November, 13, 2014

On Belonging

Over the past few years, I’ve realized that for me, a key to happiness is feeling like I belong.

I need to have a community of like-minded people surrounding me to be at peace.

In the absence of family, I need to have friends who are like family, who will have my back no matter the circumstance.

There’s this hard-to-verbalize thing that comes with belonging, when everything just fits and is good and right. Belonging comes when you have people who will hold you up when you fall. Belonging comes when you accept that things aren’t perfect, but it’s OK because you have your people at your side. You’re in a place where you feel the most you and make wiser and bolder decisions, accordingly.

I’ll never take belonging for granted. I’ve spent a lot of time in amazing places, among amazing people, yet feeling alone.

This is partially a symptom of running away.

I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to go off and try different things and live in many cities and make a reality of my dreams. Were it not for all these experiences, I wouldn’t be content here, now.

Because of my tendency to run away, I’ve learned that a place can be everything you ever imagined, but once you’re there, it doesn’t quite fit.

You could be in the most perfect, picturesque, wonderful town in the entirety of the world, but you can still be unhappy.

Not being content in a place you expected to adore is tough to come to terms with. That the place you romanticized isn’t everything you anticipated really digs at you.

And when I say unhappy, I don’t necessarily mean depressed. You just have this pervasive nagging that things don’t fit. You feel kinda empty, despite the fullness around you.

So much of belonging comes from timing. A lot of my unhappiness was because I wasn’t in the right place at the right time. If I started at Bowdoin now, with the knowledge I have now, I think I’d be happy there. If I lived in DC now, with the friends I know there now, I’d be happy there. It would take a lot more for me to be happy in New York…but I could make it work there now, too.

So much of belonging comes from acceptance. Accepting who you are, accepting the place for what it is, and going all in to find what it can bring you. You have to put yourself out there to find your people. They don’t effortlessly appear in front of you.

Admittedly, when you walk into something unbiased and unfiltered, you end up with a lot of crap in the beginning. There’s confusion and discomfort. But as time passes and as you get to know the situation better, you realize who is and isn’t worth keeping around. You get stronger. You know more what you want and need in your life.

Boy, I hated Dallas growing up. But when I moved back here in 2011, my heart and mind were completely open. I had nothing to lose and no place to go back to, so I doubled down here. It wasn’t necessarily fun or pretty, but I eventually found myself surrounded by a veritable army of friends in this town.

Really, most of belonging comes from knowing who you are and knowing what you want in others. You have to slog through loneliness and shitty people to get there. It’s from these experiences, though, that you discover what you need to be happy. Through all of that mess, you’ll figure out what kind of support system is right for you.

Someone recently asked me if I could live anywhere, where would I choose? I answered: “Where my people are” and they told me that was a very loyal answer. Well, no. That’s a very selfish response.

I’ve lived in some incredible places, alone. Ain’t worth it.

The people make the place.

Good people aren’t easy to come by.

It takes growth and work and hurt to find them.

Once you do, hold on to them, tight.



October, 08, 2014

The Places You Ruined

I penned this almost 2 years ago. Though I’ve moved on from these specific feelings, the sentiment remains.


You ruined that bar where we met for the first time. You goaded me into joining you there, even though it was 10pm on a weekday. We had a couple beers, we laughed; it was fun and easy and lighthearted. My first impression was that you were too short, but you were clever and smart, so I decided not to write you off. (Why didn’t I write you off?) You walked me back to my car, but didn’t kiss me. I texted and made fun of you for that when we both got home.

You ruined that martini bar where we met the next time. You joined the group of us, after we’d been there a while. I was drinking (of course) a martini…one of the many I’d had that night. When I excused myself to the bathroom, you followed. You met me in the hallway after I exited and pushed me against the wall and kissed me, hard. You more than made up for that missing kiss the time before.

You ruined that hole-in-the-wall bar, after you texted out of the blue, so many weeks later, asking me to meet you there. You were drunk; I knew that going in. We first sat out on the patio where I nursed my beer. It was July, deep in the midst of a hot Texas summer. That dumb song “Party Rock” came on and I mentioned I thought it was so catchy. We went inside and played shuffleboard. I lost, because I’m awful at recreational games. You walked me to my car and kissed me. But that was it, for a while.

