Braille Monitor                                                 January 2012

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Texas Facts and Features

by Kimberly Flores

From the Editor: Kimberly Flores is president of the NFB of Texas. She and her affiliate are getting ready for a memorable convention. While you are in the area, you might like to visit some places of special interest. Here are a few for your consideration:

The Texas affiliate is already making plans and getting excited about dishing up some southern hospitality when we welcome our Federation family back to Texas for the 2012 National Federation of the Blind convention. We hope you are making arrangements to join us for yet another gathering of enthusiasm and action at the Hilton Anatole in the Big D. You may think you’ve been there and done that, but read on to learn what you may have overlooked about the treasures Dallas has to offer.

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex boasts four professional sports teams and a plethora of art, culture, and dining. Here are some entertaining facts about the area:

The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area features more than thirty museums ranging from art, baseball, and sewing machines to railroading and more. The $81.5 million Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by the famous architect I. M. Pei, houses the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the last handmade Fisk organ Mr. Fisk worked on before his death. The African American Museum in Dallas has one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the nation. The Dallas Children’s Theater was named one of the top five theaters in the U.S where performances are held for young audiences and families. The Dallas Public Library in downtown Dallas permanently displays one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, printed on July 4, 1776, and the First Folio of William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories & Tragedies. The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University has the most significant collection of Spanish art outside of Spain, featuring art from the tenth through the twentieth centuries.

In Texas we take our food and drink seriously. “There aren’t enough superlatives” to describe the French Room at the Adolphus Hotel, Zagat Survey said of the restaurant that it ranked as the number one restaurant in the U.S. in 2006.

According to the Texas Restaurant Association, the Dallas area has more than six thousand restaurants to enjoy. Dallas’s Farmers Market is the largest working farmers market in the United States, with more than one million visitors annually. One of the largest wine festivals in the Southwest is Grapefest, held in Grapevine, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas.

Many Texans choose to work off some of those large lunches and dinners by shopping, and we have many great shopping destinations and varieties. Galleria Dallas offers more than 200 premier retail stores and is home to the country’s tallest Christmas tree. Neiman Marcus began in Dallas, and its flagship store is still thriving downtown. One of the largest permanent flea markets in the country is housed at Traders’ Village in Grand Prairie, just outside of Dallas.

Some other firsts, bests, and facts worth noting about the Dallas-Fort Worth region may be of interest to Braille Monitor readers. The nation's first convenience stores, the vast 7-Eleven chain, now in eighteen countries, started here in 1922. The frozen margarita was invented by Dallas restaurateur Mariano Martinez in 1971--you’re welcome for that one. Currently the Texas Star Ferris Wheel at the State Fair of Texas is the tallest in North America.

As you can see, your options and opportunities are as wide as Texas. Come on down and live large. We are planning some special signature Texas events to mark this convention as one to be remembered, so don’t miss it!


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