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DIY: Downtown Dallas Stay-cation


by Lydia Regalado 29 Jun 2009

Guest blogger Lydia Regalado is an arts educator, crafter and blogger who writes about people who gather to make things. High temperatures, conservative spending habits and the need to stay cool is prompting a Stay-cation Summer! This summer I am staying close to home, exploring parts of my city, some of them for the first time. […]

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From left to right, an aerial view of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, origami at the Crow Colllection of Asian Art and an interior shot of The Plaza of the Americas.

Guest blogger Lydia Regalado is an arts educator, crafter and blogger who writes about people who gather to make things.

High temperatures, conservative spending habits and the need to stay cool is prompting a Stay-cation Summer! This summer I am staying close to home, exploring parts of my city, some of them for the first time. This particular stay-cation takes place within two blocks of downtown Dallas, easily accessible from Pearl Station if you decide to ride the DART Rail.  The first stop on my tour was the “SkyLobby” in the Chase Tower, located at 2200 Ross Ave., for an areal view of the Arts District. Soaring 40 stories, the “SkyLobby” is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. It is accessed via a direct elevator in the center of the lobby. The view is amazing, and an excellent angle for the nearly completed Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theater.

From the second floor of the Chase Tower, I took the skybridge to The Plaza of the Americas.  With a breathtaking myriad of architecture, The Plaza of the Americas houses the Westin Hotel, an ice skating rink and more than 40 restaurants and stores.  Ten dollars will buy your ticket to skate if you don’t take advantage of the Family or College Night Specials. If you like coffee and donuts while you ice skate, you might want to try the Adult Only Freestyle Coffee Club for $5, every Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. For more information and the complete schedule, click here.

Within walking distance are three stellar museums: the Dallas Museum of Art,  Nasher Sculpture Center and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. While the Dallas Museum of Art is offering FREE admission on Wednesdays in July, the Crow Collection is always free to the public. The Roger Shimomura exhibition, “The Return of the Yellow Peril,” is not to be missed. The colors and pop-art style of Shimomura’s work is a stark but creative contrast to the historical and personal subject matter of his bicultural experiences as a Japanese-American. This show inspired me to get creative and record my daily experiences. Which brings me to my final and most important contribution of the Summer Stay-cation experience, creativity.

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Illustration by Keri Smith.

Making something is fun, often free and an activity that can be done anywhere. Check out illustrator and author Keri Smith‘s list of 100 Ideas to get you started, or pick up one of her books. If you happen to carry your camera with you, snap a shot and submit it to Art&Seek’s Flickr page. Share your comments, links and ideas here and have a great time!

View a map of my Downtown Dallas Summer Stay-cation.

Next up: Lakewood’s Got Talent!

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Do you have talent? Come out and show Lakewood what you’ve got! A Dallas tradition for more than 40 years, the Lakewood 4th of July Parade takes place this Saturday at 10 a.m. There is no cost to enter the parade, and neighbors are calling for musicians, dancers artistic floats and bikes. All they ask is that you show up at 9:15 a.m. to register and have no commercial or political affiliations with your entry. This is a family event that is especially fun for kids. There will be an awards ceremony with first, second and third place medals in 18 categories, including for the most creative, patriotic and musical costumes and floats. Click here for more details and information.

See you there!

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