Best Way to Cross the Trinity 2012 | Houston Street Viaduct, on a bike | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

You might have noticed that the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge opened earlier this year, offering the newest, shiniest, most signature-y way to get across the Trinity River. No matter how high the arch or how famous the architect, no bridge can match the humble charm of the Houston Street Viaduct, best appreciated from a bicycle saddle. Embark from Oak Cliff over the arches of weathered concrete, the downtown skyline looming ahead. Nod to the gentleman with the tweed pageboy cap pedaling past. Puzzle at the eerily deserted Reunion Arena parking garage before finding yourself downtown, right next to Dealey Plaza. It feels like you've traveled a few decades back in time. Soon, it'll feel even more so; DART is planning for its Oak Cliff street car line to pass over the historic span.

Some day, Dallas will boast an extensive network of dedicated bike lanes that will allow riders to get anywhere in the city without so much fear that the side mirror of a speeding F-350 will send them to an early grave. That day is far, far away. The city has a plan for such a system but has been dragging its feet and has done exceedingly little to see it through. The only sign of progress came earlier this year when the city unexpectedly laid down its first shared bike lane on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Fair Park and Julius Schepps Freeway. The person, if he or she exists, who commutes between those two places on a bike is no doubt thrilled. For the rest of us, it's a sign that the city might eventually become bike-friendly. Someday.

Best Substitute for Your Mother on Local TV

Gloria Campos

It's been nearly 30 years since Gloria Campos first filled an anchor chair at WFAA. Back then, she was one of the young up-and-comers, of the type now forcing veterans like her out of the business. But though she recently stopped doing the 6 p.m. newscast for Channel 8, she's holding strong at 10 and seeming more and more like your mother every day. Only more adorable. She's a lifetime member of the Texas PTA. She enjoys "junk-tiquing." She has an extensive collection of butterfly pins. Everything about Campos, from her warm yet authoritative demeanor on-air to the way she capitalizes random words on Twitter, screams "Mom." So if you're feeling homesick and crave the maternal touch, delightfully free of nagging about how you're wasting your life, turn to Campos.

Man, what a tool. That's what everyone was thinking, or at least that's what it seemed like on Twitter for the few hours the author of Friday Night Lights trolled Dallas with "Based on book tour, if Dallas slid into sinkhole, nation's IQ would rise by 50 points." The punking of Dallas continued in the dusky eve, as Bissinger imploded from the sheer weight of thrashing responses. Turns out, thanks to a long, sighing message to our very own Unfair Park, the author regretted his tirade. Not sure what the takeaway is, other than Don't Mess with Texas, and maybe Buzz should count to 10 before hurling all over Twitter.

That's the way baseball go, sure. But baseball go where baseball players take it, and only with a manager they trust and respect can they take it to the heights the Rangers have in recent years. Ron Washington is that manager. He's the consummate players' coach, rarely uttering a word in public that doesn't support his guys, and resisting the urge to tinker, whether with lineups or the flow of the game. With a roster like the one he's armed with, this is the only viable strategy, and he sticks by it through thick and thin. Which is why, with the Rangers, there's been a lot of thick for three years running.

This one was the Mavericks' to lose after their improbable title run last year, and lose it they did. Owner Mark Cuban dismantled key elements of the team's championship roster, bidding farewell to center Tyson Chandler and winding up with a team that barely limped into the playoffs. Give credit, though, where credit is due. The Rangers, after reaching the World Series in consecutive years, are still in close-to-championship form. Manager Ron Washington, general manager Jon Daniels and owner/baseball god Nolan Ryan have proven themselves as a deft management team. There's no reason to think the team won't go deep into the postseason. All this just two years after Tom Hicks ran the team into bankruptcy. Go figure.

It wasn't supposed to be this way, but it is: Dirk Nowitzki is, and may be for the foreseeable future, the best basketball player in town. It's not always pretty. He's lumbering, he's falling away, he's in desperate need of a haircut. But it works — especially the falling away and the jump shot it enables — and it will work even better if his bosses' off-season moves prove more successful than they look on paper.

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