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The best places to stargaze, Dallas’ waterfall billboard and more from Curious Texas’ spring break

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Happy Friday, Curious Texans! We have a special spring break edition of our newsletter this week. We’ve published more than 50 Curious Texas stories since January. Here are the 10 you read the most:

1. What are the best places to stargaze in Dallas-Fort Worth? Dallas has one of the brightest skies in the U.S. because of the size of our city. The glow from artificial lights masks deep-space objects and the disk of our own Milky Way galaxy, a cloudy stripe that arcs overhead from one horizon to the other.

2. What’s the story behind Dallas’ famous waterfall billboard? Wild stories surround Dallas’ waterfall billboard, built for San Antonio’s Pearl Brewing Co. in 1962, from college pranks to a sunken $15,000 Cartier watch.

3. Just how big is Collin County’s boom? Collin County is set to have over 2.4 million residents by 2050, according to the Texas Demographic Center. That’s more than three times its population in 2010.

4. What’s the history behind the Little Mexico Village apartments in Uptown? The apartment’s peach Spanish-style buildings that sit next to multi-million dollar high-rise condos can catch anyone’s eye as they drive through the neighborhood.

5. Why did Texans start drinking hot Dr Pepper with lemon? When icy temperatures hit North Texas, some opt for coffee, tea or hot chocolate. But there was a time when some Southerners had a hankering for something a bit more homemade. All they needed for this special winter drink was a saucepan, a lemon and Dr Pepper.

6. Reunion Arena has been gone for nearly 10 years. Why was it demolished? This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Reunion Arena’s demolition — after 28 years of hosting sporting events, concerts and other high-profile activities.

7. Do non-Texas drivers pay for driving on North Texas toll roads? Tollways in North Texas include stretches of Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties. Some highways in the Dallas-Fort Worth area also have TEXpress Lanes, which are toll lanes built within an existing highway to alleviate traffic.

8. Why does this Dallas chiropractor have dragons outside of his office? Three dragons — two red and one purple — guard the corner of Cedar Springs Road and Wycliff Avenue in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood.

9. What happened to the ‘World Famous’ Dallas Sportatorium? Before it became the pro wrestling landmark remembered by many today, the Sportatorium began as an octagonal hall that hosted gospel shows and hillbilly "sings" in 1936

10. What’s the history behind Dallas’ Old Parkland on Maple Avenue? Drivers along the Dallas North Tollway have probably seen one of the campus’ red-brick buildings with a grand copper dome and thought of the Old Parkland building as quite palatial. In reality, Parkland had a humble beginning as wooden clapboard hospital in 1894.

From left, Dallas mayoral candidates Mike Ablon, Lynn McBee, Miguel Solis, Jason Villalba, Regina Montoya, Scott Griggs and Albert Black acknowledge the crowd at the end of the Engage Dallas 2019 Mayoral Candidates Forum hosted by the Mayor’s Star Council at the Music Hall at Fair Park on Friday, March 8, 2019, in Dallas.
People walk among bluebonnets in Bluebonnet Park on Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Ennis, Texas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

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