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  • 12 months The Slow Bone’s New Smoked Pork Chop Takes Three Weeks to Make Texasmonthly
    The Slow Bone smokes some of the best barbecue in Dallas. Their brisket, pork ribs, and sausage would please any barbecue purist, but they also take unconventional steps for some of their other favorites. The smoked chicken is chilled after smoking and heated for service the next morning with a blast in a hot oven. Smoked water is the base of the brine for their fried chicken, which is the best in town. But it’s their new smoked pork chop special—made using a multi-step process—where their methods get really complicated. Slow Bone’s chef and owner, Jeffrey Hobbs, began offering the smoked ... more
  • 12 months Q&A: Starbucks Cofounder Howard Schultz on Running for President Texasmonthly
    Last Friday, on the first truly beautiful day of this spring, I sat down on a patio overlooking Lady Bird Lake to interview potential independent presidential candidate Howard Schultz. It was shirt-sleeve weather, and the billionaire co-founder of Starbucks coffee was attired informally in a white dress shirt sans tie as he explained why he believes a centrist independent can win the presidency in 2020. But since Schultz announced his interest in running on CBS’s 60 Minutes in January, Democrats have worried that he will split the vote of those opposed to President Trump and give Trump his best chance to ... more
  • 12 months Will Hurd Has Defied Both Liberals and Donald Trump. Is He the Future of the GOP, or a Party of One? Texasmonthly
    Will Hurd opened with a joke. “Oh, you want to ask me about the wall? I was figuring we’d talk about the Spurs,” he said. “We’re talking about the Spurs’ victory last night, is that right?” It was a chilly February morning in Washington, D.C., and Hurd, a Republican congressman representing Texas’s Twenty-third District, which includes more than a third of the U.S.-Mexico border, had just strolled into one of the U.S. Capitol’s television studios to answer questions from a local station back home. Dressed in a navy suit, red tie, and wing tips, he had folded his six-foot-four, 235-pound ... more
  • 12 months Selection of Heather Wilson as Finalist for UT El Paso President Spurs Campus Protests Texasmonthly
    In the first presidential search for its El Paso campus in three decades, the University of Texas Board of Regents tapped Heather Wilson and her impressive resume—Rhodes scholar, five-term Republican congresswoman from New Mexico, current secretary of the Air Force. But her selection as sole finalist to succeed Diana Natalicio as president of the University of Texas at El Paso triggered protests on a campus that doesn’t have much history of student activism. Regents voted unanimously on Friday to name Wilson, 58, as the sole finalist for UTEP president. State law requires a 21-day waiting period before regents can confirm ... more
  • 12 months ‘The Highwaymen’ Is a Take on Bonnie and Clyde That Feels Truly Texan Texasmonthly
    To introduce the premiere of The Highwaymen at the Paramount Theater on March 10, director John Lee Hancock told a story about a movie screening in that same theater 52 years ago. In 1967, when Warren Beatty’s iconic Bonnie and Clyde came to town, Gladys Hamer bought a ticket to see what all the fuss was about. Gladys was the widow of the legendary Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, who, along with fellow Ranger Maney Gault, tracked down and killed Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. Frank Hamer, whose career in law enforcement started before the 1911 Mexican Revolution, comes off as ... more
  • 12 months Is Lupita Nyong’o SXSW’s New Queen of Horror? Texasmonthly
    Few actors start their careers as Lupita Nyong’o did. Her very first feature film role, in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, earned her an Academy Award. From there, as one of the most sought-after young stars in Hollywood, she managed her decisions very carefully. She focused on voice acting—a recurring role in the Star Wars franchise, the voice of Raksha in Disney’s live-action Jungle Book—and has only appeared on screen in select roles, once in 2015’s Disney family-friendly chess film Queen of Katwe, and once in Marvel’s Black Panther. (There was also a brief appearance, booked before Twelve Years a Slave was released, in the Liam Neeson vehicle Non-Stop.) ... more
  • 12 months Emerging Rapper Quin NFN Plans to Put Austin Hip-Hop on the Map Texasmonthly
    Austin has fostered more than its share of successful music careers. But amid the thriving rock and indie scenes, the city’s “live music capital of the world” title hasn’t extended to its rap industry. Despite local talent, the Austin rap scene has never garnered national attention, overshadowed by the long lineage of hip-hop artists from Houston. A new class of Austin rappers hopes to change that. Foremost among them is eighteen-year-old Quinian McAfee, better known as Quin NFN, who champions his local scene from the Beat Kitchen. Tucked away in an office rental space in north Austin, across from an ... more
