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NPR’s Excellent Texas Adventure Is Underway

Mihai Andritoiu
NPR's "All Things Considered" is focusing on Texas this week -- and broadcasting from the KERA Newsroom.

It’s not quite like Pee Wee’s adventure through Texas. (No, there’s no basement in the Alamo.) But NPR has been exploring the Lone Star state in recent weeks – and the network is invading North Texas all week long, broadcasting “All Things Considered,” the afternoon news magazine, from the KERA Newsroom in Dallas.

Host Melissa Block and a team of producers are taking over the KERA studios to show off Texas to the rest of the country, and report on how the state is changing. (We’ll see if they develop Texas twangs by the end of the week.) Check out NPR’s On the Road Tumblr throughout the week for pictures and moments from the team's visit.

NPR is calling the series: "Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas."Catch up on the Texas-themed stories here.

NPR's Melissa Block interviewed Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings."Dallas is the place to be now," he told her.

On Tumblr, NPR offered a preview of Monday's show:

We open the show tonight with a chat with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings — and then NPR Dallas Correspondent Wade Goodwyn gives us a big Texas welcome in Klyde Warren Park — an urban park built over a freeway in downtown Dallas. Big beautiful open space, as you can see. We were there in the morning, so not many folks around — but it’s usually PACKED. (lots of taco trucks!) And it was a bit chilly, so Wade lent Melissa his suit jacket.

As Melissa Block wrote on her Tumblr:

Don’t mess with ATC! Starting Monday, I’ll be hosting our show from member station KERA in Dallas, and reporting on big changes in this super-sized state. This week we’ll bring you stories about a massive oil boom along the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, which is transforming formerly sleepy brush country. We’ll explore how a huge demographic shift is changing the face and future of Texas; Hispanics now make up 38% of the state’s population and are projected to become the largest single group by 2020.  Along the way, we’ll hear how the city of Dallas is re-imagining itself and shrugging off stereotypes (think: not just JR and the Cowboys.)  We’ll hear about an exciting innovation developed at a military rehab hospital in San Antonio: a revolutionary leg brace that’s allowing injured service members to run pain-free for the first time in years.    And from Weeping Mary to Dime Box, we’ll hear the stories behind the intriguing names of Texas towns. Some of them might even be true. They say everything is bigger in Texas.  Join us this week as we hit the road for an excellent Lone Star adventure.

“All Things Considered” airs weekdays from 4-6:30 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. Check out the program's website on NPR.

What's On Your Texas Bucket List?

To help you brush up on all things Texas, check out KERA's popular post: 39 Things You Should Do In Texas Before You Die.(Yes, when you visit Texas, you should see the Alamo. And eat a corny dog at the State Fair of Texas. And jump into a swimming hole. Eat some Tex-Mex. Join a stargazing party in the Davis Mountains. The list goes on and on ...)

Even More NPR On KERA!

In other NPR news, it’s also kind of “NPR Week” on KERA’s “Think.” Host Krys Boyd will interview three NPR staffers this week: Nina Totenberg, the NPR legal affairs correspondent, at 1 p.m. Monday; Melissa Block at noon Tuesday; and NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam at noon Thursday. "Think" airs from noon-2 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. Or listen online.

You Say “Dallas.” I Say …

NPR asked Facebook users what they think of when they hear “Dallas.” The responses were all over the map. Here's a sampling:

  • I live in Dallas, and, to me, it's a collection of suburbs surrounding...something. We don't quite no what yet, but, something.
  • Born and raised in Dallas, don't think it's heaven, but I can earn a decent living here and have a reasonable standard of living. It's diverse, friendly, tolerant, and one can do or get just about anything one would want like in any other big American city. Say what one will, but Dallas has positive growth both in population and jobs.
  • Snobs who think that they live in the best city in Texas. Who are sorely mistaken because that title belongs to Austin, closely followed by Houston.
  • Dallas is not a 'cowboy town' and hasn't been for years. It's where the oil money goes - nothing 'cowboy' about that.
  • "Life's too short to live in Dallas"
  • So much hate for Dallas. At least we're not Houston.
  • Dallas as a whole is insane, but delve a little deeper, and you'll find great pockets! Oak Cliff is hilly with trees, old homes, fun people, and is reminiscent of East Austin. Lakewood has a great outdoor scene- cycling and walking around White Rock Lake, and the Dallas Arboretum has to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Downtown is going through a rebirth.
  • Fort Worth is better.
  • The football team? Debbie Does?
  • Big hair, a lack of soul, and Deep Ellum extinction. Concrete, and people who are arrogant for no reason.
  • Pretentious and horrible traffic
  • JFK,Big Oil. Big hair, big bling, sexy cheerleaders, Christian Schools.
  • "Home." And "working" to rebrand isn't the right term anymore, as it's been thriving with arts, food and culture for at least a decade now.

(Photo Credit: Mihai Andritoiu/

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.