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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Crafts Studio

    Smashing Times

    This place is smashingly good fun in addition to bringing out the artist in folks of all ages. Using bits of broken glass, ceramics and tile (all tumbled to remove sharp edges), patrons turn frames, candleholders, coasters and vases into colorful works of art. Actually, the place has a threefold purpose: It's an art studio, a showplace for commissioning pieces… More >>
  • Best Fall Reading

    A.W. Gray

    If you like your reading fast and gritty, with lots of bad-guy chasing and a liberal sprinkling of sex with the scams and body count, Dallas' A.W. Gray is your man. He's been spinning best-selling mystery tales for years, beginning with his popular series about local private eye Bino Phillips (Bino, Bino's Blues, etc.). And here's a little secret: When… More >>
  • Best Clog

    25th Texas Cloggers Rally

    Like Riverdance performed underwater by fat people, clogging has its own strange appeal...or not. If you just can't get your fill of mature ladies in sensible shoes making their skirts fly up over their panties, you could see a psychiatrist, or you could call the number above for the Texas Clogging Council and get specifics on next year's Texas Clogger's… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Your Own Kind

    Dallas-Plano TX Meetups

    Say you're a lonely Howard Dean supporter, a witch, a native speaker of French or a pagan (same thing), a John Kerry supporter, Web logger or Goth, and you want to meet others of your tribe. Meetups is the place to go. Operating by Web and all over the world, Meetups arranges get-togethers in local venues for people seeking their… More >>
  • Best Early-Morning Comedy Routine

    Daybreak with Scott Sams, WFAA-TV Channel 8

    If we were up for drinking games at 8 a.m., this would be the quickest way to get shit-faced. The rules would be as follows: One drink every time Scott Sams mispronounces and/or gives the incorrect name for a local charity, council member or day of the week. Two drinks every time he makes a blatant pass at the eternally… More >>
  • Best Case of Compassionless Conservatism

    State Senator Robert Deuell, R-Mesquite

    Before anti-abortion senators helped pass legislation that mandated a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions so they could have a period of reflection and read literature about abortion's possible hazards, pro-choice senators made a fevered pitch to exempt those women who want abortions because of rape, incest or their own health. Senator Robert Deuell, who lives in Greenville and… More >>
  • Best African-American Bookstore

    Black Images Book Bazaar

    Over the years, Emma Rodgers' store has become a full-fledged cultural force in the community, sponsoring literary and political discussions, promoting local authors, bringing African and African-American books to Dallas that otherwise would never get here. But it's still at its core a great independent bookstore, where you can expect surprises and delights every time you browse--all the stuff that… More >>
  • Best State Legislator

    Senator Bill Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant

    It's rare that we stray from our Dallas best, but the political courage of Senator William Ratliff is so exemplary that it deserves being celebrated, even though he hails from Mount Pleasant. With conservative Republican Governor Rick Perry so partisan he can make David Dewhurst look like a statesman, it's damn refreshing to find a moderate Republican who has the… More >>
  • Best Rookie Judge

    Susan Hawk

    You wouldn't think that a former assistant district attorney who was named "Prosecutor of the Year" by law enforcement boosters for her zealous pursuit of child abuse cases that had grown old and cold would make the most impartial judge. It might prove too difficult to keep an open mind so that both sides--prosecution and defense--get a fair and unbiased… More >>
  • Best Political Move

    Judge Sally Montgomery

    This election cycle was supposed to be the year of the Democrat (remember the Dream Team?), particularly in Dallas County, where 24 Democratic judicial candidates tried to bust up the Republican monopoly over the courthouse. But the lone Democratic candidate to win a bench had a long history as a Republican. Sally Montgomery had switched parties and turned Democrat after… More >>
  • Best Visual Artist

    Greg Metz Cyn McCurry

    Although he's busy as an instructor at the University of Texas at Dallas, Greg Metz is still a master in the world of sculpture and installation. His art carries energy and a bit of controversy. To Deep Ellum regulars, his most public work is the set of faces that adorns the Club Dada building. To activists, his work is familiar… More >>
  • Best Reason to Run

