Adventuring in my own city: Dallas, Texas

Yesterday on July 4th, with my dad off work, my parents and I went to downtown (or was it uptown? who knows, I definitely don’t) Dallas to somewhat complete #6 on my summer bucket list. We only hit two places on my list, but one of them was the most important one- the Sixth Floor Museum. It’s taken me way too long to visit that place.

The Sixth Floor Museum (website and Yelp)

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This was taken from the seventh floor, but it’s pretty similar to the view you would get if you looked out the same window Lee Harvey Oswald did when he shot JFK.

This is the building that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK from. The name comes from the fact that Oswald was standing on the sixth floor. It used to belong to a textbook company, but after the assassination, they moved out and nobody else really wanted to rent it (understandably, I wouldn’t either). It was about to be torn down when people decided to make it a museum- I feel like this is the how the origin story of most museums go.

You’re not allowed to take pictures on the sixth floor, so I did a lot of scribbling in my notebook instead. Here’s what I wrote down. It’s probably way more information than most people want to know, but including it in a post validates in my brain my decision to copy it all down. If you’re like, “I don’t care about this,” skip down for french fries and books.

  •  For the first time in American history, nearly half the population was under the age of 25. (that’s crazy)
  • The campaign was long and arduous. In some towns only a few people greeted the energetic Democratic candidate. (imagine how painful that must have felt- to put so much excitement and energy into something and for almost nobody to care)
  • won by less than 120,000 votes out of a total of 69 million (this is me walking around in his skin again: he barely won. If I had won by that small of a margin, I would’ve felt very insecure in my abilities)
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, the nation’s oldest president, relinquished the office to John Kennedy, the youngest ever elected. (I always love the symmetry when things like this happen)
  • Unaware that anything had happened, crowds on the other side of the triple underpass waited to wave at the president. (I can’t articulate why, but I find this sentence to be so sad.)

The next few were said by JFK himself.

  • The pay is good and I can walk to work. (about the presidency)
  •  I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. (at a dinner for Nobel Prize Winners)
  • I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it. (when the presence of his wife was more celebrated than his)
  • Mrs. Kennedy is organizing herself, it takes longer, but of course she looks better than we do when she does it. (when asked about his absent wife)
  • But Jackie, if somebody wants to shoot me from a window with a rifle, nobody can stop it, so why worry about it? (the morning of his death, said according to his biography written by his assistant and aide)

And finally, how the world reacted.

  • Major networks lost up to 40 million dollars from canceled commercials. (This sentence stuck out to me because in a time where everbody’s like “all companies and businesses care about is money”- for example, people finding reassurance that Marvel can’t kill over half of their characters because that would be throwing away millions of dollars, those newspapers and stations were not like that at all. They were willing to lose all that commercial money for the ability to communicate something they thought was really important.)
  • only time Associated Press silenced their teletype machines
  • improptu torchlight parade of 60,000 people in West Berlin
  • Panama Canal closed
  • Greek police stopped traffic
  • Manhatten cab drviers got out to bow their heads as Taps played
  • Big Ben tolled every minute of an hour
  • Picadily Circus dimmed their lights- an honor reserved for monarchs
  • Cambodia had a three day moratorium on attacks against the US
  • more than a thousand people all over London caught buses or tube train, took taxis, drove or walked to the American Embassy…they had to do something
  • a Japanese family walked 18 miles to the American Embassy
  • 3000 Kenyan natives bowed heads to mourn a “Great Chief”

The last part is what hit home for me. I had no idea that regular people around the world were so impacted and grieved by JFK’s assassination. I had no idea that they cared at all. For more, here’s a whole post written about this.

A brief interlude for food: Shake Shack (website and Yelp)

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Griddled chick’n club and fries: it was fine.

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My dad pretending to be super tired and hungry and thirsty.

