05/07/2014 08:28 am ET Updated Jul 07, 2014

Love Letters: Dallas

Hayden Bernstein is a native Dallasite who has returned home after 6 years away earning degrees from San Diego State and University of Texas in Austin. He is freelance writer and social media consultant for local restaurants. When not writing a Letter-a-Day he is plotting his next road trip on Google Maps and counting the days until South by Southwest.

Dear Dallas,

There are all kinds of love. There is that fun infatuation love where things are passionate and happen fast but usually end just as quickly. There is the soulmate love (so I hear) where you know you'd be happy spending the rest of your lives together. Then there is the less glamorous but probably strongest love between close family members.

Dallas you are like an big brother to me. As a kid, I thought everything you did was so cool. I wanted to be just like you. I begged my parents to buy me the same clothes you wore. I wanted to date the pretty blonde cheerleaders like you. I wanted to take these cheerleaders out on dates to the newest restaurants (in the clothes my parents bought me). After all, you are my big brother and I look up to you.

I don't remember when it happened exactly, but at some point, like most younger brothers, I decided I needed to be different than you. I was always comparing myself to you until I realized we're pretty different people. I wanted to set myself apart from your legacy of NorthPark Mall, Cowboys season tickets, and leased BMW's. We grew apart there for a while. It wasn't anything personal, I needed to do it for my own sake.

But throughout my own journey, you were always there for me like a good big brother. When I would come back you'd show me an awesome time, whether it be listening to quality hip-hop at the Slip Inn on Henderson Avenue or at City Tavern Downtown to drinking Dirty Dusty's. The Mavericks brought us a NBA Championship that we celebrated together and even Texas Rangers gave us some exciting times. We shared some unforgettable moments and as the years went by, we both matured we grew close again.

You've mellowed out in your recent years with neighborhoods like Bishop Arts District and the M Streets. You build some awesome urban green spaces like Klyde Warren Park. New bike paths help connect the city to White Rock Lake for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. You are even making efforts to bond with our estranged step-brother, South Dallas. I'm really proud of you.

I can't deny that when I see the Green Building, something inside me stirs and I know I'm home (except when it's red, or pink or white...we still need to talk about that). In so many ways you've shaped the person I am today I love you for it brother.