For all of you Texans, what do y'all like about Dallas? I've been there several times/have some family there and I just don't like it.
Hmm thats a loaded question but I'll take it. I've lived in Texas the majority of my life, but have lived in other cities in the Northeast and California so I'm at least well traveled in terms of the United States. Dallas-Fort Worth is a pretty unique place, and I think has a bit of an acquired taste, and compared to other big cities its awfully spread out and comprised of a lot of suburbs. In fact, almost everyone claims to live in Dallas but lives in one of the endless numbers of surrounding areas like Richardson, Garland, Plano, Mesquite, Rockwall etc. I think that aspect can turn a lot of people off because it means that the downtown/city life isn't as active or populated as say L.A. or NYC. But, Dallas has a lot of charm. Theres a lot of kitschy kind of run down parts of Dallas nightlife that used to be really active and are now defunct like Deep Ellum where you'll find a lot of dive bars, and there are very high society kind of clubs and bars to go to as well like Ghostbar or the W. But thats stuff you can find in any city.
I think Dallas has a lot of hidden, tucked away culture. For instance, Dallas has a huge theater community thanks to people like Margo Jones etc. Like any city, there are good museums, theater houses, shopping and restaurants, but not so many that you're overwhelmed by the variety like in NYC. I mean, in NYC you could spend your entire life there and not experience everything the city has to offer. Dallas has nowhere near as much as NYC, but I don't consider it to be that much of a negative. As an example, in Dallas there are very few independent film art houses or theaters where local moviemakers can display their work, and because of the limited selection its very easy to become integrated and engrossed in the entire Dallas community of independent moviemaking. I like this aspect of Dallas, because it may only have 5 or so really good museums, but by going to them you can really get involved with all of the people who have similar interests. When I was in NYC, I felt pretty overwhelmed all the time because of all the selection, but going out and doing things in Dallas has a kind of "homey" feel for me. I suppose that more people would probably prefer NYC based on this description, but I enjoy seeing a lot of the same people when I go out to the places I frequent. You can become pretty intimately acquainted with strangers in Dallas.
In Texas, Dallas and Austin are pretty much opposites. I don't really like Austin at all, but I see the appeal. Dallas' atmosphere is a bit more high minded, snooty, and arrogant in comparison. I think the DFW area tries really hard to pretend its like a northeastern city even though its not like one at all, but I like that about it. I think Dallas has infinitely better culture in terms of art and fashion, but one area where Austin indisputably wins is food. Which isn't to say Dallas doesn't have good restaurants, but Austin has probably the best food in the state. Because Dallas tries so hard to be a northeastern city, you'll find that a large percentage of the people who live there care a lot about the way they look and dress, and can be pretty judgmental about it. A lot of people dislike the superficiality, but I don't mind it, I'm guilty of it too so I can't really be too critical. Of course, there are a lot of people in Dallas who couldn't care less, but I think the general atmosphere is a lot more haughty than Austin. I'm just trying to relay the stereotypes.
Anyways, I know this is tl;dr for most people but I love Dallas a lot. I hated it at first, but I think its somewhere that really grows on you. I find Austin too laid back, and NYC too hectic, and Dallas is a good medium.