Another month, another business trip, this time to Dallas.
Now I know what you're thinking, and I was surprised, too, but it actually looks like a pretty decent place, at least the bits I've seen so far.
They've got me in the Marriott Fairfield on what might be considered the wrong side of the highway, but it's actually close to one of those mixed-use, industrial-artsy areas where you can get tile and countertops for the new kitchen, and then walk a block and get the art to hang in the new living room. The walk down Dragon street took me by both places, including the now-defunct "House of Kirk." How odd. "House of Picard" I could understand, but "House of Kirk?"
Another closed-on-Sunday art gallery is called, "Art of India, Inc.," which sounds more like a print shop for Peanuts originals. (There was one strip where Schroder tells Lucy that here eyes look like little round dots of India ink.)
Since my objective was the kosher Indian restaurant, I decided to walk the three miles to the train station. "Why?" you might ask? Tradition! Actually, I like these walks. I get to see something of the city, In this case, I also got to walk through the Historic West End, sort of like LoDo, and also the location of Dealy Plaza. And by the Dallas World Aquarium. Because when you think, "Dallas," you think, "fish!"
Then there's the light rail. Almost every city has "invested" in one of these white elephants. Although as a visitor, it's more comfortable to ride than a bus, very few visitors are going to have the same local travel profile that I will: stay downtown for meetings, ride out to the 'burbs for dinner. And while the downtown seems to have some retained some of its local character, once out of the city, the thing runs along the interstate, which looks like any other Interstate, only moreso, as Rick would say.
Although there are always the distractions onboard the train, like the electronic advertising sign for Dallas County Community College: "Love is a canvas pattern furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination." Their motto should be, "DCCC: Sucking the Manhood Out Of Texas One Associate's Degree At A Time."
I suppose it's better than the woman sitting in front of me, who was at least 45, and reading the train behavior admonitions aloud in both English and Spanish, in a voice that indicates that she moonlights on the bingo circuit. I demurred from complimenting her on her command of phonetic alphabets.
Walking from the train station to the restaurant - about 3 miles, I'd guess - I was stopped by a woman in a car who asked if I needed a ride someplace. She said this in a voice that suggested I should check the back seat for chain saws. I need the exercise, in any event.
The restaurant itself is quite good, full of Indians in fact, which is the surest test of any ethnic food joint. I ended up ordering the Thali, which I gather is Hindi for "Poo Poo Platter." Ah ha! There were plenty of leftovers, none of which would have made it past security at DFW, especially since this state of the art airport the size of Manhattan doesn't have any services ground-side. I ended up eating lunch sitting at baggage claim area B29.
DFW was full of soldiers, looking decidedly un-victim-like, except for their having to submit to the same bizarre security requirements as the rest of us. Barring a coordinated effort by an entire military unit to turn Turk, requiring soldiers, in the presence of dozens of other soldiers, to take boots off, borders on the insane. I am beyond confident that if any one soldier were to decide to try something, the several platoons around me could spontaneously organize well enough to deal with him faster than anything TSA could muster.
DFW, as one of the two main airports that soldiers move through to and from Iraq (the other is Atlanta), has a program where civic groups can show up at the airport to welcome troops home. Now Ken "Colorado Surrender Caucus" Gordon claims he "supports the troops," whatever that means. It occurs to me the nobody's ever asked him whether he's given to Soldier's Angels, the USO, or any of the couple of dozen programs that spring up from time to time to get care packages to the troops or their families.
Going through security at Denver, the gal (ethnomusicologists take note) behind me in line asked if I remembered when air travel was fun. I honestly replied, "No." It's been that long.