  • 12 months At SXSW, the Pop-Up Abolish ICEbox Exhibits the Painful Conditions Asylum Seekers Face Texasmonthly
    In downtown Austin, among dozens of SXSW showcases and pop-ups, sits a freezing-cold storage pod. It’s not meant as a refuge from Texas heat. Instead, it’s a snapshot of the U.S. immigration system and the chilly, crowded holding cells at Customs and Border Protection facilities. On display March 8 to 9, and returning March 15 to 16, the “Abolish ICEbox” is an attempt by the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) to shed light on the conditions that asylum seekers face in detention centers. Artists Yocelyn Riojas and Gerardo Silguero worked on the exhibit alongside Ana ... more
  • 12 months Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Outdraws Presidential Candidates at SXSW Texasmonthly
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman congresswoman too young to run for president, reportedly drew more of a crowd at SXSW than any presidential candidate at the festival. The 29-year-old representative, whose first year in Congress has been the subject of near-constant headlines, spoke with The Intercept’s senior politics editor Briahna Gray in one of the most highly anticipated events of the festival. Ahead of their talk, the line to get in spanned two floors of the Austin Convention Center, and after the 2,000-person ballroom reached capacity, the remaining visitors had to be directed to several packed overflow rooms. Though Ocasio-Cortez has ... more
  • 12 months The Texanist: What Do I Do When a Yankee Calls My Cowboy Boots “Shoes”? Texasmonthly
    Q: I was born in Fort Worth and raised in West Texas and repatriated to the Lone Star State a year and a half ago after twenty-four and a half years in Massachusetts. Upon my divorce about twenty years ago, I bought a very nice pair of Lucchese full-quill ostrich boots. I would wear these for special occasions and to parties in Massachusetts to show off my Texan roots. On two separate occasions, I was complimented with the following sentence: “I sure like your shoes.” Both times I was left with not much to say other than “Thank you.” What was the ... more
  • 12 months ‘The Art of Self-Defense’ Examines Toxic Masculinity—and Features Jesse Eisenberg Doing Karate Texasmonthly
    The Art of Self-Defense, a dry, dark comedy in which Jesse Eisenberg does karate, is certainly funny. The second feature from Pflugerville native Riley Stearns, which premiered at SXSW on March 10, follows a 35-year-old dog owner, Casey Davies (played by Eisenberg), who signs up for classes at a local strip-mall karate school so he can learn to defend himself after surviving a brutal mugging. It features grown men and women screaming “hi-ya,” cringe-worthy conversations, and office bros who sit around the breakroom talking about sex positions, wolves, and push-ups. You’ll laugh out loud. But as funny as it is, The ... more
  • 12 months What We Learned from Brené Brown at SXSW Texasmonthly
    If there was ever an audience primed to hear Brené Brown’s message of staying true to yourself, even amid the chaos and the toxic negativity in today’s political and social media landscape, it was the SXSW badge-holders embarking on ten days of networking, partying, and navigating brand activations. So popular is the University of Houston research professor and author that when the Austin Convention Center ballroom quickly hit capacity for her kickoff keynote on Friday, hundreds of people filed into a nearby room just to watch the simulcast. Brown’s books and TED talks on vulnerability, shame, and courage have created ... more
  • 12 months At SXSW, HBO and Amazon Go Over-the-Top on “Immersive Experiences” Texasmonthly
    SXSW is no stranger to big-money activations, where corporate sponsors pay a fortune to turn an Austin parking lot into something massive and unusual to promote their brand. AMC once put a miniature re-creation of Coney Island, complete with a Ferris wheel, on Congress Avenue. Doritos used to pay artists like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube to perform from inside a 40-foot-tall vending machine. And while SXSW has changed in recent years, the ridiculous events are still very much a part of the festival in 2019. This time out, the buzzword is “immersive,” and two of the biggest names in ... more
  • 12 months New Documentary Revives Molly Ivins’s Sharp Wit in the Age of Trump Texasmonthly
    Following the world premiere of the documentary Raise Hell at January’s Sundance Film Festival, producer James Egan instructed the 324 (or so) audience members to stand, raise their right hands, and repeat after him. “I promise.” I promise. “To do whatever I can.” To do whatever I can. “To protect freedom of speech.” To protect freedom of speech. “And freedom of the press.” And freedom of the press. “So help me Molly.” SO HELP ME MOLLY! It’s been 12 years since author, political commentator, and humorist Molly Ivins died from cancer at the age of 62, and she’s far from ... more
