Thursday, January 9, 2014

Some Questions / Thoughts On NTRPG Con 2014

Alright, I've worked the details out with the wife and it looks like we are both going to Dallas / Fort Worth area in June 2014. I'll be there for gaming, she'll be there for the pools and shopping ;)

So, obvious questions:

What are the sights to be seen in the area?

Are there any events at the con for "non-gamers"?

Arriving on Wednesday, leaving on Monday - is there anything / anyplace that is MUST SEE?

My wife is the one that brought me back to gaming - if she hadn't fully encouraged my return to the hobby, I wouldn't be making this post, as I wouldn't be going to NTRPG Con. I want to make sure she has things to do as I do my thing ;)

I will say this - any gatherings that include beers and burgers, she'll be right there pacing me, as +Joe D can attest to...


  1. I'd recommend posting these questions on the Acaeum. If you want I can copy them and post them there or try to point Mike (Badmike) here.

  2. Replies
    1. Done and Done. I'll post the replies here, but you might find the Acaeum worth checking out.

  3. The women in my family enjoy the shopping in Dallas. It has a surprising mix of high and medium end things for sale at some upscale shopping centers in Dallas proper. The Con hotel is awesome but I don't know what is close (besides the airport). My wife is going to GaryCon (she has been supportive of my gaming as well, lucky us ;) ) but won't be at NTRPG Con otherwise I would suggest they form a ladies auxiliary. You won't be sorry about the trip...whatever you do, do not miss the midnight sign-up in April for the games online it is like a pre-con get together...Z

  4. Sixth Floor Museum is always cool.
    Fort Worth Arts district has one of the most extensive collections of art outside of the coasts. Definitely check out the Kimble and Modern.
    The original Six Flags over Texas is here, if you dig that sort of thing.
    If you're hungry late at night, Cafe Brazil is the absolute bee's knees.
    Any music you can hear in Deep Ellum is usually good times.

    Other than gaming, what are you looking to do?

    For the high end stuff, Northpark Mall is pretty much the place - Neiman Marcus, BarneysNY, plus boutiques like Gucci, Michael Kors, et.al. - http://www.northparkcenter.com
    West Village is more "boutique-y" than Northpark and the weather will be nice for the outdoor walking/people watching - http://www.westvillagedallas.com/.
    There's a "okay" outlet mall in Grapevine if that's more your style.

    For Tex Mex I'd suggest Joe T. Garcia's at Ft. Worth Stockyards - http://joets.com
    For BBQ, Sonny Bryan's - the closest one to the venue is in the Las Colinas area of Irving
    There's some good steak places (both high and moderately priced) and plenty of high end stuff (like Wolfgang Puck's Five Sixty sushi restaurant at the top of Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas) - depending on prefs
    Also, Arthur's right on Cafe Brazil. I eat there more often than I care to say.

    I'm backing Arthur on the Sixth Floor Museum - http://www.jfk.org
    I've long been fascinated with the fact that (in some weird way), I think the JFK assassination put Dallas into the popular consciousness of the country

    I'm going to have to represent the "east side" (since Arthur covered the west) - Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Crow Collection of Asian Art, George W. Bush Library

  6. There's definitely a thread or two along these lines on the NTX site's forums: I found this one, but I thought there were some longer ones too: http://ntrpgcon.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=9&id=561&Itemid=80#561


  7. Definitely keeping pace. Male pride refuses to let me say outpacing...

  8. If you come to the con to game, you won't be doing anything but gaming...most people never even leave the hotel except to eat at a local spot! For spouses/kids, here's what is close by (short driving distance): Six Flags over Texas, Hurricane Harbor Water Park, tour of Texas Stadium (all in Arlington, which is about 5 minutes away), Grapevine Mills mall (about 10 minutes north, has a Legoland and a Rain Forest Cafe, kids love those). If the Rangers are playing and you like baseball, I'd recommend a game, but for the past few years the Rangers have NOT been home during the weekend of the con...however the first couple years of the con we saw a game with some attendees in the days after the con, but if you are leaving Monday that won't be possible.

    If you are a little more adventurous, Dallas is a short drive away, and I'd echo the recommendations of the 6th Floor Museum, Perot Museum, and Dallas Arboretum. There is a light rail station right down the street that goes into Dallas, I know it takes you close by all three of those but you'd have to research the exact stops on the line, I don't know. The Dallas zoo sucks, if you want to see a nice zoo go to the Fort Worth Zoo which is rated one of the best in the United States, Fort Worth however is much more of a trip (the con is located south of DFW airport, almost equal distance between both Dallas and Fort Worth), it's about s 20-40 minute drive to the Fort Worth attractions. Fort Worth Arts District is also nice, 3-4 museums all within walking distance.

    For food I can give you some recommendations, but most of the good BBQ places are not chains and are in Dallas, not close by. There are a few good burger and Tex-Mex places close by. Generally no one goes that far for food but if you want to make a special trip for something I can give you some ideas.

    Unfortunately we really don't have any con-related activities for non-gamers, but we do have plenty of non-gamers hang around, and the con has a small and homey feel (like Garycon but not quite as big) so everyone is welcome. We always have a good time, and Doug brings everyone who helps break down the con Sunday night out for dinner. The last two years a bunch of us have hit a movie afterwards (Prometheus two years ago, Star Trek 2 last year).

    And FYI this is Badmike, co-whatever of the NTRPG con along with Doug Rhea, if you need anymore info feel free to email me at the NTRPG con website (ntrpgcon.com). It will be great to see you guys!

  9. I live in the area so I can give some recs if you want them, particularly on food - we've got a great deal of variety here if you want fare besides the usual barbecue that people expect out of us. ;) There's a fantastic Moroccan restaurant off Esters near 183 that does the best chicken tagine you'll ever have and a wonderfully relaxing hot mint tea.

    I would suggest staying in the Dallas/eastern Midcities area - Fort Worth has some fantastic attractions but there is a LOT of construction on 183 and getting through it can be hairy and time consuming. If you choose to brave it though, the Stockyards and the Kimball Art Museum are all must-sees, as is the Natural History Museum. (Despite growing up in Dallas I am actually more partial to Fort Worth, so I know my bias is showing, haha.)

    For shopping there's Grapevine Mills up 360 to 26, the Galleria near the Dallas North Tollway. You could go to North Park but I strongly recommend you do not; it's crowded and not very friendly to outsiders. Uptown/the Design District has some nice little shops, and the Arts District features the DMA which just made their permanent collection free (fyi the Kimball has done this for years), and the Crow Collection is also free. The Meyerson and Winspear will probably have events going -- I'm a member of the Dallas Symphony Chorus and we usually do a Final Fantasy concert every June, though I don't know if it's going to coincide with the con or not.

    If you want to go to a water park, I'd do Hawaiian Falls in Roanoke or NRH20 in North Richland Hills; Hurricane Harbor is expensive for what it is.

    I'm sure I'll think of other things as I go!


      So yeah, Babe's is a local family style restaurant that serves giant plates of fried chicken and sides. We will not run out of chicken.

  10. If you find yourself in the Las Colinas/Irving area, check out Cool River, if it's still there. Fantastic steak, a wine list that simply doesn't end. Their Caesar Salad Caliente was awesome.

    warning: info dated 2000

  11. Since you guys live in NYC and have access to absolutely everything shopping wise and I know from living in NYC for a long time that driving to the Woodbury Outlets sucks!!!! That said they might hit up some of the many outlets around the DFW area. 15 minutes away is the Grand Prairie Premium Outlets (http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/store_listing.asp?id=106). It's huge and has tons of great stores and good deals.


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