Best Of :: People & Places
When it comes to putting on a show, the Gypsy Tea Room is the Big Kahuna. It has all of the intangibles: The bar is out of the way, yet close enough so you don't miss anything; the sound is usually perfect; and you can see the stage clearly from just about anywhere in the place, except maybe the bathroom. On top of all that, it's beautiful inside, like a brass-and-wood dancehall from way back. But we haven't even come to what Gypsy does best: music. No matter what kind of music you like, Gypsy does it, and does it better. Steve Earle (who performed at the club's grand opening), Built to Spill, Patti Smith, Macy Gray, Ween, Knife in the Water, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Grandaddy, Luna, Macha, Bright Eyes, Sebadoh, The Jayhawks, 20 Miles, Monte Montgomery, Blackalicious, BR5--49, Wilco--they've all played there at some point. And all the best local groups make regular appearances as well, including Centro-matic, Earl Harvin Trio, Sub Oslo, Pleasant Grove, Mandarin, Stumptone, and The Old 97's, just to name a few. The New Year, the new band from Bedhead's Matt and Bubba Kadane, made its Dallas debut at Gypsy. In the few years it has been in business, Gypsy has only gotten better, and it doesn't appear this trend will end any time soon. As long as it's still in business, every other club in town is playing for second place. Believe that.
At this time last year, Hard Rock Caf was little more than a calcified rock-and-roll museum with a stage that was just for show (or actually, not for shows). Now, thanks to a new general manager and an alliance with The Merge (93.3-FM), Hard Rock is offering shows several nights a week. Good show--finally.
A secret, a jewel, a hidden paradise: Around Lakeland and Ferguson Road in East Dallas, downhill from the grand manses of Forest Hills, Little Forest Hills is a quirky, delightful architectural mlange that looks as if it were spun of Berkeley, Seaside, Charlevoix, and an all-cousin East Texas trailer park. Built long ago as summer cottages for city dwellers, the idiosyncratic little hand-built houses were all throwaways 15 years ago. Now hip people are coming in and giving many of them a very cool flair to be found nowhere else in the city. Two shady creeks and even a little-known summer camp hidden in the bottom of a hollow make this a refuge where you can forget you even know about the rest of the city.
There are few distractions at this small, cozy coffee shop in Arlington. With more than 30 coffee flavors to choose from, this is the place to relax and read about the world's myriad tragedies. The coffee stand also includes sandwiches, salads, and cakes. And there's a computer nearby for Web surfing. Coffee is ground and brewed there and then.
You don't have to be You Know Who to walk on water in Fair Park. Two large, plant-inspired sculptures arch, curve, and twist over the still lagoon, creating stairs and walkways for getting a closer look at turtles, water bugs, and the occasional fast food container lurking below the surface. A low tide, shoes with good traction, and a healthy equilibrium is suggested to keep you from getting baptized in the murky waters.
Get real. Unless you're 12-going-on-13, the only place that promises around-the-clock cool is a seat that faces the window unit. But for those who insist on getting out into the summer sun without baking, Arlington's newest water park is hard to beat. Think a day at the beach with a little Disneyland thrown in--or as one comedian put it, you can think of it as a ride on the enema express.