THUMBS UP: Heidi, Happy, and Heather Beaumont, three Dallas sisters who opened the hip, vaguely European Gachet Coffee Lounge in April, have signed a letter of intent to open a second spot next-door to Victory Park’s W Hotel in June 2006. Put that in your latte, Starbucks.
THUMBS DOWN: State Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) loves billboards. Why else would she vote down HB 2051? The bill would have established a scenic byways program in Texas, one of the few states in the country not to have one. In effect, such programs limit the number of billboards cluttering views along scenic and historic roads. The bill lost in committee 20-11, one vote short of the 21 necessary to become law.
Location, Location, Location
Oillionaire, corporate raider, and noted animal lover T. Boone Pickens and his new wife, California horse breeder Madeleine Paulson, bought this Preston Hollow house in September. The sellers, Cappy McGarr and his wife Janie, daughter of Annette and Ted Strauss, are said to have gotten $5 million for the 8,215-square-foot home, despite its location. It sits three doors down from Mark Cuban.
Photo: Pickens: Dallas Morning News; House: David Woo
Alan Powell puts the Dallas hip-hop scene on the national stage.
|RAP IT UP: (left to right) Trini Delgado, George Lopez, and Alan Powell are players, not haters.
He comes on brash, this behemoth of a man, talking about Dallas’ hip-hop scene and how big it can be—no, will
be, with his help. Thing is, for all his bluster, Alan Powell is probably right. He’s the one, after all, who brought six Dallas rappers, Dirty South Rydaz (DSR for short), to the attention of execs at Universal Records. He’s the one who pushed their six-album, multimillion-dollar deal through in October—the biggest-ever contract in Texas. And he didn’t stop there. He set up a Universal subsidiary in Dallas called T-Town Music, whose job it will be to find every other DSR, not only here but across Texas and, heck, maybe the entire South, and bring them fame. Ergo, Dallas hip hop will be huge.
In the ’90s, working for the LA-based management company the Firm, Powell put Korn on BET, appeared on morning shows with the Backstreet Boys, and had Fred Durst on speed dial. But then he gave it up. He was tired, he says, of managing big acts. He wanted to find new ones and help them grow. He worked in Louisville, Kentucky, for a time, then thought about Dallas and why, for all its size, for all its night life and pro sports teams, there wasn’t an accompanying hip-hop scene. “I kept saying to myself that there has to be something in Dallas to put this city on the map,” he says.
There was. DSR. George Lopez produced the group’s ef
forts and, soon, Lopez met with Powell and told him about the group’s impressive sales. They’d sold 350,000 units in places as far away as Virginia.
Powell, who moved to Dallas less than a year ago, phoned people he knew at the major labels. “Universal is heavy on research,” says Imran Majid, an artist and repertoire representative with the label. DSR, he says, got 200 retail requests a week—unheard of for an independent. “Signing them was a no-brainer for us.”
Thanks to Powell, Majid says, “a lot of pieces fell into place at the same time.” —PAUL KIX
Photo: Elizabeth Lavin
Doug Christie’s Gestures Explained
For those fans unfamiliar with new Dallas Maverick Doug Christie, the former Sacramento King uses a series of hand signals to communicate with his wife Jackie, who is nearly always in attendance, at home or away. (She often travels with the team.) After careful viewing, we think we’ve decoded a few of those signals:
The Green House Effect
A pair of developers builds downtown condos for the granola set.
|BID BUZZ: Will Pinkerton (left) and Zad Roumaya want to put you on a moped.
After living in cities such as Los Angeles and New York, Texas-born Zad Roumaya quickly realized when he settled in Dallas what most developers already know: downtown is still best for working, not for living.
“One day the light bulb went off, and I realized I didn’t want to commute anymore,” Roumaya says. “And I figure
d other people probably felt the same way.”
So Roumaya enlisted the help of fellow Texan Will Pinkerton, the business-minded yin to his creative yang, to help him turn the grassy lot next to his Akard Street art studio into a new kind of development.
“We wanted to create a densely populated community with a sense of connectedness to Uptown and downtown,” Pinkerton says. But most important, they wanted it to be eco-friendly.
Thus, Buzz was born: 49 condominiums close to downtown yet inexpensive to own. But don’t think “condo.” Slated for completion next December, Buzz will offer a long list of environmentally conscious amenities, like energy-efficient appliances and an electric moped for each ten
ant. The features will help not only the environment but also owners’ pocketbooks. Roumaya and Pinkerton claim the “green” features—like the shaded overhangs and the rain-collecting roof that feeds the irrigation system—will mean lower electricity and water bills.
“We wanted to offer things that people could actually use, and, hey, maybe while they’re at it, help the environment a little bit, too,” Roumaya says.
With half the units already reserved before Buzz’s groundbreaking this month, it seems Dallas residents are willing to live green to save green.—JESSICA JONES
Photo: Elizabeth Lavin
Fairways and Bankrolls
Less than a decade ago, there wasn’t a single golf club in North Texas where you could expect to shell out six figures for the initiation fee—assuming, of course, you were important enough to be invited to join. Now millionaires have plenty of places to hook, slice, and spend.—ART STRICKLIN
“This is obv a really hard day for me, I was super excited about being a Justice. I was looking at my very first blog post and it made me cry. But this day isn’t about me. It’s about all of us. And I have to say... Thank You.”
—A quote from harrietmiers.blogspot.com, a satirical web site about the former Supreme Court justice nominee Harriet Miers