Pay Attention or You Might Miss It

Posted 01.20.2014

art1One of the good news/bad news aspects of my work is that I travel a lot. The good news part is I love the work and the people I work with. The bad news part is I also love being home and, sometimes, I find myself not paying a lot of attention to what’s out there on the road.

Fortunately, I was paying attention last week and got to take this picture of a couple of segments of the Berlin Wall that are on display at a hotel in Dallas.

On Monday and Tuesday, I was at the Hilton Anatole, just outside of downtown Dallas, for client meetings. While grabbing a quick dinner at the hotel bar on Monday night, I started chatting with the bartender. It was kind of a typical “Where are you from? How long have you worked here?” conversation and then he told me he loves working at the Hilton Anatole because of all the art. My response was, “What art?”

It turns out that the Hilton Anatole is owned by the Trammell Crow family (you can read about him here) and a lot of the art they own is on display in the hotel. This was sort of stunning news to me because I had already been there for six or seven hours and hadn’t noticed any of it. I then spent the next hour walking around the public spaces and was amazed by what I saw. The Berlin Wall was just part of it. Here’s a little bit of the rest.

art2For instance, the largest Wedgewood vase (created around 1855) in the world is on display there. There’s also an unbelievable amount of Asian artifacts, contemporary sculpture and modern art.And there’s this late 18th century marble pavilion from India which, as you can you see in the picture, makes a great place to park yourself and your beer during a cocktail party.


And that’s what really got me thinking about paying attention. I’m not ranking on the folks who were sitting on the pavilion. If I had been with their group, it’s likely you would have found me right there with them. If the Hilton Anatole had a problem with you sitting on it, they would have roped it off. The question that came to my mind though was, “Do they have any idea what they’re sitting on?” If I hadn’t had that chance conversation with the bartender I wouldn’t have paid any attention to it or any of the other amazing treasures that were right in front of me.

It sort of inspires me to pay more attention this week. How about you?