Is there any such thing as a Highland Park spartan? Apparently so, enough to warrant the establishment of the Highland Park Athletic Club in an old warehouse off Knox Street. The club’s owners gutted the building, added a cheery blue awning, and built five racquetball courts. Membership is limited to 80 per court compared to the standard 250-per-court ratio at other clubs, so there shouldn’t be any problems getting a reservation when you want it. The club also has a weight and exercise room, whirlpool and sauna, and locker room facilities for both men and women. Membership is $100 plus a minimum charge of $20 per month. Fees are billed at $9 per hour for prime time and $6.50 per hour for non-prime time. Aside from a Coke machine and a few tables and chairs, the only place for socializing is on the court – definitely not your traditional country club environment. Highland Park Athletic Club, 4616 Travis. 522-5300.
When the Stoneleigh P disappeared in flames on a cold January night a year and a half ago, it created a void in the Oak Lawn area tavern scene that left literally hundreds of regulars wandering the streets, searching in vain for a suitable replacement. The long-awaited resurrection of Tom Garrison’s restaurant/bar happens this month. The menu, featuring burgers, chicken breasts, lentil soup, and artichokes with vinegar remains intact along with a new feature, the Godiva milk shake. But the crucial issue – whether the new establishment can somehow duplicate the greatness of the old converted pharmacy – remains to be seen. The Stoneleigh P, 2926 Maple. 742-0824.
DISH IT OUT
For the serious television viewer who can’t decide between cable and the subscription TV technologies scrambling for attention, here’s the ultimate solution: a satellite-earth station that receives everything. Installed in your backyard, or at your country place (where TV signals can be hard to get), these 10-13 foot receiving dishes aim at the evergrowing number of orbiting satellites used to distribute television programs from 180 stations internationally. You can even catch cable programs on their way to the cable. From $4495, installation included. At Video of Texas, 14400 Dallas Parkway. 386-9085.
LOCAL BAGS MAKE GOOD
Jon Hart Designs was founded three years ago when designer Donald Snell (there is no Jon Hart) bought a tent and awning shop in Houston that contained 25 sewing machines. He didn’t know what to use the shop for, but he wanted to design something marketable and he wanted to manufacture it with great care.
Three years later, Jon Hart Designs (now based in Dallas) are selling all over the country and are soon to be seen, in four styles, at Saks Fifth Avenue. All bags are of a simple design that uses a combination of convertible car top and natural saddle leather to create a look that seems classic but novel. Even better, the bags are easily cleaned and the leather takes on a deeper sheen the more it’s handled – a refreshing counterpoint to the planned obsolescence so endemic to fashion. Fifteen styles are available in seven colors and they sell from $24 for a small clutch to $60 for a buyer’s bag. Available at Abercrombie and Fitch, Caruth Plaza, 696-1116; Canvas Editions, The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh, Suite 184, 748-4467; Katy’s, 2915 Greenville, 826-8740; and all Bag ’n Baggage stores.
GETTING TO THE POINT
What do you do if you’re an avid needlepointer who’s allergic to wool thread, and you can’t find anything but wool in Dallas? For a time, Kathy Holman bought her own silk threads on out-of-town trips. Then she decided to open a needlepoint shop called Needles, which is now said to have more silk threads than any such shop in the Southwest. Holman stocks about 800 silk threads imported from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Japan, and Switzerland. She says the nonallergenic quality of silk is a minor blessing when compared to its visual appeal. Silk has more depth of color and a subtle sheen that has made it the classic thread for all serious stitchers. Needles also carries metallic threads, linen, rayon, cotton and, yes, even a few wools. Needles, 6081 Forest Lane (Preston Forest Shopping Center). 980-0558.
For years, a dedicated cadre of Dallas residents has had to trek to New York or Los Angeles to stock up on the fine quality skin-care products made by Kiehl’s, the New York pharmacy that has stood at the corner of 13th Street and Third Avenue since 1851. Now Kiehl’s Pharmaceuticals can be found in Dallas. The line is known for its simple, no-nonsense packaging and for the purity of its ingredients. The Ultranourishing Eye Cream, for example, is made from vitamins A and E, plus oils of avocado, almond, and peach kernel ($3.95 for a half-ounce jar). Other Kiehl’s favorites include Rosewater Facial Freshener/ Toner ($4.75 for an eight-ounce jar), Rare Earth Clay Masks ($5.95 for a five-ounce bottle), and a Mediterranean Blue Mineral Muscle Soak, in granular form ($5.95 for an eight-ounce bottle). All products are under $10 and are available exclusively in Dallas at S. Vogue, 4121 Lomo Alto. Open Mon-Fri 10-9, Sat 10-6. 522-9260.