Readers’ Choice: Mag & May, 315 W Magnolia Av, 817-857-4888
Critic’s choice: Mag & May
The owners of Mag & May understand what it means to be part of a community. The Near Southside luxury apartments are adorned with dozens of commissioned murals that were painted by local talent. A manicured courtyard, outdoor snookball area, and weekly food truck events set this apartment community above the rest.
Athlete (Almost) Worth His/Her Salary
Readers’ Choice: Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Critic’s Choice: Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Nick Solak, Texas Rangers
Looking at the Rangers is pretty depressing right now. Among the worst teams in baseball, the team is full of washed-up veterans earning like they’re still producing for a World Series contender. Yet there are two bright spots to draw your eye. Kiner-Falefa, the third baseman from Honolulu, is one of the American League’s Top 10 hitters. Meanwhile, Solak, the second baseman from Woodridge, Illinois, has emerged as a reliable standby at the plate and on the field. Both traditional and advanced stats say they and Joey Gallo are the Rangers’ best players, and the two 25-year-olds are barely clearing $1 million a year combined. Granted, their performances could be a flash in the pan caused by the short baseball season, but Ranger fans will take any reason for hope right now.
Readers’ Choice: Ann Zadeh, District 9
Critic’s Choice: Ann Zadeh
Few elected officials would say that they are pro-pollution or pro-slave wages. But pro-business? That has a nice ring (read: ka-ching) to it. Fort Worth has adopted that dog whistle as a means of attracting corporate investments that Mayor Betsy Price can boast about at her annual State of the City address and elsewhere. Don’t get us wrong, we love us some Shake Shack burgers, and if we aren’t pushing 80-plus by the time Panther Island is finished, we’ll be out sailing and sipping margs on that “flood control” project. Given Fort Worth City Council’s love of toeing the pro-business line, this city is lucky to have Ann Zadeh to remind locals what good governance actually looks like. Late last year, city staffers quietly drafted language to gut its ethics review commission (the independent group tasked with enforcing the city’s ethics guidelines) and replaced the commission with a decidedly business-friendly model that pulls ERC members from the zoning and planning commissions and the board of adjustments. Zadeh was the only councilmember to vote against the severing of independent oversight of the city’s ethics policy. Last August, Zadeh was again the only no vote, this time when city council approved a new police contract with the city that included across-the-board raises for officers irrespective of their conduct on the job. Zadeh urged a delay in the vote to allow for greater input from outside groups like the police review panel. The ERC and police contract votes are examples of short-sighted leadership, but, hey, this is a pro-business city after all.
Readers’ Choice: Trevon Moerig, TCU football
Critic’s Choice: Darius Anderson, TCU football
Spring sports from last year are out of luck for obvious reasons, but football finished theirs, and running back Darius Anderson capped a full and beautiful Frog tenure. The senior from Houston played almost every game of his eligibility and became a steadfast, substantial factor against every defense the Frogs faced. Anderson flourished despite operating in an offensive system that seemed to be in constant decline and constructed to highlight receiving talent. Anderson’s 45-game career amassed more than 2,400 yards to complement 18 touchdowns. Number 6’s strength and top speed proved a home-run threat at all times as many breaths were held when he found empty grass. Anderson wasn’t drafted but held up through several cuts for the Dallas Cowboys. Ultimately, he didn’t make the 53-man roster. The Jet might have landed permanently, but it was fun watching him fly during his heyday.
Critic’s Choice: FW4Change
This year brought a devastating pandemic that shuttered buildings and shattered lives. The epidemic also highlighted the socioeconomic realities of a U.S. economy that is built upon inequality. The ability to #StayatHome depends largely on class and the color of your skin. The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor led to the genesis of several Facebook groups that now plan, organize, and execute mass protests against racism and the power structures that continue to support tanks over schools and disparity over equality. One Facebook group, FW4CHANGE, posts topics for discussion and organizes Hard Conversations, a regular public event that invites open and honest discussions about race and the role racism played and continues to play in shaping our culture.
Readers’ Choice: Edward Brown, Fort Worth Weekly
Critic’s Choice: Kaley Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
This spot news and crime reporter takes first place for her coverage of COVID-19’s effects on inmates at a women’s prison in Fort Worth. Through correspondence with inmates at FMC Carswell, Johnson magnified the voices of a stigmatized population hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and drew much-needed attention to prisoners’ allegations of mistreatment by prison staff, unsanitary living conditions, and many inmate coronavirus deaths. Johnson’s empathetic approach to reporting came through in her storytelling, and empathy is a journalistic skill that is too often undervalued by the public — something you can’t teach.
