A Daily Conversation
About Dallas


Kidd Springs’ Secret Garden

| 2 hours ago

About 20 years ago, Cynthia Mulcahy was walking through Kidd Springs Park in Oak Cliff when she noticed two stone carvings. The conceptual artist had spent her honeymoon in Japan, visiting the temples and gardens of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagasaki, and she recognized the carvings as Buddhist garden steles, or funeral statuaries. But what were they doing here, and why were there no markers? More than a decade later, an artist grant from the city allowed Mulcahy to delve into the mystery. She spent a year researching the history of Kidd Springs Park in the City Hall archives, combing through the leather-bound, marbled pages of Park Board minutes. What she discovered was remarkable.

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Best of Big D

A Full Accounting of Tonight’s Best of Big D Party

| 5 hours ago

Tonight’s the night: Best of Big D goes down at 7 p.m. at the Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum. We’ve been planning this thing for months—literally, I think the first editorial meeting on the issue happened in April—and we’re thrilled to reveal the feature alongside the food and drinks and culture that helped define the city over the last 12 months.

Anyway, enough of that. We’ve been gradually rolling out what to expect at the event—of which my bosses have reminded me to remind you to buy tickets at this link if you haven’t already—and this’ll be a roundup of sorts. First, the food: Tei-An’s doing pork over handmade ramen noodles. Uchi’s doing miso-cured ocean trout. Pecan Lodge is bringing beef ribs. Beef ribs! Barley & Board has shrunken its magnificent cheeseburger and made hundreds of them. Bolsa’s got pork jowl. Flora Street is doing a cassis parfait with shortbread. There’s more, and you can see that here. It’s a dream menu.

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Leading Off

Leading Off (8/23/17)

| 9 hours ago

Angela Paxton Considers Run for Texas Senate. The Frisco guidance counselor, noted “Pistol-Packin’ Mama” crooner, and wife of indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton, is considering a challenge to Phillip Huffines, twin brother of Republican Sen. Don Huffines. Jordan Berry, a political consultant and Paxton family friend, said a Collin County candidate would be a welcome change: “Highland Park already has one senator. They don’t need two.”

Reginald Kimbro Faces Two Capital Murder Charges. Kimbro was first indicted on August 10 for the 2014 killing of Molly Matheson, a former college girlfriend, in Tarrant County. Yesterday he was indicted in Dallas County for raping and strangling Megan Leigh Getrum days later in Plano’s Arbor Hills Nature Preserve and then dumping her body in Lake Ray Hubbard, 30 miles away.

Ed Jamison to Lead City’s Unruly Pack. The former chief animal control officer for the city of Cleveland and equal opportunity cat and dog lover—he admittedly once shared his home with four cats named Bertram, Weston, Nestor, and Merwin, in addition to several foster dogs—will take over the Dallas Animal Services department on October 18. The Iraq war veteran will be tasked in part with tackling the city’s rampant loose dog problem.
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Architecture & Design

Inside the Lorenzo Hotel, a Monument to Millennials As Envisioned by Boomers

| 1 day ago

I have now seen black subway tile lining an entire men’s restroom, complete with black lacquered urinals. I have seen a magenta and royal blue Albert Einstein spewing water into a puddle that drains into a sunlit pool. I have perched on a barstool underneath several dozen surveillance mirrors while sipping a local, craft beer. I have stared 12 stories up at a black and white photograph of a cheerleader’s unblinking, heavily-lined eyeball. I have ordered a kolache from the bowels of a shipping container. I have seen a hotel room with charging stations for more than seven devices. I have now seen inside a millennial soul as imagined by the older generation. They’re calling it the Lorenzo Hotel.