You ruined that taco place…after months. The one inside the gas station. We ate our cheap tacos and elotes in your car. It was nearly winter then. I drank a warm beer you grabbed from the backseat. You called me out for texting a dude, who happened to be one of my good friends, that’s it. I didn’t know you were texting someone else the whole time we were together, someone who I wouldn’t consider just a friend.

You ruined that couch – my couch. I finally built up the courage to ask what we were doingyou and me. You exhaled a tortured exhale when I asked, like you were thinking: “Oh shit. She finally wants to know.” And then you kept saying: “I can’t. I’m sorry. I can’t. I can’t,” over and over. We sat there for a long time in that miserable stillness. But I didn’t cry. Somehow I didn’t.

Even though I told myself it needed to be done, that I needed to say “no more,” I didn’t learn. This limbo went on and on. So…

You managed to ruin another taco place, too, one in that kinda iffy part of town, where we ordered $2 tacos and sat on the curb shoulder to shoulder and laughed and ate. That night was so good and effortless and at the time I kept thinking: “Yes. Yes, this is how it should be, always. Please?”

You ruined that dive bar – my favorite bar – where we drank beer after beer outside one Sunday afternoon. It was the only time you could fit me into your “busy” weekend schedule. I wore a dress that was more than a little bit too short and you told me how great I looked. You made fun of my knockoff Ray Bans. We sat across from each other and at one point you grabbed my hand and then leaned across the table and kissed me. I usually hate PDA, but then, on that long afternoon, I didn’t give one shit.

You ruined that restaurant I’ve never even been to. We made plans to get dinner there, but you canceled at the last minute. I knew I shouldn’t have let myself get excited about it, but I did. When I got your stupid, nonchalant text saying you couldn’t make it that night, my stomach dropped. I knew I brought the disappointment on myself, though. I should’ve known better.

You ruined the pool where we took a late night swim that one time, one of the last times, much too late on a school night. You didn’t have a bathing suit, so you wore your black boxer briefs, which the chlorine stained burgundy. It was on the roof of my building downtown; we treaded water and dipped and dove amongst the brightly lit Dallas skyline. You asked if I was waiting for you. I scoffed and said “Hell no. I don’t wait for anyone.” But I know you knew better. I don’t typically call things magical, because that’s cheesy and trite, but if pressed, yeah I’ll admit…that night kinda was.

You even managed to ruin a place in this new city I moved to, a town you’ve never even visited…

You ruined that entire night. It had been months. I was sipping a vodka soda, so indifferent, so unattached, when you texted me out of the blue. Feelings. Shit I’d been waiting to hear for a year and a half. That you missed me. That you cared about me.

And, because I never learned – never learned – I held on to those words for way too long.

I stupidly let you ruin places here, too.

…that’s really on me, though. It was my fault. My own damn fault.

It didn’t change.

It never changed.

You’d think I’d learn.

Why did it take me so long to learn?

Thank god I’ve learned.

I’m still learning.


September, 23, 2014

On Life, Now (And Accepting It)

This is the first time in my adult life I’ve been content where I am and it’s pretty terrifying.

This is the first time I don’t want to move; this is the first time I’ve wanted to stay.

I’m in a completely different place than I was 3-5 years ago. Then, the future was so foggy and vast. And it is now, too, in ways. But things are slowly focusing and those gaping what-ifs are taking shape. As I grow up and things shift together, the spaces between the unknowns shrink.

This scares me.

I now have a pretty good idea of what I want…in a career, in a partner, in life. I know who I am more than I ever did.

And part of me hates it.

For someone who has lived their life jumping from one unknown to another with relish, this whole “being pretty satisfied” thing is bizarre. I’m at an awkward in-between moment when things aren’t totally vague, but they aren’t defined, either.

I’m in this weird limbo of time.

That reckless, bull-in-the-China-shop girl I was a few years ago…that has passed. I’ve found peace with myself. I’m going forward with consideration and forethought.

