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The Ultimate Dallas Holiday Gift Guide

| 3 hours ago

It should not surprise you that our city is home to some of the state’s most beautiful shops, talented creators, and innovative brands. You’ll find game-changing active wear, sought-after sweets, and non-toxic toys for tots. If you know where to look, you can get everyone on your Christmas list something that has roots right here in Dallas. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered 66 gift-worthy options that embody the best of the city where you live. Give with some local pride this year.

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Shopping & Fashion

Black Friday at the Nearly Abandoned Valley View Mall

| 4 hours ago

As the familial bonding, full bellies, and radiant gratitude of Thanksgiving give way to the empty, fevered consumerism of Black Friday, let’s take this moment to reflect on the ghosts of retail past.

Today shoppers will swarm the NorthParks and Gallerias of the city. Valley View Center will again sit mostly empty, an oddball husk of its former self, populated by a handful of small businesses and the cheapest matinee movies in Dallas, and not much else. The fact that the mall is still standing at all, months after demolition finally started, is pretty baffling in itself. Hey, maybe Amazon really will plant its flag at the future site of the long-promised Dallas Midtown development in Far North Dallas. It would certainly be poetic, the great digital destroyer of physical retail supplanting a dead mall with the material reality of its second headquarters.

Today, especially now that all the art galleries taking advantage of the center’s cheap rent and empty storefronts have been forced out, Valley View is a weird, haunted place. Its depressed allure is even more pronounced on the calendar’s biggest shopping day. Last year on Black Friday, D Magazine online dining editor and ace photographer Catherine Downes took her camera to the mall, capturing the strange fascination of Valley View in its decline. Here are her photos.

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Local News

Leading Off (11/24/17)

| 6 hours ago

Cowboys Lose. The 28-6 Thanksgiving Day shellacking was the team’s third straight blowout loss. Dallas’ playoff hopes are all but extinguished, early enough in the season that at least maybe nobody will think to blame D Magazine for jinxing it back in August.

Suspect Arrested in Slaying of State Trooper. A man accused of killing a state trooper on Thursday near Fairfield, about 90 miles south of Dallas, was later apprehended after a shootout outside of Houston.

It Is the Day After Thanksgiving. But you already know this. On to Christmas.

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Leading Off

Leading Off (11/23/17)

| 1 day ago

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Today is for eating and family and being thankful and…more eating. If you’re staying in town, burn some calories at the Turkey Trot before you feast. If you’ll be traveling to NYC, I’ll see you at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (if I actually make it out of my peaceful hotel room and onto the chaotic streets of Manhattan).

Wherever you’ll be, enjoy the holiday. And save room for pie.

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Commercial Real Estate

The Drever Gets Bridge Loan, Narrowly Escapes Foreclosure

| 2 days ago

The developer behind the 1401 Elm building in downtown has a new bridge loan to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

After defaulting on a previous $55 million loan and having the project posted for foreclosure last week, Drever Capital Management has secured a $66.7 million loan from Starwood Property Trust. The project, now called The Drever, has escaped foreclosure and will no longer be sold at auction on Dec. 5.

By definition, a bridge loan is a short-term fix for the redevelopment of the 52-story skyscraper that is being turned into a mixed-use project. Drever Capital did not respond to questions about long-term financing for the project, and did not share the term length of this Starwood loan.

“We’re eager to move forward with the remainder of the project’s permanent financing,” says Drever Capital asset manager Jerry Tonn, in a statement. 

A statement from the developer also said the project has qualified for $95 million in historic tax credits. The Drever still plans to be completed in 2019.

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WORLD CLASS CITY

Why Dallas Is No Longer the Happiest City in America

| 2 days ago

Way back in 2013, a poll by Harris Interactive determined that Dallas was the happiest city in America. Oh, how the mighty have fallen in four years. A new story in the November 2017 issue of National Geographic has moved Boulder, Colorado (where I will be spending some of the Thanksgiving holiday), into that slot. Dallas didn’t even make the top 25. Apparently, we’re failing where it counts: bikes and dentist visits. According to George Stone, who summarized the decades-long research of Dan Buettner:

There’s a high correlation between bikeability and happiness in a city. In Boulder you’re more likely to hear the whoosh of a cyclist than the shrill of a siren compared to places like Dallas, Tallahassee, or Los Angeles. Cities like Boulder question the unquestioned virtues of development,” says Buettner. “This benefits visitors, who can experience an emphasis on greenery, a high-quality culinary community, limited marketing onslaught and no billboards.”

Among the surprises Buettner turned up while drilling down into his place-based research: “There’s a strong correlation between quality of water and happiness. And places where people frequent their dentists report being more satisfied with their lives,” he says.

So stock up on spring-fed mountain water, schedule an appointment with your dentist, take a bike ride along the Trinity, and bulldoze a billboard. Happiness is sure to follow.

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WTF

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton Is Sorry About The Naked Photo

| 2 days ago

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, the Ennis congressman whose district includes parts of Tarrant County, didn’t intend for his naked body to wind up on Twitter the week of Thanksgiving. But that’s what happened, his nether regions edited out with blue, the photo posted next to a screenshot of a text message sent from a “Joe B.” that read “I want u soo bad. Right now” and a couple other words that I’ll let you Google for yourself.

Barton apologized immediately, saying that the photo was sent to someone with whom he had a consensual sexual relationship while separated from his second wife. And because we live in a time when a man accused of initiating sexual encounters with underage girls is still very much in a Senate race, Barton emphasized that the person in question was one of the “other mature adult women” that he’s had relations with. He is twice divorced, first in 2003 and then again in 2015 (he married for the second time in 2004). He says the photo occurred after the second divorce. 

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LGBT

This Anti-LGBT Conference in Fort Worth Opened With a Rainbow Flag Dance

| 2 days ago

Last weekend, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth hosted the misleadingly named Teens4Truth conference, which has nothing to do with either teens or truth, but is instead focused on “countering the LGBT agenda” by giving adults “answers to issues of gender and sexuality.”

The Texas Observer has a full report on the conference, which includes the news that hardly anyone attended. It is a decidedly fringe event.

Teens4Truth is drawing some outside attention, however, for opening with this colorful interpretive dance by “ex-gay man” Derek Paul. Speaking at the conference later, Paul described himself as a veteran of the competitive cheerleading scene. As this video shows, he’s still got it.

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