Dallas Meditation Center

The first interfaith meditation center in North Texas also turns out to be a superbly silent place for prayer, meditation, reflection and just...being. At last, one spot on the planet where no one's cell phone goes off. Brother Chi-Sing, the center's young and cheerful lead instructor, teaches classes in various forms of meditation (Buddhist-based and not) and hosts several weekly groups that offer mind-quieting focus practice via chanting, singing and breathing. The center also has classes in yoga, qigong, Christian meditation and other paths to mindful living. Participation in all activities is by donation.

Fallout Lounge
Fallout Lounge and Lizard Lounge
The Bone
The Bone and Trees
Bryan Street Tavern

One of the most beautiful things about being human is our ability to communicate with language and build beautiful, inspiring things. But what's the fun of creation without its far more satisfying opposite, destruction? Truly, the makers of childhood favorite Jenga knew this—build it up and watch it topple, over and over again. But the kiddie Jenga-smiths weren't allowed to supersize the blocks and give you beer and cigarettes to consume during play. The Bryan Street Tavern, however, encourages patrons to construct massive, teetering towers while hopped up on alcohol and nicotine in the bar's lovely and spacious back yard. And before you say it, yeah, we know Barcadia offers a similar game. But if you don't want to be chewed out for accidentally spilling beer on some jerk's $130 T-shirt because your tower took a tumble, we suggest sticking with Bryan Street.

Pearl

There's something perfect about the marriage of the blues and a well-stocked drinking establishment. On one side of the room, people express their anguish on guitars and other folk-based instruments. On the other side, patrons drink their woes away. Thing about Pearl At Commerce, though—everyone seems to be having a good time, and their burgeoning music scene is a reflection of that. The concert calendar features a nightly rotation of the area's top blues performers as well as national touring artists. While you can still get well-oiled on strong cocktails, the overall feeling here is happiness, which is somewhat at odds with the idea of the blues, but the folks at Pearl like it that way.

The Libertine Bar

One of our favorite bars in the world, the Libertine has racked up awards for everything from Best Bar, Period to Best Bar Food (twice) to the very esoteric Best Place To Take The Marquis De Sade. And while it still richly deserves all of those accolades and more, we've got to spread the love. So this year, we salute the Libertine's happy hour. A flat dollar off beer, wine and liquor from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays makes it a bit easier to justify that Satan Red Belgian ale or shot of scotch. Or if you're feeling like a flapper girl, already reasonably priced classic cocktails like the Pimm's Cup are half off. Which leaves you that much more scratch to buy your buddy the Marquis de Sade a hanger steak sandwich.

Renfield's Corner

It used to be that if you wanted to hear music in Uptown, your choices were a DJ's selection of club house or a guy with an acoustic guitar playing "American Pie." Now, thanks to the booking of Chelsea Callahan, you can hear live, original music in the least likely of neighborhoods. Better yet, the Wednesday night shows—which have included Doug Burr, RTB2, Glen Farris and other local favorites—are free. The only thing that could make it better would be if they happened more than once a week.

House of Blues
House of Blues
The Balcony Club
courtesy Lorena Davey
The Balcony Club
Granada Theater

It's not just the multitude of phenomenal shows that the Granada Theater's booking agents bring to Lower Greenville that makes the renovated movie theater such a delightful place to catch a concert. Sure, that's part of it, but it's not the whole shebang. See, the Granada's great for a multitude of other reasons too: the friendly staff (deemed "serenity guards" rather than security guards), the pretty-darn-awesome food menu (we recommend the tacos) and, let's face it, the gorgeous old theater feel. And maybe it's cheesy, but we're also suckers for the whole feel-good vibe the theater puts out there—a sentiment best represented by the script painted above the venue's stage that reads "Love Yourself." It's the kind of thing a doting parent would tell their children. This is Dallas—we do love ourselves. It's time we told the Granada more often that we love what it has to offer, too.

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