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Arts & Entertainment

  • BEST THEATER ACTOR

    Matt Purvis

    If Matt Purvis hadn't hurt his back playing high school football, Dallas' theater scene might never have met its newest hot leading man. Purvis, 24, grew up in Southlake, where he played ball and danced with a competitive all-guy hip-hop team. After his injury kept him off the baseball diamond too, he tried theater for the first time his senior… More >>
  • BEST STRIP CLUB DATE NIGHT

    Saturday Date Night at The Lodge

    If you're a straight couple that includes an adventurous, open-minded lady and a guy with a functional cardiovascular system, make Saturdays at The Lodge part of your date-night rotation. Between 4 and 9 p.m., entry is free for couples (we're pretty sure this applies only to those that include a female — sorry, cheapskate dudes, no claiming to be a… More >>
  • BEST SHAMELESS BREASTAURANT MARKETING PLOY

    Redneck Heaven

    The competition for this honor was surprisingly fierce this year. On the one hand, it's hard to top the shamelessness of Bikinis, which evicted a long-time Hill Country resident to make way for Bikinis, Texas. (At the town's grand opening, the servers made plaster casts of their breasts for a Hollywood Walk of Fame-style display.) Were this issue published in… More >>
  • BEST FESTIVAL

    Paste Untapped

    The music at beer festivals is usually pretty lousy. And at music festivals, beer tends to be a mercilessly overpriced afterthought, with selection that ranges the spectrum all the way from Bud Light to Miller Lite. But when The Common Table and Spune Productions teamed up with Paste Magazine, they put equal emphasis on both. They've now pulled off three… More >>
  • BEST BEER FESTIVAL

    Big Texas Beer Fest

    For two years, Chad and Nellie Montgomery's Fair Park brew fest has brought in dozens of breweries offering hundreds of great beers at reasonable prices. This year's edition included a handful of food trucks as well, which cut down greatly on the wait along with offering a better selection of potential pairings for the suds. The location, within stumbling distance… More >>
  • BEST FREE BEER AND DINNER

    Good Records In-Store Performances

    Good Records' free in-store performances are fantastic on their own, bringing some of the best local and national indie acts to an all-ages audience at a reasonably early hour. Offering free beer is almost too much — we wondered what the catch was the first time we pumped a cup of Lone Star from a keg. Then, at the Baptist… More >>
  • BEST HAIR

    Bob Lovell

    Most Texans know that the phrase "Bless your heart" is condescending at best, and can usually be translated as "You dumbass." That's why it's the perfect slogan for Bob Lovell's company. His HMS commercials are mesmerizing, and there are so many variations we don't know how he has time away from the camera to actually run a real estate company.… More >>
  • BEST JOB TITLE

    Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn

    Daniel Vaughn's monomaniacal obsession with perfectly smoked meat made his well-informed, passionate observations at the Full Custom Gospel BBQ blog the authority on Texas barbecue. His never-ending quest for the perfect combination of smoke, meat and seasoning gained popularity and probably had no small part in the growing awareness that brisket can be even better than a prime steak and… More >>
  • BEST CHRISTMAS MUSIC SHOW

    Robert Wilonsky's Christmas Eve Holiday Music Spectacular

    With some FM stations starting up with the Christmas music around, oh, mid-September, you’d think by Christmas Eve we would be well past the point of exhaustion with little drummer boys, silver bells and silent nights. And we are. Nonetheless, we tune in every year when former Observerer and current Dallas Morning News blogger Robert Wilonsky brings his massive collection… More >>
  • BEST GAY BAR

    The Grapevine

    A Sunday afternoon at The Grapevine is like a celebration of population density. It's a shoulder-to-shoulder mob, every member of which is either swaddled in post-brunch bliss or has just woken up and is making a breakfast of Velvet Hammer or Everclear bellinis. While drinking in general is skill that needs constant honing, day drinking is something more. It's an… More >>
  • BEST CABLE-SPOOL TABLES

    Oak Street Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor

    Imagine all of the best moments from your younger days and that's like two hours at the patio of Oak Street Draft House in "Little D." Even if you know no one, you can usually snag a cable-spool tabletop under a shaded tree at the back of the gravel lot and it won't be long before someone's dog comes to… More >>
  • BEST THEATER ACTRESS

