Ella Wheeler Wilcox's quote began, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you." At Ad-Libs, it would be more appropriate to say, "Laugh, and it's probably because you suggested a topic, the cast took it and ran and turned out something sidesplitting that no one was expecting." Such is the magic of improvisational comedy. So often, we flip channels and hit Whose Line Is It Anyway? (British and American versions) and end up glad Dallas has its own live version just downtown...and since 1986. The cast includes voice actors of kick-ass cartoons and a guy who actually worked with Charles Nelson Reilly (God rest his brilliant soul). The shows are high-energy and pretty painful considering the ab workout from laughing so hard for an hour and a half. Director Phil Larsson says more than 750,000 audience members have provided funny fodder and laughed at the cast of Ad-Libs. If we didn't tell you it's worthy entertainment, that number should. Anybody got a line?
Grand Lux Cafe
As soon as you walk through the enormous double doors, you may as well be at the Venetian in Vegas. In fact, that's where the flagship location is. The restaurant is designed to evoke the opulent Old World cafes of France and Italy, which fits well with the Galleria, which was modeled after a center in Milan. Yet this is a quintessentially American restaurant, just as Vegas is a quintessentially American creation. The portions are vast, as is the dining room, with high, sweeping ceilings, elaborate fabrics and mosaics in the style of a Venetian carnival. Surrounded by marble and well-dressed folks toting shopping bags, it's easy to pretend you're on the strip, making your way from the Venetian to the Bellagio.
Photographers love this verdant spot overlooking Turtle Creek. Magic time for photography on the pretty wooden bridge in Lakeside Park is just before sunset. With the sky lit up with streaks of pink and orange behind the cottonwood trees, a light breeze off the water gently ruffling hair and veil, brides strike portrait poses that will fill family scrapbooks. On almost any clear night, joggers and walkers at this busy park have to detour around young ladies in flowing white gowns, standing like beautiful apparitions above the water. That's OK. They perfectly complement the azaleas and water lilies.
Dragonfly Restaurant at Hotel ZaZa

At the Dragonfly, a poolside bar at Hotel ZaZa, located on the edge of Uptown, cougars roam wild, relentlessly stalking their prey. There, dressed in short skirts, barely longer than a Post-It note, and blouses exposing everything but the nipple, the over-tanned cougar chats idly with her friends until a young male, typically dressed in pleated khakis and a sleeveless tee, wanders near her den. Then she'll strike, typically with an alluring look or a coy joke delivered through her whisky-soaked pipes and the young man is unable to resist her charms, unluckily oblivious to the aged hide of the cougar, thanks to the soft lighting that barely pokes through the evening air.

The Libertine Bar
Are you morally unrestrained? Do you believe in extreme freedom? Can you defy social and religious norms? Above all, might you love gourmet macaroni and cheese? If so, you're probably a libertine, which means you should drink at the Libertine Bar with your libertine friends, ordering copious amounts of delicious Fin du Monde beer. The Lower Greenville outpost, founded by the owners of the equally impressive Meridian Room, features a debauched European theme complete with a giant painting of a naked girl, an extensive collection of specialty beers and some of the highest quality bar food a liberated soul could want. And since the bar's name sounds like something out of history class, indeed, because it is something out of history class, the clientele tends to be a little more intellectual than, say, the ones doing tequila shots down the street at the Tiger Room. Vive la revolution!
Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium
It would be tough for any city to build a public swimming pool better than this one. Among other features, it has 7,000 square feet of leisure water (which includes a "lazy river," water slides and a playground right in the middle of the pool) and a 25-yard by 25-meter competition pool. The pool sits in a spot that also includes a 5,000-square-foot fitness facility, an aerobics room and a climbing wall. Throughout the year, the natatorium also offers classes, from scuba instruction to yoga. The facility isn't free; year-round membership for adult residents is $165, for non-residents it's $235 (or $4 to $5 will get you in for the day), but that's quite a bargain compared with private facilities that offer similar services.
We usually feel a little iffy when children show up at a bar. Should we tone down the profanity? (Fuck no.) Did they just hear that lewd joke? (Ask your mama, twerp.) What do you do when the half-pints ask for a pint? ("No, Junior, last time you said you wanted a Black & Tan, I bought you one and you didn't even drink half. Finish your juice box and then we'll see.") At the Tipperary Inn, though the bar is prominent and most of the patrons are drinking alcohol, the atmosphere is family-friendly. So while you may come for a draught, you'll bring your family back for the food. Choose traditional pub favorites such as chips and curry, Guinness beef stew, shepherd's pie and boxty.
Most Tuesday night McCarty's patrons go there to drink. They don't want to be badgered by someone with a microphone telling lame jokes about their crappy lives, their cat's wacky antics or their mother-in-law's bad habits. But anywhere between 10 and 20 aspiring comedians show up every Tuesday to do just that, regardless. Anyone with a serious sense of schadenfreude will have a great time, therefore, because there's nothing like watching someone else humiliate herself while you hide safely behind a pint of something delicious. Feel free to heckle too. Comics love that. Make 'em cry if you can. At least it lets them know you're listening.
Allen Public Library
If you want to convince your kids that reading is cool, bring them here. Opened in 2005, this sleek $11.6 million library is 54,000 square feet of books, computer labs and auditorium. The "Teenscape" room is identified by a light blue neon sign, and at the entrance to the children's library there's a fully stocked aquarium. The best feature? It has a 250,000-book capacity and also partners with the Plano Public Library System. If Allen doesn't have the book on their shelves, they can get it for you. Best of all, you don't have to be a resident of Allen to use this library. Call it the open-book policy.
Dallas-based blogger-mom Tina Chen Craig and her best friend Kelly Tsou Cook love handbags. Crave them. Obsess about them. On their site, they write as the connoisseurs of the perfect posh purses. The new python Devi Kroell Carlyle clutch at Barney's? They declare it "delicious" even at $1,100. The $600 ruched Kooba tote? A "cheap thrill." But thumbs down for the Paul Smith Violet, which the Bag Snobbers say looks like a "melted rainbow sherbet ice cream cone." These trend-spotters, who've already spun off five other fashion blogs, including TotSnob.com, are filling their pockets with earnings from their pocketbook critiques, thanks to advertising from big-name designers and retailers. They're now invited to major runway shows, and they create fashion industry buzz that's been noted in French and Japanese Vogue, the Times of London and on the E! channel. Fashion editors everywhere now count on the Bag Snobs for the final word on what to tuck under those skinny arms each season.

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