But it’s also so much scarier that I can pinpoint what I want in life (mostly), though not know exactly how to achieve it.

Now more than ever, I feel like I’m standing on the edge of really “getting it,” whatever that means. I feel like I’m so close my toes are gripping the precipice.

I’m not naïve enough to think that I’ll get to a point where I can concisely plan out my life to a tee and wipe my brow in contented exhaustion and declare “Ok, done! Finally figured it out, phewf!” There will always be sharp turns in the road. Thank heavens for that…I hate being bored. There will always be curveballs. And I’ll figure out how to deal with them. I always have.

This is just a strange, new place in my life.

Having an idea of what you want, but not knowing how to get it is entirely frustrating.

I have to hang in and keep moving on. I have to keep making choices that are right for me, now.

I have to believe I’ll connect with what brings the most meaning to my life. I’ll find what makes my heart sing.

I have to believe my life will coincide with someone whose game plan matches mine. Our trajectories will meet at some point.

As quiet as it is, I’ve come to realize there is grace in this time in my life.

I’m endlessly thankful for who I am now, though it may be scary and different. I can appreciate how far I’ve come and what I’ve learned. I can remember that being at this point has its advantages.

This hushed, thoughtful time is important. As boring as I sometimes find it.

I know I will look back on it someday and miss where I am now.

So, in the meantime, I’ll try to embrace this awkward period of limbo. I’ll continually march forward, with faith that things will fall together.

And I know this won’t last forever because I am determined always to grow and move on.

No, this won’t be forever.

For better or worse.


July, 31, 2014

100 Things to Do in Dallas – #21 Go to a Texas Rangers Game

Baseball games are my jam.

I will never pretend to be an actual fan of the sport, no. But give me the opportunity to drink beer, eat greasy food, and scream for the home team in the presence of tens of thousands of others? Sign me up!

Rangers Game

I recruited 3 friends to come along with me on the night in question, namely choosing this game because there were fireworks afterwards. NB: There are fireworks shows at Rangers games once a month in the summer. Though the delay of my DART train put us 30 minutes behind schedule, we arrived in high spirits, doled out $15 to park, and trooped to the stadium.


We sat pretty far up (not quite nosebleeds high up) above third base because Allie informed us the sun sets over third first. Good tip in the Texas summers! We nabbed our seats from Stubhub for about $8 off face value…no doubt due to the fact that the Rangers are pretty awful this season.

Hotdog Rangers Game

Things I did at the Rangers vs. Angels game:

1)   Eat a hotdog

2)   Drink beers

3)   Watch the crowd

4)   Rag on the stupid Dot Race in the middle of the 6th inning (I’m partial to the Presidents Race at Nats games in DC)

5)   Make fun of the girls in the row in front of us for taking approximately one million selfies

6)   Scream-sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas”

7)   Provide colorful commentary on the Kiss Cam participants

8)   Take photos on my phone because I forgot my DSLR’s memory card (curses!)

9)   Participate in group selfie-taking (shhh…pot kettle, I know)

10) Oh, and yeah. Watch the game

Rangers Game Selfie

The Rangers lost.

But! The thing I was most excited about happened after the game…FIREWORKS. About 30 minutes elapsed between the end of the game and the start of the fireworks, but in the pause was a Taekwondo exhibition showcasing local children that kept us all rapt.

Rangers Game Fireworks

As a budding fireworks aficionado, I was wholly pleased with the show. Shooting off from behind the scoreboard, they lasted 20 minutes and incorporated music (highly important) and the stadium lights. I, of course, squealed and ogled my way through them. We all commented how very impressed we were.

I do miss Nationals games, but for $17 a pop on fireworks night, a Rangers game is a worthy substitute.


Texas Rangers  1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX 76011


July, 29, 2014

On Learning From What Was

I had everything I ever wanted.

But it was before I knew I wanted it.

There’s something so cruel about getting your forever after before you knew what it was.

I had everything I wanted but I didn’t know any better…though why would I have? I was 24 and had never dated anyone else.

We were both too little, too young to commit to forever.

I never regret moving forward. Never.