    Martha Harms

    Her beauty would probably be enough to keep her working steadily as an actress, but SMU theater grad Martha Harms brings an interesting, not-always-pretty edge to every role she's played in Dallas theaters over the past five years. She's done six shows at Kitchen Dog, and lots more for Undermain and Echo Theatre. Last fall she thrilled critics and audiences… More >>
  • BEST BAR CONVERSATION

    Tradewinds Social Club

    "This is why you should move to Oak Cliff," is a familiar phrase at Tradewinds. Busy on some nights, dead on others, there's always a person to converse with, including the outgoing staff of bartenders who sometimes hand out free shots on slow nights. A tiny patio around back is where you'll hear the best stories. Set up camp here… More >>
  • BEST KARAOKE

    Dallasite

    You will never again have to complain that there's nothing to do in Dallas on Friday night. There's always one option: karaoke at Dallasite. Trust. This is a magical thing. There's no stage, no professional speakers, no pomp, just teeth-clenching bad "singing" and good times. It wouldn't be out of place in this dark, aromatic watering hole to find line… More >>
  • BEST POOL TABLE CAVE

    Lakewood Landing

    Huddled in the back around a dark corner by the restrooms in Lakewood Landing's caught-out-of-time bar lies a lone pool table. Really, it's a pool table cave. A single wooden shelf lines the perimeter of the walls and hosts an array of long-forgotten beer and cocktail glasses, and an old couch to fall onto when you miss that easy corner-pocket… More >>
  • BEST CLUB DJ

    Ynfynyt Scroll

    He's familiar to DFW dance fans as the founder of the Track Meet DJ collective, but Rodrigo Diaz, aka Ynfynyt Scroll, stands on his own. His new residency alongside Lil' Texas at Beauty Bar features a seamless mix of rowdy hits and obscurities. Diaz seeks new music tirelessly and omnivorously, playing everything from brand new Southern hip-hop to reggaeton to… More >>
  • BEST RADIO DJ

    Mike Crow, KTFW-FM Hank 92.1

    As country music just keeps betting harder and harder on boring and shiny and stuff that really isn't even country at all, DJ Mike Crow digs his heels even deeper into the red dirt of Texas' country heroes. He created the Honky Tonk Texas show, now hosted by Mark "Hawkeye" Louis on KSCS-FM 96.3. And now Crow's settled in at… More >>
  • BEST BIKER BAR AND METAL VENUE

    Reno's Chop Shop

    The choppers parked out front and the death metal roaring in back may be intimidating, but even non-biker non-metalheads get a warm welcome from the bartenders and regulars at Reno's. The drinks are cheap and come in plastic disposable cups that won't send glass shards flying if things get too rowdy. The bands that play are as heavy as they… More >>
  • BEST DIVE BAR

    Lakewood Landing

    It's so dark inside Lakewood Landing no one will ever know if you've been there for one drink or five. "Private" doesn't begin to cover the seclusion you'll find in a booth, but the bar remains social most of the time. Whether you're a regular or a newcomer, you're welcome to join in, enjoy the eclectic offerings of the jukebox… More >>
  • BEST NEW BAR

    Twilite Lounge

    It's as comfortable as your oldest pair of jeans, so it's hard to believe Twilite Lounge has only been open since June. Dark stained wood and warm lighting give it a timeless feel, like somewhere your grandparents might have imbibed. The New Orleans-style back patio beckons even non-smokers to enjoy the evening cool. The selection of beers, wines and spirits… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR

    Humperdink's

    The easy line on Humperdink's is about size: The place serves 100-ounce beer towers and features TV screens larger than 100 inches. Those are strong qualities in a sports bar, true, but it's actually the attention to littler things that appeals most about the chain, which started on Greenville Avenue in 1976 and now has four locations in the area.… More >>
  • BEST ROCK BAR

    Three Links

    Three Links, which took the space of La Grange in Deep Ellum just a few months after the old venue closed, hasn't had much time to establish its rock bar credentials. But it hasn't wasted a second. The co-ownership of scene staples Kris Youmans, Scott Beggs and Oliver Peck got the bar off to a strong start, and an early… More >>
  • BEST THEATER DIRECTOR

    Jeffrey Schmidt

    When On the Eve, the new rock musical about time travelers, written by Michael Federico and Home by Hovercraft's Seth and Sean Magill, opened at the Magnolia Lounge in late 2012, it was an instant hit with critics and theatergoers. The performances were stellar but just as impressive were things director and designer Jeffrey Schmidt did to make a no-budget… More >>
  • BEST HONKY-TONK

