Best Of :: People & Places
Fear Factor? No, thanks! We'll take our life-affirming adventures in the safety of a dark movie theater or in a fake, Disneyland-style environment. Even Dallas' risk-averse will get off on the re-created Orinoco River basin rain forest at the Dallas World Aquarium. Just inside the door, a walkway spirals down through the South American jungle facsimile, where you quickly get used to the warm humidity. Enveloped in sights and smells, you'll see and hear birds overhead, spiral down through exotic plants, fish and turtles, and nary a poisonous snake or malaria-carrying mosquito will cross your path. The rain forest ends where the aquarium begins, and we recommend that, too. The DWA isn't a huge facility, but that's appealing; animals are well cared for, and the place is virtually stench-free. On top of all that, you can step outside and drink too much, eat too much and spend too much money at the touristy West End. Perfect Sunday afternoon.
Everything about La Duni is magnificent, from the tasteful décor to the incredible pork-loin-filled "slow-roasted lomo." But the attributes of La Duni are made more apparent after you've had several of their signature drinks, especially our fave, the margarinha. It's a combination margarita-mojito, made with Sauza Silver tequila, hand-crushed limes, sugar, Cointreau and crushed ice. And, yes, it's as refreshing as it sounds. Is your mouth feeling dry yet? Is it? Seriously, is it?
Sound like a dorkfest? Fine, then call us dorks. Pete's is a surprisingly rollicking time: Four top-notch key-strokers attack two baby grands, taking requests and playing favorite tunes by request. Sure, it ain't the Cliburns, but it's a good time and something unique to do on a Friday night in Dallas. Nothing wrong with that.
With more than 60 acres of incredibly landscaped park to choose from, the Dallas Arboretum can provide a great backdrop to a portrait for anything. The Arboretum has fountains and sculptures, and something is always blooming, so you can wander around until you find a good spot. Even in the heat of the summer, the Arboretum seems like a cool and calming place. Maybe they're growing poppies.
Sidle up to the bar and order a Lone Star longneck. Then another. Then one for the pretty young thing next to you. Then a round for the people you just met. Fall off your barstool on your way to the restroom. Get lost coming back. Stand in front of the band while it rides herd over a sweet set of C&W, the kind your daddy told you about. Grab another longneck, which is sweating a little bit less than you are at this point. Ask that pretty young thing to dance. Fall down again and come up laughing. Keep doing this until you're out of money and out the door. Come back and do it again next week. That's what Adair's is like. And thank the Lord.
In most large cities, the downtown area is a grid of one-way streets. Easy to understand, easy to negotiate. In Dallas, while the streets curve more than their counterparts on the East Coast, the same concept holds true. So why is it that in cities like New York and Boston you almost never see someone going the wrong way on a one-way street but here in Big D it happens almost daily? Good question, though we have no answer. We offer only proof. If you work downtown, we suggest spending your lunch hour camped out on any corner with a one-way street. Wait there for a while. It won't be long before you see some confused, oblivious driver pointing his or her Honda Civic the wrong way. Then you can watch, amused, as other motorists honk and point in vain while the fool in the Honda looks wildly for street signs but continues to drive the wrong way anyway. Ugh. In New York, they don't ticket you for those types of stupid indiscretions; they beat you and leave you for dead.