I wouldn’t have the perspective I do now had we not moved on. I (we) needed to learn how to be ourselves on our own.


The sting of “what if…?” doesn’t leave.

They say timing’s a bitch and I don’t disagree.

I thought what we had was the norm because I knew nothing else. I thought having a partner who is your absolute best friend and who makes you want to be a better person…I thought that’s how all relationships are.

I didn’t appreciate the things we had; I took them for granted.

Lazy Sunday mornings, the sun streaming diagonally into the kitchen, me frying up bacon and eggs. Him with coffee cup in hand, watching the news, going on about current events that I would pretend to understand only because he cared so much about them.

Him throwing his ID lanyard over his neck, grabbing his messenger bag, and rushing determinedly out the door to work – but never (never ever) before giving me a quick kiss goodbye.

Drinking Diet Coke and bourbons (probably too many) before Nats games, taking the Metro to the stadium, laughing, eating hot dogs. Him paying attention to the game, me watching the crowd. Getting caught on the Kiss Cam.

Him gently nudging me to go out for a run with him, to train for that race (even though I resented him for it at the time).

Sitting on the couch face-to-face, him grasping my hands as I cried. His face contorting in empathetic pain.

I didn’t appreciate the things we had; I took them for granted.

Give me that now…well it’d be game over. Forever and ever, amen. No question.

If nothing else, though, our relationship taught me so very much. I had the benefit (and disadvantage) of being in a committed, long-term situation when I was so little. I learned an incredible amount at a young age, most of which I, unfortunately, didn’t realize until a few years later.

Hell, we were practically married in our early 20s. It’s thanks to our relationship then that I know what to look for in people now.

Are you smart as shit? Confident as hell? Are you kind (so much kinder than me)? Are you endlessly motivated? Are you funny; do you challenge me; are you passionate?  K, then we’ll talk.

I haven’t found a single other person who that fits that bill.

The burn of what could’ve been is constant.

Most days it’s a quiet undercurrent; I can live with that.

But others, it overwhelms me and I almost can’t breathe.

To realize you had it all once and now you don’t, well it’s really shitty. Horribly terrible and shitty. Debilitating and shitty.


All I can do is keep what I learned from him close to my heart. Keep what made him him ever-present in my mind. Pray I discover those qualities in someone else.

Never settle until I find that again.

Be hopeful that I will.



July, 24, 2014

100 Things to Do in Dallas – #97 Go to Kaboom Town for the 4th of July Fireworks

I love fireworks so very much. I get embarrassingly giddy watching them, laughing and shrieking like a child. So though I was excited to go to Kaboom Town for 4th of July fireworks, I knew that I need to go all-in or else I’d be wildly disappointed. It’s a Top 10 (or Top 5 or Top 3, depending on whom you talk to) Fireworks Show in the country and I’ve heard horror stories of people stuck in traffic for two hours trying to get out of Addison after it ends.

Many hotels in Addison have special rates the night of Kaboom Town and I got a room at the Intercontinental for a steal. My logic: this way we could imbibe safely and not have to battle traffic after the show. Our room didn’t overlook the fireworks, which drastically reduced the price.

Kaboom Town Addison

I drove to the hotel straight after my 3pm early dismissal from work and was already overwhelmed by the hullabaloo happening in Addison. Traffic on Beltline was crawling and most restaurants along the road had fenced up their parking lots and set up picnic tables and stages. Thankfully I arrived to the hotel early enough (4pm) to get an easy parking spot with no issue, though many lots I passed were already full, even in the late afternoon.

My friend Will met me at the hotel (he took a Lyft from Oak Cliff, an advisable move) and we walked to a restaurant in Addison, not wanting to lose my parking spot. After miraculously snagging bar seats at Cantina Laredo for appetizers and margaritas, we tromped back to Addison Circle to view the show.

Kaboom Town Addison

We arrived only about 15 minutes before it started, but we had no issues finding a perfect spot. This was the first year you needed a ticket to enter Addison Circle and though they were free, they ran out about a week before July 3. It was crowded in Addison Circle, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly so. It’s certainly worth thinking ahead and getting tickets beforehand; we had a gorgeous view of the show.

