North Texas's two biggest cities, Dallas and Fort Worth, are often referred to as "DFW" -- or, in a term that could only have been devised by so-called marketing geniuses, the "Metroplex" -- as though they were closely intertwined twin cities. While unrelenting development has filled the flat land gaps between them and created a greater population of some four million (and a ranking in the top five in the country for urban sprawl), the two cities remain 30 miles and, perhaps more important, worlds apart culturally. Slick and glitzy Dallas, home of the NFL's Cowboys, "America's Team," thrives on an identity of banking and big business; it's "where the East peters out," in the words of Will Rogers. Fort Worth, the "Cowtown" of the legendary cattle drives and now the cultural capital of North Texas, has long identified itself quite differently: where the West begins. Much more laid-back than Dallas, Fort Worth might even be considered a bit pokey, were it not for its surprising roster of world-class museums, progressive civic-mindedness, good-natured downtown nightlife, and thriving Western character.
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