Interabang Books (website and Yelp)

About the name of the bookstore (this is copy and pasted from their website): “The name of the store, Interabang Books, comes from an old printmaker’s term. The interabang is a punctuation mark that combines a question mark and an exclamation point in a single symbol.”

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TELL ME THAT ISN’T THE COOLEST THING EVER.
The interbang is offically my favorite symbol.

Sidenote: Nancy Perot owns this bookstore- AKA Perot as in the Perot Museum, which is the big science museum in Dallas that I, along with hundreds of past and future students, have and will have gone to as a school field trip.
If right now you’re like, ‘who in the world is Perot?’ the first thing I want to say is that it’s pronounced Peroe- the ‘t’ is silent. Second of all, here’s what I think are the three most relevant things about Ross Perot. Well, actually, the third one is not really important.
1) He is a billionaire.
2) He ran against Bill Clinton in 1996. Spoiler: he lost. But from what I can tell, he did very well for someone who ran as a third party.
3) His last name is everywhere around where I live. Just kidding, that’s a huge exaggeration. The main way his last name shows up in my life is when it’s connected to the museum, but there’s also a building named Perot at this hospital I drive by.

Another sidenote: After looking on the Perot website, I found out that the museum was founded from a big chunk of money that the five Perot siblings gave, not their parents like I always thought. That’s pretty neat- power siblings!

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There’s that awesome symbol again.
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Staff picks, one the most brilliant ideas ever.

 

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And non-staff picks! I think these might be even better.
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This looks like a spy notebook to me. The only thing ruining the affect is the golden spiral rings.
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Here’s the inside: spy notebook, am I right?
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On a table there were photography books, and this was one called LA NY. It had these gorgeous aerial photos of the two cities.
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Coney Island
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Reminds me of Tetri
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The sign outside: first of all, I love chalkboard lettering and art. Second of all, the website’s name of my second blogging attempt was actually called Uniquely Portable Magic and was inspired by this quote.

I wandered around the bookstore for about thirty minutes and lingered around the table of notebooks for a good part of that time (there were Leuchtturms! and Blackwings!), but I didn’t end up buying anything. I did see some cool things though:
– book cover enamel pins (I LOVE these)
– this puzzle
– a table croquet set (hahaha, this is hilarious)

ps

What did you do for July 4th? And nope, I did not watch fireworks. I actually don’t like them very much. I’ve never thought they were that pretty or cool or interesting.
Do you have a favorite symbol?
Have you been to an independent bookstore lately? If so, tell me, and I’ll try to visit it some day! I love bookstores in general, but independent ones are even better.

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14 thoughts on “Adventuring in my own city: Dallas, Texas”