Kaboom Town lives up to the hype. My only other experience with grand 4th of July fireworks shows has been in DC, and then, I never had a prime spot. We watched from the Iwo Jima Memorial, on a random corner in Chinatown, or from the roof of a condo a couple miles away. Being in the thick of it, hearing the music, and feeling the boom and rumble of the fireworks in your chest is incomparable.

Kaboom Town Addison

I spent a quarter of the show trying (mostly in vain) to get good photographs of the fireworks and the other three-fourths ooh-ing and ahh-ing and exclaiming to Will how happy I was. The show was set to music, a nice mix of modern stuff and oldies. It lasted almost 30 minutes. It was your classic fireworks show; no smiley faces or hearts made of fire…just beautiful bursts of colorful light.

I left absolutely elated. I may or may not have skipped back to the hotel I was so happy. If you love fireworks, have time to plan ahead, and don’t mind dealing with crowds, make Kaboom Town a must-do next year. I’ll certainly be back.

Kaboom Town Will Paige


Kaboom Town Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive

July, 22, 2014

To My Momma on Her Birthday

Dear Momma,

You are endlessly stylish. Beautiful. Chic. You are singularly the classiest woman I know.

Growing up, you ingrained in me that doing my best is what really counts. I may not be the most athletic or the most smart, but if I put all my effort in and if and I’m personally satisfied with my performance…well, that’s all that really matters. As long as I give it all, as long as I do the most I can, that’s the most important.

Dear Momma

You instilled in me a love for words. Before I could even talk, you read to me. I remember those hard back picture books, me pointing excitedly to a fluffy bunny, me imitating animal noises. Some of my favorite memories include you reading the Boxcar Children, Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, to me before bed (I will always identify with Beezus).

When we weren’t reading, we listened to books on cassette tape on the way to school. I will forever argue that Stockard Channing is the best audiobook narrator, ever. I’ll never forget when we got into that accident on the way to Greenhill, when we were listening to The Witches and the narrative lurched in this awful, scary way at the impact, which was all too fitting for the subject of the book. It made the collision that much more upsetting. (Thankfully everyone was just fine!)

Dear Momma

But my most cherished memory, to this day, is you perched on the side of my bed, quietly singing “Tender Shepard” and “Edelweiss” to me as a child every night before I went to sleep. It was such a soothing and reassuring routine. 

You never pressured me. You were, and continue to be, my greatest supporter, no matter what the situation. You are my endless advocate, Momma.

To this day, when I’m upset, I think in the back of my head, “I want my mommy.”

Dear Momma

There’s no one as comforting as you. I can’t thank you enough for that day, barely six months ago, when we spent the morning at a family friend’s house and you listened to me cry and fret and worry about my future. Your wise and measured words calmed me more than anything else ever could have at that moment.

You taught me never to give up on people (for better or worse). You have the biggest heart of anyone I know.

Above all, you showed me how to love, which is the single most important lesson there is in life.

You always remind me that family is the most essential thing we have; you treasure your family above all else. I hope you know I treasure you in kind.

Dear Momma

When I have kids (God willing), I hope you’ll be a big part of their lives. You will be the best grandmother; you’ll be their Nama, I have no doubt of that in my mind.

I am, unquestionably, who I am today because of you. There aren’t enough words to thank you.

Happy happy birthday to my best friend and greatest role model.

I love you, Momma.



July, 16, 2014

100 Things to Do in Dallas – #94 Try the Custard at Wild About Harry’s

I admit, I added Wild About Harry’s to my Dallas 100 list selfishly. Yes, I’ll endlessly argue that it’s a Dallas icon, but it also holds a big place in my heart. (We’ll look past the somewhat creepy, life-size anthropomorphic hot dog outside the joint.)

Wild About Harry's

When my family moved to Dallas from Indiana in 1998, we initially relocated to a place off McKinney. Though we had to share a room, my sister and I had the best time in that 2 bedroom apartment because we could easily go to so many places in the Knox-Henderson area. To us, in middle school, that made Dallas a very walkable city (little did we know). Along with the Highland Park Pharmacy (which is also on this list) and Froggy’s, Wild About Harry’s was one of our favorite places in the area.

