When I walked into one of Dallas’ favored saloon-cum-hamburger joints for lunch recently, a cowboy playing pinball must have thought he knew me. "Honey, what are you smiling about?" he asked in a way that made me smile all the more as I walked right past him.
Here it was, deadline week at the magazine for our Native Dallas issue, and I was having a legitimate Native Dallas experience. Life can be wonderful-even when fried jalapenos aren’t on the menu.
When I became editor of D Magazine 10 months ago, 1 thought I knew the city. I had lived here 10 years and I hadn’t exactly been a hermit. I had celebrated the opening of The Crescent and mourned at the closing of the original Tolbert’s. I could find my way around many neighborhoods without a MAPSCO and had finally mastered the intricacies of Fair Park and Las Colinas streets. I hadn’t gotten a ticket for an illegal turn in at least four years.
But being part of a city magazine makes you look at the city in a whole other way. It makes you want to ask everyone you meet to tell you something new and interesting about themselves or someone they know. And it draws out people who want to talk about The City.
Often, when new acquaintances learn I’m the editor, their eyes brighten, and seldom because they want something in print. They want to talk about something they have seen in the magazine that they didn’t know about before. Often, it is something small-something I have already forgotten about because we have moved on to the next issue and new topics.
Other D staffers talk about similar experiences-about an intimate bond that the reader has with the magazine, even when they call it Big D magazine. And now that senior editor Anne Warren has picked apart the earth in her search for everything Native Dallas, that name seems more appropriate. But the magazine’s name is one thing we’re not changing with this month’s introduction of a redesign.
Dallas of the ’90s isn’t Dallas of the ’80s, and we don’t think the magazine should be, either. So, during the last six months, we’ve refined or redefined every editorial page, added columnists and created a cleaner, classic design. Art director Jim Darilek has kept the focus on memorable photography and illustration.
You’ll find Chris Tucker’s strong voice has moved to the front of the magazine, where it’s now joined by those of longtime Dallas journalist Jim Schutze, writing on die way we live, and arts critic Porter Anderson (see Editor’s Note, April).
Much of what you used to find in Diversions-including travel, fashion and home/ design-has also jumped from the back to the front of the magazine, but not the restaurant coverage. (That’s right where you remember it. ) All the departments will appear reliably every month, and Street Talk-a behind-the-scenes column from the inner circles of the city-will always be the opener. To close the magazine, we’ve added Going Out, with photography by Andy Hanson, who knows where to watch the city have fun.
Finally, in order to launch the new D in an appropriate manner, our cover features a fresh interpretation of Pegasus-this one by Frank X. Tolbert II, artist-son of the late chili king. Native Texan and longtime Dallasite Betty Cook has more to say about the treasured icon on page 56, and Chris Tucker’s Native Son observations begin on page 64. And don’t miss The List, a Native Dallas compendium that is sure to be challenged. We await your faxes and letters on both our fact-finding and the redesign.
The new D wants to look to the future without forgetting the past. Because the same roads keep taking us to uncharted places, we’ll help you find your way.