Sunday, September 25, 2011

Texas Supports the Smithsonian

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at my favorite Dallas spot, Hotel Belmont where everything and everyone is hipper than me, to find half naked young men preening in the bar, flexing their tattoos, preparing for the Jason Brooks tattoo catwalk at Dallas Contemporary. The walk occurred at 9:00 pm and was on a 6:00 am flight from Washington.

When I arrived in FTD airport, I learned the local museums were open free, in support of efforts to keep the Smithsonian in my home town free to the American people. Well, of course, I did my part and visited the Amon Carter where I particularly enjoyed their Allure of Paper: Watercolors and Drawings from the Collection, a magnificent exhibition to from their permanent collections. Also spent time in the Russell and Remington Study Center, extremely well done. Then down the very hot street to the Cattle Raisers Museum housed inside the spectacular Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. It was packed with families enjoying every sort of exhibition. It was a joy to see this place hum. The collaboration between the science museum and the cattle raisers is one to be emulated throughout the museum world. The director of the CRM is also the director of the National Cowgirls Museum next door. How's that for gender equality?

I finished the afternoon at the recently opened BRIT: Botanical Research Institute of Texas, with perhaps the most enthusiastic staff I’ve encountered in decades. They are so happy to finally have a beautiful space in which to show off their important work, to invite the public to.

I can’t sign off without out mentioning Smoke, the restaurant attached to the Belmont. Breakfast this morning was ricotta cheese pancakes, lighter than a feather, with apricots and cream and an actual rasher of bacon. Lasted me until a dinner of chicken with baked beans on a bed of watermelon and greens.

Sadly, I didn't make it to the catwalk. Just can't hit the long ball anymore.