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About Dallas

Food Crime

Trevor Paulhus Is a Madman

| 1 day ago

D Magazine subscribers will this weekend receive the September issue in the mail. Really, you should join them. Here I’d like to reveal two important points about the cover image. The first is that Zac Crain is in the photo, and he’s wearing a shirt THAT IS YELLOW. The second important point: the great Trevor Paulhus took this picture for us. I think it was about 100 degrees on the morning of the shoot. Dude didn’t care. He flopped right down in the street in front of Tacos Mariachi, on Singleton Boulevard, to get the shot. Total American hero. 

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Urbanism

Frisco Is At The Center of the Latest Automated Vehicle Debate

| 1 day ago

In May, officials from the city of Frisco gathered alongside folks from Collin County, the state, and the California automated vehicle startup Drive.ai at developer Craig Hall’s HALL Park. It was a big to-do to introduce one of the country’s first pilot projects that would put driverless cars in public right-of-ways. It was so cautious it bordered on dull—the primary reason being, according to Drive.ai chairman Andrew Ng, that pedestrians need to get used to the new vehicles.

I wrote about this for the July issue, how the pilot is starting small. Ng focused on the abundance of caution: the highlighter-orange hue of the vehicles, the digital LED panels that can display messages, the driver sitting up front just in case. Drive.ai made it clear that pedestrians will need to be more aware when these things are in operation. He likened them to an ambulance or a school bus—you drive and walk differently around those vehicles. This week, Bloomberg used Ng’s philosophy to frame a piece about whether AI technology is actually where it needs to be if its shepherds have to ask pedestrians to change how they’re walking. Here’s Bloomberg:

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Restaurants

Continuing the Conversation About Sexism in Service

| 2 days ago

In the May issue of D Magazine, I ranked the 10 best steakhouses in Dallas.

In the July issue, I wrote a column titled “Animals in the House” with a revelation in the subhead: “How eating in 20 of the top steakhouses in Dallas gave me a bellyful of misogyny.”

The weeks I spent dining in 20 of our city’s steakhouses had given me insight no diner usually has—glimpses of patterns of behavior, subtle but insistent, that made me feel invisible and overlooked as a female in male temples of meat. As I sliced through dry-aged rib-eyes, I was seeing a culture. And it was making me ill.

That I could find such a glaring cultural phenomenon—even as it remained slippery and elusive—in a singular part of the dining landscape seemed worth illuminating. Particularly as it is one that this city—city of business meetings, city of great steaks— holds dear.

In a column published two weeks ago in the Dallas Observer, dining critic Brian Reinhardt took the next step in calling out discriminatory and problematic service. He argued that we shouldn’t be treating service separately in a review or ranking, and he took me to task. “Sexist service is bad service,” he wrote.

I agree.

But it’s not as clear as he makes it out to be.

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Music

The One Aretha Franklin Remembrance You Need to Read

| 2 days ago

What’s Aretha Franklin have to do with Dallas? David Ritz. That’s what. He’s a Dallas guy, though he no longer lives here. Over the years, he has written a bunch of stuff for D Magazine. His most recent stories for us are here and here. David ghosted Franklin’s autobiography and then wrote his own biography of the woman. You should take the time to read this Rolling Stone piece he just published about his relationship with her. 

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Education

Dallas ISD Is Surging, and Tonight’s Board Vote Can Propel It Further

| 2 days ago

The state’s new school district report cards were issued this week. As you probably read, Dallas ISD passed easily, earning a score of 81, a B. For comparison’s sake, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Mesquite all earned a C.

This is good news, but it shouldn’t surprise FrontBurner readers. I’ve been telling you for years that, despite the challenges faced by an enormous district whose students overwhelmingly suffer from various levels of poverty, the progressive changes made under Mike Miles and continued under Michael Hinojosa are helping poor kids do better. Specifically, the teacher evaluation system (TEI) and the program whereby the best teachers are given incentives to teach the most-needy kids (ACE) have proven successful.

Today, the Dallas ISD school board will meet to once again discuss putting to voters a Tax Ratification Election, or TRE. This is designed to give more taxpayer dollars to the district so it can continue and expand programs such as these. It should pass by a 6-3 margin at worst, because a sensible trustee, Justin Henry, has replaced a senseless trustee, Bernadette Nutall. (Three trustees—Audrey Pinkerton, Lew Blackburn, and Joyce Foreman—will continue making excuses and voting against measures that help black and brown kids.)

