Dallas’ inspiring skyline rears from the flat, arid plains that border the Trinity River in North Texas. The US’ third most densely-populated city was founded back in the days of the Wild West, at a bend of the river where protruding white rocks made an easy river crossing for wagons.
The city is famed for its football team, its cowboys, the namesake TV series that gripped the planet throughout the eighties, and notoriously, for being the place where John F. Kennedy was assassinated. More prosaically, it is known for its barbeques, Mexican and TexMex cuisine and for being the birthplace of chain restaurants Chilli’s (in particular, its frozen Margarita) and Romano’s Macaroni Grill.
Dallas’ prominence as a hub for oil and cotton is manifest in the city’s concentration of Fortune 500 companies. Its strategic rail and road infrastructure has, over the years, consolidated the city’s industrial and financial clout. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the world’s largest and busiest airports, has also made it a major inland port.
The city also harbours a thriving cultural scene that speaks to its diverse multicultural society. Half the city’s population is Latino and it boasts no fewer than 16 different Asian cultures.
What is special or unique about your city?
Dallas, Fort Worth and the surrounding cities are collectively known as "The Metroplex" - one of the largest metropolitan centres in the United States. Over five million people reside in this area. If one word could define the Metroplex, it is opportunity; opportunity for businesses to grow and for people to make good lives for themselves and their families. The cities of Dallas and Fort Worth are also home to many famous museums and a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities.
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
Motorways packed with cars, a bristling skyline of skyscrapers and oven-like summer temperatures. The Metroplex is a vibrant, highly mobile and fast-moving area. It offers a wide range of housing in every price range. No matter where you choose to live, you'll always be close to shopping, schools, parks, entertainment and medical facilities. However, keep in mind that the high heat in the summer can be a bit overwhelming to newcomers.
Are these impressions likely to change?
Most newcomers adjust to the heat and traffic as time goes by.
What is the local language?
English is the main language, with Spanish being the second most commonly-spoken language.
How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?
Without knowledge of English or Spanish, a newcomer will face some challenges. However, Dallas and Fort Worth are very internationally-oriented.
What are good things to remember in order to avoid offending the other residents of this city?
Be aware that in Dallas and many of the surrounding communities, smoking bans have been implemented in shops, restaurants, bars and public facilities. Also, Texans are very proud of their state and are easily offended, even by playful mocking. As such you should avoid making fun of their accent (or "drawl" as it's called,) as many find this offensive. There is a good selection of books available to help you translate the unique colloquialisms of Texas.
How might the local weather affect my daily life?
With a pleasant 288 days of sunshine per year, you'll always be able to enjoy many outdoor activities in the Metroplex. It can often reach temperatures of 40 degrees celsius (C), but the wide availability of air-conditioned environments make the summer months easily bearable.
The spring months (March through May) tend to be rainy and wet with temperatures around 20 C. During the fall months (September through November), temperatures are typically around 30 degrees C. The winter months (December through February) can be quite cold, with temperatures ranging anywhere from 1 to 10 degrees C, and occasional snow and ice.
Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?
The Metroplex - and the entire state of Texas - are widely known for having the friendliest people around, offering true Southern hospitality. The prevalent statewide "ya'll come" attitude makes everyone feel welcome. In addition, as a newcomer, you will generally always find that the locals are more than willing to lend a helping hand.