    Dallas-Fort Worth Hash House Harriers - www.dfwh3.org 214-804-3999

    Some people run for their health. Some run for charity. And others would run only if someone were chasing them. But some (God bless 'em) will run for beer. They're the Dallas-Fort Worth Hash House Harriers, or hashers for short, and every week they gather to embark on a common mission: booze. This self-proclaimed "drinking group with a running problem"… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn Quilting

    Lone Star House of Quilts - 1210 W. Abram St., Arlington 817-277-4749

    It not only offers a step back into a kinder, more communal time but a complete inventory of fabrics, patterns and books for the beginner as well as the expert quilter. In the back of the store, a variety of classes are offered by Alice and Dave Cooksey, who purchased the store from quilting icon Betsy Chutchian. But Betsy's not… More >>
  • Best Place For Your Kid To Create a Masterpiece

    Dallas Museum of Art - 1717 N. Harwood St. 214-922-1203

    Each fall and spring, budding Cassatts and Renoirs have the opportunity to participate in the DMA's Art Exploration Classes. Small groups of kids 3 to 5 years old, each with a parent or guardian, spend an hour on a single artistic element such as color, patterns or texture. And because the classes explore the DMA as well as create there,… More >>
  • Best Portrait Artist

    Connie Connally - 7019 Claybrook Drive 214-340-1943

    Portraiture isn't exactly a lost art, although fewer painters choose it as their area of specialty now than they did in the time of Renoir. The demand has changed a bit since the camera was invented. Even well-intentioned, sentimental people who ache to capture the charm of their 6-year-olds, or their moms, dads and grandmothers, spend great wads of cash… More >>
  • Best Portraits That Are Also Art

    Paul McKay

    The piercing blue eyes of executive assistant P.J. Vitruk stare from a page of Paul McKay's sample book. The crimson of the regal chair in which she poses seems to infuse her silver hair, as one elegant index finger rests lightly on the rim of the object she holds, the focus of the portrait: her martini glass. You want to… More >>
  • Best Library You've Never Heard Of

    University Park Public Library

    Until 2001, University Park had the peculiar distinction of being the nation's largest city without its own public library. Until then, residents had been able to use the Highland Park Library without charge. When that changed, an energetic group of volunteers called Friends of the University Park Public Library held book sales and other fund-raisers, allowing the new library to… More >>
  • Best Place for a Writer to Volunteer Time and Talent

    Kids Writing Connection at John F. Kennedy Learning Center

    For the past nine years, this writing and illustration competition has been making a difference in the lives of students at this mostly minority school in East Dallas by matching them with professionals who mentor them through a semester-long project. The mentors and young writers and artists usually meet for about an hour each week during the fall, and the… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

    America loves an underdog, the saying goes. And we do, too. While it's consistent in the quality of the exhibits it organizes, Photographs Do Not Bend doesn't get the shower of praise some one-hit-a-season wonders do. PDNB represents artists working in a wide range of photographic styles and also owns a specialized archive of pictures. No matter what the exhibit… More >>
  • Best Public Sculpture

    "Harrow"

    The best public sculpture is something that doesn't blend into the background of everyday life. No matter how many times--every day, once a week, once a year--that it's seen, it never ceases to attract attention. Meet "Harrow," a steel sculpture in Lubben Plaza Park. It always amazes us. A giant rust-brown cone that resembles a household screw enlarged to the… More >>
  • Best Newsletter

    The North Texas Skeptic

    Don't get us wrong. We like UFO stuff and The Lost City of Atlantis and health supplements and crop circles and magnetic shoe arches and secret government experiments. This is the stuff of life, the fruit of the twisted imagination. We just have a difficult time taking it in its raw, unadulterated form. When filtered through the monthly debunking machine… More >>
  • Best Clones