Before Wild About Harry’s, I’d never had frozen custard before. I thought it would be like ice cream. And it is…but so much better. It’s much denser and creamier. I am an self-proclaimed Häagen-Dazs addict, but Wild About Harry’s beats even my Häagen-Dazs.

Wild About Harry's

Wild About Harry’s doesn’t just have frozen custard, oh no. It also serves some damn good hot dogs. When I was little I would (inexplicably) get the vegetarian dog with ketchup only. But this time around, thanks to the encouragement of my friend Sheri, I decided to be adventurous and order a Chicago dog. Any hotdog that involves hot peppers and a pickle is my kind of meal!

Wild About Harry's

It was spot on; the pickle, hot peppers, and relish provided the perfect salty and sour contrast to the rich, all-beef dog.

As for their frozen custard, my favorite flavors have remained the same over 14 years: coconut, peppermint, coffee, and German chocolate cake.

Wild About Harry's

I initially ordered a sundae with coconut custard, German chocolate custard, peanuts, and chocolate sauce, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I abandoned it after not even finishing half.

Wild About Harry's

…but I came back later to get my old go-to, my beloved peppermint custard in a “flat cone,” as I call them. Just as I remembered. Perfectly velvety, with a slight bite from the peppermint. For a self-appointed ice cream connoisseur, Wild About Harry’s is some of the best you can find in Dallas, hand’s down.


Wild About Harry’s  3113 Knox St, Dallas, TX 75205

June, 30, 2014

100 Things to Do in Dallas – #29 Visit the Graves of Bonnie and Clyde

I chose my first Dallas 100 activity to do on a whim, at brunch, on Father’s Day. It was a lovely (if not hot) day and that Bloody Mary I had with my meal incited me to get out and do something a bit different.

To be honest, I knew little about Bonnie and Clyde’s history upon venturing to their graves. I knew they were iconic gangsters, I knew they died young, and I knew there were buried somewhere in Dallas.

Cursory Googling led me first to Clyde’s grave, in Western Heights Cemetery. Off Fort Worth Avenue, it’s not far from the Belmont Hotel. I parked on a side street and was disappointed when I saw that the entrance gate was locked. Undeterred, I decided to hop the fence. I didn’t see any “No Trespassing” signs, so I assumed the cemetery was closed because it was a Sunday.

Clyde Barrow Cemetery Grave

Brief pause in the narrative to describe the difference between a “cemetery” and “graveyard”: A graveyard is attached to a church, while a cemetery is completely independent. Thanks for that bit of knowledge, carriage rides in Charleston!

Western Heights Cemetery reminds me of a Dallas version of an old Charleston cemetery. Meaning: it’s quiet, overgrown, and charmingly timeworn. There are graves from the mid-1800s, which, for this town, is positively ancient. Though it’s surrounded by a somewhat transitional neighborhood in a big city, standing in the middle of the grounds, it’s really quite tranquil.

Clyde Barrow Cemetery Grave

That is, it was tranquil until a man in a tan pickup truck pulled up to the curb and slowed to a stop. I was in the middle of the cemetery at this point, so I couldn’t hear what he was yelling, but I could see him gesturing to me. I assumed he was telling me to get out of there because the cemetery was closed on Sundays. I tried to play it cool, pretend I didn’t notice him, and kept towards the center of the cemetery. However, he kept slowly circling the perimeter of the grounds for a good ten minutes. It was disconcerting, to say the least. He finally gave up and drove off.

Clyde Barrow Grave

The next day, as I relayed my adventures to coworkers, I learned the man in the pickup truck may have had some unsavory intentions. “The cemetery off Fort Worth Avenue?” my coworker questioned. “You know that it’s locked because prostitutes used to conduct business there, right?”

Clyde Barrow Cemetery Grave

After that unpleasantness, I found Clyde’s grave. It’s near the edge of cemetery; in a privileged place…under a billboard. It is a simple, unassuming grave, shared with his brother. I spent another 15 minutes looking for Bonnie, before realizing she’s buried separately from Clyde. Lesson learned: do your research more than 15 minutes before setting out, Paige.

