Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better


Should You Get All Worked Up Over That Sex Show at the Dallas Convention Center?

You’ve probably heard by now about the August 7 Exxxotica Expo at the Dallas Convention Center. That Friday, for those interested, Dallas’ own Jenny Block will lead a seminar titled “O Wow! Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm.” Over on the main stage, a performer called Rubber Doll will do her thing. Mike Mooney wrote about Rubber Doll in 2008 for the Miami New Times. You should read Mike’s story. It’s 1,600 words. It’ll give you a good idea of what goes on at an Exxxotica Expo (hint: power tools and dildos are involved).

At this point, you might be tempted to side with the Dallas Women’s Foundation, which sent a letter to Mayor Mike Rawlings saying that they are “deeply troubled” that the Exxxotica Expo is coming to our convention center. Before you make up your mind, though, I invite you to read this post by Jim Schutze. It’s a little over 1,000 words. I know I’m asking you to do a lot of reading. But Schutze goes after the Dallas Women’s Foundation in a way that I think you’ll find highly entertaining. His post might even convince you that this Exxxotica Expo isn’t worth getting all worked up over.

Me? I’m too focused on logistics to get bogged down in any moral or ethical concerns. The expo will be held at the Convention Center. But the host hotel is the Crown Plaza? As their site says, the expo takes place a “10 minute walk from host hotel!” The expo wraps up at midnight on Friday, 10 o’clock on Saturday. I’m thinking Belo Garden is the place to hang out. Should be an interesting parade.

Full Story

A Concise Review of Last Night’s Best of Big D Party

If you joined us last night at the Bomb Factory for the Best of Big D party, you’re probably moving a little slowly this morning. Get some coffee. Have a Dirty Dusty at lunch. You’ll be okay.

If you didn’t join us, you’re probably wondering how it went. To satisfy your curiosity, I offer you the above picture of Brendan Higgins, former CBS Channel 11 morning anchor. As everyone knows, the severity of a thunderstorm can be judged by ABC Channel 8 weatherman Pete Delkus’ shirtsleeves. The higher up his arms he rolls them, the worse the weather will get. A similar phenomenon occurs with Higgins’ clothes. The lower he unbuttons his shirt, the better the party. Last night, as you can see, was a three-button party.

Thanks to everyone at D Magazine and the Bomb Factory who made it happen. And thanks to our sponsors, too: Ben E. Keith, See’s Candies, Pinstack Bowl, and Topo Chico. Congrats to all the Best of Big D winners. Let’s do it again next year.

Full Story

The One Glaring Omission in the DMN’s Dick Bass Obit

In Leading Off this morning, I pointed folks to Dick Bass’ obituary in the Morning News. A FrontBurnervian with a good memory noticed something odd about the obit. If you read it and are unfamiliar with the marital history of Dallas society, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Dick and his wife, Alice, had four children (one of whom is married to the publisher of the News, Jim Moroney). That’s because nowhere does the obit mention that Dick was married from 1952 to 1974 to Rita. She’s the mother of the children. She married Bill Clements the year after she divorced Dick. Perhaps that’s the reason she doesn’t appear in the obit?

In any case, here’s a fun story about Dick Bass that Jeff Bowden wrote for us in 2000. Definitely worth a read, if only for the opening anecdote, which is amazing.

Full Story

Leading Off (7/28/15)

Jerry Jones Gets a New Hip. This David Moore story about the Cowboys owner is funny. Read it closely and it sounds a little like we’re reading about Putin in a Russian newspaper. “He has undergone hip replacement surgery but it won’t keep the Cowboys owner away from training camp. He won’t even need a cane to walk off the plane in Oxnard. This is just like when he had shoulder surgery and only missed one day of work. He is a fifth-degree black belt and has been known to engage three-day, nonstop lovemaking sessions.”

Police Looking for Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Women in Far North Dallas. Safety tip: if you meet a guy and he asks if you’ll let him give you a massage because he’s studying to be a masseur and needs to practice for a test, be a little suspicious.

