23 Things You Don't Understand About Fort Worth (Unless You're From There)

Fort Worth has long lived in the shadow of Dallas -- the tacked-on end of "DFW" -- remaining a mystery to many, even those alleged sophisticates who live 30mi to the East. What lurks inside the 820 Loop? Cattle? Tornadoes? Bill Paxton? Such a fine city deserves better, and here are 23 things you probably don't realize unless you've had the pleasure of living there. Fort Worth: more than just the birthplace of murderous Catcher in the Rye enthusiasts.

1. Fort Worth's a big city that feels like a small town

This is even more true if you hook up with anyone who lives in the Fairmount.

2. It’s also where you move to when you get sick of Austin or Dallas

Or when you drop out of UNT.

3. Austinites wistfully say Fort Worth "is like Austin ten years ago"

Then we go to SXSW and see what they mean.

4. It is a city with ample nicknames 

Call it Cowtown, Funkytown, Panther City, Queen City, Fort Wizard... just don’t call it Dallas.

5. Horses aren’t actually a major form of transportation here

That said, still watch where you step in the Stockyards.

6. The Stockyards are the best kind of family-friendly entertainment

AKA the kind where you can walk around with an open container.

7. If you ask a bartender for a spit cup, you’ll get one with a napkin tucked into the bottom

Automatically and without fail. And if you’re on the Near Southside, your spit cup is served with an eye roll, free of charge.

8. We know our bars are super-smoky

And yet it's still not enough to cover up out-of-towner $30k millionaire cologne.

9. We realize the clientele in the West 7th Corridor is sometimes embarrassing

They learned it from watching you, Uptown Dallas!

10. You can get a damn fine hand-crafted cocktail here 

You'll find seriously talented mixologists at places like The Usual, Proper, and Bird Cafe. Your drink just won't come garnished with mustachioed condescension.

11. People still guzzle PBR here like it’s 2004

They could be hipsters or rednecks. Broke is broke.

12. Bringing up Stevie Ray Vaughan at a dive bar is a great way to befriend old people

And each one will have seen him an impossible number of times.

13. The difference between a good BBQ place and a great one? The banana pudding.

Pro tip: Billy’s Oak Acres makes its banana pudding with Pepperidge Farm chessman butter cookies. It’s amazing. And it’s also drizzled in caramel. 

14. Joe T Garcia’s is a Tex-Mex tourist trap

Fine, locals kinda love it, too. It’s because Joe T’s uses jet-fueled margaritas for bait.

15. Dallas "has" JR Ewing, but he's based on a Fort Worth original

That would be real-life, tried-for-murdering-his-step-daughter, Fort Worth oil tycoon T Cullen Davis. Fun fact: years later, his mansion became a Tex-Mex restaurant!

16. The groceries on the shelves at Kincaid’s Hamburgers are probably for sale

But that’s a little bit like asking to buy the display grilled cheese at Starbucks.

17. After years of interminably slogging across town, we finally got a toll road!

And its cops and speed limits make sure it’s still a long drive.

18. Driving through Dalworthington Gardens after midnight is a fine way to get pulled over

But what were you doing in South Arlington anyway?

19. Lake Worth has alligators

The White Rock Lake ghost pales in comparison.

20. We are really, really grateful for Gary Patterson

Because long before Gary Patterson, there was Pat Sullivan.

21. The Stockyards and Downtown are two separate places

Despite what ESPN commercial breaks might have you believe. Also, that tower with the ball on top is actually in Dallas.

22. We’re still combing Logan’s Run for an exterior shot of the Hulen Mall

Well, three or four of us are, anyway.

23. Hey, at least we’re not Arlington!

Then we'd really have things to complain about.

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