Making Dallas Even Better
With Frieling’s eye for design and flair for contemporary finishes, the end result was a clean, comfortable, and wonderfully unique home for her family.Full Story
Today Rudolph Bush responds to criticism he’s heard from some Park Cities residents since last week he argued the unfairness of the way schools are organized in Texas — via independent school districts. It’s this governmental structure, more than any other factor, that has turned Highland Park and University Park into island communities increasingly out of reach of any residents other than the uber-wealthy. The ISD creates a cycle in which the great public schools result in higher property values, which can then pour even more money into those great schools:
I can understand the sentiment of people in HPISD who have sent me notes over the past week. Their home is often their life’s major investment. And they made that investment in Highland Park precisely so they could send their children to school there. And any suggestion that the ISD system we have is not a good system feels like reaching into their pockets, or worse, chipping at an important foundation of their family life.
But they are benefiting from government no less than the welfare recipient. A structure was put in place that benefits them according to their means. And they are taking advantage of that structure in the same way the welfare recipient is.
Neither should be blamed for that. We accept what is given to our best advantage and to the advantage of those we love. That’s human nature.
But without casting stones at one another, we can step back and consider whether the system we have is the best system we could have.
Bush proposes a system wherein ISDs would have to accept a certain number of students from outside their geographic borders, chosen by lottery. I think we’d be better off blowing up ISDs entirely and administering schools at the county level, which is how it is done in many other states. That way tax revenue generated by homes on Beverly and Armstrong could find its way equally to South Dallas.
His idea is likelier to get off the ground. But, yes, we need a change.Full Story
Alice Cooper, Keanu Reeves, and James Franco all popped up around the city yesterday, three semi-unexpected celebrity appearances that, taken together, probably don’t say anything about Dallas, or about things to do in Dallas tonight. If Cooper, Reeves, or Franco want to hit the town tonight, though, they’re in luck: the State Fair continues to rage, and the National Circus and Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China pay the Meyerson a visit.Full Story
We’re back! Jim Schutze promises to make this at least a bi-weekly exercise. We’ll see. This week we talk about the D Magazine story on Susan Hawk’s return, why Democrats are wrong to call for her resignation (at least over this), the real story behind the end of Michael Hinojosa’s honeymoon, and whether Highland Park has a pocket of racists located within. Oh, and we ask Jim why he’s such a baseless speculator. There’s also a some light cursing. Fun for the whole family.
Because we live in a wondrous era, there are many ways to listen. You can click on the link on the jump. You can subscribe on iTunes here. (There’s usually a delay before it shows up there, FYI.) The direct link is here. You can find all episode direct links here. As always, please listen with your ears.Full Story
The fitting room can be a woman’s sanctuary, or her own personal hell. In Fix Me, Jesus, by Helen Sneed, it’s a bit of both, making a Neiman Marcus dressing room in circa 1980s downtown Dallas the focal point of a woman’s struggles to find her place in life. The skeletons don’t even bother with the closet—they’re hanging out on the rack along with evening gowns and advice from the ubiquitous personal shopper, who is part babysitter, part therapist, and part surrogate mother.Full Story
Superintendent Returns. Old is new again in DISD. In a 6-1 vote, district trustees named Michael Hinojosa superintendent yesterday, four years after he left the job. Also, Brett Shipp has a look at the questionable spending of some marketing money the district allocated.
Traffic Returns. The City of Dallas apologized yesterday for the way traffic was handled downtown during the filming of 11/22/63. They say they didn’t have enough police officers on-hand. Filming — and traffic — will continue today.
Greg Hardy Returns. His four-game suspension for domestic violence now over, the defensive end addressed the Dallas media for the first time yesterday. He deflected questions about the horrific incident that led to his suspension, joked that he’s hoping Tom Brady’s wife brings a sister this Sunday, and talked a lot about God. He said his only regret was “not being there for his teammates.”
The Heat Returns. I hope you enjoyed the brief window of potential hoodie weather. The sun will be back today with a vengeance.Full Story
Dallas-based Neiman Marcus unveiled its 89th annual “The Christmas Book” this morning, complete with a guest appearance from Keanu Reeves, who–non-ironically–arrived on a motorcycle.Full Story
Because it’s fun to see what other people are eating.Full Story
Sure you’ve probably seen the traffic downtown today. As Tim mentioned in Leading Off, James Franco and Stephen King are making a movie about this thing that happened here a while back where a President got killed. D Magazine has written about that thing a little. It’s the kind of event football players who were not born yet blame on other football players who were not born yet.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford grew up in Dallas. He graduated from Highland Park. Last night his team lost to the Seattle Seahawks. The victory was especially sweet for Michael Bennett, a defensive end on the Seahawks who told reporters that he had been holding an insane grudge against Stafford. Bennett, whose brother Martellus used to play for the Cowboys and says plenty of strange things himself, went all 1963, saying, “I don’t like Matt Stafford much. He’s from Dallas. They killed the President (JFK). … I hold it against him.”
People are funny.Full Story
James Franco is in Dealey Plaza today to film a new mini-series about the JFK assassination and ruin your commute. The Hulu show is based on Stephen King’s novel, 11/22/63, which introduces some time travel and supernatural “good vs. evil” mumbo jumbo to a true-life event that’s seen no shortage of fictional adaptations. For the record, I’d rather see an HBO mini-series based on James Ellroy’s American Tabloid. Franco could probably play Kemper Boyd.
