15 Best Texas Weekend Getaways

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Texas Highways carry me... away from home...
Amy McCarthy and Jaime-Paul Falcon are Dallas' foremost experts on traveling around Texas (not together, separately, and by "foremost" we mean they get around a lot). Anyhow, in the interest of making sure you get the most out of your late summer days off they decided to give you the 15 best destinations you absolutely should visit if you want to call yourself a Texan. Or even if you don't want to call yourself a Texan, but don't want to have to board an airplane.) It's up to you whether you decide to drive two hours or seven, but each of these places are absolute must-dos.

(NOTE: Houston is on this list, much to Amy's chagrin. After three hours of arguing and countless impassioned attempts at helping Jaime see the light, it's on the damn list. They settled it with a coin flip.)

Possum Kingdom

Brazos River Authority

Distance from Dallas: 141 miles
Time it takes to get there: 2 h 42 min

You're going to have that goddamn Toadies song in your head the entire time, but the near-three hour drive to Possum Kingdom is the type of road trip where that rock music of your disaffected youth makes some actual sense. Once you get there, though, you'll forget that this lake situated in the middle of a massive state park is just a few hours outside of the city and probably change the music to Enya or something. Outdoorsy types will find plenty to love, including SCUBA diving, hiking and whatever a "nature study" is. If roughing it on the campgrounds isn't in the cards, you can get a cabin for four at $75 a night and enjoy the closest thing we've got in North Texas to a beach. AMC

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Are You Looking for Adventure? The Mixmaster Is Looking for Arts & Culture Writers.

It could get hairy.

It's a jungle out there. The Mixmaster is looking for a few good writers to come along on our expedition through the arts and culture in Dallas. Ask yourself the following questions: Can you sniff out cool ways to spend the weekend? Do you wander into new shops out of sheer curiosity? When you meet someone interesting do you find yourself bursting with questions? Do you know a story when you see one? Are you brave enough to critique Dallas culture?

If you have an unbridled spirit of inquiry and are up for an adventure, we'd like to send you deep into the wilds of Dallas culture to report on the artistic flora and fauna.

We're looking for the following people to join us on our safari:

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Dallas Museum of Art Lands Exclusive Jackson Pollock Exhibition

© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation ARS, NY and DACS, London 2014
Jackson Pollock's "Yellow Islands," 1952

It seems we can expect great things from Gavin Delahunty. Just two months into his tenure as the Hoffman Family senior curator of contemporary art, he's making huge strides to bolster the Dallas Museum of Art's interest in modern art. One such effort is his curation of an exhibition of Jackson Pollock's work dedicated to a phase of work known as his Black Pourings.

Thursday morning the DMA announced that it will host Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots in November 2015. This collaboration with the Tate Liverpool, where Delahunty previously served as head of exhibitions and displays, promises a wide display of Pollock's work focusing on a period in his career long ignored.

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Finally! Small, Local Theater Companies to Perform in the Dallas Arts District


Six floors up in the Wyly Theatre, there is a black box theater that has been sorely underused; Nine floors up there is a rehearsal space that rarely sees an audience. Both the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly will enter year five this fall, which makes them ripe for reinvention. After letting the Dallas Theater Center settle in and determine how they want to use the big, silver box of a space, the AT&T Performing Arts Center is ready to flex some programming muscles. To fill the sixth floor performing space, this fall the center launches "The Elevator Project."

They've invited six local companies to perform a show in one of the spaces on either the sixth or ninth floor. The long-absent Upstart Productions will kick off the series with Year of the Rooster, which opens August 22. The other companies are Second Thought Theatre, DGDG: the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Cara Mía Theatre Co., African American Repertory Theater and Dallas Actor's Lab.

Beyond keeping the Arts District filled with artists -- something the area has struggled with -- these are all companies that don't have consistent performance spaces, which can often make it difficult to produce work, or build an audience. The center will sell $100 passes to the entire six-show series at attpac.org.

