09 November 2014

Across the U.S., Day 34 - Dallas (TX)

Today was a good day for another Farmers Market visit.

The Dallas Farmers Market has a long history at its current location. In the late 19th century, farmers started to sell their produce from their wagons at this intersection (Pearl & Cadiz). Sheds were established in 1939. According to one of the farmers I talked to today, the market area had gotten downhill in the past. Now with a new ownership (private owner instead of the city), the area will get an intense face-lift: within the next several months new shops and restaurants, a community garden and new condos will be established, integrating the Farmers Market.

The vendors' best selling point is to hand out samples of their produce to the visitors. The first sample I happened to try was a piece of a juicy plum, ... from California. By requirement, the stands have to label their products, including point of origin. They sell local honey, sweet potatoes, squashes, tangerines, tomatoes etc. But depending on product and season, some are from Washington State (e.g., Apples) and many fruit from California. I stocked up on tomatoes, tangerines and apples and also got some poultry and steak seasoning (no salt added).

Dominic from the Providence Ranch in Sumner, ~ 2 hours north-east of Dallas, spent at least 30 minutes answering all my questions about his pecan farm, the 3 different types of pecans he and his wife grow on their 800 trees, tree maintenance and how to keep the shelled/un-shelled pecans fresh for many months. And I also learned that the Texas State tree is ... the Pecan tree!

On my way through downtown, I came by a whole lot of good-humored ladies in pink. Yes, it was the breast cancer awareness walk in Dallas today!

Looks like they all had lots of fun! Even the bikes!

No first visit to Dallas without some hours spent at Dealey Plaza and on the 6th floor of the former Texas School Book Depository.

On Nov 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was assassinated here in Dallas. According to the investigations, three shots were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald from the rightmost window on the 6th floor of the above building. At that time the building served as the Texas School Book Depository and Oswald was one of their employees since Oct 15, 1963. Today the building houses a museum on the 6th floor and covers the (political) situation before and during JFK's presidency. It also addresses his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner!" speech in West Berlin on June 1963, 22 months after the Berlin Wall had been erected by East Germany and which came down on today's date 25 years ago! Two-third of the exhibit touches on the event on Nov 22, 1963 incl. investigations, conspiracy theories and JFK's legacy.

There is much controversy about Kennedy's assassination. By 2013, still 61% of Americans believed that Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy, that Oswald did not act alone and that a 4th shot was fired from a grassy hill west of the building by a separate sniper, but missed its target. When I hear "conspiracy", I usually become skeptical. In this case however I would not be surprised, if it were true. It is certainly suspicious that two days later and before detailed investigations could be done, Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby who was said to be upset about the killing of the President. And Ruby died four years later of a pulmonary embolism due to lung cancer shortly before a new trial of the case was planned to be held.

View from the 7th floor, (no pictures are permitted on the 6th floor). The white cross on the middle lane marks the area where Kennedy's limousine was located when the third and fatal shot hit him.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial near Dealey Plaza: an empty/open tomb that "symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy's spirit."

Inside the memorial

I finished the day with a walk through the historic district of Dallas. The air was filled with the chirping of hundreds of birds above me. Luckily, they did not drop anything.


More to come.


  1. That does look like a great farmers market. Is it running all year with fresh produce being brought in from all over or is the intent mostly local?

    1. It is running all year. One of the farmers said it's open all week (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays during winter season). Their website states every day though, except New Year's, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

      Local farmers sell their produce which vary depending of the season. And what they can't grow in the region will be brought from all over, mainly California but also Washington State and from outside the country (pineapples, bananas etc.). They also had homemade jams and pies sold by a lady from Greece, spices, pasta and even soaps and flowers. For sure you would not leave hungry nor with empty hands. :-)