  • 12 months Texas High School Shorts Program Showcases a New Generation of Filmmakers at SXSW Texasmonthly
    In the 2018 short film Trepidation, which premieres March 9 at SXSW, a pencil eraser transforms into a bullet. The sound of a stapler in a classroom sounds like a gunshot. In the back of a teacher’s pocket, a cell phone looks like a gun. It’s a surreal depiction of a generation of high schoolers anxious about the next school shooting. It wasn’t hard for filmmaker Zachary Goodwin to put himself in their shoes, because he’s a high school student himself. Goodwin, who wrote, directed, and edited the film, is one of nineteen young filmmakers showcased in the Texas High School ... more
  • 12 months Check Out Our Readers’ Creative Six-Word Love Letters to Texas Texasmonthly
    Back when the Texas Monthly staff was planning our February “Love Letters to Texas” collector’s issue celebrating the Texas icons and oddities that so many of us treasure, we wanted to find a way to get our readers to join in on the fun. Inviting you all to write full-length love letters would have been a bit too much to ask, so we partnered with Six-Word Memoirs to draw up a challenge requiring both brevity and creativity: write a love letter to Texas in just six words. You did not let us down with the responses you shared on Twitter, ... more
  • 12 months Leaving Austin Was the Right Move For Louie’s BBQ Texasmonthly
    Luis Vasquez didn’t understand much about the barbecue scene he was entering when he opened the Louie’s BBQ food truck in Austin in 2016. Pitmasters like Joey Victorian and John Brotherton visited early on, and encouraged him to use social media. Vasquez saw all the restaurants they’d visited in their feed, and thought, “Holy crap. There’s this many barbecue places?” Although he was born and raised in Austin, he didn’t realize how massive the barbecue community had become. “I didn’t even know there was a Texas Monthly Top 50,” Vasquez admitted to me. He quickly realized the stiff competition that ... more
  • 12 months Texas Monthly Recommends: Learning How to Cook Mouth-Watering Desserts From Dallas-Raised Chef Priya Krishna Texasmonthly
    Here at Texas Monthly, we love Texas culture, both the classic and the new. On a walk through our office halls, you might find a staffer writing to the sounds of Willie Nelson or spot a dog-eared Molly Ivins anthology on a bookshelf, but you could also encounter an editor revising to the sounds of Khruangbin or a fact-checker theorizing about the latest Texan to grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sharing our new finds and obsessions with other curious Texans is one of the best parts of the job. We hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as we do—and let ... more
  • 12 months SXSW Award Winner ‘Short Term 12’ Has Become This Generation’s ‘Dazed and Confused’ Texasmonthly
    Looking back at Short Term 12, the 2013 SXSW breakout hit offers a prescient who’s who of some of Hollywood’s hottest actors in 2019. There’s Rami Malek, who took home the Best Actor trophy for Bohemian Rhapsody at the Academy Awards less than two weeks ago. There’s Lakeith Stanfield, who has appeared in a string of recent successes: Selma, Straight Outta Compton, Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, and FX’s Atlanta. There’s Brie Larson, whose first lead role was in the micro-budget indie drama; on March 8, she leads the massive action blockbuster Captain Marvel. That’s not to mention rising talent, like Kaitlyn Dever, star of the ... more
  • 12 months Wendy Davis: “The Midterms Were a Wake-up Call for Republican Leaders in Texas” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify   On Tuesday afternoon, toward the end of recording an episode of the National Podcast of Texas, former state senator Wendy Davis detailed a strategy meeting she’d had a few days earlier with Rep. Joaquín Castro. Davis says she encouraged the Democratic congressman from San Antonio to challenge Republican incumbent John Cornyn in the 2020 U.S. Senate race, but she also confirmed that she’s considering a run herself, if Castro chooses not to seek the seat. “I told him I will do everything I can to share resources and information, raise money, and help campaign ... more
  • 12 months In McAllen, Volunteers From Near and Far Provide Aid to Asylum-Seeking Families Texasmonthly
    One day after the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said handling the influx of migrant families “is not sustainable,” there was a run on gloves at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen. With temperatures dipping into the 50s in South Texas, migrant children from the tropical climate of Central America who had been released from immigration custody with their parents were underdressed and not accustomed to the chill. So when word got out that someone had donated fluorescent-colored kids’ gloves to the respite center, its executive director, Sister Norma Pimentel, was besieged with requests for a pair. A ... more