    Round-Up Saloon

    What makes a great honky-tonk? In fact, what makes a honky-tonk at all, instead of just a bar that plays country music sometimes? It's a few key ingredients: A spacious, well-used wooden dance floor, no fewer than three places you can buy your Lone Star and a commitment to some Wild West ideal shared by patrons and staff alike. Round-Up… More >>
  • BEST DANCE CLUB

    The Basement at The Travis

    It's new to the public and, so far, only open on Thursdays, but the space underneath the Travis Disco is already the finest place to dance in Dallas. For years reserved for VIPs, the bar maintains its feeling of exclusivity. Its nooks and crannies are filled with things like odd taxidermy and shiny wallpaper, and its main room is just… More >>
  • BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE

    The Kessler Theater

    There are louder places in Dallas, and places with bigger names and bigger lights. But no place takes concerts as seriously as The Kessler. Its immaculate sound and respectful crowds afford every show the opportunity to be something truly memorable, and recent shows by Rebirth Brass Band, Lucinda Williams and others have added to the growing legacy of the old… More >>
  • BEST BLUES BAR

    R.L's Blues Palace No. 2

    On weekend nights, R.L.'s Blues Palace No. 2 is sort of like church. Cars fill the spacious lot to bursting, and smartly dressed twosomes and tensomes walk up to the door. Inside, long tables ensure everyone gets to know a neighbor or two. The show starts at 10:30 on the nose, and immediately it becomes clear why all these people… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DROWN YOUR SORROWS

    Ships Lounge

    Behind the heavily padded door at Ships Lounge it is always 10 p.m. on a Saturday. Sometimes it's a rowdy one, more often it's a quiet one with a couple close friends, but the point is it always feels right. The decor is as unassuming and welcoming as that jukebox, which is full of soul classics and crooners. So when… More >>
  • BEST OAK CLIFF SPORTS BAR

    Outpost Tavern

    Jury's out on whether Outpost would cop to being a sports bar. Hell, they might be offended by it. After all, the bar's got solid cocktails and the best local brews on tap from Peticolas, Deep Ellum, Revolver and Four Corners. It's got tasty pulled-pork sandwiches and bacon-and-goat-cheese flatbreads. OK, so it's definitely a gastropub. But it also has big… More >>
  • BEST BAR IF YOU WANT TO HEAR LED ZEPPELIN II

    The Tried and True

    A while ago, Nick Badovinus closed his previous restaurant, NHS Tavern, and opened Tried and True. It's a roadhouse-themed bar (it's got that shelled-peanuts feel) with great whiskeys and sandwiches. But here's the thing: They play records. No, seriously, they play vinyl. You can actually saddle up to a burger and let Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger or Led Zeppelin's… More >>
  • BEST BAR FOR MORNING DRINKING

    The Goat

    Sometimes you need a drink at 7 a.m. Maybe you work the third shift and the sunrise hours are your happy hours. Maybe you're keeping the party going even beyond the break of dawn. Or maybe you're just a drunk. Whatever the case, the humble East Dallas blues dive The Goat is there for you. At that hour, it's quiet… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT WITH MUSICIANS

    The Libertine

    Deep Ellum gets all the comeback love, but Greenville is experiencing something of a nightlife renaissance itself — especially Lower Greenville, where a new bar or restaurant seems to open every week. The robust foot traffic there may soon lead to a different, more stable crowd than musicians, but right at this moment there are plenty, spilling over the patio… More >>
  • BEST YAPPY HOUR

    Katy Trail Ice House

    Whether it's a crisp autumn evening or a scorching summer afternoon, the large outdoor patio at Uptown's Katy Trail Ice House is constantly packed with dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds. This spacious outdoor patio invites Rex to join in on the fun. Whether he just got through running alongside his owner on the trail or got a new… More >>
  • BEST THEATER

    Kalita Humphreys

    The old girl's got a lot of life in her yet. Built in 1959, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the creamy layered wedding cake of a theater building on Turtle Creek has lately been home to some spectacular new productions. Uptown Players now do all their shows there, having learned in recent seasons how to handle the stage's balky revolve… More >>
  • BEST CLUB THAT DOESN'T ACT LIKE A CLUB

