By now you know that the old downtown Statler Hilton has been sold. Finally. The Ricchi Investment Group out of San Antonio bought the thing from Hamsher International. But in late 2009, it looked like a mysterious fellow named Richard Chiu was going to save the landmark. Then, well, it didn’t look like that. As the hotel’s future grew murky, Brendan McNally wrote a story for us in June 2010. He tried to interview Chiu, with no success.
So it came as a bit of a surprise, when we received the following letter from Chiu today. It is dated April 8, 2011, and was sent via international mail from Warwick’s Paris office. Chiu takes issue with some points in the story. We stand by it.
It’s Bus Route 405 that’s affected. Apparently getting too dangerous after dark:
The loop over Southern Oaks Boulevard and Overton Road will not be served after 8 p.m. Southbound buses will operate over Overton Road to Illinois Avenue and continue to Ledbetter Station. Service northbound to Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station will travel the same route in reverse. The normal route will be operated at all other hours (please see map below).
The detour is prompted by safety concerns for bus operators and passengers and will remain in effect until further notice.
This weekend’s word that Sesame Street-style characters–and specifically, the Sesame Muppet called Elmo–will be enlisted by the U.S. State Department to fight extremism in Pakistan would probably be welcome news to Arthur E. Benjamin. Benjamin’s a wealthy, slightly eccentric L.A. businessman who was a big-time sponsor of the just-completed Dallas International Film Festival. Strolling the festival’s red carpet with Peter Fonda and Larry Hagman Friday night, Benjamin paused to say that he and his gal pal (her name is Sundays Hunt) couldn’t decide whether the festival’s best flick was Elevate or Being Elmo.
Seeing Elmo, it seems, had a major impact on Benjamin (whose uncle had a hand in turning around United Artists in the 1960s). In fact, Benjamin explained, he’s been fashioning his own “Muppet” out of a pocket square ever since the screening–he calls his little guy “Quentin”–and occasionally communicating with Sundays with it. To demonstrate, he pulled a purple handkerchief out of his suit coat and showed what he did after a DFW cop stopped him for “running a yellow light” that the cop thought was red. “I asked him, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ” Benjamin recalled in a strange pinched little voice, making “Quentin” talk. The cop let him skate, I think Benjamin said–maybe because it was just all too weird.
People really like the Katy Ice House. And they really like the Katy Trail. Only, last night Dallas Morning News crime reporter Scott Goldstein took to Twitter to chastise the former because its patrons were allegedly harassing runners who like the latter.
So I emailed the folks at the Katy Ice House about the incident Goldstein described, which had drunken bar patrons chasing runners and yelling. Â Buddy Cramer shot an email back this afternoon, and was quick to say he hadn’t heard of the incident, but if he had witnessed it, he would’ve put a stop to it post haste.
I certainly have not seen that type of behavior.Â Most of our customers, especially our patio customers, are just interested in having a beer and talking to friends.Â The whole point of an ice house is to relax.Â Nothing concerning this event has been reported to me and if observed, will not be tolerated.Â Even though I have no confirmation that this event occurred and certainly this type of event does not occur on a regular basis, I will beef up security along the Trail in high times. Â We take this type of thing very seriously.
So there you go – don’t be a douche canoe at the Katy Ice House, or you might find yourself bereft of a watering hole.
In today’s installment of overblown science news sure to be misrepresented by media outlets nationwide (including here):
A researcher at Texas Woman’s University in Denton has found that the high polyphenol content in blueberries could help fight obesity. So, local grocers, get ready for a run on your produce sections as people embrace a berry-heavy diet.
Let us hope that no one takes this too far and ends up like poor Violet Beauregarde:
Loyal readers of the magazine will remember David Hopkins’ fine profile of Tammi True (aka Nancy Myers), who once upon a time danced burlesque at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club. Now you’ll have a chance to see her perform in person. On April 29, she’ll be part of The Ruby Revue Burlesque Show as it celebrates its first anniversary at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. More details after the jump.
When I learned that the youngest mechanical bull rider at Gilley’s was 15 months old, and the oldest 93 years, I had no choice but to accept the mechanical bull riding challenge and in doing so complete my 13th of the Things Every Dallasite Must Do.
In stepping up to the wooden booth where Jeremy, the mechanical bull operator, twisted, turned, and pulled the shiny levers, I was greeted with a startling question. “So what will it be today: Bubbles, Cupcake, or Whiplash?” I felt my gut sink. Whiplash? Definitely not. “Bubbles, please,” I replied nervously as I beheld this three-names-in-one creature.
Gilley’s is just one corner of the venue. Next door sits the Palladium Ballroom, Southside Music Hall, and The Loft. To get there,Â I had exited the music area where a band was playing something old in a new way – very trendy these days – and strode onto the patio. The dark crisscross caging combined with the black iron chandeliers, antique hanging lights, wooden table tops with barrel bases, and scarred wooden paneling creates a rustic atmosphere that momentarily gave me the feeling of being in the 1956 movieÂ Giant. If only James Dean would have appeared…
I am snapped from my daydream by Jeremy’s orders to “step up and sign your life away,” pointing to the release form pinned down to an old clipboard. (more…)
I feel like Alexander, from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. And we’ll just leave it at that, shall we, because the last thing I want to do is bring you guys down. And since my chances of moving to Australia are basically nill, I’m on a mission to find other things to cheer me up.
