Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Feb. 9

We’ve arrived at Fat Tuesday, the final gasp of beaded debauchery before 40 days of penitence and fasting. I’ve never been big on Mardi Gras, but I do like the idea of Lent. It’s a divinely ordained new year’s resolution with some actual consequences — if you quit going to the gym or have a cigarette by Feb. 1, you may have to bashfully concede to friends that your will was shattered on the rock of temptation. If you screw up during Lent, though, there’s always the chance you wind up in a Hieronymous Bosch painting.

Lent and the threat of eternal damnation can wait. Tonight, we march through Deep Ellum, focus on a new exhibit at the Fort Worth Modern, and listen to polyphonic music about polyamory at Trees.

Read More

The Lesson South Oak Cliff High Just Taught All DISD Students

Yes, there’s a story about it on the front page of today’s metro section. Sure, the incident was widely covered on local TV stations. But I’m not quite sure it has sunk in yet just what a potentially city-changing event has been unfolding over the past couple of months in South Oak Cliff.

It began with the sad fact that South Oak Cliff High School is in terrible shape. Students describe falling ceiling tiles, leaky classrooms, malfunctioning HVAC, decrepit locker rooms, and empty library shelves. The district set aside $13 million to address some of these issues in the upcoming $1.6 billion bond program, but that’s a drop in the bucket when compared with the $40 million it is estimated to take to make South Oak Cliff High School look like, you know, a real school. So the students walked out. Last December, 250 of them demonstrated in front of their school demanding that the district figure out how to provide a place where they can learn that doesn’t communicate to them on a daily basis that they have already been written-off by the world.

And the district responded.

Now trustees plan to double the amount of money they will spend on fixing South Oak Cliff High School to $25 million. It’s still short of the $40 million the school needs, but that’s a huge concession. Students staged a collective action, and they forced the hand of the district, which will now double the amount of money it will spend on fixing South Oak Cliff High School.

I believe that’s major, and here’s why.

Read More

Ben Bernanke, A Bush Economics Adviser … Again

If you didn’t recognize Ben Bernanke from his days in the spotlight, orchestrating the Federal Reserve response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, you might have assumed he was just another number-cruncher in the little crowd gathered at the Dallas Fed building last night. Affable enough but shy, the former chief economic adviser to President George W. Bush (2005-2006) and two-term chairman of the Federal Reserve (2006-2014) maneuvered tentatively through the small-talking throng, evincing the most enthusiasm, it seemed, for the excellent hors d’oeuvres.

Read More

Poll: Should Dallas Ban a Porn Convention?

I’ll be surprised if this isn’t a landslide result. On one side of the issue that the Dallas City Council will consider at Wednesday’s meeting are Mayor Mike Rawlings and billionaire Ray Hunt, who believe there’s an opportunity to block the return of the Exxxotica sex show to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

On the other, there’s city councilmen Philip Kingston and Lee Kleinman (who often disagree on other decisions), as well as future buddy-comedy co-stars Mike Hashimoto and Zac Crain, plus (probably) the United States Supreme Court and most of the Founding Fathers (not John Adams, who was a bit of a prude, but definitely Ben “Early to Bed, Early to Rise” Franklin.)

What do you think?

Read More

Dallas Dating Guide Launches Today

Dallas consistently ranks alongside other major cities (many within the state) as one of the top destinations for young professionals and singles. With this in mind, we’ve created an expansive guide to how to navigate Dallas’ dating landscape.

From suggestions on where to spend a first date to what to say during that outing, our Dallas Dating Guide is a look inside the city’s most romantic spots. Moving forward, the guide will expand with new propositions and pieces of advice offered weekly. Whether you’re new to love or a one half of a long-married couple, there’s something for everyone. Use this guide to inspire your love story. Or, at least, a story. (Either way, I want to know.)

Get started with the Dallas Dating Guide here.

Leading Off (2/9/16)

New Details in Johnny Manziel Case. NBC Channel 5 obtained the affidavit signed by Manziel’s girlfriend, which details his alleged assault and led to a protective order. Colleen Crowley says they had dinner at Victor Tango’s and later went to Manziel’s room at Hotel ZaZa, where he threw her on a bed. It got much worse as, she says, he retrieved her car from the valet, kidnapped her, and threatened to kill her and himself. Even Jerry Jones has to realize by this point that Manziel needs treatment, not a contract.

Mike Hashimoto Unleashes a Humdinger on Exxxotica Convention. If you’re still trying to make up your mind about the new DMN Metro columnist, read his column today about the Exxxotica foolishness. He lays out how Ray Hunt has gotten Mayor Mike Rawlings to change his stance on the porn convention and possibly even lead the city into a losing lawsuit (stay tuned for Wednesday’s City Council meeting). It’s a smart, sharply written column—and a huge upgrade from Steve Blow.

30th Anniversary of Spud Webb’s Awesomeness. Watch the dunk again.

Michael Brick, R.I.P.

We’ve lost someone great. A great writer. A great friend. A great person.

Michael Brick was 41. He is survived by a wife and three kids, including a 5-year-old daughter, and an almost-8-year-old son. I met him at the Mayborn in 2010 and wrote about him and his book a few years ago. He was infinitely supportive of other writers, and he always felt like the wisest person in the room. I’m lucky to have known him.

