We are finally in Dallas. As far as cities go, I love Dallas. I’m thrilled with Dallas. It, like me, is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. There is plenty of high-end shopping. There are world-class restaurants. Several major airports are within driving distance. Unlike my former home in the New York metro area, I can still see the sky. Some of the major luxury residential areas are exempt from property taxes and there are no state income taxes. The traffic isn’t nearly as bad as Houston. Actually, as I type this, I am wondering why I don’t move the company from Kansas City to Dallas. That isn’t a joke … it is a much better fit, though I do love the Ward Parkway neighborhood in Kansas City.
Dallas, and Texas in general, are like the opposite of Oklahoma. Forgive me if you are from, grew up, or plan on retiring there; I’m sure I’d like you very much. I just don’t like your state. It’s a personal thing but I hate it more than any other place I’ve ever visited. In fact, I despise almost everything about Oklahoma, despite its recent impressive performance during the recessionary period following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. From the color of the dirt to the onslaught of tornados, the above-average poverty rates to the below-average educational attainment, the ironic obsession with Sharia law to the fact that there is nothing to do, Oklahoma fills me with as much emotional and intellectual disgust as Texas does with pride.
I mean, Oklahoma City is filled with storefronts that don’t even know how to use the stupid color wheel; they will pick the most godawful, ugly combinations. The infrastructure is aging. It’s just an ugly, backwards place. On the other hand, Texas is awesome. Texas makes me want to get a horse, put on a cowboy hat, drill for oil, go buy a massive ranch, and buy a private jet as I donate money to the ACLU to sue the government for whatever offense it committed that day. God bless Texas.
The plan is to check into the Omni in the heart of downtown so we have easy access to the Dallas Gift Mart wholesale show that I am attending with some people. It’s this 11 or 15 story complex private shopping mall where manufacturers and distributors have stores for retailers to visit. They try to convince you to sell their lines. If I were a furniture company, for example, I’d go up and visit the Century Furniture or Maitland-Smith distributors and look at the product offerings, write up a minimum opening order, and have it all shipped to my store.
After checkout, I’m heading over to the flagship Neiman Marcus store to visit. Then, I need to head up to North Park Center to pick up a couple of things. We’ll probably do dinner tonight at Bob’s Steak and Chop House, which is supposed to be one of the best steak restaurants in the city.