Re: Dallas on the 4th
The simplest way to go to either the train or just walk to the West End is to take the underground passage from the basement of the hotel (at the bottom of the tower) east over to Union station. Most of the way there, you will see stairs inviting you to go up if you want to take the DART light rail train (I assume this is what you are referring to as the "tram"). If you continue to the end of the passage, you come up in Union Station itself.
***note: a little more than a year ago, they were doing work on this passage and on the station, so you had to go up at the DART stop...but that's OK, because you would just walk across the tracks into Union Station itself. I don't know the state of things at the moment.***
OK. If you want to take the train (I'm thinking it's just one stop to the West End), you there. If you want to walk, go through Union Station out to the front. Take a left, and head up the street. You will see very quickly "Old Red", our original courthouse made of red sandstone - now a museum - on the right, and across the street (on your left) is Dealey Plaza, known mostly for the Kennedy assassination. Keep heading north (the direction you are already going), and you will pass by the "School Book Depository" building (it now has another name), from which Oswald fired the shots. Note: the 6th floor Museum in this building is well worth the visit - they really did a decent job with it. Note that the entrance to the Museum is on the far (north) side in a separate elevator (the rest of the building is in use by the County - the County Commissioners' Court meets there, for example).
Note that this is, as you dimly recall, not a far walk at all.
If you keep going, you will pass by large parking lots, then you will see the West End off to the right.
Another way of going is to come out of the front of Union Station and go east one or two blocks (I forget) to Market Street, then take a left there. As you go north, you will see the memorial to JFK (which Dallas doesn't keep as clean and neat as it should) and the replica of John Neely Bryan's cabin, allegedly the first cabin in Dallas (but was almost certainly built later). Who cares? It's been sitting there quite a while.
As you proceed up Market, you will come directly into the heart of the West End. Note that the West End isn't what it used to be; the West End Marketplace closed some years ago, although there are still restaurants down there.
Also, note that just east of the West End is the Dallas World Aquarium, kind of a cool place. and you can take the DART line south to the zoo (hot at this time of year ;-) ) or north to the Park Lane stop where I believe there is a shuttle bus to take you to Northpark (first covered shopping mall in the US, I think, and still home to Nieman Marcus and other pricey places ;-) )...
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