Good movies always do the job pretty well, and if you weren’t already planning to attend FrontRow’s film series at the Texas Theatre, you should probably get on that. Arts editor Peter Simek has lined up some oldies but goodies, and tonight’s picture is one I’m personally looking forward to: Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows. The May-December romance between Cary, a wealthy, older widow, and Ron, her young, down-to-earth gardener is “pretty and lush and heartbreaking and all that good stuff,” Peter says. Sirk is a little more accessible than Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the other German auteur featured this series, so this is a perfect introduction to the melodrama genre.
Before you head out, make sure to read Peter’s FrontRow post for all sorts of helpful background information. There are so many options for dinner, like build your own enchiladas at BEE (when I went, owner Monica was greeting customers personally) or pizza at Eno’s, but you don’t need to look further than the theater bar for post-screening entertainment. Stick around for drinks and the chance to chat with Peter and your fellow moviegoers. You know, because you absolutely were not whispering back and forth during the film.
As always, for more things to do tonight, go here.
Today something wonderful showed up in the mail. Someone I don’t know sent me Blow by Blow: A Collection of Steve Blow’s Award-Winning Columns From the Dallas Morning News. I will identify the sender by his initials, J.H., so as not to cause him any trouble. J.H. must be a faithful reader of FrontBurner. He knows what I think of Blow. The book was wrapped in festive Chistmas-y paper. And I’m guessing J.H. picked it up at Half Price Books, because it bears the inscription you see here. (Reminds me of this embarrassing story involving an inscription.)
Here’s a chance to pepper the good Senator with your questions. A Facebook-working FrontBurnervian tell us the junior senator from Texas will be on their live show at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Here’s a link to the event page where people can RSVP and submit questions beforehand (http://on.fb.me/i5Hek4) and here’s a link to where the event will actually be live streaming at 2, where people can ask questions in real time (http://on.fb.me/9lPQkP).
The Rangers and Tigers will start a three-game series in less than an hour. All three games are scheduled for 12:05 p.m. I have no memory of the Rangers playing an entire series of weekday day games. Does anyone else? And does anyone know why the series was scheduled this way?
Dallas Rep. Jeb Hensarling on CNN yesterday noted that while the budget compromise included the largest single cuts in history, “relative to the size of the problem, it is not even a rounding error.” While both sides played pattycake for eight days to cut $38.5 billion, the interest on the national debt increased $54.1 billion.
Hey! Lookee here. We’re filling up the internet with a new blog. This one concerns itself with commercial real estate. It’s called RealPoints, and it’s really quite something. Example: this morning Christine Perez breaks the news that Citigroup has signed a lease at Trammell Crow Center and that the financial services giant is trying to sell its 625,000-square-foot campus in Irving. Another example: RealPoints has a roster of 60 contributors that includes Alan Shor of the Retail Connection, Allen Gump of Colliers International, Blair Oden of CB Richard Ellis, John Amend of the Amend Group, and John Crawford of Downtown Dallas Inc. Big hitters, in other words.
We expect RealPoints to do what InsideCorner did: become so hugely successful that someone backs up a money truck to Christine’s house and hire her away from us. So enjoy it while it lasts.
A FrontBurnervian with a morbid curiosity drove by Sparkman Hillcrest this morning, near NorthPark, and spotted a funeral procession accompanied by roughly 30 DPD motorcycle cops. Anyone know who the big shot was that passed on to the next plane?
Uncle Barky removed a Friday post about KXAS-NBC reporter Kim Fischer’s Facebook photos shot by photographer Bob Manzano. Seems Bob threatened a lawsuit and Uncle Barky (aka Ed Bark) decided it wasn’t worth the aggravation.
One photo had Kim “simulating a pole dance.” The other one had something to do with her appearing to be passed out next to a plate of leftover cake.
Uncle Barky reports that Manzano writes on his myspace page –
“In my opinion, there is nother more beautiful than to see a woman walking across the house wearing nothing but her birthday suit being her natural self — walking ART. I admire women who wear sexy and sensual clothing when in public, and we men need to admire it as walking art and stop eye salivating them.”
(The photo on the right was taken last June at the Paws in the City’s “Top Hat & Tails“. . . and not by Manzano.)
UPDATE: Just saw the “infamous” pole-dancing photo and it ain’t what was promised. It was just Kim and KDFW’s Fiona Gorostiza standing next to a pole. No dirty dancing, no girls gone wild, just two cute fully clothed girls standing there.
Did some investigating about Kim’s being passed out next to a plate of leftover cake. Again, it wasn’t what was suggested. An eyewitness to the photo admitted that it was posed as a joke.
So, shelve the fantasy about a wild and naughty Kim Fischer. It’s nothing more than photo cropping and wishful thinking.