East Met West Contrast

I’ve heard that there’s an old saying in north Texas that Dallas looks to the east and Fort Worth looks to the west in the Metroplex. The views vary particularly about the “other” depending on who you talk to, usually based on qualms about traffic, crime, schools, property values, and… attitude. Yes, the ego or the claim to the lack of it becomes familiar sport if you ask enough people about these two cities. There is a premise that everything is bigger and better in the “Big D” and it is apparent from the new skyscraper real estate, the exotic cars and fortune 500 companies you see. This new money has spawned arts and cultural centers, sporting and entertainment venues, shopping malls, fine dining and trendy nightlife, familiar of the big city cosmopolitan lifestyle. Fort Worth on the other hand has more of an old west character. It’s a much more laid back feel and somewhat slower paced yet full of local arts and culture where you’d be more akin to see a businessman in a cowboy hat and boots or not think there’s a costume party/event when you see cowboys walking around. The stockyards and livestock industry is part of its heritage and in recent years it has been promoting itself as the “City of Cowboys and Culture.” Many of the communities around Fort Worth are well established and the sense of the open range becomes apparent when you venture west of the city limits.

According to the US Census Bureau the DFW Metroplex encompasses 9,286 square miles, 12 counties,  the cities of Arlington, Irving and the Mid-Cities to name a few with a population of 6.8+ million as of July 2009. It ranks as the fourth largest populated metropolitan area in the US and tenth largest in the Americas. It gained 147,000 residents during the period of July 2008 to July 2009. It has always been a major rail transportation hub and the same is true for the airline industry.

Both cities have plenty to do and the difference sometimes is only what satisfies the ego. New money ambiance or old money traditionalism. Uptown sophistication or old west, cow town/funky town character. Performing arts, live music and sports venues or art museums, botanical gardens and family music festivals. The population has the choice of both plus what all the other cities in the area offer where the majorities reside. East has met West in this progressive Metroplex in Texas

Texas Stadium

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Texas Stadium was the home field for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys for 36 years.  It opened on October 24, 1971  in Irving, TX at a cost of $35 million and had a seating capacity of 65,600.  It was a major venue for high school football in the months of November and December, has hosted neutral-site college football games and was formerly the home to the SMU Mustangs in the 80’s.  The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the NFL’s most popular and most-televised teams, frequently beaming their stadium into many of the nation’s living rooms.  The roof is structurally independent from the stadium it covers and the hole in the roof was the most striking difference with other NFL facilities.  The truth of the old joke that the hole is there “so God can watch his favorite football team play” has never been confirmed, but the partial roof combines an outdoor atmosphere with an indoor environment and did a decent job of protecting fans from inclement conditions.  It’s ironic that when you pass this stadium today it’s easy to not see it’s significance unlike the new Cowboys Stadium facility in Arlington, TX.