You’ve only got today, tomorrow, and Sunday remaining to cast your ballots in our Best of Big D Readers’ Choice: Shopping survey. Remember that you can vote once per day, so if you want to support your favorites you’ll want to make repeated visits.
At midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning, the polls will close. Then you’ll have a week-long breather before we launch the next round of this year’s Best of Big D contest, Food and Drink.
D: The Broadcast, 9 a.m.
Hosted by Lisa Pineiro, Pat Smith, Suzie Humphreys and Courtney Kerr
D Living , 10 a.m.
Hosted by Hilary Kennedy and Kimberly Whitman
D-TV is available on all local cable providers.
AT&T 47 | DirecTV 47 | Dish 47 | Charter 22 / 746 (HD) | Time Warner 24 / 429 (HD) | Verizon 18 / 518 (HD)
The winners will appear in the August issue of D Magazine.
Which shops will be recognized as the best in Dallas, according to our readers, in the August issue? Your votes will decide over the next two weeks, beginning Monday. You can vote up to once a day on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Just visit Dmagazine.com after 12:00 a.m. February 25, and it should be obvious where you can vote. Then return every day through March 10.
To see the list of categories we will be deciding, take the jump.
Not So Sweet Sixteen: A 16-year-old’s birthday party in Grapevine didn’t quite go as planned Saturday night. Towards the end of the evening, the girl’s father got in an argument with her mother, shot the woman in the doorway to their house, and then killed himself on the front lawn.
Gun Buyback Event Turns Into Gun Auction: First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and The Stewpot want to do their part to help take guns off the street, so on Saturday they hosted a gun buyback event in downtown Dallas, just as they have for years. But this year, isn’t like other years. A protest group set up across the street from the church and began selling guns from the back of a truck.
With Second “Calatrava” Bridge, Dallas Reaffirms Superficiality: Writing about the revised design for the new I-30 bridge, critic Scott Cantrell argues we are not getting a second Santiago Calatrava, more Â like a TxDOT bridge with Calatrava “decals.” That’s typical of a city that likes to drop big bucks on name brands not just because they offer quality, he says, but because they offer bragging rights:
Calatrava is a Rolex watch among Seikos. The Seikos keep time just as well, and can be quite handsome, but the Rolex has snob appeal. Dallas loves snob appeal, especially with a foreign accent.
The above was shot at the Zales at the Shops at Willow Bend. Sometimes, I get the feeling that Shaquille O’Neal is Dwight Howard’s looper, got the dates mixed up, and just decided to stick around.
Remember how exciting it was as a child to gawk over gifts while the sun streaked in on Christmas morning? That’s basically how it felt today at the Filter Building on White Rock Lake, where Neiman Marcus debuted its 2012 Christmas Book.
The wide-open, exposed-brick warehouse was stuffed full of grown-up toys that surely wouldn’t fit easily in the Neiman’s flagship store downtown. Once the stark white curtains were dropped, sun came pouring in to shine on a wide range of objects, from his and hers Parisian-inspired watches to a James Bond-esque jetpack. The pastoral background of the sun coming up over the lake made for an interesting foil to the lavish display of goods.
My personal favorite was the Heritage Hen Mini Farm. This luxurious hen “boudoir” comes with custom-built raised gardens and, obviously, hens to help you get back to fresh food and ethical treatment of animals. Not to mention that it makes you feel like you’re in a Fragonard painting.
But perhaps you’ve always wanted to be in a Broadway show. One gift for sale is a walk-on role (for an adult) in Annie: The Musical. Bonus: the dog in the show is a rescue animal. Philanthropic, no?
“Old Town Shopping Center at the Village. A woman sits by the outdoor waterfall sculpture,” 1975.
Share your ownÂ Ghosts of Dallas.
If nothing else, Plano-based J.C. Penney’s radical new strategies under CEO Ron Johnson have gotten the company a lot of press this year. Â (Even aside from all the news about layoffs and the recent dismissal of the company’s shiny new marketing chief.) Â We noted in January the plans by Johnson, who previously helped Apple launch its distinctive retail shops, to bring some of the “genius bar” sensibility to Penney’s store layouts.
The Dallas Morning News got a “sneak peek” at a prototype of the new design (in an undisclosed Dallas location):
Counters with stools – Apple store mainstays that started with the genius bar Johnson created a decade ago in his former job – are a common feature in the street mockup.
Checkout counters with cash registers are replaced by seating areas with sofas or long tables with built-in iPads and stools where shoppers can sit and access the Internet. At the end of the mocked-up street is a snack bar with a seating area and small tables.
The new ambiance is designed “to encourage people to come and stay a while,” Johnson said.
