I needed a pick-me-up, something new. I wasn’t in the mood for a new dress or even a new book. Instead, I wanted a new walk: the Dallas Downtown walk.
Our weather this week has been amazing. In the low 90s, the strong south breezes have ameliorated the humidity (79-85%). Partly cloudy conditions prevailed in the morning. By lunchtime, the clouds had cleared, leaving the bright sunshine.
Victor and I took the TRE to Dallas Union Station ($10 for an all-region ticket), the location of the AVA box and the beginning of our 5k. We walked to the counter where we were greeted by two friendly DART employees who handed us the box and watched us check in.
We left Union Station to begin our trek. We were on familiar territory. We have geocached Downtown Dallas before but construction changes Dallas and transforms landmarks regularly.
We walked past a historic federal building (if you walk this, check out the architectural details of the building! I love the bronze lamps.) We passed Dealey Plaza (I’ve never really paid attention to Ol’ Man Dealey’s statue before) and crossed over to the Old Red. We crossed to the fountains at Founders’ Plaza (love the pedestrian crossing!) before heading north again.
I have never approached the historic West End from the angle we were led. It was nice to be in the shade again. We stopped off for breakfast at the Corner Bakery (only one restroom!) before continuing on our way. I was looking forward to encountering the Historic Marker where North and South Texas were joined via Preston.
Having never approached West End from this angle, the tribute to music passageway was unknown to me. I stopped to read several of the plaques before we crossed under the highway through the musical archway.
It must have been shift change for the downtown police station. Cops and cop cars were everywhere! I felt quite safe.
I reminisced with Victor about Tricky Dick’s and the House of Blues. They’ve moved about since I was in college in the 90s.
We walked past El Fenix (Closed, alas! Too early for lunch.) up past the Perot Museum. We had to cross the street because of sidewalk construction. Green stripes and directions have been added to the sidewalks to direct pedestrians to the Perot and the new park. We passed several families on their way to the Perot. Lots of up on this leg of the walk.
The directions for the park were a bit confusing. We weren’t too sure how far we were supposed to go counterclockwise before circling back to the entrance to the park. It was Victor’s first visit to the park. I pointed out several of the features, including the misting park and the free reading room with games. We’ll be bringing nieces and nephews here on their visits.
Our next landmarks included the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) and the Museum Towers. It was the first time I’d walked past the Museum Towers. What an interesting building!
We noted that the Crowe Asian Art Collection appears to be either moving or expanding. Either would be appropriate. It’s a great little museum.
School buses lined the streets around the DMA. The drivers wisely parked in the shade. We approve highly of the trees shading the sidewalk.
We walked through the DMA lot, passing the familiar statue and mural. At the corner, we faced a dilemma. The sidewalk was temporarily closed as workers cleaned up the fountains and gardens. The workers indicated we could walk around them so we continued to Fountain Place. Unfortunately, we couldn’t cut through Fountain Place because the fountains were being worked on.
On Field Street, we saw a woman enter a building through an obscure entrance. Above the entrance was a small sign indicating that this was an entrance to the Dallas Underground Tunnel System. Score! I’ve been telling Victor about the Dallas Tunnel System for years but I couldn’t remember how we got into it when we used to explore the system back when I was in college. We entered.
We luxuriated in the air conditioning and shade (it was reaching the 90s by now) as we road down the escalator. We began following random turns in the tunnels. We passed restaurants, shops, ATMs, and office workers in our explorations. We found the restrooms and freshened up before finding an exit back to Field Street and continued on our walk.
We arrived back at Union Station with 20 minutes to spare before the next train. (It would be almost two hours before the next TRE train would arrive.) We signed back in and boarded our train.
I wish I’d taken more pictures. We’ll take more in November when we return for the longer walk.