David Day Redenta's Garden
Let's face it, Mother Nature is pissed. In the face of droughts, onslaughts of disease and pests and record heat, gardeners have but one choice: Go native. Plants and vegetables that evolved to deal with North Texas' semi-arid climate and endemic pests need less to produce more, eliminating midnight stealth watering and complicated concoctions of fertilizers and pesticides. Redenta's has long been the champion of native plants and organic gardening, and its two locations are known for wide selection and expert advice. Not only will Redenta's help your garden go green, but it will also help keep it that way.
Emeralds to Coconuts
Planning a Saturday shopping trip? You'll be running all over town. Here for shoes. There for jewels. Hither for purses. Thither for dresses. If all that consumer commuting has you down, head to Emeralds to Coconuts, your one-stop shopping for all that is casual, eclectic, traditional, gaudy and simple in women's clothing. Known for their linen and cotton apparel, Emeralds also has a fantastic selection of scarves and jewelry, along with the trendiest, and yet most practical, footwear of the season. There's a distinct import flavor to Emeralds to Coconuts' selection of colorful worldly goods but enough basics to keep a girl happy too. It's always refreshing to get out of the mall and into some 'nuts.
Oriental is a third-generation company in business since 1911, and unlike much of their competition, they know what they're doing. Most companies use steam-cleaning equipment on Orientals and Persians, which gives only a surface clean. Companies that don't know a Mazlaghan from a Bibikabad can get into all kinds of trouble with dyes, materials and construction. Ellen Amirkhan, third generation proprietor of Oriental Rug Cleaning, is a respected lecturer and published author on the topic. Oriental blows rugs free of grit, then immerses them for washing. Then the rugs are rinsed, groomed and dried. Finally they are inspected for spotting or to see if they need to be washed again.
We like art. We like supporting local artists. We hate the dearth of places that offer pieces by local artists. We're not talking about galleries or studios that just hang paintings or photos, we're talking about shops that offer a selection of works you can wander through. We want to walk in and peruse wall art, furniture, decorative objects, jewelry and more, knowing that among the fanciful items there are local artists waiting to be discovered. ART is ART is such a place. The Lakewood storefront run by mom and daughter team Renata Holder and Carrie Stollings is replete with one-of-a-kind items ranging from mid-century side tables to ultra-modern chairs, from abstract floral paintings to landscape photography, from blown-glass vases to plastic ashtrays. The store has a friendly vibe that's only natural since the gals are so supportive of local creatives. Thus, we were naturally drawn to supporting them.
If we had to guess, we'd say that a music video is way out of the picture for many local bands. Too expensive, no contacts, lead singer with acne--there are handfuls of reasons. Screw all that. Dallas bands have a secret weapon if they just know where to go. There's a Kurosawa and Malick right in their own backyard. Too strong a reference? Yeah, probably, but the team behind Tactics Productions has outrageous skill and serious cred. In the summer of 2001, Kristofer Youmans (producer, director) and Kristopher Hardy (director, director of photography) directed their first video, Centro-matic's "Janitorial on Channel Fail." The study in vibrant color and cruising movement led them to create visual launching pads for bands such as The Hourly Radio, Burden Brothers, Rocket Summer, Baboon, the Fags, Deathray Davies and the Paper Chase (for whom Tactics crafted one of their finest productions and their own favorite, "Said the Spider to the Fly"). The team since has expanded to include Justin Wilson (editor) and Erin Fairbrother (producer) and has garnered much attention for this year's study in fraternal order, Slowride's "Morals and Dogma," as well as the intimate expression of Centro-matic's "Triggers and Trash Heaps."
Let's say you decided one evening to get a piercing or two. Hey, there's a studio--let's stop here. A few days later, maybe a Sunday afternoon, your piercings are giving you problems and that studio's not open. In fact, you can't find a piercer on duty anywhere. Until, fortunately, you stop at Taboo Tattoo. Tim leads you to his studio and fixes your problem--at no charge. And gives you some great aftercare tips. A few days later, another problem--again, Tim takes care of you for free. In the meantime, you've also looked at his piercing portfolio at tabootattoodallas.com and seen the rooks, daiths, navels and surface piercings that he's done. You've wised up. Next time a large-gauge needle comes near your body, Tim's going to be the one wielding it.
They call it the "Best Little Pore House in Texas" and a Bliss Spa facial is 70 minutes of intense attention to not only the pores on your face, but the skin on other parts of your body. It starts with a dark room and pretty music, cleansing and a hot towel to open the pores, then extractions of blackheads and whiteheads (ouch, but thanks!) and hydration. While a mask soothes your face, you get a lovely massage of neck and shoulders and even your feet. It's as much a massage as a facial, but your skin feels clean and radiant when you leave. When you pay your bill, you might run into Cuba Gooding Jr. or some other celebrity who just submitted their pores to the same thing. Bliss Spa is known for its little extras--cheese and crackers and heavenly brownies. Not ready to head home just yet? Pop into the steam shower in the changing room. Let the valet pour you like a limp noodle into your car. Basic Facial is $100 plus tip. Check the online "menu" for a wide variety of other facials, everything from microdermabrasion to the "triple oxygen treatment," whatever that is.
Photo albums, costume jewelry, Royal typewriter, prom dress circa 1967, sketched portrait of Colombian monkey, black clutch with railroad clasp, one copy of The Piano Artistry of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards on vinyl and one adorably snaggle-toothed dog named Frito. Since Dolly Python (a perfect hybrid of vintage boutique and antique store) opened late last year, it seems our grandmother's attic is right around the corner. OK, so maybe she didn't keep a live brindle-coated mutt up there, and her stock wasn't so popular she had to expand twice in one year, but you get the idea. Lucky for us, Dolly doesn't require anyone to straddle panels of insulation or endure rising heat as they search through the thousands of gems that pack the Python. The hunt for ever-changing aged treasure is definitely the best part--a variety of sellers such as Jason Cohen (of Forbidden Books & Video and Gallery fame) have booths here--but it's also nice to know proprietors Gretchen and Mac Frizzell love spending time there as much as their patrons. The store hosts the occasional after-hours party and Frizzell, her vintage fashion expertise, and mascots Frito and Lucy, are rarely far from the counter.
Cats, when they're born, take a solemn vow to get sick only at the worst possible times. In keeping with their mantra of "at our convenience, not yours," your cat will invariably develop a life-threatening condition in the middle of a holiday weekend. Fortunately for us, City Vet has Saturday hours. We've come to recognize--nay, be comforted by--the particular smell of City Vet disinfectant. Their friendly vets have treated our pets and answered a plethora of questions through many a disease and injury. Their two locations also offer dog boarding and doggie daycare--hey, is that your Weimaraner on the webcam? You'll never be so proud as when you capture that screenshot of Bowser at daycare taking a whiz on a toy poodle.
Catherine Niblack, the "cake lady" of Duncanville, was born in Sweden into a line of famous bakers. An uncle, she says, baked for the king, whose favorite treat was the uncle's mocha cake. The uncle later came to California and baked for Hilton Hotels. He left behind a book of recipes that Niblack still uses. Her cakes, baked in her home kitchen at the rate of one per week, are the stuff of legend among people lucky enough to see and taste them at area weddings. The serving slices are twice the size offered by most bakeries, at $2.50 a slice for wedding cakes and $3 for groom cakes, still based on the king's mocha in many cases. The number above is her home phone, and she can be called during "normal business hours." Appointments can be made to see pictures of her work. There have been occasions when her cake was the only thing at the wedding party that guests remembered years later.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of