Best Of :: People & Places
Just 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth off Interstate 20, Fossil Rim offers the opportunity to drive through and visit with hundreds of rare and endangered animals from around the world that roam free on 1,500 acres of unspoiled countryside. It's open rain or shine, from 9 a.m. until two hours before sunset every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. After you see all the wildlife in a habitat that mirrors its African terrain and climate, you can make a 20-minute drive over to Dinosaur Valley Park in Glen Rose and see where animals from another time left their footprints in the bed of the Paluxy River. Or:
OK, so controversy over the government actions against the Branch Davidians is fading from the mainstream. Reports clearing the feds of the most egregious accusations have surfaced, and civil trials have fizzled like wet fireworks. The fact remains, the siege of Mt. Carmel was a definitive moment in U.S. history, a debate flash point over freedom of religion and the responsibilities and limits of government. The place is beautiful and eerie, and the characters who flock there are intriguing and relevant. There is something pure about going to a place that has no signposts off the highway, no official markers or souvenir shop. It's simply the Place where Something Happened, undistilled and unvarnished. The real pain in the ass is knowing how to get there. Here are directions: Take Interstate 35 to North Loop 340 and turn eastward. Continue to FM 2491 and turn left onto it. Follow it to Double E Ranch Road. Turn left onto Double E Ranch Road. Follow it approximately 1/4 mile to the entrance of Mt. Carmel on the right. You'll see a rebuilt church and a small building where David Koresh's mother sometimes lurks.
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.