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The History of Dallas Urbanism in the Story of a Seafood Restaurant

Perhaps this is more of a Ghosts of Dallas thing, but I just thought I’d share with you some findings from a rabbit hole I slipped into this morning.

It began with this article about the closing of Vincent’s Seafood in Plano. I’ll be honest, I never heard of the place, which is why when the headline announced that it had been open for 117 years, I was really taken aback. How did a century-old restaurant escape my Dallas history nerd-o-meter? And how is it possible that a restaurant in a bland, concrete strip mall in Plano could be such a historic establishment? I started to dig.

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Leading Off (7/29/15)

Dallas Zoo’s Baby Giraffe Died. Kipenzi was born in April, with millions of people watching. She died yesterday, after running into something in the exhibit as the zookeepers were shifting the herd into the barn for the night. “It’s never easy to lose an animal that you know and have worked with,” said Harrison Edell, the zoo’s senior director of living collections. “It’s especially difficult when it’s an unexpected death and it is very much like losing a family member. It’s a rough day.” Katie, Kipenzi’s mother, stood guard over the calf’s body. Damn.

Mayor Rawlings “Deeply Concerned” About Upcoming Sex Expo. He said he is worried “that our playing host to this convention might send regarding our city’s position on the sexual exploitation of women.” That would be the same city where started. (By the way, I wrote about the 2008 Exxxotica expo in Miami. It gets pretty crazy, and concern is warranted.)

Video of Reporter Confronting Woman Who Stole His Identity Goes Viral. Fox 4’s Steve Noviello, the station’s consumer reporter, got the chance to confront a woman who used his credit card number to book a hotel room. It’s delightfully awkward. Now the video is working its way around the internet.

Grand Jury Hearing Case Against Ken Paxton. Special prosecutors allege that the state attorney general violated securities laws. Those prosecutors have apparently been presenting that case to a Collin County grand jury this week.

Plano Teen Still Missing. The car Jeorgina Gonzalez was last seen in was found abandoned yesterday in Garland, but there is no trace of the teenager. She was last seen with a couple: Saul Cenobio Lopez and Nohemi Lemus Guerrero (aka Nohemi Lopez).

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Can Somebody Explain to the Mayor That Plano Isn’t in Dallas?

I know this is well-trod territory for us, but again — watching the month-old video that Wilonsky posted about yesterday — we witness the disconnect that persists in the mind of Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Early on in a panel discussion that Rawlings took part in during the Atlantic‘s City Makers Summit last month in San Francisco, he alludes to wanting to do more for the state of southern Dallas and expresses his concern about Dallas being the city with the highest level of kids living in poverty.

But mostly he trots out the Chamber-of-Commerce-ese about how “fabulously well” Dallas-Fort Worth has done over the last decade. All the jobs being added, how Toyota “moved here.”

Only, of course, Toyota didn’t move here. They moved to Plano. Dallas has a lot of great neighborhoods, but Plano isn’t among them. And might the continued migration north of the best middle-class jobs have something to do with the too-long stagnation of the southern corridor? So why is this something for the mayor of the city of Dallas to tout?

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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: July 28

The first season of Denise Lee’s cabaret reclamation project wraps up tonight at Fair Park with Too Old, Too Fat, Too Black – Songs I’ll Never Sing On Broadway. The Dallas diva is taking cabaret back from the strip club, and has been doing so for a few months now as the force behind the monthly cabaret series at the Women’s Building in Fair Park. Lee herself will close out the season. As far as nights out go, it’s much less expensive (it’s free) and much less depressing (it’s downright uplifting) than a trip to a strip club. Motown the Musical starts its run at the Winspear, and a masterpiece of Spanish court portraiture is on display at the Meadows.

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The One Glaring Omission in the DMN’s Dick Bass Obit

In Leading Off this morning, I pointed folks to Dick Bass’ obituary in the Morning News. A FrontBurnervian with a good memory noticed something odd about the obit. If you read it and are unfamiliar with the marital history of Dallas society, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Dick and his wife, Alice, had four children (one of whom is married to the publisher of the News, Jim Moroney). That’s because nowhere does the obit mention that Dick was married from 1952 to 1974 to Rita. She’s the mother of the children. She married Bill Clements the year after she divorced Dick. Perhaps that’s the reason she doesn’t appear in the obit?

