Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
But then they’ve never been in Dallas in June. Our annual purgatory that is summer leaves us only one civilized option: evening. The big shade. The only time of day when it’s safe to leave the house. Herewith, a few suggestions for after-dark forays into the cool of the night.
Day into Night
Start your evening with the sunset at White Rock Lake. Go to the Bathhouse Cultural Center at 521 E. Lawther. Go inside if you want to check out one of the Bathhouse’s art exhibitions or theater or dance presentations. But before you do, look on the south side of the building.
In the grass, you’ll Find what appears to be the world’s tiniest Greek amphitheater. It has a few semicircular rows of seating and a round stage, all in concrete. It is, in fact, a sculpture. Artist Linnea Glatt made the piece in 1984 as part of an artist-in-residency program.
Just 18 feet in diameter and 30 inches high, it’s titled “A Place to Perform.” Perfect.
In order to, as Virginia Woolf put it, “repair the damages of the day,” take your favorite prose and your favorite person there at about 8 p.m. Seat your guest on the cooling white bricks of the audience area. Stand at the center of the stage. Silhouetted against the West, your backdrop will be an increasingly compelling sunset over the water. Your voice will take on the little extra resonance that any Greek amphitheater worth its rocks provides. Skip Shakespeare. Since we’re talking about a miniature of the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, try some Plato, maybe Aristophanes’ tale of the origin of love, from the Symposium:
. . .the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment…
But don’t get too lost in that amazement: The Parks and Recreation Department will expect you to vacate the premises by midnight. And drink to your beloved only with thine eyes-alcohol isn’t allowed.
This is a sports-crazy town. Even in summer. But there are plenty of ways to beat the heat and still have fun.
■ Tennis Fair Oaks Tennis Center at 7501 Merriman Parkway is open nightly until 10. Rates may be at their highest from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, but Saturday and Sunday evenings are cheaper. 670-1495.
■ Golf Scotty’s Golf Park, 8787 Park Lane. Golfer Scott Erwin’s new facility is designed especially for folks who may not have time for a day on the range but want to get in four holes of golf before bedtime. The park’s schedules are set to let you do just that until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. (Sunday until 10 p.m.) There are also indoor putting courses, remote-control boats, batting cages for baseball and softball, three courses of miniature golf and a video arcade. Call 341-9600 for more info.
■Ice Skating Galleria’s skating rink isopen until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 11p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 392-3363. Plaza of theAmericas at 700 N. Pearl St. keeps its rink open for publicskating from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday in thesummer. 922-9800.
■Rollcrblading Cheek in at Expo Rockand Roll at 831C Exposition, 824-2914 and rent skates,pads and a helmet from noon to 8 p.m. for $10. Take themacross the street to Fair Park or keep them overnight for$15. Remember that Fair Park locks up at 10 p.m. WhiteRock rollerbladers should report to Richardson Bike Mart.9040 Garland Road, before 7 p.m. weekdays, 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. Rent your wheels, including thepads, for $10. 321-0705 for inf
■ Swimming & Carousing Wet ’N Wild in Arlington starts operating until 9 p.m. beginning June 12. On July 3 and 4, it’s open until midnight. 817-265-3356.
You’ll find horse-drawn carriages in the West End at the corner of Market and Munger by the Spaghetti Warehouse or Tolbert’s Chili Parlor. Ten minutes’ ride for up to four people will cost you $20, or double that time for $30. For more than four, it’s $5 extra per person. Try buggy-stuffing and put as many people as you like in there for a 30-minute ride at $50. Sunday through Thursday nights, until midnight or 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights you can ride until 2-ish.
No, you can’t sit on the horse.
But get yourself to Capricorn Equestrian Center in Richardson for evening riding lessons, English or Western, in three outdoor arenas, up until 9 p.m. Call 530-1124 for details.
Meanwhile, back in the city, there’s the McKinney Avenue Trolley. It links the Arts District to McKinney Avenue-a soberingly straight shot, if you will, from the Meyerson Symphony Center to the Hard Rock Cafe. Adults pay $1.50, children $1. Trolleys run 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
■Jazz Under the Stars at the Dallas Museum of Art.Thursdays at 8 p.m. at the Ross Avenue Plaza. Free(blanket seating, cash bar). This month: June 4, Akira Tanaand Rufus Reid’s quintet; June 11, Brazilian vocalist DoriCaymm; June 18, The Rays, featuring James Clay, and theDon Ambrose trio; June 25, Oliver Lake and the DennisGonzalez Dallas Ensemble and Carlos Guedes with DeSvio.
The best places for al fresco drinking and dining:
■ Starlight Diner. Up on the roof at 2715 Elm St.,747-STAR.
■Deep Ellum Cafe, 2706 Elm St., 741-9012.
■Club Dada’s patio at 2720 Elm St., 744-3232.
■Cardinal Puffs, 4615 Greenville Ave., 369-1969.
■Dream Cafe, 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle,954-0486.
■White Rock Yacht Club, 7530 E. Grand. 328-3866. Youcan even play volleyball on their sand court out back
When we began asking around for things one might do in the cool of a dimmed city, the first suggestion from a friend was to anoint oneself in the waters of Fountain Place at 1445 Ross Avenue, downtown. Fountain-hopping can be fun-just be careful where you do it. We know the guards at Fountain Place are funny about toe dippers. Other good watering holes are the fountain in front of Dedman College at SMU, Williams Square at Las Colinas where the mustangs frolic, and the Esplanade at Fair Park.
Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.