  • 12 months The Best Thing in Texas: This Beaumont Principal’s “Tucked In Tuesdays” Bedtime Reading Warms Our Hearts Texasmonthly
    WHO: Belinda George, the principal of Homer Drive Elementary School in Beaumont. WHAT: An evening bedtime story for all of her students, which she streams on the school’s Facebook page from her living room every Tuesday. WHY IT’S SO GREAT: The 42-year-old first-year principal told the Washington Post that she started the tradition of “Tucked In Tuesdays” because she loves kids and wants to reach them—and if she can talk to them at home, she can have a bigger impact at school. There’s been a lot of research about the benefits of reading to kids—developing literacy skills, increasing empathy, increasing vocabulary—as well as the ... more
  • 12 months Inside the Futuristic Set of the Most Expensive Film Ever Shot in Texas Texasmonthly
    Just a fifteen-minute drive from downtown Austin stand the dystopian ruins of Iron City. Along its cobbled streets are colorful shops and apartments behind metal gates. Signage in different languages advertise cafes, healers, and metal scrap shops. It’s futuristic, it’s gritty, and it’s the set of Robert Rodriguez’s most recent film, Alita: Battle Angel. The $200 million movie broke records in Texas, becoming the most expensive film ever shot in the state. That wasn’t a simple feat, as states like New Mexico and Georgia lead the south as affordable and popular filming hubs. “It’s pretty rare to have a project of ... more
  • 12 months As Texas Privatizes Child Protective Services, Will the Horror Stories Go Unheard?    Texasmonthly
    The tidal wave of problems that thrust Child Protective Services into newspaper headlines crested with the 2016 death of Grand Prairie 4-year-old Leiliana Wright. Her paternal grandparents, alarmed by their granddaughter’s bruises, had sent photos of the girl’s beaten face to CPS. But the assigned investigator was slow to check on the girl and her younger brother and failed to review their mother’s criminal history, which included a felony conviction and a documented history of child abuse. The investigator was juggling seventy cases—five times what safety experts recommend. A few months after the grandparents’ complaint, Leiliana was beaten to death ... more
  • 12 months The Hot New SXSW Trend Is… Libraries Texasmonthly
    There have been a lot of trends at SXSW over the years. In 2012, there were the ill-fated “Homeless Hotspots,” in which homeless Austinites were given t-shirts reading “I’m a 4G hotspot” and a code that attendees could enter in order to connect to the Internet through a connection maintained by the homeless person wearing the t-shirt. (The campaign was widely maligned, but it paid its participants well.) Then there was the mid-aughts trend of brands bringing massive, global superstar artists like Lady Gaga, Prince, and Kanye West to Austin venues where only a handful of people could see them, creating ... more
  • 12 months After a Split From His Family’s Chain, Joe Riscky Does Things His Own Way Texasmonthly
    Joe Riscky is a fourth-generation pitmaster from a well-known Fort Worth barbecue family. He grew up at Riscky’s Barbeque and eventually tried other lines of work, but ten years ago he went back into the family business. Joe managed the pit room at the original location on Azle Avenue, which supplied barbecue for several locations of the chain. I interviewed him there in 2014, and he told me how his great-grandfather, also named Joe Riscky, had opened the place back in 1927. The younger Joe had plans to carry that family barbecue legacy forward, but in July 2017, he left over ... more
  • 12 months The Texas Monthly Visitors Guide to Austin During SXSW Texasmonthly
    If you live in Austin year-round, go ahead and skip this, unless you’re bored and reading this in your car while at a standstill in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get through downtown (note: this is illegal)—and with both the Austin school district and the University of Texas in session for the first time in years during SXSW, there’ll probably be even more traffic than usual. If you’re a visitor, meanwhile, welcome! You’ve come to Austin for the ten days of the year when the city least resembles itself. It’s a fun time to be in town, but any visitors guides ... more
  • 12 months Border Patrol Apprehensions Are At An 11-Year High. Most Are Families and Children. Texasmonthly
    Border Patrol apprehensions on the Mexican border reached an 11-year high in February as families and children from Central America continue to arrive in record numbers, creating “both a border security and humanitarian crisis,” Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday. The impact is being felt most acutely in the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector, he said, so CBP will open a new processing center to provide more efficiency and care in handling the modern face of migration. “The El Paso sector alone has seen a 434 percent increase in apprehensions this fiscal year. The vast majority are ... more
