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Readers Share Their #HiddenDallas Secrets

The February cover story of D Magazine features “89 secret things to eat, drink, see, and explore in your city.” The package is called “Hidden Dallas,” and I hope by now you’ve had a chance to peruse our staff’s findings.

On Monday we also told you about a little contest we’re holding in conjunction with the issue. We want to hear about the hidden corners of the city that you treasure most. Share them on social media with the hashtag #HiddenDallas before February 28. We’ll pick our favorite, most insightful tip and give a $200 gift card to Marie Gabrielle Restaurant & Gardens in return.

Meanwhile, here’s a sampling of what we’ve received so far:

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Keven McAlester Nominated for an Oscar

Once upon a time, there was a thing called The Met. In the mid-’90s, its ramshackle office, filled with secondhand furniture and outdated computers, was perched above a bar called the Green Elephant. The weekly’s music editor was a guy called Keven McAlester. Here’s how he was hired. Real piece of work, that McAlester. We called him Archie because Archibald was his real first name (Keven was his middle) and because he was smarter than all the rest of us and we needed a way to take him down a notch or two. Keven did not own shorts. He wore corduroy pants every day, even in the summer. That didn’t stop him from cutting a swath through the mostly female sales department. The other thing he pursued with great fervor was video games, first Maelstrom, then Snood. Especially Snood. Keven was the undisputed office champion of Snood. I’m not sure how much money I lost to him playing that game when we should have been doing our jobs.

All that is background so that you might possibly understand how amazed and delighted I was this morning when I learned that Keven has been nominated for an Academy Award for a documentary he co-wrote and co-produced. A huge congratulations goes out to him. And so does the photo below, taken when the entire Met staff underwent makeovers for some misguided fashion thing we published.

As you might imagine, Keven’s phone is rather busy right now. Via text, he says, “I’m thrilled and honored, and can’t thank Rory [director and co-producer] and the folks at American Experience enough for the opportunity to work on this.” In an email conversation with a couple other Met alumni, he said he plans to play Snood for the rest of the day.

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Will Jacqueline Buckingham Anderson Bring Her ‘Practice’ to the Crow Collection?

The Crow Collection of Asian Art just announced the creation of a Wellness Institute, to be directed by Jacqueline Buckingham Anderson, “a recognized advocate in the field of wellness and lifestyle medicine,” and the wife of Dallas Museum of Art director Maxwell Anderson.

The institute is designed to host sessions related to health and wellness, meditation, tai chi, family yoga, and “other practices.” Does that mean that Mrs. Anderson will spread the gospel of her own peculiar “practice,” which we got a sneak peek of in 2013? We can only hope.

Here’s the full press release:

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Who Was the Real Chris Kyle?

Was Chris Kyle a saintly defender of liberty or a racist serial killer? Possibly both or neither? A court has said he lied about taking down Jess Ventura, and he made other dubious claims during his life, but should that take anything away from his military service to our country?

The release of Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of Kyle’s memoir, American Sniper — which still is showing in only four theaters in the U.S. (including AMC NorthPark) and won’t go wide until next week — has brought renewed attention to our own D Magazine story about the man. You can see in the comments to that piece, as well as many of those other items we’ve posted about Kyle here on FrontBurner, that there is disagreement among readers about how he should be remembered.

This week the Guardian took note of the reaction to the film and reviews of it, and Lindy West correctly writes that among a certain group — those with a black-and-white/good-vs.-evil worldview — any criticism of Kyle is treated as an attack on America itself. For these people:

There is no room for the idea that Kyle might have been a good soldier but a bad guy; or a mediocre guy doing a difficult job badly; or a complex guy in a bad war who convinced himself he loved killing to cope with an impossible situation; or a straight-up serial killer exploiting an oppressive system that, yes, also employs lots of well-meaning, often impoverished, non-serial-killer people to do oppressive things over which they have no control. Or that Iraqis might be fully realised human beings with complex inner lives who find joy in food and sunshine and family, and anguish in the murders of their children. Or that you can support your country while thinking critically about its actions and its citizenry. Or that many truths can be true at once.

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Check Out the First Trailer For Carter High

Everyone is at least passingly familiar with the 1988 Odessa Permian Panthers, the team immortalized in Buzz Bissinger’s book Friday Night Lights, which was later adapted into a film, which was later adapted into a fictionalized TV series, which was almost adapted into another film. The team and its story has been a pop-culture fixture for 25 years; in 2012, rapper Big K.R.I.T. released a song titled “Boobie Miles,” named after the team’s star-crossed running back.

The team that actually won the state title that year, and beat Odessa Permian in the process, is finally having its story told. The 1988 Carter High Cowboys is arguably one of the most talented high school football teams ever, and absolutely one of the most controversial. Later this year, writer-director Arthur Muhammad — a former Carter football player — will release Carter High, which stars Charles S. Dutton (Roc), Viveca A. Fox (Kill Bill), and rapper David Banner as young attorney Royce West. Former Dallas Cowboy Greg Ellis produced the film.

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The Most Popular D Magazine Blog Posts of 2014

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt already aware that D Magazine Partners does far more than publish a group of glossy monthly magazines. Each day our editors are involved, primarily through our family of blogs, in an ongoing, lively conversation about what’s happening in Dallas.

