FORT WORTH

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The downtown Fort Worth skyline seen from the east.
Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in America, currently the 5th largest city in Texas and the 18th largest in the United States. Sprawling over almost 300 square miles in 2 counties, those being Denton and Tarrant, with Fort Worth being the county seat of Tarrant County. In the latest U.S. census Fort Worth's population was 653,320, a huge increase over the multiple "entering Fort Worth, population 464.320" signs that have not been updated since the current population boom.
Fort Worth is part of the 4th largest metropolis in America. The amalgamation of towns in this metropolitan area is known locally as "The Metroplex". Fort Worth is the 2nd largest city in the Metroplex in terms of population and is also #2 in terms of its cultural/economic impact on the Metroplex, with Dallas being the dominant city in this urban zone. Many Fort Worth natives likely bristle at the idea that Dallas is #1 in Metroplex cultural impact, what with Fort Worth having a Cultural District with Dallas not having a Cultural District.

Tandy Hills Park is just a couple miles east of downtown Fort Worth. It is a huge swath of natural prairie that is likely the largest wild area so close to the downtown of any city in America. Which makes this park a prime asset for Fort Worth, one that is currently undeveloped and threatened with Barnett Shale gas drilling. On the first day of the New Year we hiked on many miles of the Tandy Hills Park trails, taking photos and video. If you are a fan of Mother Nature and good hiking and are in the D/FW Metroplex, or visiting, you'd likely enjoy Tandy Hills Park. Keep in mind, it is very primitive and lacking any amenities, like restrooms or running water. The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is the overseer for Tandy Hills Park. A short distance from Tandy Hills Park you can also visit Oakland Lake Park.
Prison Break's Sona Prison set near Fort Worth's Stockyards.Thursday November 1, 2007 we had our favorite, chile rellenos, for lunch at Esperanzas in the Stockyards zone. After lunch we drove through the Stockyards, heading east towards the old abandoned Swift-Armor meatpacking plant that we call the Stockyards Ruins. And what do our surprised Eyes see? A prison! Since our last drive by a prison named Sona, housing Panamanian and American prisoners, has been constructed, complete with guard towers and concertina wire fences on the grounds of the long abandoned heart of the Fort Worth cattle industry. Take a look at Fort Worth's newest prison. Or as some have said, a prison in a town near Dallas..
The view from Fort Worth's Heritage Park, looking at the Trinity River.Fort Worth began as an army outpost in 1849, named after Major General William Jenkins Worth. However, though General Worth was pivotal in many wars and battles during the formative years of Texas, he did not personally establish Fort Worth. That task fell to Major Ripley S. Arnold who established Camp Worth near the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. On November 14, 1849 the War Department turned Camp Worth into Fort Worth. In days gone by one was able to visit Heritage Park, near the Tarrant County Courthouse and stand where the original fort stood, looking down on the river below, the historic confluence possibly soon to be lost forever if the plan to build a lake in its place goes forward. However, on October 11, 2007 we went to downtown Fort Worth to take photos of Heritage Park and made a shocking discovery that dismayed and disgusted us.

Click to see what Famous Fort Worth Icon is
 one of the Official State Symbols of Texas

FORT WORTH METROPLEX RESTAURANTS

A look under Fort Worth's Main Street Bridge at the new Radio Shack Headquarters in downtown Fort Worth.During the past 25 years Fort Worth has greatly improved its downtown, rehabilitating it from a classic case of urban decay. A Convention Center was added at the heart of the old Hell's Acre. Rundown buildings were razed to be replaced by parking lots that came to be known as Sundance Square. The local newspaper of record, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was often noted to be engaging in what seemed to be rather outrageous cases of exaggeration in what seemed to be attempts to boost civic pride, often in the face of what seemed to be reality. We began collecting some of the more bizarre Star-Telegram's unfortunate hyperbolizings and recorded them here in "The Envy of the World". We do not know if it is coincidence or not, but ever since we pointed out this particular absurdity we have not seen a subsequent Downtown Fort Worth's Sundance Square the day after Thanksgiving.recurrence. After some Texas magazine, by who knows what criteria, picked Fort Worth's as the liveliest downtown in Texas we were bemused and perplexed. What happened to San Antonio we wondered? So, since we had long made note of the fact that downtown Fort Worth is not much of a shopping mecca, what with no downtown department stores, and, having seen Fort Worth's downtown on the busiest shopping day of the year, after its designation as liveliest downtown in Texas and with signs around downtown extolling that accolade, we decided to take photos of the most lively downtown in Texas on the busiest shopping day of year, that being the Day after Thanksgiving.
Fort Worth's failed Sante Fe Market, a study case in civic propganda's pitfalls.Another bizarre example of the local media misrepresenting the facts was how the Star-Telegram described a new small food court type venue called the Sante Fe Rail Market as being modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market and European public markets and that it was the first such Public Market in Texas. With high expectations we visited the Sante Fe Rail Market soon after it opened and were appalled to find it bore no resemblance to Pike Place, or any other public market we'd seen. When we read the Star-Telegram's propaganda we wondered how it was the Dallas Farmers Market did not qualify as a public market, particularly since it so closely resembled Seattle's Pike Place Market. And then we discovered that not only was the Sante Fe Rail Market not only not the first Public Market in Texas, it was not even the first Public Market in Fort Worth! The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has never corrected these errors, despite having been advised of their blatant misrepresentations.
This photo shows the boardwalk about the actual Stockyard cattle pens with the downtown Fort Worth skyline in the background.What we believe to be Fort Worth's #1 claim to fame and the best thing going in Fort Worth and its best tourist attraction is the Fort Worth Stockyards. Our many visitors from all over the country invariably enjoy the Stockyards more than anything else we take them to in the D/FWThe Fort Worth Herd on the move on Exchange Avenue in Fort Worth's Stockyards. Metroplex. There are fun restaurants, like Joe T. Garcia's, and things you don't see anywhere else, such as cowboys twice a day moving the Fort Worth Herd down the main drag of the Stockyards. Eating all you can eat BBQ ribs at the outdoor patio at Riscky's BBQ while watching the Fort Worth Herd walk by is a reliable tourist pleaser. While you are in the area you can't help but notice the Stockyard Ruins, the remains of the abandoned Swift-Armor cattle processing plant. Another fun thing to find and walk through is the Iron Horse Trail where you will walk through the history of Fort Worth.
Other places we've looked at in Fort Worth are Fort Worth's minor league baseball field known as La Grave Field, the #1 Dog Park in the United States, Fort Worth's Fort Woof, a look back at Chisholm Trail Days in the Fort Worth Stockyards, a fun event in Fort Worth's Stockyards which has been cancelled. We looked at Fort Worth's Stock Show and recorded what we saw there. Fort Worth's Stock Show Parade is supposedly the biggest non-mechanized parade in the world, an impressive spectacle. Fort Worth had a theme park way before Six Flags came into being, way back in 1889, known as the Spring Palace. Fort Worth is home to one of the largest preserves in America, the Fort Worth Nature Preserve and Refuge. Fort Worth is also home to the final resting place of Lee Harvey Oswald.

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