The Houston Chronicle has a really good story about his life here. The New York Times, where he wrote so many incredible stories, has a remembrance here.

You should read his work, a sampling of which is available here. The way he put words together was wonderful and inspiring. An anthology is in the works. He was also a great songwriter and musician, and you can listen to some of his songs here and here.

And if you’re so inclined, have a thought, say a prayer, or tip a glass for a great one gone too soon.

Once You Decide You Want to Be In the Convention Business, You Have to Be In the Convention Business

As I mentioned this morning, Mayor Rawlings said over the weekend that he wants to ban EXXXOTICA, a three-day adult expo, from returning to the convention center this year. The city council will vote on a resolution drafted at Rawlings’ request on Wednesday. It’s probably not constitutional, and, what’s more, it goes against what the city has decided to do, which is be in the convention business.

The city unnecessarily paid for a new convention center hotel on its own for a few hundred million, when there were plenty of offers to build it for them. So the city needs any convention that will come and put bodies in beds. Dentists, doctors, proctors, furries, jugglers, muggers, muggles — whatever. Even a sex expo that I’m sure was actually pretty tame and boring when it came to town last year. I mean, obviously, you draw the line at hate groups, of course, and St. Louis Cardinals fans.

But anything that is legal — DPD sent undercover vice cops there, and it was basically paid time off — is fair. That’s a decision that is pre-made when you put that much dough into one place even though you have better options. Sorry, Mayor Mike.

Dallas Intersections That Would Make Fantastic Aliases or Elmore Leonard Characters, Ranked

30. Cole Armstrong

29. Richmond Summit

28. Stewart Lausanne

27. Victor Glasgow

26. Prescott Bowser

25. Michael Klondike

A job this size would take money to get up and running, and that’s where he came in. His family had made a fortune in candy, but he saw himself as something else, something tougher, even if no one else did. But maybe now they would.

Read More

Help Wanted at D CEO

D CEO magazine has an immediate opening for a managing editor. In addition to being a first-rate writer and editor, the affable, super-organized person who takes this job will oversee day-to-day operations, making sure deadlines are met for a title named the country’s best regional business magazine for the last three years. Duties include assigning front-of-the-book stories, managing budgets, and supervising the fact-checking process. And, oh yeah—he or she also will have to put up with me. Journalism experience and familiarity with business required. Send a résumé to

Leading Off (2/8/16)

Mayor Rawlings Wants to Ban Adult Expo From Returning to Convention Center. Ray Hunt is against it, also. EXXXOTICA, “the largest adult event in the USA dedicated to love and sex,” held its three-day shindig last August. I’ll just say this is what happens when you build Philip Jones a convention center hotel. If I had to pick a side, I guess I’d say I’m against it, too, just because the protesters were — and this is a technical term — super lame.

Jimmie Vaughan Rides In Oak Cliff Mardi Gras Parade. I couldn’t make it out. Did he do any Fabulous Thunderbirds songs?

Fort Worth Stock Show Sets Attendance Record. I didn’t make it out there, either. Did anyone do any Fabulous Thunderbirds songs?

More Than 100 Arrests In Crackdown On Aggressive Panhandlers. I wonder if the guy who’s been using the same bus ticket to try to scare up some scratch was one of them. I sort of hope so, if only to shake up his hustle. As any good rapper knows, you gotta switch up your flow every now and again.

K2 May Be Regulated Soon In Dallas. The city’s public safety committee is looking at it after a spate of overdoses of the synthetic cannabinoid. It’s pretty dangerous, if you haven’t heard.

DMN Makes Mike Hashimoto a Metro Columnist

Mike Hashimoto has been around at the Dallas Morning News forever. Something like 30 years, I think. He’s been a member of the paper’s editorial board for a while. And a few days ago, DMN editor Mike Wilson introduced him as a new Metro columnist. You might not have known, but should if you give his first column a cursory glance, that Hash is married to Jacqueline Floyd, who is also a DMN Metro columnist.

Tim and I got to talking about this the other day, and we decided it raised an interesting conundrum for Wilson.

Read More

Things To Do In Dallas This Weekend: Feb. 5-7

If you have a time machine, like sandwiches, and want to win some Modest Mouse tickets, cruise into that wormhole and rewind to about 3:30 pm yesterday. You’re going to want to tune in to the live video edition of “Things To Do In Dallas,” which is a thing we did over on the D Magazine Facebook page with mostly minimal embarrassment. Listen closely for a trivia question. The answer is Blade Runner. Congratulations. You’re going to see Modest Mouse and eat $50 worth of sandwiches.

Spoiler Alert: The three best things to do in Dallas this weekend are the Mardi Gras parade in Oak Cliff, Teatro Dallas’ International Festival, and Super Bowl watch parties at the Granada Theater and the Bomb Factory. But that’s really just the tip of the Dallas events iceberg, and I’m about to steer this ocean liner of a blog directly at that sucker.

Read More

Ask John Neely Bryan: Why Are There ‘Barrel Monsters’ Along Interstate 35E?

Question: I was driving up Interstate 35 over the weekend, and I spotted some strange statue. It looked like it was made of traffic barrels. This was when was I was headed north and just south of the lake in Lewisville. Any idea what that was? — Melissa H.

Read More