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Making Dallas Even Better

Video Revealing Pregnancy Via Whisper Game Goes Viral

Coming to this one late, admittedly. I don’t much watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but the talk-show host apparently is known to play something called “the Whisper Game” with his guests. At least one Dallas couple who are fans of Fallon chose that game as the means of revealing to her parents that a baby is on the way.

The soon-to-be-grandfather’s reaction is priceless. The video has racked up nearly 2 million views so far on YouTube, thanks to being featured by Buzzfeed.

(h/t Star-T)

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Ask John Neely Bryan: There’s No App Superior to a Night Out in Dallas

Question: Camden decided a few months ago to stop accepting all resident parcels. Is it not our god-given right to compulsively shop on Amazon? What if other Dallas business/residential properties follow suit? Where would all of the city’s packages go? Local FedEx and UPS locations certainly don’t have the bandwidth for all incoming items to just stop at their local drops. Right? — Chelsey P.

I am continually astonished, confounded, damn near bewildered to encounter once again a prime example of just how lazy you 21st-century folks have become. You have the high privilege of living, working, and playing in the greatest city God ever gave man, and you’d rather just stay inside ordering footwear from Zappos? Instead of taking advantage of the loveliest of evenings while nestled within the bosom of the fraternity of your fellow man, you prefer the life of an agoraphobic?

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Come Work at D Magazine. We Need an Executive Editor.

D Magazine has an immediate opening for an executive editor. This exceptional person will oversee day-to-day operations, managing a small staff of rogues and miscreants who, despite themselves, produce one of the most respected city magazines in the country. Duties will include but not be limited to running the front of the book, helping to craft in-depth investigative pieces, and finding the best dog groomer in Dallas. The successful candidate will have at least a decade of experience in the magazine business. Send a powerfully well-written cover letter and résumé to

An Ode to the White Rock Sports Bar, Which Closes This Month

You’re going to have to bear with me. I need some space here to collect my thoughts and grieve. I learned yesterday that one of my favorite bars will shut its doors forever at the end of this month. I’m referring to the White Rock Sports Bar, which we regulars still refer to by its original name, Shady Side. Actually, its full name when it opened in 1998 was the Shady Side Cafe, but “cafe” fits the place like a wedding dress would fit my dog. A man named JD, a neighbor of mine, owns the place. He changed the name a number of years ago in a misguided effort (in this drinker’s humble opinion) to deal with the arcane rules governing dry areas and private clubs and the food-to-beverage ratio of sales numbers. JD tells me that his lease is up October 31. His liquor license expires even sooner, this Sunday.

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Celeb Hairstylist Mark Bustos Spent a Morning in Dallas Giving Cuts to the Homeless

The hospital ID bracelet remained on Brian Gray’s wrist Thursday morning as he sat against a bench in Downtown Dallas’ Main Street Garden. A seizure had landed him in an area hospital three days earlier, an idling effect from his brief NFL career with the Detroit Lions. Despite past successes, a lost telemarketing job and poor timing left 39-year-old Gray on Dallas’ streets six months ago after he’d moved from Los Angeles to help his then-pregnant sister. Gray, searching for normalcy, decided to start his day in the park Thursday when a young couple approached him, asking if they could do something nice for him.

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Scientist Behind Amazing New Fossil Discovery to Speak In Dallas

The first thing I read this morning was a story about Lee Berger, a scientific explorer who studies human evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. About 30 miles northwest of there, Berger found the bones of a new species: Homo naledi, a short (less than 5-feet tall) and thin, tiny-brained creature that is entirely new to science. In the cave, Berger and his team found bones from 15 individuals, with all age ranges — from newborn to the elderly. How they found these ancient relatives of humans is a good story, too:

Berger was excited, but he knew he personally could never reach this fossil site. To get into the cave chamber, you have to climb a steep, jagged rockfall called Dragon’s Back, then wiggle through a small opening that leads to a long, narrow crack.

The crack is only about 7 1/2 inches wide, and goes down more than 30 feet. Squeezing through it is the only way to reach the chamber of bones at the bottom.

Since he couldn’t go, Berger sent in his tall, skinny 16-year-old son. “When he came out after 45 minutes, he stuck his head out. And to tell you how bad I am, I didn’t say: ‘Are you OK?’ I said: ‘And?’ And he says, ‘Daddy, it’s wonderful.’ “

Read all about it here and here, and there’s tons more to come. And Berger will make his first public talk since the announcement at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science on September 29. Why Dallas? The Lyda Hill Foundation helps fund Berger’s research and the conservation of the Homo naledi site, as well as supporting the Perot. SCIENCE.

Leon Bridges Played Deep Ellum Last Night

Leon Bridges is a good person. He was the surprise guest at last night’s best of Big D party at the Bomb Factory. After Tim Rogers got on stage to thank sponsors, crack Philip Kingston jokes, and say all the things you have to say when you’re the tux-toting editor of the city magazine hosting the party, he asked Bridges to join him. Spinderella’s birthday is this week, and before the DJ brought the evening to its finale, Bridges was to surprise her by singing happy birthday.

Bridges looked sharp, of course. He wore a crisp grey suit, a white collared shirt with a skinny black tie, and black patent leather shoes. He took the mic, led the crowd in a brief acapella rendition of “Happy Birthday,” waved to his fans, and exited stage right. He was a good sport to make an appearance for us, especially in light of his ever-busy schedule, which saw him performing in the UK last week and will bring him to the West Coast later on this week.

But that’s not why Bridges is a good person.

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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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