THE EVENT: City of Dallas meets with Houston Bloggers

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Me, Veronica, & Lynne Gabriel
Last Friday, myself and 9 other bloggers, had the pleasure of meeting with Veronica Torres, Director of Diversity Marketing for the Dallas Visitor Bureau.  The Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau wanted to meet with a diverse group of Houston Bloggers to bring us up to speed with all the development happening in Dallas. Ameerah Saine of Avie Prince Events hosted the lunch meeting at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille.  It was great to walk in and know almost everyone in the room! A lot of the bloggers were either HFB members or I had interacted with them at other events around the city.  It was a very nice event, and I felt honored to have been invited! 

To start things off, Veronica wanted to know our current opinions and preconceived notions of Dallas.  I thought everyone's answers were interesting, and they varied from negative to positive. She was curious to know how other cities viewed Dallas.  Personally, I've only been to Dallas 3 times, with 2 of them being this year.  The first time I was in and out of the airport so fast that I don't remember much, but my last 2 visits were extended and I was able to explore a bit more of the city.  Overall I really liked Dallas, especially the West Village shopping area! Grant it I'll never be a Cowboys' fan, but I thought the areas I visited were nice. I still hold my opinion that the city's a bit pretentious, but if that's how they are, then more power to them! After all it's just my opinion. 

After all opinions were out on the table, Veronica went over the timeline of Dallas developments that will be coming on-stream over the next few years.  Here are just a few of the amazing things that Dallas will be offering:

Restaurant Incubator Programs at Trinity Groves
Local investor/restaurateur Phil Romano is launching Trinity Groves in summer of 2012. Trinity Groves will be a new complex devoted to fostering the growth of startup concepts and businesses. The development will allow aspiring chefs to apply for space in 13-acre development. The development is in West Dallas at the base of the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Also in West Dallas, local chef Sharon Hage is developing a program in the Sylvan Thirty development near the Belmont Hotel. Hage is the Culinary Curator of the “culinary incubator.” In that role, Hage will help identify prospective members of the incubator and promote the mission of supporting home-grown, food-related businesses.
Sarah & LeRenda taking notes diligently, while Vernetta takes it all in
We were in one of Perry's 9 private rooms for the lunch
Klyde Warren Park
The Park will serve as a central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors to enjoy in the heart of the city. The 5.2-acre deck park will create an urban green space over the existing Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul Streets in downtown Dallas and create a front lawn for the surrounding cultural offerings. Plans include a performance stage, restaurant, shaded walking paths, a dog park, a children’s discovery garden and playground, great lawn, water features, an area for games and much more. The Park will promote increased pedestrian, trolley and bicycle use between Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District, contributing to a more walkable city center and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.

Dallas claims it is the birthplace of shopping and with the nation’s first outdoor planned shopping center (and national historic landmark) in Highland Park Village and the first indoor mall in NorthPark Center, it’s not hard to support the claim. Dallas is also home to Neiman Marcus, the department store that changed it all. In recent years the Dallas Design District has also become the fourth largest concentration of luxury furnishing showrooms and art and antique galleries in the nation, adding another aspect to an already impressive line-up of bragging rights. From luxury retail to funky boutiques, Dallas can almost without contest claim status as the number one shopping destination in the Southwest.
Trinity River Corridor Project
The Trinity River Corridor Project transforms a flood protection solution into 20 miles and 10,000 acres of world-class greenway. Once complete, the corridor area near downtown will showcase the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge designed by renowned architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, Trinity Overlook Park (opened 2008), lakes/river amenities, Moore Park Gateway, the Dallas Wave (complete 2011), Continental Avenue Pedestrian Park and the Elm Fork Athletic Complex. The city owns 6,000 acres of urban hardwood bottomland forest and within it is the Trinity River Audubon Center (opened 2008) situated on 120 acres; the proposed Texas Horse Park and an expanding system of 20 miles of trails with gateway parks locations throughout the project. It includes Trinity Trails I and II and the Santa Fe Trestle Hike and Bike Trail (opening 2012).
I ordered the pork chop...can you believe this is a lunch portion? I definitely ate about 1/6th of this and packed up the rest to take

City Performance Hall
Designed by the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in collaboration with the Architect of Record, Corgan Associates, Inc for the City of Dallas, the City Performance Hall will feature a 750-seat, acoustically-flexible proscenium theater flanked by two multipurpose performance spaces seating 200 people each. The complex will include galleries, a café, gift store and bookshop; educational and meeting facilities; artistic support spaces; and an indoor garden. Phase I of the City Performance Hall, consisting of the 750-seat proscenium theatre and its support spaces, is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2012.  The City Performance Hall will nearly complete the vision for the Dallas Arts District, now one of the world’s largest urban arts districts.

Imani and Veronica
For dessert they gave us the dessert trio: Chocolate Truffle, Creme Brulee, & Cheesecake
So what was in the goodie bag?

The pen turned out to be a laser pointer and a hard drive. The hard drive was full of information on Dallas along with the below video.  Enjoy! 

Visiting Dallas is definitely on my radar and may turn into a traveling meetup for Houston Fashion Bloggers! 

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  1. very nice! great post looks like it was very entertaining and relaxing

    1. It was! A nice change to a typical Friday afternoon, and very laidback, chill atmosphere!

  2. Thanks,for your comment on my blog.^^
    Lovely greets...

  3. Thanks for the GREAT post! I would for you to add to our Visit Dallas facebook wall! Excited to have you visit soon~ V

    1. Thanks Veronica! Can't wait to come to Dallas again too!


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