Clyde Barrow Cemetery Grave

Bonnie is buried in a newer cemetery, Crown Hill Memorial Park, off Webb Chapel. Driving in, I realized participating in this activity on Father’s Day was a poor choice. Unlike Clyde’s burial grounds, which were deserted and peaceful, Bonnie’s resting place was full of people honoring their fathers. The cemetery was thick with large groups and couples and individuals paying their respects. It was a sobering experience and made me all the more grateful for my Daddy.

Bonnie Parker Cemetery Grave

Thanks to some Google sleuthing, it didn’t take me too long to find Bonnie’s grave. Hers has many more mementos than Clyde’s; the toy pistol, lip gloss, and handwritten note stood out to me.

Bonnie Parker Cemetery Grave

All in all, I’d consider this a successful first “100 Things to Do in Dallas” activity, being mistaken for a prostitute notwithstanding. Here’s to 99 more Dallas adventures!

Bonnie Parker Cemetery Grave


Western Heights Cemetery 1617 Fort Worth Ave, Dallas, TX 

Crown Hill Memorial Park 9700 Webb Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75220

June, 12, 2014

100 Things to Do in Dallas

It’s no secret that I love Dallas. If you’ve read this blog, perused my tweets, or talked to me, you know I am Dallas’s fiercest ally. Growing up, I hated this town so much. I couldn’t get out of here fast enough. But I’ve since learned that like any place, yes, Dallas has its flaws. As an adult living here, I found that the more time you spend in this city, the more you explore, the more you dig into Dallas…the better it becomes. While it can initially seem superficial and new and vapid, I have realized Dallas has such culture and personality.

Dallas Skyline

In an effort to both learn about this fair city and to give myself a reason to regularly update this space, I’m beginning another year-long challenge. I was so pleased with the way Project 365 turned out four years ago (ugh, it’s already been four years?), I’ve decided to take on a similar project now.

Beginning today, June 12th, 2014, I will endeavor to complete the following 100 “iconic” Dallas activities within one year’s time (in no particular order). I will photograph and blog about each one of them.


I compiled these quintessential Dallas must-dos thanks to the recommendations of magazines, blogs, and friends. Not all of these items are new to me, but in the spirit of a well-rounded project, I will complete them in their entirety in 365 days. And though I’m pretty independent and enjoy doing things solo, I’d love guests on these adventures. So if any of these activities suit your fancy, let me know! I welcome companions on this #Dallas100 journey.

So, allons-y, let’s go forth and explore Dallas!

