Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Dallas Reunion and (Hotel) Room With a View

Downtown Dallas as seen from the GeO-Deck atop Reunion Tower, Dallas, Texas, 6:28PM July 10, 2017.

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Well, my brief trip to Dallas, Texas is just about over and I'm getting ready to head to the airport for my scheduled evening flight back home to D.C.

I was able to get a late checkout and right now, I'm seated in my quiet, air-conditioned hotel room on the 14th floor of the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre looking at one of the ubiquitous massive, busy freeways and spaghetti-maze of on and off ramps that crisscross the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, watching the never-ending whirl of traffic. The endless white noise whoosh of traffic (with occasional louder roar, revving engine, or siren) is just audible through the double-paned, tinted windows.

This is a powerfully private-vehicle-centric culture and it is exceedingly difficult to get anywhere without one. That is obvious but it also needs to be stated at times.

View from Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre hotel room, Dallas, Texas, 5:07PM July 10, 2017.

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It's a typically hot day in July here -- about 95F -- and the dull, bright blue sky has some elevated cumulus / towering cumulus clouds but no real sign of thunderstorm development.

The workshop ended just before noon and I was able to get lunch and go for a quick swim in the hotel's somewhat unusually-designed outdoor pool (it looks more like a strange, extended fountain than a swimming pool) locked behind gates and locked doors that require a hotel key card.

I'm flying out of Dallas Love Field rather than the far more massive and daunting Dallas / Fort Worth Int'l Airport, and I need to take a taxi to the airport. (I get to expense that, though, and ditto a taxi once I'm home.) It is a direct, non-stop flight to National Airport, so if there are no delays, I should be back home in D.C. in my apartment by about 1130PM Eastern Time. (It is about 315PM Central Time as I write this.)

Reunion Tower and Regency Hyatt, Dallas, Texas, 6:19PM July 10, 2017.

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So yesterday evening, after the workshop had concluded for the day, I took a taxi -- or rather, a Lyft even though I don't have a Smartphone with necessary app -- into downtown Dallas. (My Lyft driver, who had been parked in the hotel driveway, was a very nice native Jordanian man named Abu, and I'll write more about him in a subsequent entry.)

I got off at Reunion Tower and went up to what is called the GeO-Deck observation deck and also two flights of stairs higher to the Cloud Nine Café, itself below the Wolfgang Puck restaurant. (I'm unsure if the old Antares restaurant where I had my previous last dinner in Texas on my 12th birthday with my mom and Ray -- on Nov. 26, 1981 -- was where the Cloud Nine Café or the Wolfgang Puck restaurant is.)

Interior, JRs Dallas, Dallas, Texas, 8:23PM July 10, 2017.

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I then walked all the way to JRs Dallas on a somewhat convoluted route to include the Katy Trail -- in a city I know nothing about, although I had studied a Google map just enough to have a sense of where I wanted to be -- by about 815PM. I had a couple drinks there and then took a cab -- which the bartender kindly called for me -- back to the hotel.

I had another wonderful cab driver -- this one a native Ethiopian fellow named Daniel -- and I'll write about him in that subsequent entry as well.

Once back the hotel, I went to the lobby hotel bar, where I had dinner and some additional interesting conversations with interesting characters in what, upon reflection, feels like a Middle American version of The Canterbury Tales.

I got to bed by about 1230AM -- having spent a shit-ton of money but having had a wonderful day. And I still got up in time for the 830AM start of the workshop.

OK, that's all for now. I am heading out. Owing to my work schedule and need to finish something urgent, blogging may be light the next several days.

Oh, yes, I have a window seat on the flight back -- at least I think I do -- and hopefully there will be no screaming two year old.

--Regulus 

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