Readers’ Choice: Tony Green, Hello, I’m Tony Green
Critic’s Choice: Tony Green
With the ongoing postponements of in-person shows, local personality Tony Green has gone virtual, and he’s virtually everywhere these days. Whether searching for the perfect taco or guiding North Texans through Fort Worth’s newest murals, Green and his sidekick Kolin Jardine have become fixtures on NBC’s Texas Today and other shows. We’re still looking forward to the day when we can once again be up close and personal with Green during live airings of Hello, I’m Tony Green.
Local Political Development
Critic’s Choice: Black Lives Matter demonstrations
Remember last April, when people were marching in the streets because they couldn’t get their hair cut? That was cute. Then we all spent nine minutes watching Derek Chauvin choke the life out of George Floyd, which provided some of us with an object lesson in what was really worth marching for. Our local BLM protesters have been met with tear gas, naked racism from white folks, and a misinformation campaign by whiter-than-white Tucker Carlson. Still, they’ve managed to have the county’s most prominent Confederate memorial slated for removal and continue to draw attention to cops killing Black people. There’s still a long way to go to make policing fair in Tarrant County, but they’ve made a good start on the work.
Meet Singles, Place to
Readers’ Choice: Events & Adventures, 15400 Knoll Trail Dr, Ste 111, Dallas, 800-386-0866
Critic’s Choice: Events & Adventures
In this age of social distancing, personal relationships matter more than ever. Events & Adventures takes a casual approach to socializing, so you never feel like the center of a meat market. The social club introduces singles in a relaxed group setting. There are even online singles events like cooking classes for those wanting to take it safe and slow. Browse dozens of monthly casual and active events. Once you find that special connection, you and your new partner can shelter in place together.
Readers’ Choice: Southern Flair Photography, 2550 Legacy Point Dr, Arlington, 817-277-0477
Critic’s Choice: Zach Burns
Raised in Weatherford, the 28-year-old Burns moved to Fort Worth in 2012 during his last year as a photography student at The Art Institute. The film and digital photographer/videographer has spent his most recent days capturing the activism on the streets of Fort Worth. Burns (no relation to famous local photographer Walt Burns) brings a no-nonsense aesthetic to his candids and portraits, including his recent series of locals during lockdown on their porches.
Critic’s Choice: The Jerry Jonestown Massacre
Along with myriad guests and co-hosts, Dustin Schneider and Matt Stubbs have kept the topics — music, sports, and everything in between — fun and engaging since launching seven years ago, an infinity in podcast years. More than 379 episodes/weeks later, and perennial Best Of winner the Jerry Jonestown Massacre is not only going strong but peaking at the right time.
Readers’ Choice: Justin Frazell, KFWR/95.9-FM The Ranch
Critic’s Choice: Paul Slavens, KKXT/91.7-FM KXT
He’s sweet, he’s funny, and he has a great ear for “eclectic” musical flavors. Local legend Paul Slavens has been hosting his catchall show (8pm Sundays) for what seems like decades, but you’d never know it by the ka-razy stuff he plays. From Zappa deep cuts to art song and even the occasional pop gem, The Paul Slavens Show and its namesake host deliver a vital service to North Texas: variety.
Reason to Still Watch Local Sports
Critic’s Choice: Your Dallas Stars
For nearly a decade, our hometown pro sports teams have given us little to truly get excited about. This year, admittedly, has been a little different. Each of the major four has been able to offer something of greater-than-usual substance for die-hards and bandwagoners alike to arch their eyebrows at. The Cowboys began a new era with the hiring of head coach Mike McCarthy. The Little Mavericks have the meteoric rise of Luka Dončić. Even the Rangers have a shiny new stadium (that no one can go to yet). On top of the pile, however, has been the Stars’ improbable playoff run. In a year defined for all of us by pull-it-from-the-depth-of-your-soul guts-drawn endurance, the Stars have been a King Hellfire example, turning their year around from the impossible into the inevitable. Sequestered away from family and friends in Edmonton, Alberta, and led by a head coach who (still?!) has the word “interim” in his title, the boys in Victory Green have overcome a spine-rattling sine wave of a season to now come within just four wins of bringing a sports championship home to North Texas for the first time in nine years. You’re simply wasting your eyes if you’re not using them to see the Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals now.
Rehydrate, Place to
Readers’ Choice: IV Bars & Cryo, 2771 E Broad St, Mansfield, 817-225-4192
Critic’s Choice: IV Bars & Cryo
Work, family, and life’s obligations can take a toll on the body and mind. Whether you have lingering chronic pain or simply want to jump-start a healthier lifestyle, IV Bars & Cryo offers a wide range of intravenous cocktails that blend minerals, nutrients, and vitamins to address health and stress-related problems. Many customers at this Mansfield medical spa report boosted energy, elevated baseline moods, and even weight loss as a result of their treatments.