Dallas skyline


100 Things to Do in Dallas

1.     Appreciate 3D art at the Nasher Sculpture Center

2.     Tour the George W. Bush Presidential Library

3.     Experience Dallas from 45 floors up at the top of Reunion Tower

4.     Eat a vegan dinner at Spiral Café

5.     Gawk at the oddities at Dolly Python

6.     Feign fanciness at a concert at the Myerson Symphony

7.     Relax at King Spa

8.     Brave the crowds at the Greenville Ave St Patrick’s Day Parade

9.     Run the Dallas Half Marathon

10.  Grab a sandwich and sausage from Jimmy’s Food Store

11.  Buy local vegetables from the Dallas Farmer’s Market

12.  See a burlesque show at the Lakewood Theater

13.  Sip on frozen margaritas at Mariano’s

14.  Attend a show at Trees

15.  Go to a drag show on Cedar Springs

16.  Learn about Dallas’s history at the 6th Floor Museum

17.  Embarrass yourself a the Goat’s Sunday karaoke

18.  Listen to jazz at Amsterdam Bar

19.  Tour the Old Red Museum

20.  Ride the cattle at Pioneer Plaza

21.  Cheer for the Rangers at a Texas Rangers game

22.  Take the M-line trolley throughout Uptown

23.  Support local artists at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival

24.  Sing along (silently) to a Dallas Summer Musical at the Music Hall at Fair Park

25.  Window shop in Highland Park Village

26.  Check out real life cowboys riding bulls at the Mesquite Rodeo

27.  Eat family style at Babe’s

28.  Study Asian art at the Trammel Crow Collection

29.  Visit the graves of Bonnie and Clyde

30.  Attend Homegrown Festival

31.  Try Dallas barbecue: Lockhart, Pecan Lodge, Off the Bone

32.  Observe the marine life at the Dallas World Aquarium

33.  Ride the mechanical bull at Gilley’s

34.  Peruse the downtown Neiman Marcus (and try not to buy anything)

35.  Do a “progressive dinner” in Bishop Arts

36.  Learn about aviation at the Frontiers of Flight Museum

37.  Take in the Dallas skyline at Winfrey Point

38.  Devour a late night meal at Serious Pizza in Deep Ellum after the bars close

39.  Explore the Trinity River Audubon

40.  Root for the Mavs at a game at the American Airlines Center

41.  Relive the 1800s at Dallas Heritage Village

42.  Have dinner (or a drink) at the Mansion on Turtle Creek

43.  Tap your feet at a country show at Adair’s

44.  Explore the tunnels in downtown Dallas

45.  Go ice skating at the Galleria

46.  Dip French fries into Whataburger’s spicy ketchup

47.  Cheer on the Cowboys at Jerryworld

48.  Kayak down the Trinity River

49.  Pretend to watch golf at the Byron Nelson

50.  Laugh at improv at the Pocket Sandwich Theater

51.  See how the other half lives on the Swiss Avenue Home Tour

52.  Taste a slice of pie from Norma’s Cafe in Oak Cliff

53.  Visit the Museum of Biblical Art

54.  Ride the Texas Star Ferris wheel

55.  Savor the steak at Al Beirnat’s

56.  Go to the AA Center to watch a Dallas Stars Game

57.  Step back into history at Dealey Plaza

58.  Scream “Go Mustangs!” at an SMU football game

59.  See a performance at the Majestic

60.  Watch a movie at Texas Theatre

61.  Drink a beer in your car at Keller’s Hamburgers

62.  Tour the Ewing’s home, Southfork Ranch

63.  Learn about science a the Perot Museum

64.  Jog on the Katy Trail

65.  Ride the monorail at the Dallas Zoo

66.  Go to a bottomless brunch

67.  Get a tweet on the screen before a show at the Granada

68.  Gorge on Bob Armstrong dip at Matt’s Rancho Martinez

69.  Dress up and watch the Oak Lawn Halloween parade

70.  Have a romantic dinner at the Grape

71.  Watch the dogs run around on Dog Days Sunday at Lee Harvey’s

72.  Feed the turtles at Northpark

73.  Picnic at Lee Park

74.  Be an ultimate tourist and go on a Segway tour of downtown Dallas

75.  Sit at the bar of Highland Park Pharmacy and eat lunch

76.  Stay up late and watch a midnight Movie at the Inwood

77.  Drink tea with your pinky out at High Tea at the French Room

78.  See a performance at the Kalita Humphreys Theater

79.  Watch butterflies being released at the Butterfly House

80.  Dine on pizza at the original Campisi’s

81.  Run the the Trinity Bridge 10k

82.  Swim at the Fraternal Order of the Eagle pool

83.  Drink beer at Ships

84.  Ride the TRE to Ft Worth

85.  Grab a drink at the Belmont’s bar and marvel at the Dallas skyline

86.  Try out various taco stands in Oak Cliff

87.  Sing your heart out at karaoke in Koreatown

88.  Visit the Holocaust Museum

89.  Drink local brews on the Deep Ellum Brewery tour

90.  Take advantage of the Dallas Museum of Art’s free admission

91.  Look for ghosts at Sons of Hermann Hall

92.  Do yoga in Klyde Warren Park

93.  See a performance at the Winspear

94.  Try the custard at Wild About Harry’s

95.  Shop for music at Good Records

96.  See a show at the Kessler

97.  Watch one of the Top 10 fireworks shows in the country at KaBoom Town

98.  Eat German sausage at Kuby’s

99.  Bike around White Rock Lake

100. Appreciate the Art Deco architecture at the Hall of State in Fair Park

Texas Star Ferris Wheel