How impactful can TRE money be? Let me give you an example.

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Television

The Real Housewives of Dallas Recap: Dee’s Back

| 2 days ago

I’m sorry I’m not Tim Rogers. I really am. But we must respect the man’s mental health, and since I’d be watching this mess anyway, I volunteered to recap season three of The Real Housewives of Dallas. But you should know that one of the main differences between me and Tim — apart from age, gender, and hair — is that I come to this show from a place of real love.

Like many, Bravo came into my life during a time of need. After a rough breakup, I discovered Vanderpump Rules, a near-perfect reality show that’s provided hours of entertainment and affirmation that, even on my worst personal and professional days, I’m doing fine. Southern Charm and the powerful feminist figure that is Kathryn Calhoun Dennis found me shortly after. On the Real Housewives front, I dip into Beverly Hills and Atlanta just to see what’s up, but the only ones I really care about are New York and, of course, Dallas, especially after it became clear that the second season would be radically better than the first.

And I mean, I care about them, much to the dismay of my parents, the kind of people who think all reality television is trash. And they’re not wrong! Most reality television is trash. Most things on Bravo are trash. RHOD is totally trash. But even in this peak TV era, it’s Bravo I turn to after a long day to sooth my mind and body. Its content has helped me survive endless small talk scenarios. I both love and fear the women of RHOD. This year, LeeAnne Locken walked by a group of us at DIFFA and half the people nearly fainted. That’s power.

So I’m definitely not Tim (I’m sorry!). I love this mess. I promise I will never talk about myself this much again in these recaps. So without further ado, let’s dive back into this beautiful, exquisitely edited disaster.

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Local News

Leading Off (8/16/18)

| 3 days ago

Larry Casto Calls It A Day. Why should you care that the city attorney has quit? Well, he kept Dallas from having to file for bankruptcy when it was dealing with the fire and police pension disaster, even helping find an amenable agreement between city officials, legislators, and police and firemen. He determined that privatizing Fair Park needed to be put out to bid when the mayor wanted to give to a former Hunt Oil Co. chairman. But never fear! It sure sounds like he’s going to be running for higher office.

Roy Oliver’s Trial Probably Begins Today. He’s the fired Balch Springs cop who shot dead 15-year-old Jordan Edwards as the car the teen was in drove away from a party. His attorneys have filed an emergency stay to delay it.

Dallas ISD Outperforms Suburbs. The Texas Education Agency published its grades of state school districts yesterday, and DISD got a B. That’s an 81. And it beat every single southern suburb that it’s lost kids to over the years. Next target: Collin County, which got pretty much across-the-board As. We’re coming for you, Plano.

The News Is Really Slow This Week. Here is a story about school nurses getting additional training. Here is a story about a business owner who really does not like Yelp. Here is a Curious Texas joint about crickets.

It’s Alex Macon’s Last Day. He’s got a cool new job at a certain in-flight magazine. Send him some kudos on Twitter, and make sure you fly Southwest and can read. What will his final post be? Send him as many photos of bad sidewalks as you can. He has, like, seven hours to top this masterpiece. In all seriousness, it’s a big loss for us. It’s also your gain! Because you can take his job.

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Politics & Government

Just How Many Mascots Does the City of Dallas Have?

| 3 days ago

Today is City Hall Selfie Day. A great opportunity to #engage the #public, to show people that while we take service seriously, hey, we have fun here, too, said somebody at Dallas City Hall this afternoon.

Nothing says fun like a mascot. And if City Hall knows anything, besides providing services that most Dallas residents are generally satisfied by, it’s mascots. I spy four in the selfie in question.

There’s Sparky the Fire Dog, the fire department’s hard-hatted Dalmatian, in the bottom right. And that green woman a few rows back, smiling vacantly under the pink hat? Why, that’s Trinity Trudy, a dragonfly, the sickly face of the city’s stormwater management department. But who’s that cheerful heart on the left? And the Joe Cool water droplet, dead center?

Most importantly, where is Captain Codey?

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