For most of my life my relationship with Fort Worth was like those with girls in high school who dated an ex-boyfriend after me. I didn't really care for it and I didn't really need a reason. And for most of this time I was enabled by my friends agreeing with me. Example:
Me: "So and so says she is moving to be with her boyfriend...to Fort Worth!"
Gaggle of girlfriends: "WHAT?! Quel horror! She is giving up a life of class and urban delight to live with that punk in Cowboy town?!"
But lately the conversations have been going a little more like this:
Me: "I mean I guess nothing is worse than having to go out in the dumbest city on the planet - Fort Worth!"
Gaggle: "Um...actually Lilly, Fort Worth is really cool now. And we went last weekend and didn't tell you because we knew you would complain the whole time or start randomly crying like the last time we went to Lola's."
Proving I am a humble person capable of change, I re-ventured west last night. I brought cultured friend Evan because he loves to explore and would also have my back if we did in fact end up underwhelmed by our neighboring town. Markus drove the getaway car.
Our first stop was the Fort Worth Modern. I've been here once before and love the concrete and glass architecture and extensive permanent collection. Last visit we enjoyed brunch at their Cafe Modern, which overlooks their reflection pond, but tonight it was all about the art. On the first Fridays of the month they have music and libations in the lobby, so we were welcomed by a lovely jazz duo and some hip youngsters cutting a rug on a makeshift dancefloor.
Our big ticket item was the KAWS exhibit and it did not disappoint. The show is three small rooms that feature acrylic on canvas paintings and two large sculptures that are just immensely cool. We definitely stood in these three galleries as long as we explored the rest of the museum. The canvas pieces really make your eyes work. They are an energetic mix of bright and monochromatic, and his choice of paint finishes allow him to make a flat canvas seem completely three dimensional. Once you wrap your mind around his technique your eye start searching for the iconic images that he sneaks into his work. We stood in front of one installation for a few minutes excitedly pointing at canvas after canvas as we found Spongebob's teeth, Stimpy's hand and other snippets of classic animation. I definitely recommend seeing this exhibit before it closes on February 19!
After our KAWS experience we meandered through the rest of the museum for a while.
The newly opened Fort Worth Food Truck Park is in Montgomery Plaza behind the Super Target, and may have been what sealed the deal on my transition from Fort Worth hater to participator. Such an amazing family, backwoods feel tucked right behind a bustling urban center!
Of course Markus and I visited our friends at the Good Karma Kitchen. He had the vegan Southern BBQ sub and I had the meatball sub. Normally I am really hesitant to order anything on bread at a gluten-free place but I was trusting after trying their gluten-free stuffing over Thanksgiving. I am so glad I chose this menu item - the bread was soft and flavorful with a slight honey/sweet taste to it. It was the perfect complement to the savory meatballs and sauce. Meatball subs were one of my favorite foods before going vegetarian (what up, fatty) and these were indistinguishable from "the real thing" if not an improvement.
Markus went back for some more sauce on his sub, but he has never been subtle with condiments so I'm writing it off as personal choice. Either way the girls at Good Karma were happy to oblige him. I stole a bite from him and couldn't believe what I was tasting. Years of vegetarian grocery shopping has lead me to believe that all veggie meat products have to be made out of gluten to be in any way convincing. Turns out Good Karma Kitchen has unlocked this mystery somehow. I don't want to know what they use. I just want more.
Overall, Fort Wort has a new friend in me. We even stopped at Yogurtland on the way out of Montgomery Plaza to make it official. The sign on the door spoke to me on behalf of the city and I pass it on to you, dear readers, for the close of this post.