Social Media Personality
Readers’ Choice winner: Laura Lape, Blogger
Critic’s Choice: @Krisluv
With 14.3k followers, this half of the incredibly popular and lovable folk duo Danni & Kris and the synth-pop outfit PRIZM deserves to be able to post fashion pics, band photos, and bikini shots — she has the talent to back it up. No famous-for-being-famous or famous-just-for-being-beautiful influencer here. And as far as we know, she never pushes any merch other than her bands’, which is especially heartening considering mega-brands are probably pestering her to showcase their stuff on her channel. Kudos, Kristen Williams, a “responsible” (her word) rockstar in the truest sense.
Readers’ Choice: Mac Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Critic’s Choice: Bob Sturm, The Hardline, 1310-AM/96.7-FM The Ticket
In January, in what might have been an omen of the wildly unpredictable year ahead, Texas Radio Hall of Famer Mike Rhyner announced his sudden retirement after 26 years at his post as the on-air head of The Hardline on local perennial sports-talk ratings dominator The Ticket. Trying to fill those shoes was a daunting task, but Bob Sturm, easily the biggest sports brain on the station, managed to slide seamlessly into the Old Grey Wolf’s chair. One of the more X’s ’n’ O’s-centric personalities the Little Ticket has to offer, Sturm found himself during the shutdown, while sports were dark, unwittingly using his new platform in afternoon drive to speak about issues relevant to the country that don’t take place on a field of play. Though he was not alone on the station’s roster in airing his thoughts, Sturm’s sober, open-minded, and self-reflective ruminations on the pandemic, and the current social justice movement in particular, lent a new gravity to programming that normally relies as much on fun and yucks as it does game analysis. If you are one of those alienated listeners who found themselves butthurt by his recent cultural opinions, as Norm Hitzges once said, “You’re welcome to go somewhere else for your sports talk in our estimation.”
Readers’ Choice: Aaron Stevens, Ink 817, 3204 Camp Bowie Blvd, 682-204-0696
Critic’s Choice: Aaron Stevens
When it comes to skill and creativity, it’s really hard to beat Aaron Stevens. Name it, and he can knock it out in a decent amount of time and not charge you your right arm for the pleasure. Specializing in black and gray tattoos with super-cool themes like horror films (Frankenstein, vampires, and zombies are particular faves) and oddities, Stevens is as talented as any of the heroes hanging on the walls of our local art galleries.
Underrated Pro Athlete
Critic’s Choice: the Finnish guys, Dallas Stars
Hockey fans know that Finland produces great players despite a far smaller population than countries like Sweden or Russia. Dallas Stars fans know the team wouldn’t have won that 1999 Stanley Cup without Jere Lehtinen. This year, though, the team is carrying an unusually large complement of Finns, and they’re carrying the team through the NHL playoffs, with Miro Heiskanen (from Espoo) leading the Stars in scoring, Roope Hintz (from Tampere) firing them in from the left circle, Esa Lindell (from Vantaa) annoying people on defense, and even Joel Kiviranta (also from Vantaa) scoring a famous hat trick to eliminate Colorado. Their play has Stars fans dreaming of a second title, and maybe of free agent-to-be Patrik Laine coming here and giving the team an all-Finnish unit. Hyvä Suomi!
Work Out, Place to
Readers’ Choice: (tie) Inursha, 2927 Shamrock Av, 817-332-7554 • Zyn22, 3236 W 7th St, 817-778-4133
Critic’s Choice: The Dailey Method, 2000 W Berry St, Ste 200, 817-889-2551
Like many industries, boutique fitness studios are barely hanging on. Gyms were one of the final business types to reopen when the COVID-19 numbers began to decline, after all. Situated above the space that was The Moon Bar and is now Berry Street Ice House, The Dailey Method is still going strong. Having been raised by parents who worked hard at their health care jobs but neglected their own health, proprietor Sara Hall believes her fitness method promotes lifetime health. She wants to change the world from the core outward.
Readers’ choice only:
Spencer Hoyt, DDS, Fort Worth Dental Arts, 2421 W 7th St, Ste 103, 817-529-1600
Gregory Gardner, DO, Texas Medical Institute, 3304 SE Loop 820, Ste B, 817-615-8633
Mimi Coffey, 4700 Airport Fwy, Ste B, 817-831-3100
Susan Burt, 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd, Ste 240, 817-882-6688
Trista Thinnes, DVM, The PARC, 4801 W Fwy, 817-731-3733