Best Babysitter For Your Teenager 2010 | NorthPark Center | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Your kid just turned 13 going on 16, and he or she walks 20 feet in front of you in the mall, if still willing to be with you at all. The Xbox will keep them down on the farm for a while, but once the hormones begin to rage—and they do younger than ever before—your Max or Grant or Peyton or Mia will want to go one place and only one place: the mall. It's a silly suburban rite of passage, allowing your kids to go to the mall by themselves, and nowhere do parents seem to trust that transition more than at NorthPark Center, the oldest and best-kempt mall in town. You kid yourself by thinking there is security in numbers; there are certainly plenty of Paul Blarts roaming the majestic corridors of this place. And the AMC movie theater can keep them occupied if the food court doesn't, or they may actually want to shop, but mostly they want to be away from you and with their friends. NorthPark may not welcome this kind of clientele, but it certainly makes itself accessible to them. And where would you rather have your teenager learn about the interplay of consumerism and sex–on the streets or in some fancy-schmancy mall, against the beckoning backdrop of Neiman Marcus, the Apple Store and Journey's?

Well into what might be fall in other parts of the country, Texas remains searing hot, making weekend day trips less than comfortable for those who take issue with sweating straight through their jeans. Strolling with an armful of shopping bags from one end of Deep Ellum to another is decidedly unpleasant when your sneakers are a pool of saltwater, which is why the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, which brings together Deep Ellum's best shops under one outdoor awning for one Saturday a month, is such a welcome addition to the neighborhood. And hey, they even let folks in from out of the neighborhood to vend musical instruments, crafts and jewelry. How kind of 'em—but diversity's what's gonna keep Deep Ellum on the rise, anyway, and the Deep Ellum Urban Market is a fine example of what happens when people stop wondering when someone else will start up something good, and instead pursue a great idea on their own.

Froggie's 5 & 10
Floyd's 99 Barbershop

Fiber artist Katie Toohil exudes positive energy from head to toe. Fortunately for her customers, so do her crafts. For years, Toohil has been working with fibers of human, plant and animal varieties. In the more traditional vein, she hand-dyes fibers (from wool to vegan varieties), spins them into yarn and either sells the yarn or creates crocheted scarves, headbands and such. She also uses tie-dye and low-water emersion processes to dye handmade clothing items. (She buys articles now, but is working to sew her own.) But it's the human fiber area where Two Hills Designs finds its most dedicated customers. The nimble-fingered lady not only uses human hair to create custom dreadlock extensions but also offers dread extension dying, styling and installation services that make growing longer dreadlocks take all of several hours. But whatever you order from Toohil and Two Hills, it's sure to come from the fiber of her energetic being.

We consider ourselves pretty savvy, open-minded beer consumers, with tastes that run from tart, brisk witbiers to decadently rich imperial stouts to Belgian ales so complex that mentally processing all the flavors is almost a psychedelic experience. In short, we thought we had a pretty good handle on trying the best beers available in this less-than-beer-friendly state, where geographic distance from coastal breweries, senseless legislation against homegrown breweries and a distributor stranglehold on the industry limit the number of brews consumers can choose from. Then we visited the beer aisle at Whole Foods' Park Lane location. Surrounded on both sides by more than 600 varieties of beer, we felt like the chimps in 2001 when they see the monolith. Except there were two of them, turned on their sides, chilled and filled with beers whose names we'd only heard whispered amidst furtive glances, even beers whose names we'd never heard spoken aloud.

With its sign boasting "ATM Lotto Money Order Cigars" and rack of spank mags near the front door, it looks like just another crummy, run-down convenience store where you're more likely to find Steel Reserve malt liquor and thinly veiled drug paraphernalia than a decent beer. But check out the back cooler and you'll be surprised by the selection of microbrews and imports, including a few we've never seen elsewhere. Even better, the store keeps a list of customer stocking requests. In one memorable visit, we inked in an appeal for Ten FIDY, an expensive and difficult-to-find imperial stout, just below where a shaky hand had scrawled "Strawberry Banana MD 20/20." It was heartwarming to see that the place is willing to take care of you whether you want expensive craft beer or rotgut wine—or Steel Reserve, for that matter.

Take the blade itself in here, and they'll sharpen it while you wait for $8.50. Take the whole mower in, and it's $18.50 and might take a little longer. This is where a lot of pros go. Casey's sells good equipment, too, Stihl and Echo. It's worth nosing around, if you happen to be in the market. Actually finding the place is not so easy, however, especially with the construction on Northwest Highway. It's really on West Lawther Drive on the north side of Northwest Highway, so you have to find your way through the construction mess and get on Lawther going away from the lake.

What is it with you people in North Oak Cliff and all your slow-living, community-gardening, bike-friendly, pet-friendly, do-it-yourself selves? Don't you want to buy Chinese like the rest of us? Don't you want the instant gratification that comes with going over your credit card limit? No, these Bishop Arts types are looking for actual meaning in their lives, and they are turning to places like Make Shop & Studio to find it. Here, they can create in Make's modern craft lounge, taking classes in sewing, screen printing, glass etching, stamp making, silk painting, felt rug design or anything the right side of their brain can conjure up. And much like eating only what you kill, you can sell what you make in Make's boutique, where dozens of "designers and crafters and makers" are featured. It's all just so damn, how can we say this...Austin.

If your roommate leaves one more—just one more—nasty dish in the sink for days on end, you are outta there. And the neighbor's yippy, persnickity dog? Yeah, he could take a night off every once in a while, and you wouldn't complain. But let's be real: The process of finding a new apartment often seems as bad as putting up with whatever's wrong with your current pad. Craigslist is a slog, and who has time to spend a Saturday getting mostly ignored by bored apartment managers? The easy solution: Wendy Lacy at Classic Lofts and Spaces. With nary a hint of smarmy salesmanship, Lacy listens to her clients' needs and finds three or four fitting properties that can be viewed in just a couple of hours—over lunch, maybe, or before a dinner date. She'll whisk you away from properties that don't promptly deliver on their promises and only takes a cut when you rent something she's shown you. Lacy wants her clients to find homes, not just places to crash until something better comes along, and her no-nonsense candor shows it.

Cebolla Fine Flowers

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