BEST ROOFTOP BAR

Originally designed to be a canteen for performers at Trees, The Green room has become a force of its own. There's nothing better than ordering a Green Room Melon-tini and slamming down a Metalachi Burger while local acts like Quentin Moore slam down a beat in the background.

BEST MOVIE THEATER

Founded in Morelia, Michoacán, in 1971, Cinépolis has become the fourth-largest movie chain in the world and Mexico's No. 1 cinema company. At Cinepolis' Dallas location, you can hang back in the lobby or at the bar and enjoy a view of Victory Park. There's not a bad seat in the house at Cinepolis, and their lobster tacos and Texas mule are a to-die-for combo.

Call us biased (our offices were in Oak Lawn until recently), but there are a million reasons why we're fond of the neighborhood. Most of them, of course, have to do with food. The neighborhood has a Latin bakery (Zaguán), a chocolate and jazz bar (Chocolate Secrets) and the long-standing funky-yogi vegetarian haven Cosmic Café. There's a social-distance friendly patio (and accessible Champagne) in friendly bar The Grapevine. The neighborhood has a secret garden in Dragon Park and is within a short distance of Cedar Springs' LGBTQ bars, the greenest parts of Turtle Creek, downtown and the Design District. With the mom-and-pop shops, nail and hair salons, abundance of coffee shops and proximity to Whole Foods, there's no reason to ever leave.

BEST DANCE CLUB

It'll Do has become one of Dallas' go-to dance clubs since it opened its doors in the cold 2012 winter. This East Dallas spot draws crowds of every variety to dance as resident DJs do their thing. It'll Do has kept the music alive during the pandemic, livestreaming DJ sets for the dance club-deprived masses.

Tattoo artists Marie Sena and Caleb Barnard run Electric Eye Studio, a quaint, clean shop tucked away in North Oak Cliff. Styles range from traditional Americana to fine-line black and gray, and all are executed with great attention to detail and a pleasing color palette. Would rather wear art on your clothes than skin? No problem. Check out Electric Eye's excellent print and T-shirt selection on their website, which displays original designs by Sena and Barnard. There's even a sweet black-and-white poster that captures the year's zeitgeist: "Your mask protects me. My mask protects you. Respect one other."

BEST PROTEST ART

Walls can talk, at least through murals, and Dallas loudly expressed its solidarity with Black Lives Matter this year through its street art. With homages to police brutality victims painted across downtown, the words "Black Lives Matter" painted on the road across from City Hall, performance art and other statements of support, local artists turned up to support change. One work by Jammie Holmes stood above the rest — at least physically speaking. The Dallas painter held a multi-city aerial presentation with banners that read the late George Floyd's last words. The plane that flew over Detroit had a banner that read "Please I can't breathe" while Dallas' read "My neck hurts."

BEST LIVE METAL ALBUM

We picked this album before front man Riley Gale died, and we doubly stand by it now. These Dallas thrash metal lords put on some wicked shows, and they're at the height of their game with Live in Seattle: 05.28.2018. Released in June, this live album is perfect for getting all your coronavirus-induced sorrow and/or aggression out. With eyes closed, curtains drawn and the volume turned way up, it almost feels like you're at an actual Power Trip concert — ah, if only. Rest in power, Riley; you were the real deal.

BEST POTENTIAL PLATINUM SINGLE

Talk about the feel-good hit of the summer. Bobby Sessions, a Dallas native, offers a platinum-worthy track with his new single, "Made a Way." With a major-chord backing track and groove-inducing beat, Sessions delivers optimism at a time when people need it most. Don't worry, y'all: It's been a hard year, but Sessions is here to remind you that you'll get through. The song's so fire that it was included in the trailer for EA Sports' FIFA 21. It's just a matter of time before Sessions makes his way to superstardom.

This video is like a masterclass of radical, retro-inspired video effects, and it doesn't hurt that the song slams. Front man Jordan Richardson and co. are at it again with a single that meets this totally strange moment. It's an end-of-the-world banger that the replicants in Blade Runner would party to, with some Steely Dan-esque yacht rock breaks thrown in for good measure. In other words: totally out of this world. Meanwhile, video editor Rickey Kinney's visual effects look like how it'd feel to trip balls inside the internet, where Illuminati-inspired imagery and bikini-clad women seamlessly coalesce. Far out.

BEST BAR PROTEST

Take that, Gov. Greg Abbott! After the governor issued a bar closure mandate for the second time, Chris Polone, owner of Fort Worth's The Rail Club Live, geared up to fight back. Instead of accepting yet another blow to his business, Polone opted to organize what he calls "the largest bar protest in Texas history," Freedom Fest. He said 797 bars registered to participate in the grandiose July event, during which they operated under stringent safety guidelines. It was a roaring success, Polone said, but the battle to reopen is far from over.

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