Dr. Linda Silver’s three-decade career in science and natural history education led her around the country and even to the Middle East, working for museums and public institutions before moving to Dallas in 2017. She might not have expected
to be dazzled, but she soon realized “the arts and culture in Dallas’s Arts District is just outstanding.”
Silver, who serves as the chief executive for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, was surprised to learn that Dallas’s downtown had transformed since her last visit to the city, almost two decades earlier. Downtown Dallas, as she soon discovered, is now a vibrant neighborhood with architecturally significant buildings and a broad city park erected over the freeway. Even better, the Arts District has blossomed. “The number of museums and the concentration of performing arts in the 120 acres that make up the Dallas Arts District is just so powerful. Unless you’ve visited in the last 10 years, I don’t think people would think of Dallas like that.” —Shaun Tolson
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science (2201 N. Field St., 214.428.5555) “is a really unique hybrid of organizations,” formed when the Dallas Museum of Natural History merged with Science Place and the Children’s Museum. “It’s wonderful for the city to have all of those elements in one organization,” she says. One of the best perks of the job is riding the museum’s glass-enclosed escalator, overlooking the city’s Arts District. Silver recommends it highly to visitors.
When she has more time, Silver takes a walk through Klyde Warren Park (2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy., 214.716.4500 ), which serves as a bridge over Woodall Rodgers Freeway. “It’s constantly abuzz,” she says. “It’s a vibrant place that just makes you feel good about being in Dallas.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Café Momentum (1510 Pacific St., 214.303.1234) serves exceptional comfort food and southern-inspired dishes, but the menu isn’t the main draw at this Arts District eatery. “They’ve got amazing food,” she says, “but they’re also a culinary training facility for Dallas teens just released from the juvenile justice system.They gain 12 months of work experience in food service that hopefully allows them to go on and get a job. It’s a great example of a business focused on repairing a community and delivering on an important mission.”
Silver also loves the sense of history that comes with lunch at The Zodiac (1618 Main St., Level Six, 214.573.5800), a restaurant on the sixth floor of the original Neiman Marcus building. “When I walk in, I feel like I should be wearing ladies’ white gloves,” she says. “It just feels like elegance from the midcentury, like you’re back in that old luxury.”
For elevated Mexican food, her choice is chef Nico Sanchez’s award-winning Meso Maya (1611 McKinney Ave., 214.484.6555).
NOT TO MISS
Another noteworthy addition to the neighborhood is the recently opened Hall Arts Hotel (1717 Leonard St., 214.953.1717). “It was developed in partnership with the Arts District to make sure there was a great hotel near all of the museums and the AT&T Performing Arts Center,” Silver says. “The couple that developed the hotel also own Hall Winery in Napa Valley, so you know you’re going to get great wine during your stay.”
Gallery shops are some of the best places to find meaningful keepsakes and gifts. Her favorite in the Arts District is the boutique at the Nasher Sculpture Center (2001 Flora St., 214.242.5100). Their curated collection includes “really interesting and quirky things,” Silver says.