Africa’s most accomplished touring company, Les Ballets Africains, makes its Dallas debut this month as part of TITAS’ fall season. The 35 dancers and musicians perform traditional music and dance with a dramatic physicality and sense of celebration that make their stage productions carnival-like in intensity. A rhythmic spectacle not to be missed. November 22 and 23 at McFar-lin Auditorium. For tickets, call 528-5576.
real people When Dean Fearing, star chef at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, was married recently, the bride wore a Victor Costa gown and the groom wore black Lucchese cowboy boots. In Dallas, cowboy boots are still the footwear of choice for a lot of people. And Fearing, along with a herd of other city boys, trust the care of their boots to just one man-Lester Davis. For the past eight or nine years, Davis has run his business out of Boot City on LBJ where regulars come once a week for his special touch. Davis uses his bare hands to massage the boot with leather conditioner, then rubs in wax with a little water for shine. Asked what makes him the best, the taciturn Davis answers with a grin, “I don’t know-just talented, I guess.”
-Mary Brown Malouf
New B-ball Palace Opens for Hoopsters
Sports For ballplayers who miss Hoop(ing)-it-Up and who plan on spending winter perfecting their remote control mastery, put down the Cheetos, get off your duff and rejoice. You no longer need to finance a health club membership to play a little 3-on-3 basketball. Hoops Athletic Club, 9244-B Markville Drive (303-DUNK), is a newly opened, air-conditioned, indoor hoopsters palace that fills your off-season needs.
Because it’s tough to find a rec center that isn’t overrun with hundreds of ill-tempered fellow jocks, Hoops owner J. Mark Cleaveland is betting his 3-on-3 leagues will be the Nineties version of Fifties bowling leagues. The warehousesized arena holds eight half-court areas where 3-on-3 leagues can play, registration numbers permitting, Monday through Thursday evenings. The cost to enter a team is $150, which isn’t bad considering teams are guaranteed at least 12 games in the six-week season.
But, there’s more than basketball leagues going on at Hoops. You can pay $3 to play on open courts and maybe get your own games together if enough people are present. There are 7-foot goals for little kids, a children’s indoor soccer area, plus pool tables, dart boards, video games and a reasonably priced concession stand. Not a bad way to spend a cold afternoon. -Eric Celeste
PASSIONS Maybe you really do need something, say a hot glue gun or a dead bolt For the front door, but then again, maybe you don’t. Perhaps you’re just a fool in love, a member of the club that swears that dawdling away a couple of hours in a hardware store comes as close as it gets to heaven on earth.
One of the heavenliest hardware stores we’ve ever found is in Denton. In fact, if Elliott’s on Maple Ave. in Dallas had a grandfather it would have to be the old-fashioned Evers Hardware store on the courthouse square (109 W. Hickory; 817-382-5513). Its high ceilings, splendid wooden storage bins, sliding ladders to reach the top shelves and even some of its merchandise seem unchanged since World War II. “I keep it this way because a lot of people come in because of the way it looks,” says owner Bob Tripp, 76, whose grandfather opened the store in 1885. Tell Tripp what you need, and he’ll rustle around in the basement or a far corner until he finds it. Or just wander on your own and appreciate the oil lamps, weather vanes, pocketknives, horse collars, milk strainers, washboards and feather dusters. A visit to Evers is like walking into a Norman Rockwall painting-it’s pure Americana.
A Private Hideaway
HOSTELRIES Claire Heymann is offering Dallas something it has never had before: luxury with a sense of history. Months ago, Heymann could walk through the bare wallboard and wires of her Hotel St. Germain, stepping over plywood and ducking under painting platforms to indicate with a sweeping hand, “These nails will be draped in toile, a full tester bed will go here, this room has an Aubusson carpet on the wall…”
Tiny by industry standards (only seven suites) and old-fashioned (no in-room FAX machines, no elevator to the third floor), The Hotel St. Germain is filling a niche in Dallas most of us didn’t even know existed. Heymann has a vision of a luxury European-style hotel (please don’t call it a bed and breakfast) in that rarity, a Victorian Dallas house. Each room is furnished with antiques from her grandmother’s New Orleans shops, every table set with 75-year-old Limoges, lead crystal and silver. Antique fireplaces, ormolu tables and crystal chandeliers, private balconies overlooking the secluded courtyard, bathrooms with marble sinks and Jacuzzi-like tubs and discreetly personal service 24 hours a day surround the hotel’s guests with Creole luxury and privacy enough for the most beleaguered CEO or the most dangerous liaison. “No questions asked,” promises Heymann. The Hotel St. Germain, across from the Crescent at 2516 Maple Ave., opens for business this month; for reservations call 871-2516.
