Best Of :: People & Places
Doing the laundry is a tedious bore, but why watch the dryer toss around the unmentionables when Pac-Man, pinball, air hockey, golf, and a variety of other quarter-snarfing games lurk just steps away? The bar in the front room is stocked with all the necessities--plenty of quarters, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets, a smorgasbord of booze, and beer both bottled and on-tap. Get the supplies, then save the world from alien invasions or hungry zombies. The towels can rinse and spin on their own without your watchful gaze. Once the world is safe from extraterrestrials or the undead, and Pac-Man's belly is full of pellets and cherries, saddle up to the bar and watch a live band or escape the laundry room humidity on the backyard patio. It beats guarding the washer from apartment complex neighbors coveting your mint-condition '70s KISS T-shirt.
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.