Five Random Arty Things That (Maybe) Deserve Best Ofs

Categories: Best of Dallas

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Jason Acton
Our Best of Dallas 2014 issue rolls out this week. While we can modestly say it's the greatest, most comprehensive city guide ever created, Dallas is a pretty big place that's filled to the brim with best-ness. To cover all the good stuff we might have left out, Mixmaster will offer some tips about the other best things in Dallas.
It's not that we forgot about these things. No, forgetting is not what happened. Assigning the right superlative was just difficult. Sometimes the language required for Best Ofs can be limiting. Certainly these things aren't the "best" things in the art world, but they are a meaningful part of the city's artistic growth and, we believe, an integral part of the future of Dallas art, in one way or another.


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Five Best Neighborhoods in Dallas

Categories: Best of Dallas

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Greg Cella
The Patio at HG Sply Co, one of many Lower Greenville hangouts.
Our Best of Dallas 2014 issue rolls out this week. While we can modestly say it's the greatest, most comprehensive city guide ever created, Dallas is a pretty big place that's filled to the brim with best-ness. To cover all the good stuff we might have left out, Mixmaster will offer some tips about the other best things in Dallas.

There are plenty of places to live in Dallas, but when you're choosing where to park your pillow, there are lots of other things that go into it as well. Like, who your neighbors are and what you can do on the weekend without too much (or any!) driving. Sure, you could move to McKinney Avenue, but how about these places instead? Or when you're exploring your city -- whether new or old -- at least, you could stop by for a visit.

Lower Greenville
For years, the southernmost strip of Greenville Avenue had a reputation for underage drinking and drunken disagreements. Now it has a reputation for popsicles and poutine. In just a short time, these few blocks have become desirable real estate, welcoming in new tenants like Trader Joe's and the ever-popular Truck Yard. It's got everything you could want, from the early morning brews at Mudsmith to the late night beverages on the rooftop of HG Sply Co. Plus, you can fix your flats at Transit Bikes Co. or see at a show at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. We're one step closer to a walkable neighborhood, Dallas.


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10 Ways to Feel Like a Kid Again in Dallas

Categories: Best of Dallas

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The urge to hop in a time machine and head back to our youth is universal. Obviously, science hasn't resulted in a Back To The Future-style time travel option just yet, but that doesn't mean that it isn't possible to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

There are still plenty of relics from decades past sprinkled throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, and you won't even have to look that hard to find them. Don't worry about your long gone curfew and head out for one of these ten totally tubular (or whatever slang best fits your era) throwback experiences.

Galaxy Drive-In
Drive-In movies are almost as extinct as the woolly mammoth, but we've got a handful scattered throughout the metroplex. Our favorite is all the way out in Ennis, which is not a short drive. But load up the station wagon with Twizzlers and popcorn and hit the open road. There's something about watching a double-feature in the car with your best gal, some old-school movie popcorn, and a little heavy petting or necking to make yourself feel young again. At $7 for an adult double feature (no, not that kind), Galaxy Drive-In is also offering some pretty throwback prices.


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Five Best Affordable Women's Clothing Boutiques in Dallas

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Catherine Downes
Mimosas while you shop
Rio Ritz
2722 Routh St.
A well-run boutique needs a welcoming atmosphere, trendy clothes, and pristine changing rooms. Oh, and booze. Rio Ritz has all of this in spades. Earlier this year, Thais Moses opened the doors of her well-curated shop to the benefit of closets throughout Dallas. The store stocks all the latest trends, straight from Los Angeles at prices that rarely exceed $50. Plus, upon entering the door, you're greeted with a mimosa. Shopping doesn't get much better.

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10 Best Galleries to Start Looking at Art in Dallas

Categories: Best of Dallas

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Last year, Jerry Saltz bemoaned the death of the New York City gallery show. He was pointing to the emergence of an online art market that no longer required collectors to be present at opening night receptions. It deflated the communal conversations at such events, leaving him with fewer people to "blurt whatever I'm thinking about whatever we're looking at."

It is with much happiness that I can report variance in the current state of the visual art scene in Dallas. Certainly there are fewer galleries in our American art outpost, but opening receptions overflow with enthusiasts, patrons and artists. The spaces range from refurbished warehouses, repurposed homes, and remodeled storefronts, with gallerists slowly transforming Dallas into a citywide art bazaar. No neighborhood ignored; no artist unrepresented. At least, that's the direction it's going, which is why it's time you entered the scene. We've taken inventory of some of the best galleries to start your descent into the cavernous art world of Dallas.

To keep things balanced, there's a healthy mix of experimental and commercial. As you work your way through this list, you're sure to find new spaces along the way. When you do, we'd love for you stick your nose back into this blog and write a note with your newfound favorites.


