Stop. Wait. What was that? That rumbling that just shook the foundation, ever so slightly?
In North Texas these days, that might just be a quake. Yes, folks, in the land that has endured twisters, wildfires, blue northers, and the occasional hurricane, we can add a new (potential) form of natural disaster: earthquakes. Not so natural though. The science is now pretty solid behind the premise that our area’s sudden increase in ground-trembling is related to injection wells, those nasty little offspring of the gas drilling boom, the gift that keeps on giving.
Or maybe it was a modern streetcar, running a route in Cowtown? Um, no. The city council killed that idea a while back, after spending a lot of money pretending to take it seriously. But hey — it could have been an army of cyclists going by. They’re hitting the pavement in North Texas in record numbers these days. Or it might have been the thud of realization hitting city leaders that, indeed, if Fort Worth and North Texas are to thrive, better public transportation has to be part of the mix. (And by the way, if you haven’t ridden the Trinity Railway Express recently, it is — at least on some times on some days, packed. Intercity public transit — what a concept!)
On the other hand, perhaps the vibration can be traced to the many bands making this place a Fort Music (especially if it’s a Friday or Saturday night in one of the city’s increasingly lively, livable urban village areas and entertainment districts). During certain parts of the year, the phenomenon also could have originated over in the Texas Christian University area, where a beautifully redone stadium has risen from the construction dust to play host to a top-flight college football team.
Not football season? Then perhaps it came from city hall where pissed-off citizens generally made so much noise that the city council finally had to rethink its insane policy on parking fees around the Will Rogers Memorial Center. Banging on pots and pans, indeed. Occasionally it even works.
You get the idea. Fort Worth is humming, growing, spreading, changing, evolving — in some ways for the better, in some for the worse (true, the shaking could be due to all those 18-wheelers on our ever-more-crowded, frustrating freeways), in some ways that we won’t know the import of for many years.
And here we are in the midst of it all — bringing you again a hefty taste of the best, the brightest, the spiciest and spaciest that the 817 has to offer. It’s by far our largest issue of the year, of course, and one that we hope you’ll keep around as a guide to Great Things. In these pages you’ll find a lot of work by staff writers, editors, freelancers, artists, production folks, and the advertising staff, not to mention you — our readers, who cast all those ballots voting for the best bartender or barbecue or background for a Christmas card, and all the other things.
Besides being our largest issue of the year, our “Best Of” is also generally one of the lightest-hearted. For the most part, we put aside our scalpels and skewers for this week. But the success of this issue is also an indicator of another slightly more serious — though still upbeat — truth: Fort Worth Weekly, clearly, is important to you. We remain the place to go to in this part of North Texas, if you can’t get the school board or the daily paper (bless their ever-shrinking pages), or even that bastion of populist helpfulness, the Texas Railroad Commission, to listen to what you need to say. That’s why, in addition to crowning the kings and queens of donut-sellers and cigar shops in this week’s issue, we also honor the free spirits and the watchdogs, the people’s servants and the preservers of history. Go get ’em. That’s the people and press, adding to the rumble.