The Winspear Opera House

In a sweep of 60-foot lipstick-red walls on its glass facade, the new 2,200-seat Winspear Opera House welcomes theatergoers into Dallas' finest new arts facility. In its first season, the Winspear wowed audiences with Broadway tours of the Pulitzer-winning drama August: Osage County, the Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening and then the topper, the world premiere of Jake Heggie's magnificent opera adaptation of Moby-Dick. With acoustics that are just about perfect, the Winspear is a grand, graceful venue for music or the spoken word.

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center

Heading in with a mix of hope and skepticism, we weren't exactly sure what to expect from Neil Young's high-dollar solo performance June 7 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Would we get an hour and a half of classic Neil? Or an hour and a half of Greendale (which is what we got the last time Neil rolled through town in 2003)? Thankfully, it was the former, with plenty of classics interspersed with a smattering of new material. He even brought out Old Black, his trusty '53 Gibson Les Paul, for solo electric performances of "Ohio," "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down By The River," which rivaled anything the DSO has ever played in the building for sheer volume and power. It's one of those shows that will stay with the people who witnessed it for years to come, and if you weren't there, you should definitely still be kicking yourself.

Thanks to an incredibly energetic bunch of neighborhood advocates, particularly Go Oak Cliff and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, the Bishop Arts District has become the best place to go for a festival. Even better, they're the kind of creative, exciting, invigorating fests that make you proud to live in the 'hood. It seems like just about every month there's some kind of reason to dance in the streets, whether it's an art crawl, a homebrew festival, a Mardi Gras parade or the wildly successful Bastille Day party. Better yet, there's usually some kind of civics lesson, whether it's the Better Block Project showing how code changes could make livable, walkable urbanism possible or the emphasis on bicycling at the Tyler Street Block Party and Bike-In Movie. Thankfully, the political undertones don't get in the way of a good time.

Theatre Three
Mi Cocina
Mi Cocina

WFAA chief meteorologist Pete Delkus is behind one of DFW's most popular twitter accounts,, with more than 10,000 faithful followers. Sure, it's great to see accurate forecasts pop up in your twitter feed—it got really exciting during February's "Snowmageddon," especially—but mostly it's just satisfying to give the man a friendly ribbing whenever he misses the mark. He's a good sport about it, though he will lecture you on your potty mouth, so keep it clean while you're keeping him honest. Wait a that rain we hear? Dammit Delkus!!!

There's something really satisfying about sending a laugh through the office cubicle farm. And when a friend directed us toward the local blog Good At Internet, we knew we'd hit gold. The site features graphic and/or idea mash-ups...which means our descriptions won't do them a bit of justice. "Herve VillaChe" features the Fantasy Island star's face on Che's portrait. "Guinnessis" is a pint of executive-rock draught. "Weird Owl"? Guess. "Conway Twitter," "Ben Folds Laundry" and "Rhett Midler" are especially good. But "Danzig with the Stars"? Brilliant. And it's all totally appropriate fodder for sending to coworkers while they're on conference calls or sitting around a big meeting needing to keep their shit together. Why? Because the entire site was born of the 9-to-5. Graphic artists Aaron White and Jordan Roberts come up with the ideas while riffing off one another during smoke breaks at work (said breaks probably directly account for the entry featuring the pack of cigs with Bob Seger on the carton entitled "Segerettes").

First, some definitions. Daily newspaper: We only have one in this burg. Newspaper columnist: A newspaper writer who manages to get out of his/her bathrobe at least once a year to do some useful reporting. Point is, we've already narrowed the field. But of what we have to work with, Katie Fairbank, author of The Dallas Morning News' "Problem Solver" column, is way at the top. Whether it's a guy who can't get Oncor to answer the phone during a power outage or somebody trying to get her whole family vaccinated for yellow fever, Fairbank always comes up with much more than a solution. Her writing is so clear and reporting so thorough that it's fun to read her column even if you never ever in your whole life plan to get vaccinated for yellow fever. Her items deal with problems on a broad spectrum of life and provide interesting little vignettes from the lives of real opposed to the lives of columnists (you know who you are).

Dallas' top musical comedy stars come together every year for this gender-flipping revue that raises funds for Uptown Players. Men sing Broadway anthems written for female characters; women sing the men's songs. So you get a much darker jailhouse scene from Chicago and a sidesplitting version of "The Game" from Damn Yankees. Among the talented actors who perform in this annual extravaganza (scheduled next for May 2011) are B.J. Cleveland, Coy Covington, Sara Shelby-Martin, Denise Lee, Natalie King and Linda Leonard, all veteran pros on the DFW musical theater scene. What began as a one-night-only show many years ago is now a two-weekend event that plays to sold-out crowds and standing O's.

Fair Park

Just one week after California-based party promotion company Insomniac made its Electric Daisy Carnival debut in Texas with a well-attended (some 11,000 purchased tickets), gorgeously presented (the art installations around the fest's Fair Park offering were enough to make even the drug-free trip out), city of Dallas-backed offering, all hell broke out at the fest's Southern California version, which has a 17-year history. More than 200 left the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum-hosted festival injured and more than 100 concertgoers were taken to the hospital. Thankfully, that wasn't the case in the Dallas edition, which instead felt more like a free-love hipster affair soundtracked to electronica than anything else. To their credit, the folks at Insomniac have already hired a consulting agency to make sure that instances like that one never happen again, so here's hoping the California crises don't make Dallas officials balk at the thought of bringing this party back to town. Because make no mistake, it was a party—one of the most memorable ones of the year. And when you can enjoy a rave like this—and without taking drugs, like we did—it must be a good time.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of