    Starlight's clonal family

    We're looking forward to the day when someone clones Mayor Laura Miller. That woman is so busy busting nicotine addicts and one-legged beggars--and fixing to drive the Dallas Cowboys away--that we're certain she does the work of two Laura Millers. And wouldn't a second Laura Miller be a treat for Mr. Laura Miller! This year, however, Dr. Zech Dameron's cute… More >>
  • Best Downtown Redevelopment

    Stone Street Gardens

    Dallas' big Soviet-style downtown projects--the stalled and poorly named Victory development, for one--get all the ink and ire. The city center's real victories have been won where someone has thought small: the Jeroboam restaurant, the Umlaut bar and a host of others that are just getting out of the blocks. This year, Stone Street Gardens, in the heart of the… More >>
  • Best Locally Produced Literary Figure

    Victoria Alexander

    She booked out of Dallas right after graduating from Walden Prep School at 16 and worked her way through New York's Hunter College as a stripper at a Manhattan joint called The Doll House. Got your attention? OK, skip to the present, when 37-year-old Victoria Alexander, now living in SoHo, is the highly praised author of two novels: Smoking Hopes,… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Geek On

    Titan Comics

    It's our annual fave, and the other local comics shops should not take offense; when you've experienced the prosecutorial hell Keith's Comics has been through of late ("Comic Appeal," August 14), you deserve at least honorable mention and then some. But Jeremy Shorr's place on Bachman Lake, twixt a dollar store and a karate classroom, rings up this annual accolade… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Quad C Theatre

    How does this college theater do it? Using student actors and non-pros cast from open auditions, Quad C consistently offers professional-level productions that outshine Equity-heavy downtown stages. In three acting spaces, including the 350-seat John Anthony Theatre, Quad C produces enormous, spectacularly designed shows. Last fall's elegant and disturbing A Clockwork Orange featured a huge cast of promising young actors,… More >>
  • Best Theater Director

    Rene Moreno

    Look at the wildly diverse work versatile director Rene Moreno has helmed for local theaters recently: the romantic two-character musical The Last Five Years at Plano Rep, the raucous comedy Buford Gomez: Tales of a Rightwing Border Patrol Officer for Martice Productions in the basement of the Majestic, Michael Frayn's difficult drama Copenhagen at Theatre Three, the abstract Crave for… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Regan Adair

    Playing a charming psychopath, a frat boy, a wild-haired anarchist or a suave sophisticate, Regan Adair, 29, manages to bring to every role he plays a relaxed authenticity that makes his performances fascinating to watch. Trained as a fashion designer, Adair turned to acting four years ago and over the past few months has popped up in productions at half… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Denise Lee

    Blessed with a singing voice so powerful it shows up on Doppler radar, Denise Lee, 43, proved this year that she's also one of the area's best serious dramatic actresses. In WaterTower Theatre's production of The Old Settler, John Henry Redwood's lovely play about spinster sisters in 1940s Harlem, Lee didn't sing a note. Instead, she wore dowdy dresses and… More >>
  • Best Alternative Art Gallery

    Plush

    If you said Dallas wouldn't buy it, and Randall Garrett couldn't do it, you were wrong. As Garrett opens the fourth season of Plush, even the naysayers are starting to show up at South Akard on Friday nights for the gallery's "high levels of cultural noise." Live music, eccentric paintings and sculpture, performance art and a bohemian club atmosphere enliven… More >>
  • Best Family Art Outing

    Gateway Gallery, Dallas Museum of Art

    If public schools paid one-tenth the attention to arts education that the Dallas Museum of Art does, the world would be a better place. Education is at least half of the DMA's mission, and programming for children, with families encouraged to participate, is plentiful and of exceptional quality. The museum's Gateway Gallery is the focal point for young children and… More >>
  • Best A Cappella