    It'll Do

    Listen, It'll Do Club is unstuck in time. A trip through It'll Do will take you through a grab bag of iconic outfits from the last three decades. Somewhere in between running into a cast member from Flashdance and discovering where Waldo has been all this time, you'll find the dance floor. It's one of the best in Dallas with… More >>
  • BEST JUKEBOX

    Sammy's Bar-B-Q

    We weren't expecting it either. Snug against the wall of Uptown-adjacent barbecue spot sits the most fascinating jukebox in Dallas. It's big, Tron-like front is loaded with typewritery slips of paper that have perfect songs from Elvis, Billy Joel and B.B. King. It's one of the oldest working jukeboxes in Dallas, has about 100 albums in it, and it still… More >>
  • BEST MUSIC RADIO STATION

    KHYI-FM 95.3 The Range

    DFW is home to the largest country radio market in the country. Flip through your FM dial and you'll hear plenty of twang, but it's all been polished to shapeless oblivion in Nashville. Well, almost all of it. There is one strange holdout, a rare independently owned commercial radio station, at 95.3 FM The Range. There, you'll hear country outlaws… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL MUSIC RELEASE

    The Baptist Generals — Jackleg Devotional to the Heart

    The third album from Denton's The Baptist Generals came 10 years after the second and right on time. Frontman Chris Flemmons relinquished some control of the band's sound to his ridiculously talented bandmates, and the result is a collection of songs that takes his meticulously ramshackle ideas and expands on them beautifully, loudly and strangely. Jackleg Devotional to the Heart… More >>
  • BEST TALENT BUYER

    Spune

    If you attended nothing but shows booked by Spune, you'd still manage an impressive survey of North Texas music. You'd also be busy — the Dallas-based operation, now in its 16th year, books roughly 10 shows every month. You'd split your time pretty evenly between Fort Worth, Denton and Dallas, and you'd see everything from local weirdos like Warren Jackson… More >>
  • BEST FORMER DALLASITE SAYING SCREW YOU TO HOLLYWOOD

    Shane Carruth

    You gotta hand it to Shane Carruth. The former-Dallasite filmmaker behind Primer and Sundance-buzz-a-thon Upstream Color has stuck to his game: sticking it to Hollywood's movie-making system. Primer was a grainy and raw film about time travel on a $7,000 budget, and his critically acclaimed second film, Upstream Color, has an ending that you may find unsatisfying. He's not afraid… More >>
  • BEST PHOTOGRAPHER

    Justin Terveen

    Ohhhhh, how the holidays in Dallas are soooo lovelllllyy. There are Santas on parade, Macy's day sales, tree lightings, ornaments ... and Justin Terveen's shot of Reunion tower looking like the largest phallus in the Milky Way. This past Christmas, Terveen grabbed a shot of two huge Christmas-ornament nards resting gently under the shaft of Reunion Tower. It was shot… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SEE A FIGHT

    Apparently Almost Anywhere in Oak Cliff

    For a time, Dallas' collective consternation was leveled at a Facebook page with some 60,000 likes called "Oak Cliff Dallas Fights." It showcased fisticuffs predominantly between young Latino men, slugging it out in gas stations, locker rooms and school yards. City Council member Dwaine Caraway said it was bad for Oak Cliff's image, presuming these fights actually took place in… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE A LEGO-CRAZED 4-YEAR-OLD

    Legoland

    It's late Saturday morning. Your child is bouncing off the walls. Every possible diversion in or near the house has been exhausted. It's time for Legoland, which is one of a very few legal ways to guarantee your own sanity. There are Lego games, Lego rides, Lego movie theaters and Lego pits. It's basically an amusement park made entirely from… More >>
  • BEST ART-RELATED EVENT

    Deep Ellum Arts Festival

    This isn't one of those art festivals you stumble upon with Grandma in some faux-experimental neighborhood. There are no illuminated dolphins or Manet rip-offs. There's real art, shockingly good photographs and other knick-knacks. Every year, Deep Ellum closes Main Street for music, live art and loads of paintings. The art ranges from experimental to wildly local, and it never sucks.… More >>
  • BEST THEATER COMPANY

    Fun House Theatre and Film

    With the line "Kool-Aid is for closers," Jeff Swearingen and Bren Rapp dramatically changed the status of children's theater in North Texas. Swearingen wrote and directed Daffodil Girls: Based on David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, a two-act play about the ruthless world of scout troop cookie sales. Cast with a dozen talented young local actresses (ages 7 to 14), the… More >>
  • BEST NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