-Mary Brown Malouf
A Native American Celebration
FESTIVALS The Heart of the Earth troupe will dance in the heart of Texas during the second annual American Indian Art Festival & Market. Accompanied by a thunderous beat from ceremonial drums, these world-traveled Sioux traditional dancers from South Dakota will join the San Juan Pueblo Dancers from New Mexico and other tribal performers for a three-day celebration this month.
From November 8 through 10, Artist Square, on the east side of the Meyerson Symphony Center, will be dressed out as an authentic Indian village for the festival celebrating Native American art, handicrafts, food, music and culture.
As they demonstrate their crafts, traditional artists will explain the cultural and spiritual significance of techniques handed down through generations. Along with winners of the invitation-only juried Tribal Art Slum that kicks off the festival, these artists will display their paintings, pottery, silver work and sculpture. Admission is free. For information, call the American Indian Arts Council, 891-9640.
-John Trimble and Phyllis Williams
HOME Gone from the holiday table is the traditional division between centerpiece and main dish. Rather, both merge in a still life that feasts both eye and palate. Overflowing bounty is the spirit. Fowl, fruit and foliage spilt across the table in an array that is both lusciously visual and edible. While catering companies experienced in edible table display abound, good cooks and the artistically inclined may carry off this feat without the benefit of a professional. The less gifted culinarily can supplement the menu from the city’s purveyors of beautifully prepared carryout foods and earn kudos by concentrating on the final presentation. “Sometimes 1 make my centerpiece out of the dessert,” says Dallas public relations consultant Martha Tiller. “A cake or a cheese-and-fruit arrangement can be quite beautiful. It’s fun because it gets the guests involved.” And when family and friends push their chairs back, the remains of the feast are still a still life, if a somewhat earthier one. Edible table displays are often supported by a multileveled foundation of plastic foam or containers of various heights. This may be camouflaged with many materials; fabric or edible leaves or other foliage are options. Then fruits, flowers, colorful vegetables or other decorative items of choice are assembled into a central array. “We have used baskets, huge seashells, African drums, art objects, even glass bowls of tropical fish,” says Bonnie Goldberg of local catering company Daryl’s By Design. -Julie Ryan
Wrapping the Holidays
HOLIDAY Wrapping paper has come of age, becoming its own art form where substance meets style. This holiday season the trend is toward environmental papers, both recycled and handmade, that combine elegance and wit for the consummate presentation. Here’s a took at what the well-dressed gift will be wearing this Christmas. What could be more regal than a package wrapped in hand-painted, hand-crinkled Momi Garni paper? Available in gold or silver at Paper Routes, 4112 Commerce, or Nuvo, 3900 Cedar Springs. Prices vary according to sheet size.
Bandelier Environmental Papers are acid-free and contain balsam fibers. In solid green or red sheets tied with raffia. Packages of five 20-by-30-inch sheets, $5, at Nuvo.
The Phoenician Collection offers recycled, handmade sheet paper in 80 different textures and colors. Sheets average 22 by 30 inches and cost from $2 to $5. Find them at Foreign Accents, 5450 W. Lovers Lane, or Paper Routes, 4112 Commerce Street.
Orange slices, grape clusters or ripe pears are seasonal offerings that combine nature and the environment. Designed on recycled paper with soy-based inks, the paper ribbon and raffia are biodegradable. Available at Articles, 2616 Elm Street, and It’s a Wrap!, 25 Highland Park Village. – Layne Morgan