Rowlett Cop Saves Toddler’s Life. Solid work by Officer Patrick Ray. But this Fox 4 story calls his actions heroic. Let’s be careful with that word, people. The girl had a coin stuck in her throat. He cleared her airway. It is possible to save a life without being heroic.

Hinojosa To Be Permanent DISD Super? Michael Hinojosa is the interim superintendent for the district, but this story says, “FOX 4 has learned that a majority of school board members are open to considering him for the permanent job.” I’m a little confused, though. Because only one trustee is quoted in the story. And there’s no mention of the reporter having surveyed the rest of school board. But whatever. Let’s go with that.

Dick Bass, R.I.P. The oilman and first person to climb the tallest mountain on all seven continents died Sunday night. He was 85. Read his obit.

Full Story

Goat Ranch Driving Range Coming to East Dallas

Ever since the Hank Haney driving range in Uptown became not a driving range, I have longed for a near-downtown spot to hit a lunchtime bucket of balls. Yes, Topgolf is great, but it’s too far. Well, it looks like we’ll have a new spot this fall. It’s called the Goat Ranch. It’s from the folks who brought us Bowlounge, and it’ll be on Haskell. From their site:

With 15 hitting bays, customers will hit into a fully-enclosed netted field. The field will not be your usual driving range targets but fun and creative targets, that make loud noise when you hit them.

The bar and event space is an old converted freezer building built years ago with lots of character. Surrounded with glass dock doors overlooking the driving range, the bar will offer a huge selection of mixed drinks and draft beers.

If you’d like to work there, this comes from the Craig’s List post announcing “a new bad ass concept in Dallas!!!”: “We need servers and bartenders. Preferably girls, not completely saying no to dudes, also tattoos welcome!!!”

Full Story

DMN Editor Mike Wilson’s First Interview Since Taking Over the Paper

Is this really Mike Wilson’s first interview since he came to the paper, in February? I think it is. Feels to me like it is. That’s the future of journalism, friends. If I’m wrong, just tell me in the comments. (I’m kidding about this. (No, I’m not.))

Anyway, Wilson did a Q&A with Richard Parker for the Columbia Journalism Review. The FrontBurnervian who pointed me to this said something alarmist about how Wilson said journalists are salespeople. And that is the thrust of the headline, which reads: “Dallas Morning News editor: ‘We are all salespeople now.’ ” Sure, sure. But here’s the quote in context: “[W]e all need to be better at building audience online. We are all salespeople now.” The rest of what Wilson had to say similarly makes sense.

UPDATE (12:19) — Two people who I guess don’t want to bother registering with our new Disqus comment-moderation system have sent word that KERA actually got Wilson first, back in May. Listen!

Full Story

Why Urban Areas Should Tear Down Elevated Highways

Over at Politico, they’ve got a piece titled “Knock ’Em Down.” The subhead: “Even Ike was disappointed by what highways did to cities. Here’s a conservative case for fewer overpasses.” If you’ve never thought about this topic before, then this must be the first time you’ve visited FrontBurner. In any case, you should read it. But I’m going to deprive you of the delight of stumbling across this passage as I did when I read it:

To a true fiscal conservative, the notion of removing urban highways to control costs, and letting scarce real estate attain its full value, should hold immense appeal. This may explain why Wick Allison, president of the non-profit that publishes The American Conservative, is a huge backer of the movement to replace a highway in downtown Dallas with a street grid and walkable development.

Full Story

Barrett Brown Gets 30 More Days in the Hole

If you’ve been following along, you know that Barrett was stuck in isolation for possessing hooch. Looked like he’d have to spend 30 to 45 days in the hole. Well, the Bureau of Prisons has held a hearing on the matter, and they’ve given him 30 more days in the hole. As his legal defense folks point out in a post on this matter, what the BOP is doing constitutes torture, according to the United Nations. Is the BOP doing this in retaliation for Barrett’s first column on The Intercept, which was posted about a week ago? Naw. Couldn’t be.

