Monday, January 30, 2023 Jan 30, 2023
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By Ruth Miller Fitzgibbons |

Fifteen years ago this month, D Magazine burst onto the local publishing scene like the proverbial elephant in Aunt Hattie’s tea closet. D was the brainchild of Wick Allison, then a recently graduated editor of the student magazine at The University of Texas and erstwhile MBA candidate in need of work. The entrepreneur in Allison thought a magazine that sought out the raw truth about Dallas was a somewhat noble (not to mention potentially profitable) idea.

But Dallas was a rather provincial large town back in 1974, unaccustomed to D’s firebrand finger-pointing and probing questions. The magazine performed its monthly rhetorical striptease on a city that was accustomed, thank you very much, to full attire-and sober, banker-gray attire at that.

Even so, from that first issue, D was a hit. And for 181 successive issues, through the tenures of scores of notable editors and writers, D has attempted to carry on the tradition of “vim and vinegar,” as Allison once put it, that was the magazine’s hallmark from day one.

But times have changed, And so have we.

This fifteenth anniversary seemed a suitable time to kick off a whole new era. Dallas bears scant resemblance to that little big town of 1974, and frankly, in some ways, D had not changed fast enough to embrace it. The magazine in your hands has been redesigned, masterfully we believe, by art director Steve Connatser and his able crew. It reflects the multiple facets of this shiny and fascinating new city with new sections, new graphics, a new layout, and a renewed commitment to capturing the essence of what it means to live here in the Nineties.

But the seasoned D reader will note that much hasn’t changed. You’ll always find pulsating, captivating writing such as Richard West’s journey into the New Wave underground (“Ecstasy. . . .and Agony,” page 90). And you can count on hard-hitting profiles like Brad Bailey’s feature on Jim Mattox, the politician everyone loves to hate (“Mad, Mad Mattox” page 86).

Our Inside Dallas section, edited henceforth by the wry and incisive Chris Tucker, D’s executive editor, has been infused with color and a brassy new look and sound. Toward the back of the magazine, three new sections are dedicated to how we amuse 1 ourselves: on the town (Going Out, page 1 104); in our homes (Staying In, page 114); and of course, eating and drinking (Restaurants & Bars, page 120). Senior editor Anne Warren will run herself ragged to bring you people, places, tips, and trends. And on the very important matter of restaurant reviews, the new D will run only the month’s crop of fresh reviews, listing the rest of our recommended spots in directory form to jog your memory.

All of these changes are the result of some months of interviewing readers, non-readers, and advertisers in an at- tempt to ferret out just what it is you think of this magazine, not to mention this city.

Throughout these conversations, a sur- prising consensus emerged. What you told us you want is more information on ways to enjoy Dallas and its environs-more weekend getaways, more food fairs and rock bands, more takeout food choices, more bring-in services like traveling masseuses and dog trainers who make house calls.

Others of you expressed frustration at trying to understand Dallas’s current troubling times. How do you make sense of the 10-4-1 debate? Why was Starplex allowed to steam-roll city negotiators? Will DART ever get its act together? Will we ever make a dent in the drug trade? Digging behind the headlines has been one of our strengths over the years, and we are primed to stay at it.

So the new D is dedicated to bringing youeven more and better coverage of a city thatstands, teetering at times, on the brink of anexciting new passage. Writers like GlennaWhitley, Sally Giddens, Brad Bailey, Rebecca O’Dell, Richard West, Mike Shropshire,Mark Donald, our new “Metropolis” columnist Laura Miller, and the many othertalented D staff members and contributorswill attempt to chart that passage. We areconvinced that the decade ahead holds brightpromise for growth and change. To that end,we rededicate to our readers a refocusedmagazine with the style and vigor to matchthe people it represents.