Living in the Big D—A Year in Review

A year ago today, October 6, 2019, Jake and I passed the “Welcome to Texas” road sign as we crossed over from New Mexico on our way to Dallas. Jake accepted a job and it was long past time we moved on from small-town Santa Fe. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed our time in New Mexico, but I was ready to be back in a big city and Dallas is named the Big D for a reason.

As the ninth largest city in the U.S., Dallas boasts remarkable museums, a variety of restaurants, and beautiful green spaces, allowing for more than enough to do both indoors and outdoors. And before the city shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jake and I were enjoying everything the Big D had to offer.

After settling into our new apartment in downtown Dallas, I quickly stepped into a role at the Dallas Observer as a street team member. I attended countless signature and sponsored events and even enjoyed special perks like free tickets to Mavericks games and VIP entry to food and wine festivals. Although, getting to know the city and meeting interesting people was by far the biggest perk of all.

Enjoying an apple-spiced pumpkin drink at the Dallas Farmers Market.
Enjoying spiced apple cider in a pumpkin at the Dallas Farmers Market.

In addition to enjoying Dallas Observer–related fun, Jake and I enjoyed many more advantages of living in the Big D. We strolled through the great State Fair of Texas, in awe of its grandeur; dressed up for on an impromptu Halloween Chainsmokers concert; and enjoyed countless patio and rooftop bars. Thanks to the cultural diversity of the city, we were seeing some fresh new options at restaurants, making eating out and following our vegan lifestyle finally possible. Also, Dallas’ unique location in North Texas afforded us the opportunity to easily road trip to Austin for a tour of the infamous Sixth Street, Houston for a Texans vs. Patriots game, and New Orleans for a Mardi Gras celebration. Needless to say, Jake and I squeezed a lot of adventuring into five months and Dallas was quickly starting to feel like home.

Epic ferris wheel at the State Fair of Texas.
Epic ferris wheel at the State Fair of Texas.

However, as we all know, in March 2020 the country shut down, and we all slipped into quarantine. It was a shock to not be able to travel, enjoy the Dallas scene or even sit down to eat at a restaurant. Even walking around the Dallas Farmers Market, a Saturday morning tradition since we lived close by, was put on hold. All of a sudden the perks of being back in a big city vanished.

Living in downtown Dallas didn’t fully lose its luster though. Thankfully, while we couldn’t go out, we were still able to order in from a multitude of restaurants and take safe, socially-distanced walks through our favorite parts of the city, namely Deep Ellum and the Katy Trail. It’s true we weren’t able to see the bats take flight at the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, tour the many wineries of Fredericksburg, and experience the beauty of the Texas blue bonnets in spring. However, as we plant roots in Dallas and start to once again explore the city that has come to be our home, I know we’ll get to each of our bucket-list items. So, here’s to many more years in Dallas, Texas!

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

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