    Perot Museum, Social Science

    The Perot Museum is magical enough in the daytime. Subtract children, add booze, keep the doors open extra late and it gets even better. The Perot's quarterly Social Science event provides a new twist on the science museum experience. The programs — with topics such as the science of relationships and sound — are interesting and well-executed. But the real… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ART EXHIBITION

    DallasSites and DallasSites: Available Space

    We talk often about the content, status and potential growth of emerging art in Dallas, so it was nice to see that lip service transcend into a cohesive, well-curated gallery show during this extensive DMA offering. While DallasSites provided the historical framework for how things have grown into themselves, Available Space gave us the best of what's happening right now.… More >>
  • BEST ARTFUL DO-GOODERS

    Green Bandana Group

    Whether it's keeping up with the ever-happening dialog about Dallas arts or starting its own, Green Bandana has stepped in to fill the gaps — especially in those chasms that exist between big institutions and individual artists. GB doesn't stop there: The blog posts — penned by now-solo operator Darryl Ratcliff — share all available information regarding how and where… More >>
  • BEST GALLERY

    Conduit

    New galleries are emerging all around us. Through all of that hustle, Nancy Whitenack's Hi Line haven remains the standard for well-selected and collectable Dallas art. She has chosen a stable of talents with unique perspectives who are willing to extend the tangents of where existing work is already pointed. Nobody shown at Conduit is content to simply fill in… More >>
  • BEST FASHION SHOW

    The Pin Show

    This year's Pin Show did what it had to in order to raise the stakes after 2012's impressive event: It skated across the cultural surface tension and lured Dallas' most fashionable away from Uptown, across the bridge and into a West Dallas warehouse. Once there you entered a scene resembling an underground party in a Marfa airplane hangar. Two firetruck… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Texas Theatre

    Considering this one-screen indie theater is run by four dudes with day jobs, it would be impressive if Texas Theatre's programming simply remained consistent. It would be nice if the bar were just a friendly place to drink or if you could occasionally see a less-conventional act performed there, like a comedy or DJ set. But for Aviation Cinemas, the… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    Dallas Museum of Art

    Remember just a few years back when the DMA was a completely different animal? Since the arrival of director Maxwell Anderson and tech guru Robert Stein, it feels like someone has opened up the windows. Let a little air in. Even did the neighborly thing and invited you over to hang out and slyly poke around their digs. The Dallas… More >>
  • BEST NATIONAL EXHIBITION

    Ken Price at the Nasher

    What you could not understand until seeing Price's work, assembled and justly arranged as it was here, is the sum and scale of the items he created. When he began his career in the '50s, Price worked intimately, with a focus on jug-like vessels and petite cups. The life that would eventually spring from those — the grandly bending, sensual… More >>
  • BEST NEW ART MOVEMENT

    Deep Ellum Windows

    When Deep Ellum's newish property management company, Deep Ellum 42, a group that's gained local support by pledging to retain the initial points of interest in old, vacated neighborhood haunts, met Apophenia Underground, the area's newest guerrilla art collective, something amazing happened. Jeff Gibbons and Justin Ginsberg — the humans behind the secretive art group — pitched an unlikely plan:… More >>
  • BEST ART SPACE

    CentralTrak

    From Ari Richter's The Skin I Live In, which utilized body cast-offs from humans and animals for sculptural purposes, to That Mortal Coil, the group show examining body beautiful through a jagged, kaleidoscopic group show, we've learned CentralTrak is content to be unpredictable, at times alarming and always informative. Isn't that precisely what you want from art? Moreover, isn't that… More >>
  • BEST CHEAP-AS-HELL DATE IDEA

    Cinemark Hollywood USA

    This one's not really a first-date idea. It's more an outing with your significant other when it's raining, you're broke and if you stay at home one more second you'll stab each other's eyes out with the silverware. Prevent blindness by making the trek over to Cinemark Hollywood USA, where you'll pay $1 to see everything you were slightly too… More >>
  • BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE

    Rite of Spring, SMU

    When SMU contracted Dutch artist Joost Vrouenraets to choreograph a new version of Rite of Spring for the piece's centennial celebration, we thought, "Huh, that's ballsy for a private Methodist university." When we went to dress rehearsals and saw that the dancer was using the piece's anarchic legacy to push through subversive theories about social media's influence on a new… More >>
  • BEST PANEL DISCUSSION

