Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: May 20

Annette Strauss Square, on the day it was dedicated, Sept. 2010. D Magazine File Photo.
Annette Strauss Square, on the day it was dedicated, Sept. 2010. D Magazine File Photo.

Allow me to reveal my inexperience with working downtown, as it’s a relatively new development in my life. In the years prior, I often wrote in the shadows of the city’s mostly paltry collection of coffee shops, almost none of which stay open past 11 pm. It’s dreadful. But this morning I learned something that anyone with extensive knowledge of the Arts District already knows: Flora Street is much prettier than Ross Avenue. Feel free to say “duh” at anytime.

Usually I will walk down the open intersections of Ross, with its towering and unflinching façades of commerce, honking cars, and rushed workers. Flora is more subtle than that. It’s shadier. I didn’t see as many hurried businesspeople, coffee stains on their powder blue garments. Instead, I saw children having their photo taken while they posed in front of the Meyerson.

It’s a lovely block for an outdoor concert, something which I’ve already experienced firsthand. But there was something about taking in that morning scene, one that wasn’t yet asking anything of anyone, to truly understand just how nice the area is. All this to say, perhaps you should consider seeing the Gipsy Kings at Annette Strauss Square this evening.

There is likely no other act that the average music listener associates with world music, which is understandable. The group is French, they play Flamenco, and they sing in Calo, or the language spoken by Spanish Gypsies. They have been incorporating Brazilian sounds—bossa nova and sambas—with increasing regularity, thus furthering their international scope. It’s not quite summer yet, so it’s the perfect time to sit outside for an evening performance.

Speaking of summer, the long-running photo gallery, Photographs Do Not Bend, has an aesthetic tribute to the celebrated season currently on display. Summertime and the Living is Easy opened just this past weekend, and features work from a diverse group of artists, including everyone from color-film pioneer Bill Eggleston to pinup photographer, Bunny Yeager. The show plays to the gallery’s varied strengths, and looks to be a fun and carefree way to welcome the next three impossibly hot months into our lives.

While we’re on the subject, here’s a summer tip for the Design District: Before you head to the gallery, stop by Bowlounge, the bowling alley just off Turtle Creek and Irving Boulevard. Bowling isn’t required, you can just hang out at the bar and order an adult milkshake. It doesn’t get any more summer than that.

Finally, today marks “Tip a Cop Day” at all area locations of Norma’s Cafe. Thankfully the police won’t be serving warrants in this instance, but rather your pancakes and pies. The chain-wide event is to help raise money for the Special Olympics, and part of the day’s sales will also benefit the organization. Head over for lunch and throw extra down on the bill.

For more to do tonight, go here.