In March, developer Larry Hamilton completed the aggressive transformation of the long-deserted Ramada Inn at the corner of Akard and Griffin streets in The Cedars, just south of downtown. He purchased the hotel in 2006 with plans to renovate it, after previous successes with the Davis Building and the Lone Star Gas Lofts downtown. It stalled during the Great Recession and sat (relatively) empty until the $41 million renovation plans resurfaced a few years ago. The project was aided, in no small part, by an $11 million loan from the city’s Community Development Block Grants, passed down by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The developers also received $2.2 million in tax increment finance district reimbursements; Hamilton told The Dallas Morning News in 2015 that it would go toward paying for large-scale public artworks between Interstate 30 and Akard. That public art would bleed right into what Hamilton’s describing as a “boutique hotel that caters to millennials.” Which might explain the visual fidget spinner that is the Lorenzo.

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Science & Technology

Missed Monday’s Eclipse? Dallas Gets a Much Better View in 7 Years

| 1 day ago

Hustling around downtown Dallas yesterday morning in last-minute pursuit of a pair of NASA-approved eclipse glasses, I witnessed firsthand some of the earthly fervor that greeted the day’s cosmic phenomenon.

I first hopped on the closest bicycle proffered by one of our new bike-share programs and pedaled furiously to reach the central branch of the Dallas Public Library, where I was too late to grab one of the 50 free pairs of glasses. The library had some educational programming lined up before the main event, a sizable and attentive audience taking it in. I was told there would be an opportunity to craft pinhole projectors to safely view the eclipse, but I’ve never been much for arts and crafts, or for school, and time was of the essence. The moon waits for no man.

The sign Monday at the library.

Outwardly cursing the morning meeting that had made me late to the library and inwardly musing at the money I was now costing my employer in lost productivity, I biked back across downtown to a watch party at the Perot Museum.

At the Perot, it was friendly pandemonium, well-organized by knowledgable museum employees, with hundreds of would-be sun-gazers wrapped around the building and waiting for eye protection. I lack the patience for that kind of line, and I lacked the cash for the scalper on the other side of the museum, hawking eclipse glasses for $20 a pop.

Part of the line at the Perot Museum.
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Arts & Entertainment

Real Housewives of Dallas, Ep. 2: Mutts, Mansions, and So Much Crying

| 1 day ago

Last night’s episode of the Real Housewives of Dallas had a lot to live up to. It was a big day. Arguably, it was a super big day. There was a solar eclipse that everyone knew would burn your retinas and cause Forever Damage if you stared directly at it without the proper sunglasses. And then, reporters caught some truly glorious photos of America’s “Making Everything Super Great!” President staring directly at the eclipse without the proper sunglasses.

Don’t do this, they said.

How can we possibly expect Real Housewives of Dallas to top that? I guess you just tell LeeAnne it’s Go Time, so she throws on a hot dog costume and starts cussing. Suck that, halo-like solar corona and totality. Neil deGrasse Tyson would never dress up in a hot dog costume. Nerd.

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Arts & Entertainment

Playlist: Warm Up For Best Of Big D With RC & The Gritz

| 1 day ago

RC Williams inboxed me a preparty playlist ahead of Best of Big D tomorrow, at which RC & The Gritz will appear with an artist who won’t be named. So of course I combed it for hints. Here I will share the fruits of my searching.

The six-song set is decidedly relaxed, almost to a point of warning if you’re not in a spot to lean back — terminally chill, one could say. It leads with Wings’ “Arrow Through Me,” the groove of which Erykah Badu samples on “Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long.” A wind into meddling bliss with Gary Bartz’s “Gentle Smiles (Saxy)” leads us also to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Butter” which contains whispers of Bartz’s track. “The Feel,” the band’s own song, is a nod to the BOBD setlist – I know because I asked RC to include at least one song they’d play. He sent two; the other is “Leave Me Alone,” featuring Badu who pleads the words in the title. James Brown’s “The Boss” is an interlude well-placed between the two, perhaps to throw us off.

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Local News

Leading Off (8/22/17)

| 1 day ago

The Confederate Statues Won’t Stand Long. The Dallas City Council is squabbling about the timeline and process for getting it done, but the council members all agree that the statues will come down. If you haven’t yet, you should read what Jim Schutze wrote yesterday. He started off a few weeks back saying that we should leave the statues alone; yesterday he offered a brave mea culpa.