  • 12 months SXSW Chief Programmer Hugh Forrest on How the Festival Found Politics Texasmonthly
    For what started as a music festival, SXSW has evolved in a number of directions—but none may be more surprising than its new identity as a top-tier destination for politicians and presidential hopefuls. When the festival announced its “Conversations About America’s Future” series in late February, the reveal came with big news: more than half of the announced candidates for the Democratic nomination for president would be in attendance. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, John Hickenlooper, and Julián Castro were all announced as speakers, along with Republican candidate Bill Weld, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and 2016 candidate and ... more
  • 12 months There Are at Least 864 Ways to Spell ‘McConaughey.’ Here’s a Map of How People Get There. Texasmonthly
    Quick, open a new window on whatever device you’re reading this on and type the last name of the famous Texas actor whose hero is himself ten years from now and whose catchphrase is “all right, all right, all right.” How did you spell it? If you correctly spelled it as “McConaughey,” consider yourself in an unusual club. About 37 percent of people who attempt to type Matthew McConaughey’s name get it right, according to a study of misspellings from the visual essay website The Pudding. That’s not the most widely misspelled celebrity name—Zach Galifianakis and Mark McGwire are neck-and-neck for that title—but ... more
  • 12 months Texas Court Again Rules Against Government Transparency Texasmonthly
    On February 27, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals continued Texas’s recent judicial tradition of favoring government secrecy, ruling to remove the part of the Texas Open Meetings Act that makes it possible to punish government officials who intentionally circumvent the law to discuss public business behind closed doors. The Texas Open Meetings Act generally requires government officials at the state and local level to conduct public business in front of the public. The law stipulates that if the majority of a governing body, or quorum (for example, three members of a five-member commissioners court), meets to conduct official business, then the meeting ... more
  • 12 months Line Up Early if You Want a Shot at Flawless Brisket from Zavala’s Barbecue Texasmonthly
    Joe Zavala has created a barbecue sensation in Grand Prairie, but he’s not sure if he wants to make it a full-time job. He enjoys his Monday-through-Friday job as a consultant, a position that provides the kind of benefits and salary than most pitmasters could only hope for. Smoking meats is his passion, and he’s lucky enough to have taken his side job this far. For a couple years he’s been cooking with friends under the Zavala’s Barbecue name for barbecue pop-ups, and a few Saturdays ago, the permanent Zavala’s Barbecue restaurant opened in downtown Grand Prairie. It’s a big ... more
  • 12 months Mark Seliger: “Photography Is Almost Always About Trust” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify Last Wednesday evening, photographer Mark Seliger was honored by the Texas Cultural Trust at its biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards ceremony as part of a 2019 class that included Matthew McConaughey, designer Brandon Maxwell, stage star Jennifer Holliday, music legend Boz Scaggs, and Texas Monthly’s own Stephen Harrigan. While Seliger, the Amarillo-born, Houston-raised graduate of Houston’s High School for Performing & Visual Arts, has built his status in the photography world by focusing largely on portraiture of A-list actors, musicians, and politicians, he says the ceremony itself wasn’t a time to be thinking ... more
  • 12 months The Texanist: Why Are People Telling Me Not to Kill the Copperheads on My Property? Texasmonthly
    Q: Born and bred in Houston, we moved to East Texas over fifteen years ago. Lately, we have been overrun with snakes, namely copperheads that are immediately rendered lifeless by way of a shovel. Longtime residents have informed me to only kill a snake if it is an eminent threat. I once relocated a garden snake, but copperheads and rattlers suffer the shovel. Am I being paranoid, or do I have the right to defend my homestead against all such invaders? Douglas Parker, East Texas A: There is a fairly widely held belief among Texans that the only good snake ... more
  • 12 months Controversial “Remain in Mexico” Policy for Asylum Applicants Headed to El Paso Texasmonthly