    Turtle Creek Chorale

    When MTV "unplugged" some top rock stars, a whole new generation of young people shivered with the discovery of the sheer power and beauty of the human voice--a cappella or with the subtlest acoustic guitar or piano accompaniment. This, of course, is no big whoop for season-ticket holders of Dallas' Turtle Creek Chorale, who tingle five times a year as… More >>
  • Best Exhibit to Pull Your Kids Outta School For

    Quest for Immortality at the Kimbell Art Museum

    We took our 9-year-old to this exhibit, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. When children are 9, anything you do, say, present or wish for is declared "booooring." But this exquisite exhibit, which (too bad for you) just ended, was one of the most impressive Egyptian tours allowed in the United States since the King Tut exhibit. Perhaps… More >>
  • Best Radio Morning Show

    KKDA-AM 104.5 (K104)

    Generally, we shy away from that which is popular. Popular movies, popular music, popular mayors--we give 'em all hell. But not when it comes to radio morning shows. The No. 1-rated show for years has been Skip Murphy and the Morning Team, and we think there's a damn fine reason for this: They do radio right. They are intensely local,… More >>
  • Best Art Classes for Kids

    art-a-rama

    The credo here is that it is never too soon to encourage a child's artistic interests and abilities. Professionally taught, once-a-week classes are available for ages 2 to 15 in everything from pottery and watercolor to pastels, charcoal and acrylics--all in an atmosphere of fun. There are pizza parties, birthday celebrations and summer camps available. Still, this isn't vacation Bible… More >>
  • Best Radio Talk Show

    The Glenn Mitchell Show

    We're not as down on the new breed of talk-jocks as one might think. Howard Stern is always worth a listen, but we prefer seeing his freak show on E! rather than listening to it. Russ Martin on KLLI-FM (105.3) is indeed talented, but his supporting cast drives us nuts. And some of the new folks at KLIF-AM (570) at… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KHYI-FM 95.3 (The Range)

    The obvious joke is that you feel at home on The Range, but it's true. While other stations dip their toes in roots, rockabilly and Texas music, The Range has taken the full plunge from Day One. They play novelty country, swing, new traditionalists and old sentimentalists. They play Conway and Merle, Max Stallings and Jim Lauderdale and everything in… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Tracy Rowlett, KTVT-TV Channel 11

    As you can tell, we don't have the utmost respect for anchors. They are newsreaders, as the Brits call them. It is a skill, sure, but it ain't journalism. That said, we've always respected Tracy Rowlett. Not just because he has hard-news chops, not because he's overly humble, but also because he's been anchoring and leading TV newsrooms in Dallas… More >>
  • Best Council Babe

    Dr. Elba Garcia

    We're not dissing the mayor, who, back in the day, could get us all excited with a string of seven curse words. There was something about the dichotomy of her impeccable taste in clothing, her well-mannered air and her filthy mouth that set us tinglin'. Now that she's "mayoral" all the time, eh, not so much. No, the powerful female… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ

    Skip Cheatham, KKDA-FM (104.5)

    Skip Cheatham is one of those guys women want to be around and men want to be, a smooth-talking, slang-dropping fella with his finger on the pulse and his foot on the beat. While it's a 24/7 party at K104, it only hits its peak when Skip's behind the mike, whether he's spinning records or spinning yarns, which is one… More >>
  • Best Sign That 93.3 FM is Cursed

    The Bone's ratings

    This spot on the radio dial is beginning to look like that stretch of real estate where nothing ever catches on, that place in Deep Ellum where one bar after another comes and goes, rarely sticking around for more than a few months. The Zone didn't work. Neither did The Merge. The Bone looked like it might, darting up the… More >>
  • Best Place to See Dallas Musicians

    New York, apparently

    If you can make it here, well, you can probably do better elsewhere. Say, NYC, for instance. Ask Ben Kweller, Todd Deatherage, Corn Mo, the Secret Machines, Oceanographer (formerly Panda), N'Dambi and a handful of others, almost all of whom went on to bigger and brighter things once they ditched D-FW. Even Norah Jones cut bait before selling 10 million… More >>
  • Best Government Agency

