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Technology

A Splash of Cold Water on Dallas’ Amazon HQ2 Hopes

| 1 hour ago

Despite some speculation that the fix is in, and that actually landing Amazon’s coveted second headquarters would be more curse than blessing, the Dallas Regional Chamber today took its shot. It took at least 30 shots, in fact, with dozens of sites in North Texas doing their best to woo the tech giant in the Dallas-Fort Worth packaged bid. For better or worse, wherever Jeff Bezos decides to plant the Amazon flag, a city will transform.

We’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks weighing the pros and cons of Amazon building its HQ2 here. We’ve also looked at North Texas’ odds. Watching the video the Dallas Regional Chamber submitted with its bid, a much more appealing visual aid than Frisco’s own highlight reel, it feels like a sure thing. How could Amazon say no to promises of tacos and business-friendly innovation, diversity and family, to sweeping shots of skylines and bridges and airplanes?

After watching that video, we may need to splash a little cold water on our hopes. Manage our expectations. A report from Moody’s Analytics, ranking major cities based on the criteria in Amazon’s request for HQ2 proposals, does just that. Dallas does just fine on “business environment,” the study citing the region’s job growth and “generous use of business incentives.” Along with Austin and Nashville, Dallas finishes there among the top three metro areas.

But when it comes to “human capital,” “cost,” “quality of life,” and “transportation,” Dallas disappears from the top of the rankings. Here’s the final top 10 in the report, Dallas conspicuously absent:

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Shopping

The Tot Has That $1,000 Jean Jacket Your Kid Has Always Wanted

| 2 hours ago

Let me preface this by stating I’m a fan of The Tot. This year, we named The Tot’s Highland Park Village shop the best children’s boutique in Dallas. My child has an adorable jacket that changes color in the rain from The Tot, which I bought for $58 last fall, one size up, so that I could fold up the sleeves the first year and get as much mileage out of it as possible.

The other day I got a press release about The Tot’s new collaboration with the artist Alex Israel and otherwise reasonably priced retailer Levi’s. On the back of the jacket, you’ll find an avocado. The avocado is smiling. A slight upturn at the corner of its mouth, and eyebrows tilted in such a way it seems as if the fruit’s up to something and just starting to feel guilty. Like, maybe it broke its mom’s vase and brushed the shards under the rug. Or maybe cut the cheese in public. Anyhow, the jacket is going for $1,000 and benefits pediatric HIV and childhood programming at the DMA.

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Commercial Real Estate

Dallas Regional Chamber Submits its Bid for Amazon’s Second Headquarters

| 4 hours ago

Today is the day. The Dallas Regional Chamber and dozens of other Metropolitan Statistical Areas have submitted a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters which promises 50,000 jobs.

The DRC isn’t commenting on exactly how many sites are included in the bid, but it’s safe to say more than 30 sites have pitched for the tech behemoth.

In Frisco, even Alexa thinks Amazon should come to town. The Reunion Area, Deep Ellum, Dallas Midtown, Victory Park, Allen, and dozens of others have offered up sites.

But when it came to answering the request for proposals, Dallas Regional Chamber Senior Vice President Darren Grubb says the strategy was simple: stick to the fundamentals.

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Museums

The Museum of Street Culture Takes a Ground-Level Look at Dallas Arts

| 6 hours ago

Dallas has never had a place to tell—or, frankly, had much of an interest in telling—the story of its musical history. But in October, Encore Park opened the Museum of Street Culture, a new, multidisciplinary, multi-venue museum that will interpret and preserve Dallas’ significant musical heritage, as well as the broader cultural ecosystem, the culture of the street, that gave birth to it.

“The street and street culture is a lens through which we can better understand the vernacular of that period,” says writer, photographer, filmmaker, and founding executive director Alan Govenar, who has written extensively about Dallas’ musical history.

The idea for the museum is very much a product of its setting. Encore Park is an outgrowth of the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas’ Stewpot, which provides a variety of services to Dallas’ downtown homeless population. Encore Park also includes 508 Park, the 1930s art deco movie distribution center that was the setting of some of the most significant recordings in early American music, including those by bluesman Robert Johnson.