Chipping Smooth Is Something 'Bout Love, Most Likely

Pipe Dream Productions/Taylor 'Effin Cleveland
Chipping Smooth features Mary Ehrlicher and Beaven Waller.
"It's like I can feel our electrons falling so love with each other's positive particles...Because chemistry is the only thing deep enough to explain this."

This the last line in the trailer for Chipping Smooth, the inaugural work from Pipe Dream Productions, a rag-tag organization of artists founded just this summer in anticipation of the showing of this work. The spontaneity surrounding Pipe Dream is actually quite exciting and reminds me of my readings on art groups and collectives from the 1960s -- groups of experimental and traditional artists coming together to work on a project, finding a location to present their work, and springing invitations on us. Invitations that came from word of mouth, written notes slipped under doors disclosing a secret location for you to arrive at, and posters and signage pointing you toward something that might change the way you view the world.

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Follow Dallas Designer Emmanuel Tobias' Journey On Project Runway

Courtesy of the designer
Project Runway struts its way back onto the television Thursday night for season 13. It's your classic reality competition show that narrows contestants down with each episode until there is a grand prize winner.

It's a favorite among fashion lovers or aspiring designers, and anyone else who just loves watching Heidi Klum. Every once in a while, a local designer lands a spot on the show and this season we've got three Texans. Dallas-based Emmanuel Tobias will be taking on the competition, which includes Samantha Palencia from San Antonio and Emily Payne who's from Temple, Texas.

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Late Spring Wins Over the Crowds, Jury at 2014 Asian Film Festival of Dallas

Late Spring
See what you missed?

It was another good year for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas. In its 13th year, AFFD is the pre-teen of local film festivals, with enough action, drama, and comedy to exhaust even the most ardent devotee. Audiences packed in to see new releases, like Samurai Hustle, and animated classics like Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro. And on Thursday - the festival's final day - the AFFD jury selected its choices for festival winners.

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Please Keep Your Paws off the Damned Dirty Ape Costume

Courtesy Alamo Drafthouse

A new Planet of the Apes movie is upon us and even though Rise of the Planets of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are getting heaped, there have to be some naysayers out there who still insist that all the CGI in the world can't hold a candle to the 1968 original.

The Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson now has the perfect excuse for even the most discerning movie snob to at least step into a theater that's playing the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The theater has one of the original ape costumes sitting in its lobby to greet guests as they head off to learn how mankind will one day be overtaken by their evolutionary brothers-in-arms.

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Jose Reyes Returns to Spotlight by Suing Dallas Symphony Orchestra, D Magazine

James Edward/ H/T Facebook

Gossip columnists are a strange lot. That there are people whose income is earned by slander, backstabbing, bad behavior and dirty laundry is one of the strangest things about the media industry. But it's been a reality of newspapers and magazines since their inception. Up in New York, the Post runs its infamous Page Six column thanks to reporters like the squirrely Michael Riedel; down here in Dallas, we've got, among others, Jeanne Prejean, a diminutive, big-eyed woman who shows up at parties carrying a big camera -- her husband in tow, taking notes. Sometimes she just takes pictures; sometimes she scoops big, strange stories. It's inevitable that one would come to bite her in the ass, because even though we all love juicy stories, no loves a gossip.

Today, Robert Wilonsky reports on The Dallas Morning News' blog that one Jose Reyes is suing over choice words written about his social status, first by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and then by Prejean at D Magazine.

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Gay Blood Drive Asks Straight Donors to Bleed for those Who Can't


It isn't often that non-profit organizations stand in the way of people who want to do good, but the case of blood banks is particularly unique. In case you weren't aware, men who have had sex with other men since 1977 are barred from donating blood at most major blood banks, including the American Red Cross.

A nationwide movement called the Gay Blood Drive is encouraging blood banks to reconsider an outdated decision that bans most gay men from donating blood. Based on health concerns during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, the American Red Cross disallowed men who have sex with other men the ability to contribute to a blood supply that is constantly in demand. Jeff Lojko organized the Dallas iteration of a nationwide event, which takes place from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. today, encouraging people to support the movement and give blood. According to Lojko, someone in United States needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, resulting in over 41,000 transfusions every day.

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