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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

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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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The Daily Show Bashes Dallas to Play to Austin Audience

The Daily Show is taping a week of programs down in Austin, and on their first night Monday, they went out of their way to play to the audience there by bashing Dallas. Firstly they appropriated the classic Dallas TV show intro and made it about Austin instead. Here are a couple of their other insults:

“Dallas is still a steaming concrete wasteland of traffic jams, big hair, and stupid belt buckles.”

And when Jon Stewart asked correspondent Jessica Williams whether the people of Austin were concerned about catching Ebola from nearby Dallas, she responded sarcastically:

“Oh, yeah, Jon, Austin is going to pick up something after Dallas.” (Pauses for laughter and cheers.) “No, Jon, Austin sets the trends, and Dallas finds out about them five years later.”

Also Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and Fort Worth State Senator, Wendy Davis was the guest on the show. She was full of all the sort of banal statements you expect to hear from a politician a week before the election. You can watch an extended version of the interview here.

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Whoa, Paul Rudd Was (UPDATE: Not) One of the Airport Heroes Who Took Down the Homophobe

You remember the video we posted about late Friday? When I put that item up, the video had a little more than 10,000 views. Now it’s got more than 1.7 million.

Well, turns out that one of the onlookers who rushed to the defense of the man attacked by an antigay bigot at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was Paul Rudd. The actor. You know, this guy. He was probably on a connecting flight from Kansas City.

UPDATE, 3:05 p.m.: The Internet appears to have let us all down, folks. Jezebel reports that Rudd’s publicist says it’s not him.

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Who Is the ‘Cologned Gallerist’ From Dallas in The New Yorker?

An alert FrontBurnervian points us to a recent New Yorker Talk of the Town story about, indirectly, how horrible people can be at art fairs (looking at their phones, taking selfies, etc.). The story follows a chap named Eric Fischl, who paints people looking at art. Fischl and the writer go to Art Southampton, which is held in a tent behind an Elks Lodge. That’s where this scene unfolds:

A cologned gallerist strode over, business card extended. He drawled, “We’re in Dallas, and let me tell you something — Dallas is the absolute hottest market going right now. It’s on fire!”

“See what I have to live with?” Fischl mumbled.

So then. Who is the gallerist who wears so much cologne that a writer would take note during such a brief exchange? It is a totally inconsequential matter that deserves immediate attention.

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Why Are There Painted Halloween Traffic Barrels Along LBJ Freeway?

Why am I obliging the nice fellow who sent me a press release this morning about traffic barrels painted with Halloween-themed art as a promotion for the LBJ Express project and Valley View Center and the redevelopment going on up there to re-dub the area Dallas Midtown?

Because I couldn’t help but wonder about the wisdom of encouraging drivers to take a gander at traffic barrels as they drive by, even if it’s just along the frontage road. The release:

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L.M. Kit Carson Has Died

Comes word today that the North Texas filmmaker, whose career included co-writing the Wim Wenders movie Paris, Texas and co-founding Dallas’ own USA Film Festival, has died.

In 2011, D Magazine ran an article penned by Carson that was ostensibly about his work making a series of short documentaries about Africa on his cellphone, but it really reads more like a fever dream than a magazine story. Tim called it “uneditable,” yet “quite charming.” You should too.

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