What will Franco do tonight once filming wraps up for the day? Maybe he’ll go to the Adult Swim Drive-In, or take in some classical music out in Fort Worth, or go see one-fifth of The Strokes.Full Story
Awhile back (there’s no date on the thing, so I can’t say when for certain), Mark Lamster wrote a great piece for the Morning News titled “What Dallas Can Learn From Houston’s Buffalo Bayou for the Trinity River Project.” It was a little depressing. Houston has — or had — a situation not unlike the one presented by our Trinity River. They’ve figured it out — while we’re once again going back to the drawing board on that road along our river. Now comes this 6,500-word piece by Mimi Swartz in Texas Monthly. It covers some of the same ground (in a lot more detail). A taste:Full Story
Dallas remains on High James Franco Alert, as the actor is in town to film a new Hulu mini-series based on Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63, which follows a high school teacher who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (Side note: It’s a pretty good book for late-period King, but like most of his novels, the ending is silly.)Full Story
Your weekly helping of Dallas food news.Full Story
Tonight Jake Arrieta, a Plano East High School graduate and former TCU student, will take the mound for the mighty Chicago Cubs against some team from godforsaken western Pennsylvania in the National League Wild Card Game. This season Arrieta posted the best second-half earned-run average in the history of Major League Baseball (0.75) and is the favorite to win the Cy Young Award as the top pitcher in the National League.
In a column today, Rick Gosselin looks back at Arrieta’s high school days:
So how does a guy go from compiling two wins pitching against the likes of Lake Highlands, McKinney, Richardson Berkner, Rockwall and the Plano schools to a major-league-leading 22 victories with a microscopic 1.77 earned run average in 2015?
“That’s a good question,” said Plano East baseball coach Travis Collins.
But Gosselin actually undersells just how much of a late bloomer Arrieta was. Even after he’d established himself as a starter with the Orioles, he was not particularly good at getting batters out. His last full season in Baltimore (2012), he posted a 6.20 ERA. Which is why they were willing to trade him to the Cubs.
The Cubs’ pitching gurus don’t have Baltimore’s irrational hatred of pitching “cutters,” which has a lot to do with why Arrieta became an ace in Chicago. Watch him work his magic for the good guys tonight.Full Story
We’re back! Jim Schutze promises to make this at least a bi-weekly exercise. We’ll see. This week we talk about the D Magazine story on Susan Hawk’s return, why Democrats are wrong to call for her resignation (at least over this), the real story behind the end of Michael Hinojosa’s honeymoon, and whether Highland Park has a pocket of racists located within. Oh, and we ask Jim why he’s such a baseless speculator. There’s also a some light cursing. Fun for the whole family.Full Story
Question: What makes a great city? — TxDOT
It could be argued — and it should be, for what follows is the undoubted truth of the matter — that Dallas’ greatness reached its zenith shortly after a visionary entrepreneur from Tennessee first established a settlement near the banks of the mighty Trinity some 170-odd years ago.
Understand that this is not to imply that our city has lost any of its power to inspire the virtuous and strike fear into the hearts of the wicked in the intervening decades. It has, in point of fact, been rocking along pretty well since.
My point, such as it is, is that Dallas became the most remarkable urban center ever known to God or man (in the history of forever) before asphalt roads had so much as had been first dreamt up — as I recollect, by some mid-19th century science fiction writer. Roads, Mr. TxDOT, do not make cities great.Full Story
As the baseball playoff series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers approaches, a writer for the Toronto Globe and Mail explains why it’ll be difficult to jumpstart a rivalry between the respective homes of each team: the fourth-largest city in North America and “the strip-mall wormhole you pass through on the way to Fort Worth.”
Three hours before a game in Arlington, there’s no one around. An hour after a game, it returns to that state. You find yourself drifting toward the light – which is always a highway. It’s as if the city itself knows you don’t belong here and would like to point toward somewhere a little more happening.
But when a game’s on, people just appear. Where are they from? How did they get here? No one knows. Or, at least, I didn’t bother asking. The press box is air conditioned, and only a maniac with reptile blood would go out into the stands for more than a minute.
It’s generally a good crowd, buoyed by a few years of good teams. They play Deep in the Heart of Texas mid-game, which is fun. I’ll take their word for it that that’s where we are. If so, it’s a weird place. Friendly locals, but an odd locale. It’s like Robert Moses doing the set-dressing for David Lynch.
Arlingtonians – our temporary enemies. Since the whole point of the postseason is picking a (gentle) fight with the fans of the other city, this could be a tough one.
There’s no history between us. Beyond the most tiresome clichés, they have no idiosyncrasies to poke fun at. Also, I’m still not sure if they actually exist.
You really should read the whole thing. (H/T Bud Kennedy)Full Story
It’s the scariest time of the year. A lot of amateurs try to deliver the frights on Halloween, but North Texas is full of professionals adept at making your worst nightmares come to life. If you’re feeling bold, head to some of the most horrifying, gory, absolutely terrifying haunted houses around. Here are 10 of them.Full Story
I nearly spit coffee on my keyboard this morning when I came across the above photo on Twitter of a hot dog covered in pastel cotton candy. My first thought was that it must be some kind of statement piece on gluttony, an art photograph depicting the outrageousness of the State Fair. Something along those lines. But then I clicked the link, and it took me to this story by the Dallas Business Journal. The cotton candy dog is real.Full Story
Amidst a sea of traditional homes in prestigious Preston Hollow you’ll find this sleek, contemporary stunner with its impeccable front lawn and whimsical house numbers. Though those elements may catch your eye from the curb, the interior of the 6323 Meadow Road is what really makes a lasting impression.Full Story
Joel Cross, a North Texas singer-songwriter and UNT grad, has the internet going nuts this week after a YouTube video of him covering Swift’s “Shake It Off” at the Dallas Arboretum on Saturday went up online. It’s a smooth, soulful take on the song that comes at a time when Taylor Swift covers are all the rage.Full Story