    State of the Arts: Art and Technology

    Remember when Wolf Blitzer's hologram beamed in to cover the 2008 presidential election? You pulled out your flip phone, called your best friend and were like, "Whoa"? Well, what a difference a few years make. Technology has advanced so exponentially that it has affected the arts in ways that ethics and law haven't been able to predict. KERA's Art and… More >>
  • BEST COLLABORATION

    Clay Stinnett and Nevada Hill, for SZOAS

    Hey guys, remember SZOAS? No? Well, that's all right. The local artist representation company was extremely short-lived, but its time here didn't go unnoticed. While it was operational, SZOAS introduced two gems from their talent roster who should have paired up ages ago. Clay Stinnett and Nevada Hill are both Southern, unconventional and a little loose with the rules. Using… More >>
  • BEST SPEAKER SERIES

    Tuesdays at the Modern

    We're fortunate to have such a robust lineup of artists and curators speaking in our local museums, but last year's run of Tuesdays at the Modern raised that conversation up a step. In honor of its 10th anniversary acquisitions, the culture hub brought in the biggest names in contemporary art for these intimate, free events. We took a Dallas-to-Fort Worth… More >>
  • BEST CLASSICAL MUSIC ADDITION

    Dallas Chamber Symphony

    While Jaap van Zweden has things handled over at the big-market symphony, taking our musicians around the world to garner international acclaim, there was still a gap in the more experimental small-orchestra sector. Enter scene: Dallas Chamber Symphony. Conductor Richard McKay led the group through its inaugural 2012-13 season at the Dallas Performance Hall, and we sat thrilled, listening as… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO BRAVE THE HEAT

    Summer Adventures at Fair Park

    We're State Fair addicts. Corn dog junkies. And few of us have the self-control to wait an entire year to ride through that psychedelic haunted house — you know the one. This year those desires were sated at Summer Adventures at Fair Park, a blisteringly hot miniature version of the big fair. Yes, it's helpful to be extremely young at… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO START A REVOLUTION

    Oil and Cotton

    We're not sure how art wizards Shannon Driscoll and Kayli House Cusick do it all. Every day is a new collection of innovative programming, and we're talking really awesome stuff like youth zine camp, memory jugs with Bruce Lee Webb, natural dying classes using native plants or even DIY cocktail tinctures. In their "spare time" this year, they upped the… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO LEARN EVERYTHING YOU DON'T KNOW

    Pan-African Connection

    It's really packed in here. Sculptures, collectables, home goods, clothing and mountains of other treasures are stacked throughout the lower level of Pan-African's two-story compound. You want to buy it all, even without knowing its legacy. The philosophical value of these items fills the head of Akwete Tyehimba, the shop's matriarch and sage. Go ahead, ask her about that giant… More >>
  • BEST ART OOPS

    The Dallas Contemporary Selling Donated Art on eBay

    As Dallas' art scene grows into itself we'll see a lot of youthful blunders. Still, little can be said in defense of the Dallas Contemporary's Internet misstep, when donated works were sold on the DC's eBay account without the artists' consent. Not only was the act disrespectful to the artists, many of whom wouldn't dare sell their work in that… More >>
  • BEST ARTS INVESTMENT

    Nasher Xchange

    While we know the investment for the Nasher's citywide public art project stretches into the multi-millions, the return's potential is limitless. Dallas art is at an interesting tipping point where arts institutions, artists, others in the creative swarm and city officials have all decided that we are, in fact, doing this thing. The problem with that is that the general… More >>
  • BEST BUDGET WEEKNIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

    Dallas Comedy House

    The DCH is so much nicer than it needs to be. The marquee-bulb-studded facade on Commerce Street houses a world of cheap beers, arguably the best-decorated bathrooms in all of Deep Ellum and a whole host of free open mics and real cheap weekend comedy shows. Drop by Tuesday for the open mics or Wednesday for the equally free improv… More >>
  • BEST FASHION LABEL

    Lucy Dang

    Dang, girl! This flirty little clothing label has swept up top designer wins at all the big contests, and for good reason. We love her commitment to fabric sculpture and her intuitive look at what makes for an interesting shape. Dang is architectural in her approach and ladylike in her execution, an extraordinary combination that leaves women dressed in sophisticated… More >>
  • BEST COMEBACK

