Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ft Worth on a Fall Day

For those of you not from these parts, you probably think of this part of the world as Dallas-Ft. Worth because of the airport. Sort of like Minneapolis-St. Paul, I guess. But, Dallas and Ft. Worth are about 30-40 minutes apart from downtown to downtown, and worlds apart in many ways. Dallas is much larger and cosmopolitan, Ft. Worth coins itself the "gateway to the West". Dallas has many great museums, places to go and things to see. But, Ft. Worth, being that they have one family that sees to it the city gets what it needs, has amassed a wonderful collection of museums, a world class zoo, the world famous stockyards, etc. There's a lot to see there too.

The Kimbell Art Museum is hosting an exhibition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, and I wanted to take that in before it was gone. Southern Living Magazine also built one of their "Idea Homes" in Ft. Worth this year. And, there is this fabulous Mexican restaurant over there with a beautiful patio that goes on for days, perfect to eat at when the weather is as it has been in the past few weeks. So, I set out to find someone to drive to Ft. Worth with me to make a day of it.

My mother-in-law was the only one who took the bait, so we set the date for last Saturday and headed out across the prairie early in the day to beat the crowds.

First stop - Kimbell Art Museum

Of course, this is the only photo I have of this stop since you can't take photos of the art. But, the exhibit was nice. I will say, however, I was not impressed with the audio tour. I am normally I big proponent of the audio tour, because it gives you information that you can't fit on that little placard next to the art. And, the more you know about something, the more engaging it is, I think. But this audio tour would be for one painting in a room of paintings, and didn't talk at all about how the paintings or artists related to one another. And, the talk about the one piece of art on the audio tour was so in depth you felt as if you were hogging the space in front of that painting from others to listen to the whole thing. It also caused sort of a "traffic jam" around that piece of art in each room. I think a good audio tour helps you understand why certain paintings are in a exhibition side by side, helps move you through the exhibit and teaches you a little more than you might have known going in. I thought this was was pretty lame.

The exhibition, however, was not lame. There were several well known impressionist works I've seen in textbooks or on birthday cards hundreds of time hanging on a wall right in front of me. That was really cool. It was also interesting to see the scale of some of the well known works - you have no idea the size of the original at times. One really funny thing - one of the Renoirs in the exhibit hung in my mother's living room when I was a child. Well, not the real one, of course, but a reproduction of it. There it was, as big as day, in its original form. That was pretty cool.

Second stop - Southern Living Idea House

We went to the museum first, because it opened an hour earlier, and we thought if we got there around opening time we could miss some of the crowds. That was a good bet - we did miss a larger crowd that had assembled by the time we left. Similarly, we arrived at the idea house close to the time it opened. This also turned out to be a good bet. It, too, was more crowded when we left.

Generally speaking, I was less impressed with this idea house than one we saw a few years ago in Frisco. That house was larger and more "tricked out". But this house had a coziness to it - a livability that was nice. And, I have a lot of photos of the house because, well, you could photograph it. So I did.

The front walk and entry door. (And, my mother-in-law leading the way.)

From the kitchen into the main living area.

The chandelier in the main living area.

The main living area from above.

I thought this chair in the main living area looked comfy.

This was on the large kitchen island. I just thought it was nice.

Another little bauble I thought was nice - this time an urn next to the sink.

Check out those countertops - yes, that's right, that is completely expensive but totally impractical limestone for the countertops. Pretty, but no thank you.

I did think this backsplash was nice around the stove.

I didn't get a picture of the coolest thing in the kitchen though - it was a microwave oven that was a pull out drawer! Cool. Very cool.

Looking out the back door towards the back yard.

Out the main living area doors to the beautiful covered patio.

Then, we headed into the master bedroom and bath with huge closet. Here are the highlights.

Across from the bed, a secretary and pretty needlepoint chair.

The use of needlepoint in the house was interesting. I'm thinking its a trend we'll see around these parts for a few years. They had some vintage needlepoint pillows framed on a wall, some needlepoint accents in the main living area, etc.

Then, off the bathroom came the closet. I need this closet, don't you think?

Mirrored at one end - there we are standing at the other end.

All this closet space made me a little maniacal...we'll call this, "Self Portrait in Awe"

Oddly placed mirror at the other end - where you can check out only your bottom half.
There's my bottom half.

Then, we headed to the upstairs part of the house.

One of the cool mod art posters in the jack and jill bathroom upstairs.

The upstairs hallway that went between bedrooms and an upstairs media room and laundry.

And, the best part of the upstairs - this grand terrace off the media room.

Another shot of this great upper level terrace.

All in all, it was a lovely walk through a pretty house that raised some money for charity. After the tour of the house, we headed north to Joe T's, arriving right at noon, right before the rush.

When you walk into the Joe T's patio, this is what you see.

This was the view to the right of our table.

And, this was the view to the left. At least in this photo you can see its really a restaurant!

The food is good the margaritas are even better, and the atmosphere is priceless. If you live in Dallas and can give me even one patio this good, please do. I want to go there. Dallas has crappy patios - I can think of a couple decent ones, but generally they are right next to where the cars are whizzing by and you get to smell the exhaust. Or they are so small there is no place to ever sit. Or, they are full of smokers. Or, they just don't exist. So, you know, Joe T's in Ft. Worth, in my opinion is wonderful.

Let's take another look at that patio for a second, shall we?

The top of that beautiful tree in the photo above.

A lovely walkway down to another area of the large patio.

Don't you just want to walk on down there?

It was a great day in Ft. Worth. Thanks for sharing it with me!

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