Full Story

Leading Off (7/21/15)

Jordan Spieth Comes Up 3 Inches Short at the Open. My wife asked, “Did he lose?” No, he didn’t lose. You can’t call what he did losing. But he didn’t win, either. You probably already know yesterday’s result. Here’s Bill Nichols’ report. And another from someone else with North Texas ties: Sally Jenkins. Tim Cowlishaw asks a good question: “[D]o you look at August 13 as the date of the Cowboys-Chargers preseason opener or as the next chance to watch Spieth go for a major championship at Whistling Straits?”

Under-qualified Students Got in to UT Austin. In an exclusive, the News reports that dozens of students who didn’t have good grades and high SAT scores got into the university after influential people wrote letters on their behalf. Among those influential people: Tom Hicks and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. So you’re telling me that people with connections and money sometimes get special treatment? I’m shocked. Stunned. Mind blown. Outraged. Really shaken over here. Gonna need a moment to recover. Seriously. I’m going to finish Leading Off and then probably need to call in sick because I can’t take it.

15 North Texas Men Arrested in Online Sex Sting. The News brings us the story today, but the Cleburne Times-Review had it Friday, and they did the Brady Bunch treatment with the 16 mugshots.

Ships Lounge To Close. If you missed it yesterday, Big Bob broke the most important news of the day. Ships is closing — temporarily, the owner says. You’ve got today and tomorrow to pop in before it’s too late.

Full Story

Dallas To Get WNBA Team

The AP is reporting that the Tulsa Shock are moving to Dallas. (Or as the US News & World Report headline read, “Tusla Shock Moving to Dallas.” Is that, like, the Oklahoma version of Elon Musk’s car?) Here is what you need to know about the Shock: they suck. Or they have sucked. This year they were doing much better, starting the season 8-1. Then their star, Skylar Diggins, blew out her ACL. She’s out for the season. I have been doing some serious research on Diggins. It is my conclusion that I should interview her for a story in D Magazine. More updates soon.

Full Story

Dallas Is a Flaming Pig

An alert FrontBurnervian sends along a chart from Marriott that tracks the “off season” in vacation spots around the world. Our FrontBurnervian notes: “It’s interesting to see the icons assigned to represent these destinations. Montreal: Maple Leaf. Portland: Bicycle. Australia: Kangaroo. Dallas: Flaming Pig.”

I hereby move that we take down the Pegasus from its spot high atop the Magnolia Hotel and replace it with the iconic Flaming Pig.

Full Story

D Magazine Hits the Old Course

They just finished up at St. Andrews. A check of the leaderboard shows that Dustin Johnson lead at 10 under. Not a fan. Our guy, Jordan Spieth, had a tough time with the wind and rain. He shot even par today and is tied for 15, at 5 under. Luckily Johnson has shown he’s a choker, and we all know that Spieth is made of Kevlar and military grade titanium.

In other news, our Nancy Nichols is in St. Andrews (as you know, if you’ve been following along). That’s her in the pic above, at the 700-year-old Swilcan Bridge, on the 18th fairway. She reports that she is right now trying to talk her way into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to get a drink. If she’s successful, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Full Story

Where Are the Jobs in Dallas?

An alert FrontBurnervian (as they all are) points us to a cool, time-sucking interactive map that lets you look at every single job in the United States with a color code (you’ll have to navigate your way to Dallas). A guy named Robert Manduca, a Harvard Ph.D. student and mapmaker, put it together. Each dot that you see represents one job in Dallas. Blue dots are professional services. Green is healthcare, education, and government. Yellow is retail, hospitality, and other services. Go here to read a little about how you can interpret the data. One obvious conclusion is that downtowns are where the jobs are, not the suburbs. Here in North Texas, southern Dallas looks as barren as Prosper.

Full Story