About Jessica L
Lives in New York City, New York
Since Oct. 2014
25-34 year old female
Hey, there! I'm Jessica, an eastern polyglot journeying West. With Korean, Japanese, and Chinese floating around in my mindspace, I've got my sights set on tackling French and the rest of the Romance languages next -- and their countries, food, and culture with them! I was bitten by the travel bug young and have moved every few years since I left my family home in sunny Southern California, leading me to experience life amongst the rice paddies of Hita-shi, in the quaint college town of Amherst, and from bustling Tokyo to sleepless New York, which I now proudly call "home." My favourite international cities include Kyoto, Osaka, London, and Paris, continuing to dot my travel map with trips to Marrakech, Malta, Tel Aviv, and Dhaka in the meanwhile. Learning where the best local eats are and exploring each city as a native is my game, so hang on tight, and be sure to keep your arms and legs inside the aircraft at all times. Cheers!
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Symphonies, Architectural Buildings
Young or old, the zoo is always a great sight to see. Highlights of the Dallas Zoo include Giants of the Savannah, one of the largest enclosures in the U.S., where various species roam freely together; as well as the giraffe exhibit, where you can feed these majestic animals for a small fee. While it's not San Diego Zoo, it's well worth a stop-by while you're in town.
One fateful November afternoon in November 1963, John F. Kennedy, one of the most beloved and iconic U.S. Presidents, was shot from the window that is now preserved as a part of the Sixth Floor Museum. Regardless of what stories you've heard or what you personally believe about the assassination and its myriad conspiracy theories, a visit here is an essential stop on your Dallas trip. Dealey Plaza, the scene of the crime itself, is also a must, in order to fully immerse yourself in one of the most deeply significant moments in Dallas and U.S. history.
Dallas has come a long way from its cattle-driving, Texas Road days, what with its towering skyscrapers and multi-floored car parks. Though you can't experience a real cattle drive in this area anymore, you can walk right into the midst of one, frozen in time, at Pioneer Plaza. Here, fifty or so bronze cast, larger-than-life longhorned cattle, along with three trail riders represent an everyday scene of Western history: cowboys wrangling their steer, herding them along from town to town. Wander among these sculptures and along the water under the shade, and allow yourself be transported back time to hear the shuffling of hooves in the dirt.
Looking for a bird's-eye view of the city? Rather than heading straight to the observation deck of Reunion Tower, try Wolfgang Puck's revolving restaurant, Five Sixty, for lunch instead. Located at the tippy-top of the city's tall landmark, this restaurant offers diners a 360-degree aerial panorama of Dallas, as well as great Asian fusion meals and specially crafted cocktails. Perfect for a special occasion or simply an indulgent feast, while you may be paying more than you'd expect for a meal here, the views are worth the splurge!
Nothing cries 'DALLAS' more than the Cowboy ribeye at Stephan Pyles, who designed the dish after declaring that he 'wanted to create something unabashedly Texan!' Grilled over hickory, the bone-in ribeye is first marinated for 24 hours in three kinds of dried chilies, before being cooked to order and presented with fried onion rings, plus a pinto bean and corn stew that takes you back to the days of the cowboy cattle drives of the late 19th century. Stop by this classy American restaurant with top-notch service and a whole lotta flavor!
Looking to escape the heat? Head to Fountain Place, the fifth tallest building in Dallas, whose base is surrounded by its namesake: 172 dancing fountains and trees. The plaza offers the area a significant 10-20ºF temperature drop that you'll be sure to appreciate during the hot summer months, and it's a great place to admire the massive architectural artwork designed to look like a multifaceted prism, with different profiles from every angle. Take a walk through the fountain spray and enjoy the free cool-down!
In tune with Dallas' 'bigger is better' reputation, you'll find that Dallas' Arts District is one of the largest in the U.S. Drop by the Dallas Museum of Art to feel this impressive sense of size — and don't be fooled by its humble exterior, as it's much bigger on the inside than it seems from the outside. In fact, most people have to come back a few times in order to complete their tour of this museum; but even if you're only going for a quick wander, it's worth a look. The collection is a little eclectic, including furniture, silverware, and even the personal effects of Coco Chanel, alongside the more traditional masters' artworks, like Monet's Water Lilies. And the best part? The museum is free to enter, meaning you've got free A/C at your fingertips for as long as you'd like! (Until closing, at least.)
Choosing between art and science can be a tough decision if you only have time to visit one museum during your stay in Dallas; but if science gets your vote, check out the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Every floor has an interactive exhibit that's fun for all ages, so don't be surprised to find yourself spending the whole day upstairs in the planetarium with your heads in the stars, or experiencing earthquakes for the first time in your life. A great way to get in touch with your inner child!
Pack yourself a picnic basket and make your way to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens for a delightful afternoon of greenery, sun, and reconnecting with nature. Every season is honored with an annual festival here to celebrate its specialty — pumpkins during autumn at the Arboretum, and springtime azaleas for the Dallas Blooms floral festival are the highlights — but flowers can be found in bloom year-round thanks to the city's temperate climate, so be sure to take a lively stroll through the gardens to refresh yourself before tackling the city once more.
Walking through NorthPark Center is like walking through the modern art wing of a gallery while you shop, and is where all the city's classiest socialites go. Home to brands such as Lacoste, Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus, Burberry, Dooney & Bourke, Gucci, Prada, and more, even if you don't intend to buy anything, the artworks and sculptures (think Warhol and Dine) displayed in this not-so-run-of-the-mill mall are worth the visit alone.
You'll be surprised how good the seafood is in Dallas, and how many iconic Dallas dishes consist of little sea critters. For instance, the Asian fusion restaurant Abacus' lobster shooters are a must-try, even if just for the gimmick of it! Sip the red curry and coconut sauce in the little sake cup, then down the miniature fried lobster dumplings in one go!
Dallas may not be the home of the best barbecue in Texas, but it's got some pretty solid options for those wanting to taste this cuisine. Go for the brisket at Pecan Lodge, one of the most famous BBQ joints in town... or basically anything else on the menu! Pulled pork, fried okra, collard greens, you name it. The line may run long and you may be discouraged by the complete lack of free seating, but hang in there! Turnover is surprisingly fast, and the food is so, so worth the wait.
You haven't experienced Dallas proper without checking out the iconic Winspear Opera House in the Arts District. Whether you go to enjoy some modern musical theater or a more traditional operatic performance, be sure to get there about a half hour before curtains-up in order to watch the beautiful light show. This nightly show sees the Moody Foundation Chandelier being retracted into the ceiling to the tune of American composer Philip Glass' exclusively adapted song, 'The Light.' Breathtaking! Check out their website to see what's playing and make a big evening event of rounding off your day.
Even if you're not a fan of the symphony, you'll be hard-pressed to dislike a single performance held at the world-class Meyerson Symphony Center. Designed by the Louvre's Glass Pyramid architect I.M. Pei and renowned acoustician Russell Johnson, the acoustics are absolutely brilliant no matter where you're seated. After years of attending performances here in the McDermott Concert Hall, I can personally vouch that you'll receive the same perfect quality of sound regardless of where you set your bum!