Of All the Places in Dallas to Do the Weather, Al Roker Chose the Goddamned Bronze Cattle

AlRoker.jpg
It could only have been fate that steered me to Al Roker this morning. Just one week after I changed the route of my Farmers Market-to-Oak Lawn bike commute, shifting from one plowing straight through Downtown and McKinney Avenue to one skirting the edges past City Hall and Victory Park, there he was, standing in the shade of a Live Oak in Pioneer Plaza, waiting for the cameras to roll. What had seemed an impulsive need for a change of scenery suddenly seemed like the tug of an invisible hand, guiding me toward the prime deity of American meteorology.

Only I didn't realize at first that it was Al Roker. In my mind's eye, he's still rather rotund, his bald pate uncapped by a hipster fedora. When I asked one of the besuited G-men types what they were filming -- I counted three, though more may have been hiding in the bushes -- he eyed me with what I took to be disbelief, though I couldn't be sure as his mirrored aviators disguised all human emotion. You don't know who that is?

The handful of picture-snapping onlookers clearly did, and once the security guy mentioned weather, I pieced it together. Roker, it seems, had deigned to pick Dallas to deliver his daily weather report.

After a moment of awe commensurate with Roker's stature, a though began to nag at me. Of all the cool, iconic places in Dallas -- the preening but impressive Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the Arts District, Klyde Warren Park, the organic cools spots of places like Oak Cliff and Deep Ellum, more nature-based amenities like White Rock Lake and the Santa Fe Trestle Trail -- Roker picked the ahistorical herd of bronze cattle fording the Convention Center lawn?

Of course he did. Because so long as those steers trample the southern edge of Downtown, they will be a magnet for national TV cameras, whether they're looking for a backdrop for weather forecasts or B-roll for sporting events. And so long as TV sets keep showing the cattle, the nation will continue to think of Dallas as the type of place that spends millions of dollars on cow statues.

The sports guys we can forgive for their perpetuation of the Dallas stereotypes. Best to keep giving people what they expect. But Al Roker? He's a weather god. He should have the wisdom to know better.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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47 comments
iltsg2001
iltsg2001

Can't remember the last time I read something that reeked of such hipster douche-baggery.  Thanks for mentioning that you have a "bike route".  

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

He coulda done

Audubon center

whitewater debacle

white rock

Jim's car wash

statues at las colinas

??

Ratings anyone?

hwy77
hwy77

Could have been worse, Dallas image-wise; there's the Confederate War Memorial statue on the southeast end of Pioneer Park.

elluckydog
elluckydog

word is the shoot was scheduled for Mac's BBQ........but they are only open for lunch


Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

At least he sharted in the White House and not my house.

hilllbillle
hilllbillle

fort worth has real cattle bein' herded through the stockyards, not big tin pretend cattle.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

To claim that the Pioneer Plaza is historically inaccurate shows a lack of knowledge on TX history.  It is true that the Chisolm Trail, once established, went through Ft Worth.  the Shawnee Trail, however, went through Dallas.


It is also the 2nd most visited site in Dallas, after Dealey Plaza.  The question isn't why Al Roker would do his spots from Pioneer Plaza, it's why YOU would think he'd do them anywhere else.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Al couldn't honor Goat Trauma Awareness Month, since Dallas doesn't have a goat statue.

lecterman
lecterman

He should have done the weather from the spot where all the blood was dumped into the Trinity.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

As a former art critic I'd like to put in a word for the longhorns. Artistic merit -- which is considerabiy higher than they get credit for -- aside,  they easily pass the "postcard" test for public art. A work so instantly popular that everyone who sees it wants to get photographed with it -- Al Roker for example -- or take home a postcard for their golden memory scrapbook. 

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

The thing is, when <b>national</b> media companies want to show something that screams Dallas, Texas to people all over the country, they have 2 choices:

1. Southfork Ranch (up in Plano)

2. These bronze cattle.


We have nothing else in this city has the connotation in most people's heads that this is Dallas, Texas. City Hall? What are they doing in front of OCP headquarters in Detroit. Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge? That's a funny looking bridge over a ditch. The same goes with every spot mentioned. None of them make the connection with Dallas, Texas in the majority of people's minds. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I was awed by the cattle drive monument the first time I saw it.  I absolutely love it and I walk down to Pioneer Plaza often to just sit atop the center mound and enjoy it.  Native Dallasites, take pride in this wonderful place. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

He really should have used the book depository as a background.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

1. Fort Worth gets mad at the Weather Channel for showing photos of Dallas on their forecast.

2. Dallas gets mad at Al Roker for showing shit that belongs in Fort Worth on our forecast.


P.S. Fair Park is pretty damn iconic too.

Daniel
Daniel

@hilllbillle Well, they're real cattle, but they're still just a prop. the "cattle drive" itself is ersatz. 

jahbrooks
jahbrooks

@hilllbillle Who gives a flying f*ck what Fort Worth has. Is this the Fort Worth Observer?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

RTGolden1

He could have been at the top of Reunion, or that beer waterfall on I-35. But nooooo.

I think he used the cattle to send the message that Dallas is not a world-class city.

dingo
dingo

@RTGolden1 

To be more present-day accurate he should have setup in a park where bell-ringing bicycle fruit carts have been given free rein.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@bmarvel For me, emotion counts for everything when I'm viewing a work of art.  The Mona Lisa left me numb.  However, van der Weyden's Deposition of Christ had me in tears the moment I turned into the Prado room where it hangs.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@Tim.Covington "nothing else in this city has the connotation in most people's heads that this is Dallas,"

Uh...the Grassy Knoll. Neiman-Marcus.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

@Tim.Covington The Esplanade or Hall of State at Fair Park are pretty unique and a much nicer backdrop. Does the cattle sculpture really scream "Dallas, Texas"? That could be anywhere in the country.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@lakewoodhobo at least while broadcasting from Dallas, he showed something located in Dallas.  And actually those cows fit right in with Dallas, even though it tries to dispel the fact that is used to be the wild west.  Ft worth embraces it, loves it and doesn't seem to have an identity problem. Dallas on the other is....well Dallas

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@jahbrooks we can all infer that you must be of the Dickhead douchebag Dallasite realm?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@dingo @RTGolden1 Or right outside a Jimmy John's.  With any luck, Myrna could have finally gotten video evidence of her merciless abuse by JJ's Sidewalk Commando bike delivery guys!

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

@lakewoodhobo @Tim.Covington Your missing my point. None of those will scream Dallas (or more specifically Texas) to viewers in Ohio, Washington, or Vermont. The statues of longhorns will.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin

Dallas, the city that really wanted to be Cincinnati.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk  Why weepy?  I have to check that I took the right meds after viewing one of his works.  They are brilliant, though.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Nictacular

With God as my witness, I thought chili had sliced hot dogs in it.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin  Fact, shmact!  It was the coldest winter on record and lasted forever.  Now, it's disgustingly muggy.  Phooey!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz apparently you have not been outside since Icemaggedon 2.  Ive yet to have to tell my child its too hot to play outside and he must come in.

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