Just putting yourself out there, standing up in public and saying "Vote for me" is hard enough. Not winning is a bummer. Instead of sulking, however, candidate James White viewed his third-place, 23 percent showing in the May 9 10th District Dallas City Council election as not bad for an unknown, unfunded newcomer. Then he turned it into a solid plus by offering his support to second-place Adam McGough, after McGough came out strong against the Trinity toll road. White's help probably made the difference in McGough's subsequent victory in a run-off. That's the way to lose.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Courtesy Dallas Arboretum

Last year Fodor's Travel Guides named "Autumn at the Dallas Arboretum" as "One of America's Best Pumpkin Festivals." Oh, it's that and more. The Arboretum's fall festival of giant orange squash, running through November 25, offers a lot more than thousands of uncut jack-o'-lanterns. When the searing Dallas heat begins to subside and you can almost consider wearing a jacket, the fest on the landscaped park east of White Rock Lake is the perfect time and place to stroll among 150,000 blooming flowers scattered lavishly across 66 acres of beds and lawn. If Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin existed, he'd come here to celebrate.

Harvest House
Ed Steele

Since it burst onto the local scene in March during the return of 35 Denton, Harvest House has made a name for itself as the new place for young Dentonites to hang out. That's mostly because of its giant patio and outdoor stage. Add in a relatively mild summer and a wide beer selection, and it's no surprise the 20-somethings who make up North Texas' hippest town have deemed this Denton newbie the place to drink away the week.

Pariah Arts is primarily an art space, but multimedia performance art and music are included under that banner. Musically it tends to lean toward bills with envelope-pushing acts and DJs who are less likely to be featured in the local bar scene. (They threw a whole three-day festival celebrating this kind of artist over the summer.) There has been a shortage of do-it-yourself venues in recent years because of the fly-by-night nature of such spaces. In the past year, Pariah has stepped up to the plate, curating and hosting unique underground events that are spaced out enough to make them a rare treat.

Dallas Zoo

Fun for adults, too, but definitely designed with the little people in mind, the Lacerte Family Children's Zoo has things like "The Underzone," with a crawl-through tunnel that takes curious tykes up close to dwarf mongooses (small ferret-like, snake-killing mammals), hornbills (wild-looking parrot-sorta birds) and naked mole rats (you just have to crawl through the tunnel and see them). The Children's Zoo has an interactive aviary, pony rides, a stream and lots of keen stuff to do. Fifteen bucks for adults, $12 for seniors and kids under 13, kids under 2 free.

New West

Cumbia, tejano, reggaeton — you'll hear it all at New West, aka Dallas' top spot to catch Latin music and dance like you're at your cousin's quince. It also doesn't hurt that no matter the day, you can get a shot of Jameson and a Lone Star tall boy there for just $6. While you may not have the rhythm or the talent to dance to the music that's played at New West, order enough of that drink special and you'll at least think that you do.

Omni Dallas Hotel

On New Year's Eve 2000, Dallas celebrated the unveiling of a brand new, high-tech replica of the city's iconic Pegasus sculpture atop the 29-story near-century-old Magnolia Building. The original weather-beaten Pegasus, installed in 1934 as a temporary advertisement for the first annual meeting of the American Petroleum Institute, had lasted for two-thirds of a century, long enough for the flying red horse to become the city's unofficial emblem. But where did it go when the new one took its place? Art historian June Mattingly and developer Jack Matthews found it in a Dallas barn. They meticulously restored it and this year installed it in front of the new Omni Hotel, where it is — at least for now — the best public art downtown.

Dan's Silverleaf
Daniel Rodrigue

All good things must come to an end, but boy can it hurt like hell. It was with a heavy heart that Denton gathered to watch their beloved Centro-matic bid farewell over a three-night stand at Dan's Silverleaf at the end of 2014. Nary a voice was heard or an eye dry after three nights of singing along and drinking heavily in honor of an almost 18-year career. It was a fitting sendoff for one of the era-defining groups of Dallas' music scene.

When you stand at the peak of the McCommas Bluff Landfill, possibly holding your nose, depending on wind direction and recent deposits, you are about 110 feet above the elevation of downtown Dallas. The skyline is 10 miles to the northwest, and from the trash mountain, it's a very striking view, the more so for what's underneath your feet — a manmade hillock of solid waste. By the way, the landfill is free to residents of the city, and a trip out there offers an other-worldly sort of post-apocalyptic experience well worth having at least once. Just take something to throw out, so you won't look like an idiot.

5100 Youngblood Road, 214-670-0977

No one knows who he is (OK, we know who he is, but we're not tellin'), but the scion of the suburbs is frequently found tweeting about local music with wild abandon. He's at every local show, he's buying merch and drinks and he's tweeting about it the whole time. He tweets about local music on a plane, he tweets about local music from the high plains, he tweets about local music from locales that don't fit the rhyme scheme. Anyway, he tweets a lot, and all of it's positive, and he's now having local bands play his birthday party because they know he genuinely cares about them. Really, the rest of us are failing to live up to his standards.

@sachsedad

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