In any case, here’s a fun story about Dick Bass that Jeff Bowden wrote for us in 2000. Definitely worth a read, if only for the opening anecdote, which is amazing.

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Leading Off (7/28/15)

Jerry Jones Gets a New Hip. This David Moore story about the Cowboys owner is funny. Read it closely and it sounds a little like we’re reading about Putin in a Russian newspaper. “He has undergone hip replacement surgery but it won’t keep the Cowboys owner away from training camp. He won’t even need a cane to walk off the plane in Oxnard. This is just like when he had shoulder surgery and only missed one day of work. He is a fifth-degree black belt and has been known to engage three-day, nonstop lovemaking sessions.”

Police Looking for Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Women in Far North Dallas. Safety tip: if you meet a guy and he asks if you’ll let him give you a massage because he’s studying to be a masseur and needs to practice for a test, be a little suspicious.

Rowlett Cop Saves Toddler’s Life. Solid work by Officer Patrick Ray. But this Fox 4 story calls his actions heroic. Let’s be careful with that word, people. The girl had a coin stuck in her throat. He cleared her airway. It is possible to save a life without being heroic.

Hinojosa To Be Permanent DISD Super? Michael Hinojosa is the interim superintendent for the district, but this story says, “FOX 4 has learned that a majority of school board members are open to considering him for the permanent job.” I’m a little confused, though. Because only one trustee is quoted in the story. And there’s no mention of the reporter having surveyed the rest of school board. But whatever. Let’s go with that.

Dick Bass, R.I.P. The oilman and first person to climb the tallest mountain on all seven continents died Sunday night. He was 85. Read his obit.

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Goat Ranch Driving Range Coming to East Dallas

Ever since the Hank Haney driving range in Uptown became not a driving range, I have longed for a near-downtown spot to hit a lunchtime bucket of balls. Yes, Topgolf is great, but it’s too far. Well, it looks like we’ll have a new spot this fall. It’s called the Goat Ranch. It’s from the folks who brought us Bowlounge, and it’ll be on Haskell. From their site:

With 15 hitting bays, customers will hit into a fully-enclosed netted field. The field will not be your usual driving range targets but fun and creative targets, that make loud noise when you hit them.

The bar and event space is an old converted freezer building built years ago with lots of character. Surrounded with glass dock doors overlooking the driving range, the bar will offer a huge selection of mixed drinks and draft beers.

If you’d like to work there, this comes from the Craig’s List post announcing “a new bad ass concept in Dallas!!!”: “We need servers and bartenders. Preferably girls, not completely saying no to dudes, also tattoos welcome!!!”

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Leading Off (7/27/2015)

Popular Park Cities Personal Trainer Killed By Car. Michele Albanese was crossing the street at Travis and Armstrong, near the gym where she worked, around 12:30 pm Friday afternoon, when she was struck by a car going north on Travis Street. Police say Albanese was not at a crosswalk, failed to look both ways, and was talking on her phone when she was killed. The police have not released details about the driver of the vehicle. Very sad.

Dallas Makes Garth Brooks Feel Our Love. We’ve missed him in the two decades since the country singer last stopped by. It’s going to take seven shows at the American Airlines Center to accommodate the demand for tickets.

Boy Scouts End Ban On Gay Leaders Today. That’s the good news from the Irving-based organization, which will also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation for its paid positions. The bad news is that the new policy will still “allow church-run units to pick leaders who agree with their moral precepts,” according to the Morning News.

You Can All Officially Complain About The Heat Now. Dallas-Fort Worth achieved its first 100 degree day of the season over the weekend.

So Long. And thanks for all the fish. This is my last Leading Off, and after many years, my last day with D is this Friday. The September issue will be my last as the magazine’s managing editor. It’s been a fun and instructive ride, and I will remember you all with fondness. Mostly. It’s likely you’ll still see my byline here and there, so nobody worry too much.

