Devon on February 16th, 2010

Long time no write. Not much to report. I’ve just been working and exploring Dallas.

Work is going well. I really enjoy what I do. The best part, I have things to do! — which make the days go by fast. Every task in each project is like a puzzle — I love puzzles. My boss is good at what he does and it shows. I am glad that I get to work for someone that has a lot of experience — and willing to share it. In school I never thought about working in high-end residential. But, I didn’t realize how divers a scale high-end residential offers. We work with small residential lots (typical 1/4 acre) up to these gargantuan estates. The scale is truly amazing and has so much diversity to offer. On some of my projects I feel like I am designing a park because of the large scale.

I have worked on projects where the house is established and the existing/new owners just want to update the outside. On the other side, I have worked on projects where the lot is a clean slate because the house hasn’t been built. I have had the opportunity to design pools/spas, fountains, courtyards, terraces, motor courts, cabanas, vertical green/planting walls, outdoor kitchens, recreational courts, butterfly gardens, herb gardens, even designing unique stainless steel pots (just like an artist). I think my favorite thing to design are pools/spas, whereas my favorite work task is tied between coloring and cost estimates (they make the time go by so fast!).

I’m enjoying Dallas too. It has a lot to offer. When I was here for my internship two summers ago, I did not have a car — I really didn’t get to explore. Now, true, you don’t need a car in Dallas with the vast bus and expanding light-rail system, but I didn’t ever think I was going to be here again — so I didn’t even try. And, all I’ve heard about Dallas, since I moved to Texas 7 years ago, was from people not from Dallas (from rival cities). Needless to say, most did not have good things to say, such as, “Dallitude,” “Third World City,” and “Self-righteous pompous rich queens.” Living here for 5 months, I have come across maybe one “self-righteous pompous rich queen,” but that’s hardly enough to say the city is full of them. It comes down to this, either other people are wrong or I fit in nicely (and I promise I’m not a “self-righteous pompous rich queen”). As for Dallas being a “Third World City,” it upsets me when people think diversity is a bad thing. Okay, maybe I have noticed something you would call “Dallitude,” but that is expected from every big city. You wouldn’t necessarily call New Yorker’s warm and welcoming, would you?

I have not lived in a big city for a long time. I forgotten how nice it is to have culture, arts, diversity, big events, multiples of the same store — if they are out of what you want, just head over to another one. Oh, and the restaurants! It’s almost like being back in D.C. — almost every type of restaurant you can think of. For some time now, I have been compiling a list of restaurants in cities I visit. If I have visited it, I give it a rating. If it is still on my to-go list, it has an asterisk in front of the name. I have decided to make it public so you can view my restaurant guide.

Speaking of food. I have started to cook again. Two reasons why, I feel like it again and I needed to — to help me achieve my New Year’s resolution to lose 15 pounds. Which, by the way, I have lost 5 pounds, 10 to go. When I say “cook,” I mean something that takes over 15-20 minutes to prepare. In the image, I was making my mom’s Tomato Zucchini Pasta. It’s one of my healthy comfort foods — and only takes 15 minutes. She makes it vegetarian, I through in cubed chicken. If you would like to see what else I love to make, check out my online cookbook — also, feel free to send me some recipes you want me to try.

Ok, ok, back on topic. I am still finding all that Dallas has to offer. I think my next stop is the Dallas aquarium. What is fantastic, is once I am done exploring Dallas — or get tired of exploring Dallas (whatever comes first) — I can go explore Fort Worth! That’s what is so nice about a big city. All big cities I like have another big city near by — Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio, Los Angeles/San Diego, Cologne/Bonn, New York/the whole east coast, so on. That’s just something I have noticed. Anyways, talk to you later.

Leave a Reply