    Jane McGarry, WFAA's Good Morning Texas

    The career of one of Dallas' favorite news anchors took an ignominious turn last May, when she was arrested for DWI and summarily canned from NBC 5. She made a heartfelt apology and lived on in her always hilarious, borderline-racy Twitter presence. Then, as we suspected she would, she soon made it back on air, this time as part of… More >>
  • BEST WAY TO ALMOST LEAP INTO THE CURRENT CENTURY

    The Boy Scouts of America

    So you're cool with gay Scouts now, Irving-based BSA? But when they turn 18, you boot them out, because gay Scout leaders are somehow beyond the pale? Man, you're so close to not being terrible. Good effort, though. Well, mediocre, actually. Better luck next year.… More >>
  • BEST INSIDE LOOK AT HOW CITY HALL REALLY WORKS

    Debate over gas drilling in city limits

    Oh, you thought City Manager Mary Suhm didn't actually run the city? And that City Council members read the stacks of paper put in front of them before voting on things? Bless your heart. The debate over gas drilling on city-owned property pretty much cleared up any lingering delusions about Suhm's place in city government. She secretly signed an agreement… More >>
  • BEST RANT

    Jeff Bliss

    Duncanville teen Bliss and his 16 miles of glorious silken hair were captured on cell-phone video giving his teacher a scathing lecture about the mountains of boring packets she apparently liked to foist on her students. Whether you thought he was an insightful educational freedom fighter or an entitled little shit, it started an actual conversation about what the nation's… More >>
  • BEST DISD BUREAUCRAT

    Jon Dahlander, public information officer

    Dahlander quietly tolerated the reign of communications director Jennifer Sprague, a person several decades his junior who came in to be his boss for approximately 25 poorly handled seconds before vanishing into the world of "consulting." Then his boss was former TV newsperson Rebecca Rodriguez, who also managed to stick around for three months before splitting with a severance package… More >>
  • BEST TWITTER FAIL

    Dallas PD's Fruit Ninja debacle

    There was something painfully hilarious about DPD's official Twitter presence accidentally trumpeting a Fruit Ninja high score. Even better was the long-delayed explanation for it, which, when it finally appeared, showed some surprising sly humor: "After a thorough investigation (CSI: Fruit Ninja!), the source of this tweet was traced to a 5-year-old boy, who after hours of interrogation signed a… More >>
  • BEST SHIT-DISTURBING ACTIVISTS

    GetEQUAL TX

    The folks who demonstrated against the Bush Library had great costumes and everything, but GetEQUAL's been tireless this year: pushing DART to pass domestic partner benefits, calling on Mayor Mike Rawlings to pay attention to the LGBT community even when there's not an election on and, in Austin, getting arrested for staging a sit-in to draw attention to a bill… More >>
  • BEST ISSUE

    Are You Still Beating Your Wife?

    Aghast at a string of brutal domestic killings in Dallas, Mayor Mike Rawlings put together a rally last spring aimed at the hearts and minds of men who beat up their wives and girlfriends. While social scientists, theologians and moral philosophers may debate the best way to reach those guys, Rawlings adopted a message which might best be summarized as… More >>
  • BEST POTHOLES

    Henderson Avenue between Ross and Central Expressway

    This was a tough one, extremely competitive, because inner-city Dallas has what may be some of the very best potholes in America when measured for depth, circumference and volume capacity. The other big factor is surprise, and the only fair way to measure that one is on rainy days when you have no way of knowing whether the pothole ahead… More >>
  • BEST STRIP CLUB

    Baby Dolls

    We can talk about the decor or the food or the music or the quirky theme nights, but that's just not owning up to the main reason most patrons go to strip clubs: to look at gorgeous exposed flesh. And that's what makes Baby Dolls shine. There are so many strippers. It has a staggering number of stages, which means… More >>
  • BEST SOMEWHAT SCARILY BIZARRE PLACE TO TAKE VISITING RELATIVES

    The Sixth Floor Museum and Café

    By now everybody knows to take relatives visiting Dallas for the first time to The Sixth Floor Museum in the old School Book Depository Building downtown for a big dose of Kennedy assassination lore. But if you do that, don't miss out on the weird little place across the street operated by the museum as a sort of annex gift… More >>
  • BEST CITIZEN TWITTER

