Archive for May, 2011

Education Cuts Impact Our Neighborhood & The Arts

Posted by    |    May 27th, 2011 at 5:10 am

You may or may not have known that Greiner Middle School (located at the corner of Edgefield and 12th) is also home to the DISD magnet ‘Exploratory Arts Academy’, which according to the Greiner website “provides opportunities for qualifying students who have an interest in the fine arts and who wish to develop their individual artistic talents. Instructors at the academy offer students professional expertise in the area of their interests”.

As a part of the State of Texas budget crisis it would appear that educational funding is a prime target to keep the state from having to raise taxes or cut other costs. We’ve asked Winnetka Heights resident and proud father of a Greiner 6th Grader, Paul Semrad, to help educate us about the impact these cuts will have on Greiner and the arts education in DISD. (He’s also a talented musician in his own right, and is an active supporter of the arts in Dallas.)

Here’s what Paul has to say: (more…)

BrewRiot Winners Announced

Posted by    |    May 25th, 2011 at 5:10 am

Bishop Arts was packed for the third annual BrewRiot Homebrew Beer Competition. This year, so many great brew teams took part that the judges had their work cut out for them. So without any further ado, this year’s winners are:

Cider: A. Fonzworth- Sweet Maggie
IPA / Pale Ale: The Reverse Carboy Brew Crew- Yeast Coast Meets West Coast
Light Lager: Back Yard Brew Crew- Pils 729
Dark Lager: Underground Brewery- Agave Weaver

Specialty: St. Cantebury’s Brew Club- Mumme’s the Word *Third Place*
Dark Ale: Steve and John Brews- Local Brown *Second Place*

OVERALL: Underground Brewery- Rusty Barrel

The “People’s Choice” award will be announced shortly.

Congratulations all! For more pics from this year’s BrewRiot, check out Elliott Munoz’s gallery at Pegasusnews here.

And the Dallas Morning News posted a video here.

Why “Think Small”?

Posted by    |    May 21st, 2011 at 5:10 am

So what is “Think Small”, and why is it so important for our “big city” to return to it?

First of all, I don’t believe the answer for our city is the mega-church, the big box, the wide thoroughfare, the giant retirement home miles away from the grandkids, the sprawling campus, the massive abstract statue, the megaplex, the monolithic international call center, the never-ending parking lot, the “too big to fail” corporation, the mcMansion, the multi-million dollar loan for the next “big thing”, the giant commercial land deal, the imposing government, the enormous hedge fund, or the one-size-fits-all franchise. With time, we’ve kept getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger..and when that big thing inevitably dies, it leaves giant holes throughout our city. (more…)

The Empty Box

Posted by    |    May 19th, 2011 at 5:10 am

After World War II, communities across the country embarked on a new form of city building that was based soley on distant separation of zoning (business here, homes there) and reliance on the automobile. This deviation of form broke from thousands of years of knowledge on how cities have grown, and thrived around the world. At a time when gas was under $1 a gallon, and commutes were under 20 minutes, this form was a welcome change and allowed for tapping into larger land parcels at cheaper prices and created the movement away from the inner city. This redesigned form placed the small-building with small entrepreneur at the sidelines and hastened the development of what we’ve all come to know as the “big box”.

So what’s the problem with the “big box” and why are so many people in Oak Cliff beginning to fight against it? Drive to any 20+ year old shopping center in the country and you’ll quickly see why…massive vacant store fronts that are unusable to any small business person and remain ghost towns that rapidly lower home values, create a mass exodus toward newer communities that are not vacant, and lower the perception of safety for entire neighborhoods. We’re pockmarked with these buildings throughout Oak Cliff including a boarded up Luby’s, and Safeway on Fort Worth Avenue. Within a 5 mile radius you’ll find shuttered Albertson’s, KMart’s, Mervyn’s and beyond that Circuit City’s, Expo Design Centers, Drug Emporiums, and more. The debate on the new Wal-Mart also highlights the reality of creating more empty boxes with the inevitable shuttering of the Minyard’s and the recently opened Aldi which sits on the same block. Worst of all, it’s too expensive to tear them down, so they remain boarded up and lining our neighborhoods. (more…)

Enos Does it Again

Posted by    |    May 17th, 2011 at 1:03 am

My son and I decided to head down to Oak Cliff Saturday evening to enjoy one of our favorite restaurants, Enos.  There were three things worth noting that evening. First, while the outside seating is not that comfortable, tonight the weather made those bench seats much better.  Second, the people watching was really good, perhaps in part because it was simply an awesome time to be outside.   Third and best, the pizza was worth the drive.  (more…)

Register Now: Backyard Burger Throwdown

Posted by    |    May 13th, 2011 at 5:10 am

Do you have a grill? Have your friends and family told you that you make a pretty good burger? Do you secretly judge all other burgers you come into contact with? Did you laugh at the thought of waiting in line for 2 hours yesterday to try a *shudder* fast food burger at In & Out Burger? Then read on my friend – because we need you in the 1st Annual Bishop Arts Backyard Burger Throwndown.

The Backyard Burger Throwdown will occur in conjunction with BrewRiot, one of the best parties of the year in Bishop Arts occurring on Sunday, May 22 from 4pm-10pm. We’ve rounded up 20 or so of the best home beer brewers in North Texas and they’ll be pouring samples of their best stuff in the hopes of winning BrewRiot 2011. But sadly, man cannot live on beer alone. (No, really, read the article here.) So we thought it would be smart to pair tasty burgers with delicious beer. (more…)

So Much Going On This Saturday!

Posted by    |    May 8th, 2011 at 5:10 am

It’s a full day of fun in the Cliff, so we thought we’d give you an itinerary and we hope to see you make the full rounds today.

Start your day at the Bishop Arts Saturday Market, which happens the first Saturday of the month in Bishop Arts. We’ve heard they’ve got 20 merchants signed up for today with fresh produce, gifts and other tasty treats. Head on over and pick up a little breakfast crepe and maybe a last minute Mother’s Day gift! You can find the Bishop Arts Saturday Market under the trees in the parking lot next to Decanter on 8th Street between 9am and 1pm today.

If you want to get a little exercise before you get started, you could head over to Lake Cliff Park to catch Oak Cliff Hooplah at 10am near the tennis courts on Blaylock Dr. They’ll bring adult size hula-hoops-come and it’s free for you to give it a spin. (more…)