Some pools are just chlorine and water, a liquid playpen that, when combined with the intense summer sun, will cause the most exuberant of children to grow tired enough to take a nap. But then there are other pools that soak you in luxury, acting as therapy for the mind, a spa for the body. One of these is the pool at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Colinas: lagoon-shaped, waterfalls cascading, attractive attendants who not only serve you frozen drinks to relax your spirit, but also frozen face cloths and ice water to brace yourself against the hot Texas summer. Of course, it comes at a price: You have to stay at the hotel, but the Four Seasons offers weekend packages for those who need to get away from home without ever leaving it. Parents of young children understand this need. Parents of young children are willing to pay this price. Parents of young children can be found poolside at the Four Seasons Hotel, without their young children.

If hair were a religion, Kirsten would be a guru, a prophet, a goddess. But since it's not, she's a very talented angel. The ideal hair appointment is going to the same person to get a haircut, color and a huge boost to the self-esteem at the same time. Kirsten (and to be fair, the whole salon) delivers one damn fine product. It doesn't matter if you're thick and curly or straight and limp; you'll feel fine as hell after she works her magic. A thorough stylist, Kirsten even researches hair and compiles a photo album for her clients to peruse when their ideal hair goal is hazy. Book ahead 'cause she's busy, but it's worth the wait. You know we're for true when we risk our own appointments to laud her talent. And talent it is, maybe even art, a scene worth seeing to believe.

Bar of Soap is the only place we know of where you can buy a box of Tide along with a bourbon and soda and get change for both the dryers and the pinball machine. Besides being a bar, a laundry and an arcade, it also serves as a live music venue on weekends and has a patio for lounging and televisions over the bar. And, as if that's not enough to keep one occupied during the spin cycle, check out the Fair Park and Dallas-themed mural painted above the shelves of liquor. There's nothing like seeing a guy with a basket full of tighty-whities squeezing through a packed crowd, watching a band on his way to the laundry room in the back. Some people find it so cozy, we've even seen pizza delivered there.

Dallas does not suffer from a lack of good, traditional neighborhoods stocked with sturdy homes planted atop shaded lots, but what we like about Uptown is its departure from the city's past. The housing, primarily condos and apartments, may not be everyone's idea of an ideal nesting ground, but the neighborhood is the best indication that our city is, at last, growing up. A prime example of "New Urban" development, an architectural revolt against suburbia, Uptown is more like New York than Dallas. It offers pedestrian-friendly streets packed with an eclectic collection of fine restaurants and retail shops. Of course, the best thing about any neighborhood is its people, and that's Uptown's real charm: You can strike up a conversation in French, for example, as easy as you can order a cappuccino.

Yeah, yeah. We know. Aren't there any other outdoor havens besides White Rock, you ask? Unless you play golf, the answer is no. After all, Dallas is not a city known for its fabulous green spaces. White Rock Lake, which was built to provide the city's residents with drinking water, may be an accidental green space, but it is nonetheless the only place in Dallas (besides NorthPark) where one can spy turtles sunning on rocks or mama ducks teaching their babies the finer points of survival. The place is also home to wild parakeets, snakes and owls, among other furred and feathered ones. We have only one request: When you go to the lake, would you please stop throwing your trash, beer cans especially, all over the place? Thank you. Now keep to the right.

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar

Four hot piano players at two baby grands play a mix of Beatles, Stones, Aretha, KC, Culture Club, Billy Joel, Elton John, Dave Matthews and more in a high-energy blast that runs straight through from 8 p.m. until the joint closes at 2 a.m. Cloned from the original in Austin, the Addison Pete's holds 350 people, offers a fare of hot dogs, sandwiches and appetizers and is a big bunch of raucous fun. Call for show times.

Hard to find, but worth the hunt if you have a sudden hunger for hot dogs, pompoms and the blood and grit of small-town football in the shadow of the big city. Seagoville High is part of the Dallas school system and plays some tough big-city football schools such as Lincoln, but the spirit on Friday nights is strictly East Texas. Call the school for the fall schedule. To get to the stadium go south on 175 and exit Hall Street. Turn left under the bridge to continue on Hall Street. Take a left on Shady Lane, and the stadium is a few blocks ahead behind Central Elementary.

Premiere Video

If you have a sudden urgent need to talk to every egghead film-buff Boho in Dallas, what you do is bring a folding chair and park in front of Premiere Video on a Friday night. In the course of a few hours, they'll all come through. In fact, there are entire multigenerational families of film-buff Bohos who gather here on Friday nights--little skaties with their beatnik grandparents. And why? Try 20,000 foreign and domestic titles, a knowledgeable staff and...the scene. Some people believe they need to be seen here on Fridays whether they rent a movie or not. Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

The steps outside the Angelika Film Center, not the ones that go down to the DART rail line. (Not many folks down there.) If you want confirmation that Dallas has its hip, cool side--as opposed to a place where the predominant fashion trend is the golf shirt--hang out for a while and see who comes cascading down the steps at Mockingbird Station. Last winter, the black-leather-jacket set was so thick, we thought someone was giving them away at the theater. This summer, it dawned on us that we were living in a real city when we saw a bare-chested kid make his way down the steep incline on a beat-up skateboard.

Most honest answer? Only your ears, unless, of course, you wanna break your mother's already fragile heart. What, she's made out of stone all of a sudden? No, no, we kid because we love. If you have to do it, head to Obscurities (conveniently located next door to Trilogy Tattoo), and Pat Tidwell and the rest of the gang will spear you wherever you want.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of