The opening of the museum’s first exhibition, “Looking for Home: A Yearlong Focus on the Work of Mary Ellen Mark,” illustrated the immersive vision Govenar has for the museum. Featuring performances by street entertainers and concerts paying tribute to the blues, conjunto, and Western swing music recorded at 508 Park, the exhibition didn’t just open in buildings inside Encore Park’s campus. Mark’s photos of Erin Blackwell Charles—known as Tiny, a 13-year-old street prostitute whom Mark met in Seattle in 1983 and continued to document for 30 years—were also exhibited on walls outside and inside The Stewpot. The images served as a poignant, public reminder of the challenging circumstances that face many Dallas residents today.

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Local News

Leading Off (10/19/17)

| 7 hours ago

Mathews’ SUV Left Home After Sherin Went Missing. Police say the Mathews’ SUV, a maroon Acura MDX, left their home between 4 and 5 a.m. the morning Sherin went missing. Authorities are asking anyone in the area with a security camera to review their footage. The FBI confiscated a number of items from the Mathews, including their GPS system.

Dallas To Offer Texting to 911. Less than a year after a breakdown, the 911 system is working on improvements and will soon offer a texting service, which can be helpful for victim’s safety in circumstances such as domestic violence.

Garland Mayor Resigns. Douglas Athas says it was for personal as well as professional reasons, but he has also been vocal about his position against the razing of a vacant National Guard Armory and a little league field to make way for skate and dog parks, a project the Garland city council voted to move forward on in a vote last night.

Zeke and NFL Reportedly Discussing Settlement. Zeke has been staunchly opposed to a settlement, lest the move look like an admission of guilt, but the DMN has heard the RB’s team is warming up to the NFL. Is it a stretch to think that the NFL draft site announcement was Goodell’s olive branch to Jerry after a messy Elliot investigation? Also, is a suspension during the offseason really a suspension at all? And on that note, if a tree falls in the forest…

Mavericks Lose Season Opener. I sure wish Dennis Smith Jr.’s first NBA game would have ended in a win. Note: “first NBA game,” as in, the kid has never even watched one in person before last night’s debut. Woah.

Timberlawn Reviewed After Rape Reported. State inspectors are checking out Timberlawn after a 13-year-old girl said she was raped. Judging by the psychiatric hospital’s Google reviews, inspectors probably should have visited long ago.

Man Shot Dead Near the State Fair. However, police don’t think fairgoers are in danger. (In case you’re new to town, the area around Fair Park isn’t the best, so perhaps a more honest interpretation of the DPD’s assessment is: you’re not in any more danger than you usually are.)

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Sports & Leisure

The Best Part About Dallas Landing the 2018 NFL Draft

| 1 day ago

In an announcement Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will likely greet as a happy distraction from the ongoing legal saga of Ezekiel Elliott and Jones’ own controversial ideas about workplace decorum during the national anthem, the NFL today revealed that its 2018 draft will be at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The April 26-28 NFL Revenue Generator and Brand Engagement Opportunity®—a bloated and flashy affair where the process of pro football teams selecting able and willing young men for their rosters is almost incidental—will be the first held at a pro stadium, sprawling across the field, the stands, and The Sky Mirror Laser Weapons Platform Plazas. In a statement, NFL Commissioner and Official Draft Villain Roger Goodell thanked the cities of Arlington, home of AT&T Stadium, Frisco, home of the Cowboys’ fancy new headquarters, and Dallas, home of, um, Cowboys fans.

It’s a big deal even without getting into the NFL DRAFT EXPERIENCE PRESENTED BY DANNON® OIKOS® TRIPLE ZEROa free festival at the draft site.

But the best part of all this, from the perspective of a petty Cowboys fan resentful of the current standings in the NFC East? The draft will not be returning to Philadelphia, which hosted (successfully, and to the general welfare of the city, by some accounts) this year. This is Dallas’ first time hosting the draft. Philadelphia has hosted 16 drafts, and won 0 Super Bowls.

The highlight of this year’s draft was Drew Pearson taking the stage in Philadelphia to announce the Cowboys’ second round pick and take shots at Eagles fans. We will hope for some more Cowboys-Eagles feuding at AT&T Stadium next year, and meanwhile bravely scoff at any suggestion that Philadelphia will be making the 32nd pick at the Death Star in 2018.

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