernacular gypsy pagodas and castles. The Southfork Ranch in Slobozia is a sort of do-it-yourself reconstruction, interpreted from videotapes of the television series and books on the architecture of the American South.
I mention it only because The Austrian Times, to which I canceled my subscription years ago, reports this morning that after a shootout with Romanian police in '01, Alexandru -- who "used to stride around the estate in cowboy boots with a JR-style 10 gallon hat and six-guns" -- was jailed and the property seized. It was then sold off to repay some debts, and has just been "converted into a luxury hotel for fans of the series." Because, after all, Dallas did change the world.
Ah, and speaking of that November '08 clusterfudge at Southfork, there's a new DVD chronicling the whole wingding, including a cast dinner at the House of Blues and a sitdown with Gary Cogill. Here's the trailer:
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.