In the new store layout, Penney employees carry mobile checkouts, “right here,” Johnson said while holding up the palm of his hand. The new layout includes multipurpose bars where shoppers can pay with cash, return items, have something gift wrapped or pick up an online order.
The design is supposed to “inspire and engage shoppers and allow them to relax, refresh and gather,” Johnson said. “People shop in twos: a mother and daughter, a husband and wife, girlfriends. One of them can still be close by but get a cup of coffee or sit down and check email.”
“Our customers have never had a shopping experience like this,” he said while touring the prototype. “It’s all about a better store environment filled with respect for the customer.”
From my perspective, this is overkill. All I require is a plush, comfortable husband chair, and I’m set.
News came yesterday that Frisco had reached a $45 million deal to buy land surrounding the Exide battery recycling plant that’s been around since the 1960s.Â There weren’t many people living in the city when it opened, but there are about 126,000 residents now, and many of them were none too happy about having a neighbor that released lead into the environment. Now the plant will close.
In a paywalled analysis piece in the Morning News today,Â Randy Lee Loftis wrote that Frisco was fortunate to find a solution to its dispute with Exide, since regulations weren’t likely ever to force the plant to close:
Usually, rules don’t prohibit pollution. They just set maximums, which implies that anything below the maximum is OK.
With lead, a metal so toxic that almost immeasurably small grains can harm a child, that’s a problem. Medical science says there’s no safe level in a child’s blood, but rules say a certain amount is safe in the air.
Frisco had the money to strike this deal because of the revenue it generates for its Economic Development Corporation and Community Development Corporation, which are funded by a 1/2-cent sales tax. Â (Frisco’s not a DART member city, so it has the sales tax flexibility to collect this revenue, rather than having to use a chunk of its tax-rate-cap room for transit.) Â And with massive amounts of retail in the city, plenty of money rolls in. Â As Loftis put it, Frisco Â ”has cash to do the job that the rule makers couldn’t.”
So if you’ve ever gone shopping at Stonebriar Centre or Ikea, feel free to give yourself a pat on the back for helping to prevent lead poisoning.
Kudos to JCPenney for its Father’s Day ad. The copy reads: “First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.” According to Gawker, the two guys in the ad are “real-life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith,” and those are their kids, Mason and Claire. And, as Gawker points out, the ad looks like a response to the failed boycott organized by the anti-gay nutjob group One Million Moms. I like the execution of the ad. I like the copy. And I like its middle-finger attitude to uptight folks everywhere. (Still not likely to get me into a Penney’s, though.)
But it’s not over yet. The best services in Dallas need your support through Sunday. You can vote once a day on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
After the last vote is tallied Sunday night, we’ll print all of the winners in the August issue of D Magazine.
The tenacious Claire St. Amant of People Newspapers notes that NorthPark Center has instituted a curfew for those age 17 and younger. As of yesterday, anyone that age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian after 6 p.m.
While you may recall a certain pseudo-scandal involving a 2011 viral email and what reports indicate was aÂ group-beating of a Dallas Lutheran School student in January, spokesman Mark Annick said theÂ updated policies were not in response to a specific incident, but reflect a growing trend nationwide.
“As much as its new here at NorthPark, it’s really not so new around the country,” Annick said.
The curfew will not apply to movie-goers, who will be allowed to go in and out of the AMC Theater located inside the mall until 11 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, and until 12:01 a.m. Friday and Saturday. There’s also a loophole for NorthPark employees under the age of 18.
The movie theater exception seems like a pretty big loophole. Â And everyone will need to pull up their drooping drawers too, according the newly written attire policy:
Visible undergarments are not permitted.
Question: Will exposed bra straps be tolerated any more than will sagging boxer shorts?
A few months back, I spoke with Karen Katz, the CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group, about her still-relatively-new job. (She took the post from the retiring Burt Tansky in the fall of 2010) After having worked her way up the retail portios of the corporate ladder, she said what she found herself having to learn the most about in her current role was technology, the company’s legacy systems for merchandising and e-commerce.
I thought it was strange that Neiman’s would be involved heavily in e-commerce, that people would be willing to buy a Chanel bag worth thousands of dollars online. “That was the original hesitation of people going online with luxury, but it’s not the case,” she said.
She told me that Neiman’s does $750 million in annual sales online, and RealPoints reported last October that the company expects its e-commerce revenue to double within five years.
Well, today the Dallas-based retailer announced its first foray into China. It’ll be partnering with a Chinese company called Glamour Sales on an e-commerce operation that will be branded with either the Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman name (Neiman’s also owns the Bergdorf brand).