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Making Dallas Even Better

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.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: What’s the Right Way to Order an Old-Fashioned?

Firstly, my humblest apologies for leaving you all — devoted readers — in the lurch last week whilst I skedaddled to obtain a measure of recreation and relaxation. One of the prime benefits of noncorporeal existence is that there’s no need to pay those blood-sucking fares that the airlines charge. Believe me, instantaneous quantum transport is the only way to fly!

But I return now to my Sisyphean duty: solving all of the world’s most pressing quandaries.

Question: With so many cocktail variations popping up every day — the rise of the mixologist is upon us! — it’s becoming more and more difficult to order a drink properly, without fumbling around with a barrage of follow-up questions and combinations to consider. Since you’re staggeringly old, can you tell me the proper way to order an Old Fashioned, so as to minimize the drama? — Travis S.

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After SCOTUS Decision, Jack Evans and George Harris Go Get Their Marriage License

If you recall, we wrote about Jack Evans and George Harris, a wonderful couple in their 80s who have been fighting for marriage equality in Dallas and beyond since the early ’60s, in our 40th anniversary issue. They founded what would become the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and started The Dallas Way, a project aimed at presenting the history of the GLBT community in Dallas. They were married in March of last year, but the marriage wasn’t recognized here. Evans and Harris have been together for some 55 years.

Minutes ago, to my utter delight, I saw their photo come across Twitter as they joined a growing line for marriage licenses at the Dallas Records Building, hours after the SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

Congratulations to Jack and George, congratulations to all.

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Everything We Ever Wanted You to Know About Dallas Neighborhoods

Let’s talk a moment about the elasticity of “neighborhood.” Sometimes the word is used to refer to an entire quadrant of a city, while some people wouldn’t dare call someone from three streets over a “neighbor.” It means pretty much whatever we want it to mean. That’s either useful or frustrating, depending on your outlook, or whether you’re off your meds.

I was talking about this with a fellow from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems — the company that keeps track of regional home sales data — a few months back. NTREIS relies heavily on the self-reporting of individual agents. He noted how inconsistent Dallas-area agents are in their use of the “subdivision” field when logging information about a property. One agent might dutifully type “Bent Tree North #3” while another reports a house on the same block is simply in “Bent Tree.”

This results in it being exceedingly difficult to track trends at a level as specific as a “neighborhood,” whatever that word means.

Anyway, read on to find out about our new neighborhood guides.

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Watch That Plano Water Tower Felled as You’ve Never Seen It Felled Before

I think we can all agree that Plano did this thing all wrong. When they demolished this water tower yesterday, a certain something was missing. We’ve identified that something as Michael Bay. If he’d produced this demolition, Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox would have had to outrun the toppling tower, which would have exploded in a 900-foot fireball the instant it struck the ground. And a B-2 Stealth Bomber would have done a flyover. As it is, you have to settle for our silly version:

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Why’s Dallas City Hall Sneaking Through a $450 Million Blank Check For TXU?

Wednesday, June 17, (the date of the next City Council meeting) is a special day. Why? Because it is the last meeting of the current council, and six of the 14 members are lame ducks, term-limited out. The Regular Agenda for the June 17 meeting, posted on June 5, was 1,071 pages long, and contained 101 items. But, as discussed previously, it is really the Addendum to the Agenda which contains most of the “fun” stuff.

Friday night I checked the Dallas City Hall website at 5:44 p.m., searching in vain for the Addendum (5 p.m. is the deadline for posting it). Oh, well, I had things to do and gave up. Finally, on Saturday afternoon (how many City Hall reporters work Saturdays?), I went searching again, and the 629-page document had finally posted, revealing 41 additional items. According to the time stamp, it had been received by the City Secretary at 4:26 p.m. Friday (June 12).

So,I started my treasure hunt. Most of the stuff was pretty typical, (e.g. $305,000 for veterinary services for police & fire dogs and horses), but then, WHOA… what the heck is this?

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Ask John Neely Bryan: The Secrets Beneath Downtown Dallas

Question: Do you spend any time in the underground Dallas space? Is there anything to do like shop or dine? — Dave S.

Your cryptic query proves a bit of a mind-tickler, as I’m not at all certain to which of our city’s subterranean spots you refer. I could, of course, extoll upon the virtues of any and all of these places. However, some are more secretive than others, and thus it is difficult to judge how much I am at liberty to reveal without inconveniencing many of my most loyal acolytes.

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The New York Times Is Streaming Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told

You may recall that Michael J. Mooney’s story, “The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever,” inspired a short documentary about the night amateur bowler Bill Fong threw strike after strike. Filmmaker Joey Daoud read the story when it first came out and wrote to Mike immediately. Lest you think the praise for this Mooney classic had run its course, it was recently the subject of the Nieman Foundation’s Annotation Tuesday. You can read the story with his writerly notes here.

Anyway, I got to see the film, Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told, last year at the Dallas International Film Festival. It’s great, and I’m not biased or being paid by Mooney to write all this. But starting to today, you can screen it on nytimes.com as part of their Made With Kickstarter series.

Go forth and watch.

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Get an Adorable Puppy Delivered in Dallas

Listen, I’m the first to fess up that I don’t really care much about the Super Bowl. I usually use those blissful four hours to hit the mall (and if I’m being totally honest by “mall” I mean that I make a mad run on all the leftover cheese samples at Central Market). What I won’t deny is my L-O-V-E for Animal Planet’s pre-game puppy bowl.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Where Should Dallasites Relocate After the Zombie Apocalypse?

Question: If Dallasites were forced to move to another big city out of state (due to the zombie apocalypse, the End of Times, or more reasonably, a job change), what major city would they want to move to? What other major city is most like Dallas? — Ashley M.

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Does Mike Rawlings Know He’s the Mayor of Dallas, Not Dallas-Fort Worth?

As Mike Rawlings told the Dallas Morning News editorial board recently, he’s “a numbers guy.” So anchoring all the puffery in his new mayor’s letter was one solid factoid: “According to a recent Forbes study, Dallas is now the fourth fastest-growing city in the country.” Wait, what? I mean, without even checking, I instinctively knew that wasn’t true, not by a long shot. What was this claim doing here? I had to get to the bottom of this.

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Aftershock Rocks North Dallas

I didn’t feel the earthquake earlier today, but my house a mile north of LBJ and Preston just rocked big time. I’m no rookie to quakes. My house in Sherman Oaks, California, was almost demolished by the Northridge Quake in January 1994. That was one of the main reasons I moved back to Dallas. Amazing how you never forget what it feels like when you watch your house sway. We are but small things on this planet.

Update: Someone just emailed me and asked me the difference between an aftershock and an earthquake. I’m no seismologist, yet I did study geomorphology and climatology in college. It is my understanding that aftershocks usually occur near the original fault line or epicenter of the quake and are not as strong. This knowledge I learned from living in California. After a quake, you rushed to fill up your bathtub with water, grabbed whatever liquor bottles didn’t break, and hunkered down in the bathroom to wait for the aftershock.

But this isn’t the San Andreas fault line, and these shakes we are experiencing are, in my opinion, man-made. So wheels off on these little frackers.

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