    @kenlowery

    Spending your day buried in a Twitter feed is a lot like watching The Matrix code. It's headache inducing, sometimes interesting and always absurd. Somewhere in there is Dallas citizen and captain of snark Ken Lowery. Co-creator of the feed @FakeAPStyleBook and the Web series The @Variants, his acerbic wit reliably skewers pop culture, films, comics and whatever makes you… More >>
  • BEST CITY COUNCIL MEMBER

    Scott Griggs

    With his victory over Delia Jasso for a redrawn council district in Oak Cliff, voters sent a resounding message to City Hall: We don't want go-along-to-get-along representatives who toe the establishment line. We want intelligent, diligent representation that demands answers when, say, it turns out that the city manager has promised to massage a deal for a local driller in… More >>
  • BEST XERISCAPED YARD

    Burton Knight, Abrams Road

    North Texas is in the middle of an epic drought. It's struggling to find enough water to quench a swelling population that's expected to double over the next 50 years. Replacing water-gulping St. Augustine with drought-tolerant native plants seems like something that should be encouraged. But when a trained horticulturist named Burton Knight did exactly that at his home in… More >>
  • BEST MUSICAL FOUNTAIN

    First Baptist Church

    As a rule, evangelical megachurches eschew the city and establish themselves in the suburbs. The farther flung, the better, where the land is cheap and the people God-fearing. First Baptist Dallas is a notable exception. Not only has it stayed in the sin-ravaged big city, but it has invested $130 million in a massive, recently completed renovation of its downtown… More >>
  • BEST NEWS RADIO STATION

    KRLD-AM 1080

    OK, so listening to the news on AM radio has been a pretty infrequent use of our car stereos since the advent of the cassette deck, let alone the podcast. But the moment we hear the wail of a tornado siren or come across an alarming news item while scrolling through our Twitter feed at a stoplight — err, we… More >>
  • BEST NEWSCAST

    WFAA Channel 8 News UpdateJohn McCaa

    In the era of hot-looking models reading the news on TV (remember now, it's sad face for tornado deaths, happy face for Shriners in parades, never the other way around), WFAA somehow manages to get enough pretty faces on camera and still maintain depth of field in the actual journalism department. Byron Harris, David Schechter and Brett Shipp continue to… More >>
  • BEST DALLAS BLOG

    Central Track

    "We don't read newspapers any more. Do you? No way," begins Central Track's "About" section. It would hurt our feelings if we believed it. But former Dallas Observer music editor Pete Freedman and his staff of freelancers are obviously keeping up with Dallas culture, fashion, nightlife and, of course, music news, whether they're getting ink on their hands from the… More >>
  • BEST MURAL

    Sour Grapes Belmont Hotel mural

    If you take the Commerce Street bridge or Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and head southward into Oak Cliff on Sylvan Avenue, you'll get a closeup look at the Sour Grapes Crew's handiwork on the Belmont Hotel's retaining wall, a long stretch of colorful art next to work by famed street artists Shepard Fairey and JM Rizzi. The Sour Grapes piece,… More >>
  • BEST LIGHT SHOW

    "Expanded Video," Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel

    Since it opened two years ago, the Omni in downtown Dallas has drawn nightly crowds to the spectacular light shows playing every night on more than one million LEDs in four miles of light bars stretched across the hotel's stunning boomerang-shaped glass exterior. But last year's "Expanded Video" show at the hotel, produced in conjunction with the 25th Annual Dallas… More >>
  • BEST STRIP CLUB TO TAKE A TOURIST

    The Clubhouse

    The Clubhouse has the scuzzy yet welcoming feel of your favorite dive bar, pretty good music most of the time, and a diverse roster of talent offering something for just about every conceivable preference. The dancers actually, you know, dance, and the place has a feature that we thought was standard for strip clubs but is becoming increasingly scarce: a… More >>
  • BEST GRAVE

    Clyde Barrow

    One half of Dallas' most notorious outlaw pair found his final resting place in a ramshackle graveyard just across the road from a tortilla factory in Oak Cliff. The gate's always locked, but you may or may not be able to slip in through a gap. You'll find Clyde's grave in a corner, where someone seems to be keeping nightly… More >>
  • BEST RADIO TALK SHOW

    Think

    The profile of Think host Krys Boyd in our 2013 People Issue got a sharply divided response from commenters online. According to them, Boyd is either one of the best hosts on radio — smart, well-prepped and gifted at drawing out her guests with incisive questions — or she's a dull cog in public radio's machine, churning out big piles… More >>

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