Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

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.

Read More

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 as part of their Made With Kickstarter series.

Go forth and watch.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Best of the Best Lists: 2014 Year in Review

It’s the time of year again when we take a look back at what most tickled the fancies of our readers, and in the case of our content the answer is “best” lists. Magazines are often criticized for being list-centric, but you know why so many magazines lean that way? Because people like to look at lists. Even if it’s just because they want to view our selections and tell us we don’t know what the hell we’re talking about, readers continue to come back for more.

These were the most popular listicles on our website in 2014:

Read More

Ask John Neely Bryan: Let Us Give Thanks For ‘Dallitude’

I am of two minds about the forthcoming holiday. On the one hand, it was that lousy crook Abe Lincoln — father of the federal income tax, a progressive income tax — who instituted the Day of Thanks Giving as a late November national mandate instead of letting each state handle its own business like the Good Lord and the Founders intended. Maybe Texans don’t like being limited to a single Thanksgiving each year. Maybe we’d rather not do it in the fall. Maybe we’d prefer it on some Sunday morning in May when we might celebrate with a light brunch. The federal jackboots force turkey and gravy and stuffing and cranberry sauce down our gullets and call it freedom? No sir. Not on my watch. Not until I’ve at least been given the option of a mimosa with a small plate of cantaloupe on the side.

On the other hand: pumpkin pie. It’s what the Creator himself eats for dessert.

Now to the business at hand.

Read More

The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: The Dread Destroyer Has 5 Points of Armor

With the exception of the month and a half I spent in the hole over the summer, my cellmate for most of the last six months has been a white-haired old man with the regal looks and bearing of an Antonine emperor and the grizzled guile and criminal outlook of a Lyndon Johnson crony. Billy Bob Aurelius, as I’ll call him, is a Vietnam combat veteran, a private commercial pilot, and former salesman for International Harvester, among other things. Before arriving at our jail unit here in Seagoville, he’d spent 18 months in a Mexico City lock-up after police found a pistol during a search of his jet. Horrified, I asked him what those urban Mexican jails were really like.

“They’re great if you have money,” he said. “I had money.” Apparently he was given a nice private cell from which he could order out for groceries and brandy and marijuana and prostitutes. He even had a woman who came and cooked and cleaned for him, which is to say that he had a maid.

Read More

An Apology to the French Family I Met in the Park Yesterday

I found myself yesterday in Klyde Warren Park around 6 o’clock with my daughter in tow. It was a lovely evening. Gorgeous weather. Yoga class twisting itself in knots on the lawn. Patio at Savor filled with folks. Dallas Symphony preparing to play on the stage. We were at the playground, where I was pushing my daughter on the merry-go-round. Another girl, looked to be about 10, walked up. I said, “Hop on!” She gave me a blank look. Her dad walked over and said with an accent, “We’re French. She doesn’t speak English.” We struck up a conversation.

Read More

Questions About Jill Jordan’s Bewildering ‘Trinity Lakes’ Briefing

On Friday afternoon, a Facebook post by Robert “Fingers of Fury” Wilonsky captured my attention. Said Wilonsky: “If you read one Dallas City Council briefing all weekend, make it this one: the surreal Trinity Lakes Amenities Design Plan.” How could I resist? To the extent I had any lingering doubts, he helpfully provided two illustrations: one of an alarming number of people crowded under a freeway overpass, evidently engaging in some sort of hyper merry-making; and another of a small tree-lined four-lane boulevard. Hmm … I had the sense this would prove enlightening.

Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan’s cover memo to the briefing document helpfully closed with the statement “Please feel free to contact me if you need additional information.” After reading through the 99-page attachment, I actually had quite a few questions, so I prepared to contact her. Upon closer reading, however, I noticed that: 1) she didn’t provide her contact details; and 2) even if she had done so, the memo was addressed exclusively to “The Honorable Members of the Transportation and Trinity River Project Committee,” and I’m not a member.

Therefore, lacking such access, I am posting my questions here, in the hopes that they might reach Ms. Jordan and Judge Vonciel Jones Hill (the Committee chair) prior to the meeting:

Read More