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Win One of Our Neighborhood Icons of Dallas Posters

We were so excited about the launch of our neighborhood guides last month — more ‘hoods coming soon, I promise — that we decided we’d be fools not to take advantage of the merchandising possibilities.

And so we commissioned a nifty poster featuring various icons of Dallas neighborhoods. You can see a thumbnail of the featured image to the right. If you dig it — and how could you not? — enter here for a chance to win your own.

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How Will The Dallas Morning News Buyouts Impact Coverage?

Culture Map has a list of some of the Dallas Morning News reporters who have taken the most recent round of buyouts at the paper. And, boy, there are some big names on there. Frequent Frontburner sparring partners Steve Blow and Rodger Jones will leave the paper. Also taking buyouts: writer Brooks Egerton, Oak Cliff reporter Roy Appleton, Washington bureau chief Todd Gillman, airlines reporter Terry Maxon, and legendary business columnist Bob Miller (who was already retiring and has been “grandfathered” into the buyouts), among others.

Those are some pretty important beats. What I’ll be interested in seeing is how new DMN editor Mike Wilson goes about back-filling some of these positions — and which he leaves vacant. One thing I’m particularly concerned about is the loss of classical music critic Scott Cantrell, who is also taking a buyout. With Cantrell out as the DMN’s classical music critic, the state of Texas now has, from my count, no full-time classical critics just one full-time classical critic (the Chronicle’s Joshua Kosman). (UPDATE: The Chronicle works with a number of writers who cover classical, but there are no full-time classical critics with the paper, the paper’s features desk confirmed.)

It’s a tough day for the media industry, but a particularly sad one for arts criticism in Dallas.

UPDATE 2: Some more clarifying via Scott Cantrell:

Although I am indeed taking the buyout, it looks as though I’ll continue covering the classical beat through next season on a reduced freelance schedule. That will give me the transition period I’d hoped for, and give editors time to figure out how they want to go forward with classical-music coverage.


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Things To Do In Dallas This Weekend: July 24–26

Deciding what you’re going to do with your weekend is about equal with “what to eat for lunch” on the important decision scale. So it’s critical that you give all of your options serious consideration. This weekend you’re picking from a variety of concerts (Earth, Wind and Fire, Miguel, Fall Out Boy), parties, and more. Choose carefully, and do things in Dallas responsibly.

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Podcast: Laura Miller on Preston Center, John Wiley Price, Sacred Cows, and Clean Coal

Former Dallas mayor, as well as former Dallas Morning News/D Magazine/Dallas Observer reporter, Laura Miller stopped by the Old Monk yesterday to talk about why she now spends her days fighting for clean coal and against major new Preston Center development. Plus, in this week’s episode of Ear Burner, she tells the story behind her classic March 1991 D Magazine story on John Wiley Price.

A few notes before you listen:

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Leading Off (7/24/15)

We Still Haven’t Officially Hit 100 Degrees. Plenty of local weather stations have registered a triple-digit temperature in 2015, but where the records for all of North Texas are decided — near Runway 17C at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport — 99 is as high as it’s gotten this year. That’s unusual for these parts and could change today.

Lawyers Criticize Addison Police. Luz Granados-Reyes was arrested Monday after paramedics found her in a bathroom at the Hotel InterContinental, where she works as a maid, sitting on a toilet in which her newborn child (still attached to her via umbilical cord, as she’d just given birth) was submerged in the water. After the medical examiner’s report was made, the capital murder charges were dropped. Local defense attorneys who reviewed the arrest affidavit claim the police lacked cause for the arrest in the first place.

NAACP Comes to Defense of Grand Prairie Worker. Demoyas Baker was arrested for allegedly showing two teenage boys surveillance video of two 12-year-old boys engaging in a sex act at Dalworth Recreational Center. The civil rights organization is arguing that Baker, who is a black man, is being unfairly punished while a white co-worker is not being held accountable for his involvement in the same incident.

Richland High Debates Mascot Name. They’re the Rebels. The Birdville ISD school also has “Johnny Reb” and “Dixie Belle” student groups, in apparent celebration of the Civil War-era South. Some say it’s time to move on from such icons.

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