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10 Best Staycations in Dallas

Categories: Best of Dallas

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Joule Hotel
Fancy schmancy staycation

Living in Dallas in the summertime is honestly kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, it's going to be hotter than hell and utterly miserable until at least September. On the other, there are plenty of things to do that make it feel like you're actually on vacation without ever having to leave the city. This mix of activities and places to relax means that even if you don't have the money or time to skip the city for a few days off, you can still get to that vacation state of mind without ever leaving the Metroplex.

Staycations have become increasingly popular in recent years, likely due to the economic downturn, and Dallas-Fort Worth is a great place to plan a little adventure in your own backyard. Sure, you could always drive to Austin or San Antonio, but there's no need to get too far outside of the city limits with these ten excellent places to staycation.

The Joule
If you're looking for a staycay that is more bourgeois than budget-friendly, you must go to The Joule hotel in Downtown Dallas. Aside from being one of the city's best boutique hotels and favorite of every celebrity that comes through town, The Joule has a whole lot to offer. The infinity Get your sweat on at the immaculate Vital Fitness gym, caffeinate at top-notch coffee shop Weekend, and drop a few ducats on new threads at the trendy Traffic LA boutique. If The Joule doesn't fit your budget or you aren't able to reserve a room, feel chic on the cheap by sneaking into one of the daily yoga classes held in front of that giant eyeball sculpture across the street.


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Get a Big Dose of Korean Culture While You Relax and Avoid the Heat at King Waterpark

Categories: Best of Dallas

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Katy Robertson
Yes, this is in Dallas.

If you haven't been to King Spa & Sauna, you're missing out on one of the most unique cultural experiences in Dallas. Called jjimjilbangs in Korea, these sometimes gender-segregated, sometimes co-ed bath houses offer an opportunity to detoxify (whatever that means) in ornately decorated saunas, eat Korean food, have a massage, sleep, maybe even sing a little karaoke while you're there.

Until a few months ago, King Spa was largely a place to go when you wanted to sweat out a few months worth of brown liquor and late-night Whataburger. Now, though, King Spa offers a new kind of relaxation with a brand new water park that is practically a grown up's version of Hurricane Harbor. As always, it's about to be hotter than hell in this city. Sure, you can always go jump in the pool at your apartment complex or desperately douse yourself with a water hose, but King Waterpark is like a mini-vacation to South Korea while you try to stay cool, without the jet lag.

See: Best of Dallas 2009

As soon as you walk through the turnstile, you're immediately ushered into a locker room where you can shuck your clothes and change into a bathing suit. After changing, you walk through a hallway into the water park, where things really start to get interesting. People relax in huge pools equipped with massaging jets and high-pressure shower head, perfect for massaging away muscle tension.


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10 Best Theater Companies in Dallas

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Matt Mrozek
Pull up a chair, stay a while...

I should open this blog post with a caveat. These are the 10 best theater companies in town that aren't the Dallas Theater Center. The budget of the Dallas Theater Center sweeps it out of the competition. It's our local member of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT), which implies, among other things, DTC has a bigger budget and it works with more Actors' Equity Association members (the professional union). Oh yeah, and it's the arts district theater company. We salute you, DTC, but this is a different kind of list. It's a list about the artists who are getting down and dirty to make their craft, running one-person development departments, writing their own scripts and building their own sets.

If you find it difficult to believe that we could come up with 10, it might surprise you to learn that there are a few theater companies who didn't make the list. And we didn't even venture to Fort Worth, where we are big fans of Amphibian Stage Productions, Circle Theatre, Stage West, and the annual Trinity Shakespeare Festival. Let there be no mistake about it, there's a lot of theater in this city.


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6 Best Bike Shops in Dallas (Or Nearby)

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Bicycles Plus on Facebook
Most anyone who can ride on two wheels can tell you their favorite bike shop. In prepping and shopping for this weekend's big Bike MS: Sam's Club Round-Up Ride (aka, the MS 150), it seems I've heard raves about almost every one -- from tiny hipster outlets to big stores with enough flow to sponsor big rides. Some shops fully lived up to the hype, some were never open three times I tried to visit, and one had an employee (loose term) who actually yawned in my face and never stood up to show me to what I was asking for (apparently, pointing is very cycle-chic).

But there were more winners than non. More awesome and generous mechanics. More fanstastic customer service. And more chamois cream than I've wanted to know about. In alphabetical order ...

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Six Best Yoga Studios in Dallas

Categories: Best of Dallas

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We're bending over backward and sweating through our yoga pants for you, Dallas. For this list of Dallas' best karma palaces, Katie Womack and I combined our yogi knowledge and crawled out of child's pose to try new studios. We downward dogged for days on end to present you with the following round up of the city's best yoga studios. Namaste, Dallas.

-Lauren Smart


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