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Dallas Arrival

January 22, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I meant to write a post with this title three nights ago, on the day we arrived in Dallas, but now we’re already home. Oh well. In the wake of my post almost two weeks ago about our arrival in Atlanta and how that meant I had set foot in my 45th state, I was going to point out that I had been in Texas before, as had Gail, but never to Dallas.

My first trip to Texas was in January 1977, when I was applying for my first faculty position and UT Austin flew a huge collection of candidates in just after the annual meeting of the American Math Society, which was in St. Louis that year. It was a famous winter in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys and points north. The Ohio had frozen. One of the days that I was in St. Louis, the high temperature was -2. And it was windy. For years after that, the AMS made sure not to hold its annual meeting in a cold climate. But here’s the highlight of that trip. In Austin, I stayed in a motel at the edge of campus, right at the foot of a gigantic elevated freeway. The nearest building to us was the LBJ Library, which I had visited during some of my free time. No doubt this site is no longer the edge of campus. Maybe the motel isn’t even there anymore. Anyway, I was in the lobby, which was really a tiny entry space with a check-in desk and some chairs, waiting for a van to take me to the airport. The van came — well, some van anyway, maybe a different one — and a new arrival walked up to the desk to check in. I need to remind you that during that very week, the last week of January, the country was being swept up in a new miniseries, Roots, based on the book by Alex Haley. And who walked into that Austin motel? Alex Haley. The most famous man in America that week was checking into the motel as I was leaving. I can’t imagine why he wasn’t staying somewhere else.

Then there was my trip to Lubbock in January 1980, which I could write about for a while, but let’s move ahead 30 years, (Indeed, my arrival in Dallas three days ago followed my Lubbock departure by exactly 30 years.) And I passed through El Paso in 2005 on the way to Apache Point Observatory in southern New Mexico. That’s it for me and Texas, until this week.

What’s there to say about our Dallas arrival? Well, it was warm, the warmest temperatures we’ve experienced for months. And we got to see my old friend Won for the first time in over 15 years. He picked us up and swung by his house in Irving so we could have a tour. Then we headed into Dallas in rush hour traffic and took a bit of a driving tour of the Arts District and the Uptown neighborhood before heading to our hotel. Won had to go to dance class, so he dropped us off. We checked in, got settled, then Won returned to take us to a late dinner at Cyclone Anaya’s, a Mexican restaurant with five locations in Houston and Dallas that, to our taste, was superb. I would happily go back. Even better, they should open a branch here. I recommend it.

I have more to say about Dallas, but it doesn’t fit under the heading of our arrival, so I will return to the subject in a separate post.

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Categories: Restaurants, Travel
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