A Daily Conversation
About Dallas


Continuing the Conversation About Sexism in Service

| 18 hours 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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The One Aretha Franklin Remembrance You Need to Read

| 20 hours 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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Dallas ISD Is Surging, and Tonight’s Board Vote Can Propel It Further

| 20 hours 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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The Real Housewives of Dallas Recap: Dee’s Back

| 22 hours 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)

| 23 hours 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?

| 2 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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Urban8 Isn’t Clear on the ‘Urban’ Concept

| 2 days ago

The image you see above is taken from Google Street View on the access road to the Sam Rayburn Tollway in The Colony. On the right there, you can see something still under construction called Urban8. It’s a food court with eight restaurants, and it officially opens at the end of this month.

Let me repeat that for those who might have been reading too quickly. It’s a food court. On the access road to a tollway. In The Colony. And it’s called Urban8.

Good job, people.

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Local News

D Magazine Dot Com Is Hiring a New Online Managing Editor

| 2 days ago

If you’ve always wanted to write and edit stories about the city of Dallas and join the D Magazine editorial team, today’s your day. We’re looking for a new online managing editor, someone who will take great pride in filling FrontBurner with interesting stories that help illuminate what it’s like to live in this fine place that 1.3 million people call home. That includes narrative features, service packages, quick anecdotes, cogent analysis, and smart deadline reporting about anything that is of interest to our readership. It’s a fun and collaborative gig, full of opportunity.

The online ME is also in charge of scheduling the online rollout of the print pieces for D Magazine and D CEO, our business title. You’ll have a say in SEO strategy. You’ll collaborate with the digital art director and the print editors to find opportunities to add additional art or other elements that couldn’t fit in the magazine but would add value for the reader. You’ll also take part in our social media channels. As for FrontBurner, the journalism should offer readers a daily conversation about Dallas. This includes politics, urbanism, public safety—anything that an engaged Dallasite should be aware of. You’ll also work with the online editorial director (that’s me!) to develop, report, write, and edit online-only narrative and service features.

Sound up your alley? Send your résumé, cover letter, and three to five clips to [email protected].

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How Dallas-Fort Worth Stacks Up in the Race for Young Professionals

| 2 days ago

Cities nationwide are competing to lure the most talented and productive workers. And as much of the workforce eyes retirement, the most sought-after workers are millennials. Dallas-Fort Worth is no exception.

DFW is a hotspot—the best place for young talent to grow their careers and thrive in a lively, affordable environment. That’s what the Dallas Regional Chamber wants the youthful workforce to believe, anyway. The message is part of the chamber’s “Say Yes to Dallas” campaign, which launched in April 2017 and has told millennials nationwide, “There’s no better place to be” than DFW. The campaign even received help from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who offered relocating millennials the chance to win Mavs tickets.

The chamber is targeting young workers as a means to economic growth. That’s smart, because millennials represent the country’s largest generation and are likely to be the most mobile, says William Frey, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. “Most people that move are young adults,” Frey says. “They move when they get out of college, get new jobs, get new homes. … So when it comes to overall migration patterns, millennials are a big part of it.”

D CEO wanted to know just how well DFW actually stacks up against its biggest rivals—the country’s top metropolitan areas according to gross domestic product—in attracting the millennial workforce. The top 10 metros, in order, are New York-Newark-Jersey City; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim; Chicago-Naperville-Elgin; Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria; Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward; Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington; Boston-Cambridge-Newton; and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell.

We analyzed five key components for attracting millennials to these top metros. For this article, millennials were defined as people between the ages of 20 and 34 in 2016. Our conclusion: DFW has some attractive assets but, when compared to our chief competitors, also has some work to do before becoming a true hotspot for the millennial workforce.

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