    Trump administration officials on Friday said they will continue to push forward with a controversial policy to require at least some Central American asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are heard, but acknowledged they are moving slowly with the process. Officials said El Paso is likely to soon see the implementation of the policy the administration calls Migrant Protection Protocols, but they declined to identify other potential sites. “I can’t tell you when it’s going to happen. I’d like it to happen sooner rather than later because as we’re reporting every day the numbers are getting larger ... more
  • 12 months Why Are Separated Families Told They Must Use a Tiny Georgia Travel Agency to Reunite? Texasmonthly
    One day last August, a Guatemalan construction worker named Adolfo, living in New York City, received a phone call he’d been eagerly anticipating—one that many migrant parents are still awaiting. In the next 24 hours, Adolfo’s 15-year-old son, Allan, would be eligible for release, after being held for about two months in Brownsville, Texas, at the Casa Padre facility run by Southwest Key, a nonprofit that runs shelters for unaccompanied minor immigrants whom U.S. border authorities have separated from their parents. All Adolfo had to do, the Southwest Key case manager on the phone with him said, was to make ... more
  • 12 months Could P. Terry’s Become As Big As Whataburger? Texasmonthly
    The fast food burger market in Texas is crowded. In addition to the big chains—McDonald’s is as ubiquitous here as it is across the globe—our state is the proud home of Whataburger, which inspires a fierce loyalty rivaled only by the way Californians feel about In-N-Out Burger. Of course, we’ve got that chain, too, as the restaurant decided to expand into Texas over the past decade (just like the rest of the Californians). Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin all have outposts of the booming New York-based Shake Shack; there are still endless mom-and-pop spots to get a burger. Yet ... more
  • 12 months Texas Monthly Recommends: Soaking Up the Sounds on Saturday Night with Joe Nick Patoski’s ‘Texas Music Hour of Power’ Texasmonthly
    Here at Texas Monthly, we love Texas culture, both the classic and the new. On a walk through our office halls, you might find a staffer writing to the sounds of Willie Nelson or spot a dog-eared Molly Ivins anthology on a bookshelf, but you could also encounter an editor revising to the sounds of Khruangbin or a fact-checker theorizing about the latest Texan to grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sharing our new finds and obsessions with other curious Texans is one of the best parts of the job. We hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as we do—and let ... more
  • 12 months Could Marijuana Reform Finally Make Strides in Texas? Texasmonthly
    José Menéndez, a Democratic state senator representing San Antonio, started thinking about marijuana reform while his father-in-law suffered from lung cancer nearly a decade ago. His father-in-law was old school, a veteran, and despite medical advice that cannabis could ease his pain and keep him more coherent than the gallon-size Ziploc of narcotics he’d been prescribed, he didn’t want to break the law. As Menéndez tries to convince legislators to expand uses for medical marijuana this session, he intends to share stories of people like his father-in-law, appealing to his colleagues’ hearts but also their politics: “I think people just ... more
  • 12 months A House Bill May Officially Make April 16 “Selena Day” Texasmonthly
    Play some cumbia and get ready to celebrate: Tejano star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez may be getting an official day of recognition, thanks to a bill filed in the state House on February 26. Authored by Dallas Democrat Ana-Maria Ramos, House Bill 2492 would designate Selena’s birthday on April 16 “Selena Quintanilla-Pérez Day.” Since her death at 23 years old, the “Como La Flor” singer has been immortalized through a number of projects, including a 1997 biopic starring Jennifer Lopez, a MAC lipstick collection, and H-E-B bags that sold out within minutes of hitting the shelves in March of 2018. She was ... more
  • 12 months Jason Witten is Once More a Dallas Cowboy Texasmonthly
    If you enter the locker room at the Dallas Cowboys headquarters at The Star in Frisco, you’ll see something unmistakeable: a giant photograph of #82, Jason Witten, taken as the tight end charges toward the end zone, his helmet ripped off by a defender, during a Sunday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Witten was in his fifth season with the Cowboys when the play happened, and it cemented his reputation as a gritty, team-first guy. The moment may not singlehandedly be responsible for Witten’s revered place among the Cowboys pantheon, but it exemplifies why fans and the Jones family ... more
  • 12 months With Its New 24|7 Beer, Lone Star Goes on a Diet Texasmonthly
