The final resting place of notorious outlaw Clyde Barrow and his brother Buck is located just west of downtown on Fort Worth Avenue, mere minutes away from the glittering, soulless faades of the New Dallas (cough, cough, W Hotel, cough, cough). Sure, Old Clyde wasn't the best behaved of fellows, but living in this town you have to admit that our outlaws--Barrow, Oswald, Ruby and the like--are some of the most fascinating characters Dallas ever produced, morals or not. After Clyde was killed in Louisiana (alongside his beloved Bonnie Parker) in a ruthless law enforcement ambush, his body attracted hundreds of curious Dallasites, both before (his remains were displayed in the Belo Mansion, which at the time housed the Sparkman Funeral Home) and after burial. Access to the cemetery is extremely limited, and the neighborhood is notoriously sketchy (though the Belmont Hotel might change that), so we wouldn't suggest visiting old Clyde without permission. Just knowing he's there is good enough for us.
Cowboys Red River
Kids these days. Always listening to that goldurned rap music. Drinking their mojitos and wearing them dee-signer jeans. Getting "crunk." Back in our day, there weren't no "crunk." There was two-steppin' and Wranglers and ice-cold Lone Star. That's why we like Cowboys Red River. You could call an over-decorated, under-air-conditioned room filled with 20-somethings rubbing together butt-to-crotch a dance club. But you'd be wrong, pardner. You'd do better to call a place where people go to dance a dance club. Cowboys Dance Hall is just such a place. There's just nothing like a giant warehouse with an expansive, round dance floor and a live honky-tonk band to get our boot heels a-tappin'. We'll go round and round with the "Cotton-Eyed Joe" or wow our lady friend with a mean schottische. Then, we'll do her right and buy her a beer and a shot o' whiskey from the bar. After that she'll be ready for a go on Cowboys' mechanical bull. And then, if we're lucky, a ride of a different kind. You know how the saying goes, right? Save a horse...
Though we generally prefer eBay or craigslist when it comes to purchasing our axes, we do venture to Guitar Center on Central from time to time for the little things--strings, tuners, cables, etc. Without fail we always see: A) at least one complete emo band loitering in the parking lot, B) at least one past or present member of [DARYL] or the Deathray Davies, and C) some dude playing a slightly off-kilter rendition of a riff from either a Stevie Ray Vaughan or a Red Hot Chili Peppers song--sometimes we can't even tell which one; we only know that it's most likely one of the two.
Someone in Austin is gonna pay for this. When the all-female roller derby leagues of Central Texas reared their heads during our college days, we thought it was novel enough--after all, we almost went to a match once to catch And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Thankfully, we abstained, so we can't count ourselves responsible for the derby's spread to DFW and beyond. Judging by the growing ranks of local leagues such as Assassination City Derby and the Dallas Derby Devils--and all their blood make-up, lame tattoos and piercings--the metroplex has more than its fair share of strained father-daughter relationships. Now that the A&E series Rollergirls has been canceled, we can all hope that this obnoxious trend will be similarly short-lived. All right, we get it already. You chicks are tough. Can we have the Double Wide back now?
When Mayor Laura Miller announced that she wouldn't seek re-election, speculation about who might succeed her spread like a West Texas grassfire, prompting the men of KTCK's The Hardline to ask: Why not Mike Rhyner? When the beloved radio host was asked that afternoon what platform he might run on, the Old Gray Wolf responded with a stroke of political genius, saying if he were elected, he'd put Big Tex on top of the Reunion Tower. He's got our fake vote. Even if he only kept his promise for a day, you have to admit it would be a sight to see. Now if only we could get Santiago Calatrava to work the Texas Star into one of those friggin' bridge designs.
Round-Up Saloon
For more than a quarter-century The Round-Up Saloon has been one of Dallas' premier purveyors of country and western music, dancing and good times for good folks. Although classified as a gay bar, this popular watering hole welcomes those of all genders and persuasions, and any given night will give testimony that all types are present and all feel welcome. The Round-Up features all genres of country music, including old country, new/old remakes, young country and even crossover country. In short, the range of music offers styles, speeds and tastes to satisfy all. Nearly as rangy as the Ponderosa, this large club features six different bars and areas certain to provide the desired atmosphere to comfortably lip a long-neck (read that however you like). New shows and special events are scheduled frequently to ensure things keep hopping and hooting. Regular beer busts (50 cent draft!), karaoke, free dance lessons and Friday and Saturday Howdy Hour are popular mainstays here.
In only two years, the Summer Strut Home Tour, which takes place in early June, has leapt to the top of the list in this otherwise moribund category of entertainment. After all, how long can you really stay interested in Swiss Avenue? Sponsored by the AIDS Resource Center, the Summer Strut so far has presented tours in the Turtle Creek area and Greenway Parks, west of the Dallas North Tollway at Mockingbird Lane. It's not cheap--$50 a head and $90 per couple--but there are hors d'oeuvres at the houses and often live music. Old homes are mixed with new in a blend that is more stylish than what one sees on typical neighborhood tours.
El Ranchito
Kathy Tran
Every night we dine at this Oak Cliff institution we're treated to the best atmosphere of any Mexican joint in Dallas, complete with a roster of the city's finest mariachis. The fervent strumming of guitars, voices raised in perfect harmony, the sound of twin trumpets ringing off the tile--it's the next best thing to San Antonio, only you don't have to drive five hours and fight the River Walk crowds. On our last visit we even caught a touring act, an amplified band complete with twin saxophones, keyboard bass and a guy who had the sole responsibility of playing the hi-hat on the offbeat--with his hand.
What's going on with investigative TV reporting lately? For a while KTVT-Channel 11 had pulled ahead of WFAA's News 8 with a consistent string of hard-hitting, well-reported stories on local government and politics. What happened on 11? Recently their biggies were "New cameras can change the way you look," "Katie Couric's day in Texas" and, our favorite mind-boggling expos, "Schools influencing value of homes." Channel 8, meanwhile, is back in the winner's circle again with hard-hitting stories by Brett Shipp and Byron Harris on airline safety, wacked-out incompetence in the Dallas schools' administration, complaints of meshugga cops in Deep Ellum and others. All the major newscasts have competent newsreaders. It's the individual reporters and behind-the-scenes producers who make the difference. Right now, those are the people who have made News 8 the one to watch at 6 and 10.
Tired of Deep Ellum and Lower Greenville? Sick of getting hit up for change, paying eight bucks to park and constantly watching for muggers? Then head up Interstate 35 a piece and enjoy a night on the Denton town square, where the parking's free and the streets are considerably safer. For starters, we'd suggest a slice or two of delicious J&J's pizza (118 W. Oak St.). Follow that up with a shake at Beth Marie's Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Soda Fountain (117 W. Hickory St.), which you can work off with a stroll on the grounds of the picturesque courthouse. Finally, take in a show at Hailey's, Dan's or the basement of J&J's; there's bound to be a good one somewhere. If all else fails, keep your eyes peeled for a kid or two busking on the sidewalk.

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