  1. I love all the information you shared about the museum. Sometimes I think of historical events as… well, historical events. These isolated, momentous moments. I don’t think about the details and the events surrounding them, the moments after. There is something really emotionally affecting about thinking about the people who didn’t know that he had been assassinated yet and were waiting to see him pass by. When something happens, even something that big, everyone doesn’t just know instantly. Thinking about those people makes it seem more real.
    And YES, bookstores. I love bookstores. I would like to live in a bookstore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I’m so glad you did! Yes yes, I so agree. I distinctly remember sitting in eighth grade history class and the teacher reading out the numbers of how many people died during the Civil War and feeling nothing until she said something that made it hit home. Yea, that detail about the people waiting is kind of heartbreaking. I agree, it really makes it feel more real.
      BOOKSTORES!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool post! I have lived in Dallas my whole life and never been inside the Sixth Floor Museum. I need to cut out the procrastination and go see it..I have checked out both the JFK memorial and Dealey Plaza though. Cool yet sad stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Haha, that was kind of me until this week- except I’ve only lived here half my life. Ahh, I hope you do! Are the memorial and the Plaza at the spot where the accident actually took place?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! It was really cool to read this, because I’ve been to a couple of the places you mentioned. 🙂
    The 6th Floor Museum is amazing! I went there a couple years ago, but I need to go again. It’s sad but beautiful how the whole world stopped to mourn JFK (I don’t know if that made any sense.) I liked reading all your thoughts!
    Ooh, Shake Shack is delicious. I particularly like their peanut butter milkshakes, which I highly recommend if you ever go back. XD
    Ahh, the Perot Museum. It’s so cool! I went on a field trip a few years ago and also went with my family. My favorite part was in the sports room where you can ‘race’ with a cheetah, t-rex, etc. and then also the room with all the animals! It’s a really cool museum with so much to see & do.
    Also, I MUST go to this bookstore! I actually went to an independent bookstore today at a town square a little bit away from my house. It was a second-hand book, record, and movie store and it was so cool because there were so many books and so many little rooms hidden away containing MORE books!
    Happy late fourth of July!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Oh, I get what you mean. It’s kind of like reading someone’s review of a book you’ve read.
      It was! I’m so glad they made it into a museum instead of tearing it down. Is this what you mean- it’s beautiful in the sense that people were that grieved by his death because they were that touched by his life, but it’s sad that we even had to find out what effects his assassination would give? That’s how I feel about it. Thank you!
      Ooh, thank you for the recommendation. I love peanut butter and I love ice-cream, so logically speaking I should extremely love their peanut butter milkshakes.
      Wait, seriously? I went with school and then with my family too! Hahaha yea, I know exactly what you’re talking about. The racing part was the thing everybody wanted to do on the field trip. Oh my goodness, there’s SO much to do there. I got tired like halfway through.
      YES, you should! If you do, definitely tell me how your trip goes. It was a beautiful bookstore. Ahhh, rooms inside of rooms all filled with books? That sounds amazing. Is it okay if you tell me the name? It’s totally okay if you don’t want to for privacy and stuff.
      Happy late fourth of July to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly!
        Yes, that’s completely what I mean- it’s beautiful to see all the people that united to mourn him and see the impact he had on so many people, but it’s sad that his death happened so prematurely and the way it did.
        Haha, I hope you enjoy it!
        Yeah! Haha, yes, the racing part was extremely popular when I went on my field trip too. I feel like every student in the entire DFW and surrounding area has gone to the Perot Museum for a field trip. XD
        I don’t think I can say the name for privacy reasons, I’m sorry. :// Maybe you’ve been to it or will go someday, though…
        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That history about JFK you shared is really interesting. I hadn’t heard most of those details before, and I can imagine that being in the place where it actually happened, on the same floor of the same building, would make it feel real.
    The interbang symbol is so cool! I never knew that it existed, but it’s perfectly sensible and we should totally use it.
    That looks like an awesome bookstore (I mean, it’s a bookstore, so of course it’s awesome) and yes, that looks like a spy notebook. I adore notebooks.
    Also FOOD.
    For 4th of July I ate food and sang songs with my family. No fireworks. 🙂 We could hear neighbors doing fireworks though and unfortunately our dog gets really freaked out by the noise, so my sisters and I slept in the family room so she could see us and not be as scared.
    Beautiful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yea, me either- that’s probably one of my favorite things about museums. They have small, specific details I don’t really hear about anywhere else that make history so much more real. Yes! It was like I could reach out my hand and touch history.
      I KNOW RIGHT. If I ever tried to register a new emoji, it would be the interbang symbol.
      It was! Hahaha, I agree- bookstores basically are automatically qualified as awesome. You see it too? Okay, thank you for the affirmation.
      FOOD. :))
      That sounds very fun. Me being curious: did you guys sing Braodway tunes? Oh, yikes. I’ve never thought about how fireworks could seem really scary to animals. Ahh, that’s very kind of you and your sisters.
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, no, we didn’t sing Broadway showtunes that particular evening (though that is a great guess because we do that at most family gatherings). We actually sang a bunch of patriotic songs (like the national anthem and America the Beautiful, I Lift My Lamp, etc.) which was fun because it was all in harmony.

        Liked by 1 person

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