These were the most popular blog posts of the year on our site:

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Ask John Neely Bryan: What Is That Thing at 2100 Ross Avenue?

Likely you will not be surprised that I’ve yet to hear a response from any of the lily-livered members of the Dallas City Council whom I so forcefully challenged last week. Doubtless they were each too intimidated by the thought of having to match up against me to dare to accept. Even though their continued silence is a clear violation of protocol of the code duello, I feel sorry for them — for the many remaining years they shall have to live with their own cowardice, waking up each day to look at themselves in the mirror in the full knowledge that they weren’t man or woman enough to take me on.

In the meanwhile, I’ve returned to address your needs. Keep your requests for information, advice, adjudication, or discussion of teleological ethics coming to ask@dmagazine.com.

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Museum Tower Designer Insists Nasher Needs to Yield in Reflectivity Dispute

In a piece earlier this month for the Architect’s Newspaper, Scott Johnson of Fain Johnson, the principal designer of Museum Tower, says the only possible solution to the Nasher Sculpture Center’s demands to be free of the light reflected upon its building and garden lies in the proposed alterations to its roof — changes which the museum has refused to make:

In the meantime, the Dallas Police & Fire Pension Fund, after exhaustive technical studies, has recommended recalibrating the clerestory cells in the ceiling without touching any other elements of the Nasher’s architecture. It is my understanding that they will turn their engineering research over to the Nasher design team to vet, design, and install the recalibration, and they will pay for it. The Nasher, I understand, has declined this solution, however, the original charge to “eliminate all reflection and do it all on Museum Tower,” given what we know, seems frankly unachievable.

I remain hopeful that new participants in the process will look beyond entrenched positions and a consensual and effective solution will be agreed upon. Dallas is a beautiful city and I hope that a resolution for this difficult issue between Museum Tower and the Nasher can be found soon.

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Will Art Prize Change Dallas’ Cultural Scene Forever?

Big local art news news hit yesterday: the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Art Prize — nicknamed the American Idol of art — will expand to Dallas in 2016. Why should you care? Well, in the December issue, I write about how there are a ton of people who see Art Prize, which hands out $500,000 in cash awards to artists and attracts huge numbers of visitors to little Grand Rapids, as a huge financial boost both for artists and the local tourism industry. On the other hand, many of this city’s artists, administrators, and curators are concerned that the art exhibit famous for Surfer Jesus paintings and giant dog sculptures is going to clutter our city with middlebrow art schlock and brand us as a provincial backwater. Then there’s that whole connection between Art Prize, Amway, and all sorts of evangelical action groups. You can read the piece over on FrontRow.

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Moss Haven Elementary Students Sing ‘We Are The World’ to Fight Ebola

As the Advocate notes, some youngsters over at Moss Haven Elementary in Lake Highlands have produced their own remake of “We Are The World,” the well-intentioned all-star tune we all were made to get thoroughly sick of thanks to its constant play on MTV in 1985.

The Moss Haven video is part of an effort to raise $5,000 for Doctors Without Borders to help fight the Ebola epidemic.

If you have anything snarky to say after watching it, what kind of monster are you?

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Glenn Beck Credits Move to Dallas With Saving His Life

Last night on his TheBlaze online network, Glenn Beck disclosed that for the last several years he’s battled serious health issues — constant fatigue, involuntary shaking, seizures — that had him thinking seriously about whether he could continue his work. He even looked for a successor to take over leadership of his media empire if it came to that.

But then, thanks to his relocation to Dallas and his purchase of the Studios at Las Colinas complex — a move that has proven hugely profitable to Beck, as detailed in Michael J. Mooney’s story in the November issue of D Magazine — he found “a miracle.” As he told his audience Monday:

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How a Hashtag Brought a Frisco Teen Virtual Worldwide Fame

If you spend any reasonable amount of time online, you likely encountered mention on Monday of the #AlexFromTarget hashtag — which was tied to a photo of a teenage boy at work as a checker at Target — having gone ridiculously viral. It was chalked up to being one of the great mysteries of the Internet age. A picture of a handsome but otherwise unremarkable-looking young man in the midst of the most mundane of activities somehow got passed from user after user after user on Twitter — and no one could say for sure why.

On Tuesday the CEO of a social media marketing/branding/something startup in Los Angeles gave an interview to CNET in which he took credit for having spawned the hashtag that launched a million tweets by using his network of “social influencers.” But the girl in the UK responsible for the original tweet, Target, and Alex himself all say they’ve got nothing to do with the company, as Buzzfeed reports. So this will likely remain one of the great inscrutable unknowns of this new world in which we live.

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‘Apparently’ Kid Visits the State Fair of Texas for the Ellen Show

A month ago, Ellen DeGeneres announced on her daytime talk show that she was sending Noah Ritter (he of ‘apparently’ viral video fame) as her correspondent to report from the State Fair of Texas. A few weeks ago, a tweet by the Dallas Police Department confirmed that he had arrived.

Yesterday the video of his trip finally aired. My favorite bit is when he tells a Dallas cop to keep two hands on the wheel because “you have a child in the golf cart.”

I will say that Ellen‘s producers could have pushed harder to help Noah make wiser food choices. He’s at the world capital of freaky fried fare, and he opts for the cheese pizza?

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