I love you, Dallas. I really do. This city has allowed me the thrill of chasing the next great party, or finding the weird new watering hole. One side effect to all this socializing is a little bit of longing.
I mean this as one part love letter, one part wish list. I want everyone to fall in love with the fantastic little spaces in Dallas the same way I have, so these are my wishes for parties we might meet up at.
Let's start with Fair Park. Every year, I visit the bird show during the State Fair, and every year I fantasize about some fantastic concert happening in the Band Shell. Some summer festival, perhaps, where we are allowed to flip on the Texas Star. The recent Craft Cocktail Festival's "Last Call" after-party benefiting Nouveau47 was a great reason to visit the park after dark, but we need more. I am not aware of the rules or reasons why the Texas Star can only run during the Fair, but an off-season ride in that Dallas landmark would be reason enough to get excited.
Between the pop-up dining and pop-up bar-hopping, coupled with Dallas' current love affair with mixology, I don't know how the speak-easy trend is bypassing Dallas. And I mean a real-deal one, in someone's basement or rooftop. You can leave the fedoras at home, but a secret knock might be fun. Even better if it's after-hours. The recent spat of large-scale after-parties has been fun, but an elegant one might be a well-received change of pace.
The late-night events in Dallas museums have proven successful and always promise a unique way to visit some of the city's treasures. One of my favorite memories in Dallas is visiting the Dallas Museum of Art after last call during their 24-hour event; I'd love to see that trend spill over into other cultural institutions like the Dallas Arboretum or even the Zoo. A nighttime merry-go-round ride turns out to be kind of magical.
Granted, at some of Dallas' best little spots, you just have to create your own festivity. The Dallas Bath House Cultural Center is still my favorite White Rock spot. As much as I love popping into a play or visiting the gallery, I also just want to sit on that porch and listen to some music. Dallas isn't a town known for its natural beauty, but the treescapes in Highland Park's Lakeside Park don't know that.
And we haven't even scratched the bar surface. A jazz night at The Dram, please? More concerts at the Texas Theatre, please? A story-telling night at Pastime Tavern, perhaps? For that one, we'd really only need the bartenders to participate.
Start making some wishes, Dallas, and maybe we can all find ourselves on the Texas Star on some chilly night, come winter.