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in Dallas

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Visitors steeped in images of cowboy hats and oil wells may be surprised to stumble upon Dallas' Arts District, a 19-block area near downtown that not only has reinvigorated the city but also has attracted attention from international art connoisseurs. The Nasher Sculpture Center and Dallas Museum of Art are among the star attractions, alongside symphony, opera and dance spaces. But good old-fashioned country culture maintains a strong presence in the nearly 400 flat square miles that comprise the city — at the three-week Texas State Fair each October, livestock shows, auto competitions and corn-dog eating contests are in full swing. Among Dallas' many shopping meccas are Neiman Marcus' century-old flagship store downtown, and Forty Five Ten, an 8,000-square-foot high-end boutique that attracts celebrity shoppers such as Oprah Winfrey and Laura Bush.