What the Triplets Say About Zeke Elliott. Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, and Troy Aikman all offered some thoughts on the running back’s suspension yesterday at The Star after the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor Walk ceremony (whatever that is). Let’s see if I can sum up for you. Emmitt: “I’m not going to say whether I have or have not spoken with Zeke.” Troy: “These guys all need to clean up their acts.” Irvin: “Remember when I got busted for coke?”

Dallas Court Kills Payment to Paxton Prosecutors. The prosectors in the Ken Paxton case haven’t been paid in nearly two years, and yesterday a court voided a $205,000 invoice that dates back to January 2016. This leaves open the possibility that the prosecutors might get fed up and quit the case. 

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Scenes From City Hall, Where Thousands Gathered to Protest White Supremacy

| 2 days ago

On Saturday, City Hall plaza was full by 7:30 p.m., the official kickoff time to the protest against white supremacy. Helicopters circled overhead, including one that liked to dip hard into the turns as it cased 1500 Marilla. There were officers on rooftops, officers on horseback, officers on bicycles. DART buses and sanitation trucks blocked streets. I counted officials from the Dallas Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety. They took no chances on Saturday, and for the most part, it looked like they wouldn’t have to. It was peaceful and positive inside the bubble of the plaza.

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Science and Technology

It’s Eclipse Day in Dallas (And Elsewhere)

| 2 days ago

We broke most of this down last week, but first a quick refresher: In the early afternoon today, about 75 percent of a full solar eclipse will be visible from Dallas. Things get going shortly before noon, peak right after 1 p.m., and conclude after 2:30.

Do not stare at the sun without NASA-approved glasses or a homemade viewer, because you will do irreparable damage to your eyes. But if you have failed to obtain or make an appropriate device, there’s still hope in the form of a number of viewing parties where, at the very least, some kind soul will probably let you borrow theirs. (Most of these viewing parties are also handing out glasses, although supplies are limited.)

We’ve already told you about such free viewing parties at the Perot Museum, the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. We have since learned that limited supplies of free eclipse glasses are also being distributed at viewing parties at several Dallas Public Library locations, including the central hub downtown, and the branches in North Oak Cliff, Audelia Road, White Rock Hills, and Polk-Wisdom.

At SMU, the eggheads in the physics department are smartly placing some mirrors to project the eclipse on the rotunda of Dallas Hall, the historic building on the north side of campus.

And you’ve still got about two hours to make your own viewing contraption:

Take a long lunch to (safely, with proper eye protection) see what’s happening above us. Tell your boss D Magazine said it was OK.

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Local News

Leading Off (8/21/17)

| 2 days ago

DISD Board Can’t Decide On Tax Increase to Send to Voters. DISD currently has the third-lowest tax rate among North Texas districts. The state is not great, to put it very kindly, at school funding. On Friday night, the board looked at three proposals: a 13-cent hike; a 2-cent tax swap; and a 6-cent compromise. All failed to get the six-vote supermajority, and in doing so failed students. To be clear: this wasn’t a vote to raise taxes. It was a vote to let Dallas citizens vote to raise taxes. Trustee Audrey Pinkerton, who probably wouldn’t have helped anyway, was a no-show. She was apparently at Yellowstone to get ready to watch the eclipse. Which is today. It’s maybe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but so is an education.

There Was a Rally Against White Supremacy at City Hall Plaza Saturday Night. More on that later.

Thieves Steal Lamborghini, Lamborghini Catches Fire. Important note: don’t punch above your weight class when boosting a car. You need to take a hard look in the mirror and if what you see is a man (or woman) who is more cut out to steal a Kia Soul, you have to accept it.

There is a Solar Eclipse Today. You may have heard about it.

FC Dallas Continues Skid. After a 2-0 road loss to Sporting Kansas City, your boys are 0-3-1, and have scored only one goal during that stretch. A big Texas Derby match with Houston Dynamo is on Wednesday.

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