    Dallas Police Department

    Yeah, yeah, we know: the fake-drug scandal, the snit over salaries, turmoil at the top, demoralized troops, the crime rate. Why on earth would we name the Dallas Police Department the best government agency? Well, we haven't been shot, stabbed or otherwise assaulted in the past year, so that's a big plus. Then there's this: Somehow, through the enormous shit… More >>
  • Best Political Moment

    Police Chief Terrell Bolton's firing

    What, was there another contender? Of course, Terrell Bolton's firing was the political moment. Shoot, if we had a category for best shoddy melodrama, we'd give Bolton's dismissal that one, too. (No, wait. That would be redundant.) So, what was your favorite part of the show? Bolton breaking down weeping at a news conference? The wholly inappropriate comparisons to a… More >>
  • Best Blog

    D magazine's FrontBurner

    This blog by the editors and friends of D magazine is snarky, youthful and vibrant. They discuss political, social, topical and spiritual subjects with an diversity of thought you don't find in the magazine. Not that we don't enjoy going online to find out what the "Top 472 Plastic Surgeons in North Dallas" are up to, but we would… More >>
  • Best Shoddy Legal Advice

    Dallas Police Department

    Over the summer, one of our writers was in a car accident. The woman driving the other vehicle was not only at fault, she was driving without insurance or a license. It's not that she had forgotten them; she didn't have them--period. To make matters more complicated, she didn't speak English. When a DPD officer finally arrived on the scene… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Look-Back

    Midnights at the Inwood

    On Friday and Saturday nights, the Inwood Theatre takes us back. Back to a time when things were simpler, back before our childlike innocence went the way of the parachute pant. Well, actually, not that far back, but back nonetheless. With the weekly film series Midnights at the Inwood, the theater opens the vault and screens some of our classic… More >>
  • Best Daily Newspaper Columnist

    Ruben Navarrette

    Dallas Morning News op-ed columnist Ruben Navarrette, back for his second straight "best of," was just warming up in 2002. This year, he truly hit his stride. For the first time in memory, the News has a columnist who: A) has better things to write about than his home life; B) gravitates to local controversies; C) does original reporting; D)… More >>
  • Best TV News Show

    Monday Mornings With Mattie

    We've long contended that "television news" is an oxymoron. Yes, five nights a year a station reports something you haven't already read in a daily, weekly or monthly publication. But even the Rangers bullpen strikes out the side sometimes; that doesn't mean they're worth watching. No, our favorite people realize that television is about entertainment, not news, about pictures, not… More >>
  • Best Lowbrow Museum

    American Airlines C.R. Smith Aviation Museum

    Art? Who needs art when you can look at planes? The American Airlines Aviation Museum is the kind of museum that is fun for everybody--even non-museum types. The museum has a variety of aviation-related displays from the airline's past. There is a flight simulator, a movie and even an old DC-3 for those who really want to see what the… More >>
  • Best City Council Member

    Veletta Lill, District 14

    Veletta Lill's district is now sort of weird: After redistricting, it wound up cradling the Park Cities, taking in a lot of downtown, covering the part of East Dallas where all the refugees from the real Dallas live, then going way up north to the area around Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue. Maybe for that reason, Lill winds up bringing… More >>
  • Best Amateur Musical Theater

    Woodrow Wilson High School

    One of those strange little cultural artifacts of East Dallas, the spring musical production at "Woodrow" is a generations-old tradition. Parents start putting their kids through dance, voice and acting lessons while the kids are still in grade school to win them a place in the Woodrow musical. The production standards are high: professional orchestra, backdrops from New York, extravagant… More >>
  • Best French Books About Dallas (the TV show)

    Dallas Books!

    Les Maitres de Dallas! Les Hommes de Dallas! Les Femmes de Dallas! Dallas! Tout Sur Dallas, avec plus de 50 photos. This site also offers an excellent stock of English books based on the very popular 1980s television series. This is your chance to sit around a nationally franchised coffee shop reading a book in French about a television series… More >>

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