BEST BRIDGE TO NOWHERE 2013 | Santa Fe Trestle Trail | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

This summer, the city of Dallas opened a pavilion and amphitheater at a revamped Moore Park, which sits on the western end of the Santa Fe Trestle Trail. It's a nice enough addition, not enough to lure many bikes or pedestrians but a far sight better than the scrap yards and rundown gas stations that anchor its downtown side three quarters of a mile away. The renovated railroad bridge is the first way across the Trinity River that's not a road, but it's too out of the way to be a particularly useful crossing. What it does offer is a close-to-downtown glimpse of the Trinity in a semi-natural state, with trees and birds and nary a drop of pig's blood.

There was a time, years ago, before 8-foot-long hot dogs and nachos in plastic pink helmets, when a Rangers playoff run was a fleeting wish. These days, thanks to the wild gesticulation and inspiring attitude of Ron Washington, it's an expected reality. With every single member of his starting rotation spending time on the DL this year and a late-season collapse, Washington's greatest feat may still lie ahead of him. But he's still the best we've got.

One of the greatest developments in our city over the past year has been the public's instant love affair with Klyde Warren Park. Its free outdoor gaming area offers easily the finest table tennis for miles. Since the park is so new and its namesake is so young, pingpong is the ideal fit. We're excited for about a decade down the road, though, when 21-year-old human Klyde ditches the paddles and hits the One Arts 7-Eleven for a case of Natty Light. "Beer pong at Me Park, brahs!"

Though not a columnist in the traditional sense, there are few who provide as much depth and pour as much into their subject matter as Jamey Newberg, who covers the Texas Rangers with amazing aplomb when his lawyerly pursuits become tiresome. Newberg, who's built his subscriber empire on the strength of his quasi-daily email blasts and annual bound Rangers preseason reports, lends the perfect voice to the ups and downs of the long baseball season. He echoes the frustrations when the team is down and the enthusiasm when they're rolling, always injecting his own brand of levity and an untainted appreciation for the beauty of the game of baseball.

There are tons of the traditional driving ranges around, but none of them are nearly as fun as Top Golf. This two-story golf-meets-darts dream complex gives the Happy Gilmore in all of us the chance to hate-shank golf balls into the giant targets in the fairway. There's even live music and themed parties to keep people hanging around after they've blown through their high-tech range balls. Who would have thought that combining leisurely golf swings with booze and food would be so enjoyable?

Our readers' pick for best gun range, DFW Gun Range, was still renovating after a fire in February, though an employee told us it will be up and running again come November. In the meantime, if you have the hankering to go pepper something, you might try our favorite shooting spot, Elm Fork Shooting Sports, on Luna Road off Northwest Highway. We've checked out a few indoor ranges in the area — we may be pinkos here at the Observer, but some of us are armed pinkos — and have generally found all the places to be well-stocked, about equal in price and staffed by friendly, helpful people. Elm Fork gets our pick not for what it has, but what it lacks: a roof. While shooting indoors is great if you want to avoid rain, cold or sunstroke, if you're like us (cheap, not very good with guns) and prefer to simply do a little plinking with a .22, shooting outdoors lets you avoid the hard, concussive pounding that comes from shooting in confined spaces next to some guy blasting away with a hand cannon. And let's be honest, it's a little intimidating to be in a room full of marksmen with .45s while you're holding a puny little .22. Our Freudian issues aside, Elm Fork also offers a fun mix of steel and paper targets, tactical ranges, skeet and trap shooting, plus a full schedule of gun classes.

A British native on our staff remarked recently that he found the notion of a sporting goods store displaying a live rattlesnake in a glass box to be "ridiculous." We set immigration on him, of course, because as any good Texan knows, a sporting goods store with a live rattler, a 30,000-gallon fish tank loaded with native species, a waterfall, a showroom filled with fishing boats and enough guns and ammo on sale to stock an army (or a small Texas town) is, in fact, awesome. That's what Bass Pro is. Sure, you won't find any bikes or bats or soccer balls here, but that's why God gave us Walmart. Bass Pro is a true sportsman's paradise, loaded with every possible combination of rod, reel, boat, gun, deer feeder, boots and clothing that a real sunburned, hog-shooting, bass-catching, duck-hunting Lone Star sumbitch could want.

We all love Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, but few of us express that love with the eloquence of KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket personality Sean Bass. @sbass1310 is a must-follow for Rangers fans during games, especially when Andrus is on a streak. "Elvis Andrus is the satisfaction a man feels after building a deck with his father over the first pleasant weekend of the spring," he might write. Or, "Elvis is like a full trot line after a hearty campfire breakfast. Coleman griddle." Bass' man-crush and his flowery descriptions of it are like an unexpected blossom of literacy in a field of scraggly statistics and overgrown bloviation. Hashtag Elvisball.

Another must-follow during baseball season is @tweetgrubes, if for nothing other than the nicknames he comes up with for Texas Rangers. Sometimes they're obscure (Josh Lindblom is "Nirvana," because his last name kinda sounds like "In Bloom"), sometimes they're dirty (Jurickson Profar is "Circle Jurickson") and sometimes they hilariously nail a player's appearance — Lance "Lake Dad" Berkman indeed looks like he should be looking over his shoulder to see if his water-skiing kid let go of the tow rope yet. A few other favorites: "Cirque Du Soria," "Kitten Face," "Perez Dispenser" and "Church Dad" (though "Cameron" is equally acceptable for David Murphy, who definitely looks like he could be palling around with Ferris Bueller).

Extreme nerds need to be bribed to work out at a gym. We need dark lighting so that nobody talks to us or smirks at our dirty Converses. We want it heavily air conditioned, too. Oh, and if you could project films on a big screen we'd be super into that. Basically, we want to jog in a cool, dark, judgment-free movie theater. Behold: Cardio Cinema. When you take the initial tour at Gold's Uptown, very little is mentioned about Cardio Cinema, and that undersell is why it's fantastic. The theater inside a gym is filled with treadmills, elliptical trainers and stationary bikes, but very few people use the thing and the dedicated tribe that does abides by an unspoken code of no talking. Plus, Gold's has a deal in which they show films that aren't quite on video yet and the selection rotates daily, so if you push yourself to jog an extra 10 minutes, you can finally hop into conversations about big budget release junk you'd otherwise know nothing about. It's basically perfect.

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