    There’s a new, slimmed-down version of “The National Beer of Texas.” 24|7, the new light lager from Lone Star (owned by Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewing Co.), contains a measly 98 calories and weighs in at a scant 2.1 percent ABV, half that of its flagship lager. The ABV and calorie count are a selling point of 24|7, boldly marketed on the front of the packaging. “We wanted to clearly define what Lone Star 24|7 is,” says Elkin Vasco, brand manager at Lone Star. “We want beer advocates to know what they are purchasing, and not feel misinformed when spending their hard-earned ... more
  • 12 months The Border Wall Debate Further Emphasizes the Divide Between Rural and Urban Texans Texasmonthly
    The schism between urban and rural voters in Texas gave Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz the edge over Democrat Beto O’Rourke in last year’s election, as well as delivered the state to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential contest. Now, that same divide is playing a role in how Texas voters view President Trump’s desire to build a border wall—and his emergency declaration to circumvent Congress for the money he wants for a wall. Look at any map of Texas elections over the past decade and it is easy to see that rural voters are mostly responsible for Republican victories ... more
  • 12 months BBQ News Roundup: the Houston Rodeo Cook-Off, the History of Stubb’s, and the Best Desserts Texasmonthly
    The Houston Chronicle reported on the winner of the barbecue cook-off from this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo competition. Houston Public Media produced a video about the event: The folks behind the expansion of the Corky’s BBQ chain into the Houston area explain why they think Texans will love their Memphis-style barbecue. Sebastian Modak of the New York Times is traveling to 52 of the best places in the world, and Houston is his latest stop. He sampled Blood Bros. BBQ. Truth BBQ has a new location in Houston, and it’s already making a positive impression on the neighborhood. ... more
  • 12 months The Houston Astros are the Best Bet in Major League Baseball Texasmonthly
    Spring is nearly here, and with the season of renewal comes another fresh start: the beginning of baseball season. To the faithful, those familiar scents of freshly cut grass and ballpark hot dogs represent another season of hope. No team’s fans have more reason to hope than the Astros. Although 2018 didn’t end up being a repeat championship, the 2017 World Series team’s offensive core is still intact, and while there’s been a fair amount of turnover in the starting pitching rotation, the team is set to field a promising lineup of pitchers. The Astros enter 2019 with a bold ... more
  • 12 months Texas Chefs and Restaurants Get Record Number of James Beard Semifinalist Nods Texasmonthly
    Wednesday morning, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists in its prestigious Chef and Restaurant Awards, and Texas has come out swinging. The state landed 27 entries in five cities. That’s the largest number ever for Texas, which claimed twenty semifinalists in 2018. (Another good year was 2013, when the state got 25 nods.) The awards have been given since 1991 and are widely regarded as the Oscars of the restaurant industry. What’s to account for the increase? In general, it was a matter of incremental growth overall rather than a big jump in one or two areas. It also tracks with ... more
  • 12 months Is the House Vote Against Trump’s Emergency Declaration Joaquín Castro’s Breakout Moment? Texasmonthly
    In the growing standoff between two branches of federal government, it was a big victory for House Democrats Tuesday as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members celebrated passage of a resolution that would block President Trump from an emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and secure funding to build a border wall. The House voted 245 to 182 to terminate Trump’s declaration, with 13 Republicans joining the Democrats to pass the resolution. But it was an especially big victory for the man at the center of Tuesday’s vote: U.S. Representative Joaquín Castro. The San Antonio Democrat and, until now, the lesser-known identical ... more
  • 12 months The Best Thing in Texas: The Clippers Gave Dirk Nowitzki a Standing Ovation Texasmonthly
    WHO: Dirk Nowitzki and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. WHAT: One of the classiest send-offs for a retiring legend we’ve ever seen. WHY IT’S SO GREAT: Over the past two decades, Dirk Nowitzki has become the most beloved part of Dallas sports. The 7-foot-tall German is the only player in NBA history to have spent an entire 21-year career with a single team (14 of those seasons as an all-star). He brought Dallas a championship in an epic battle over the newly-acquired “Big Three” in Miami. He endured through the lean years, and led during the good ones. As the Mavs are ... more
  • 12 months Kacey Musgraves Covering Selena at the Houston Rodeo Is an Iconic Moment in Texas Music History Texasmonthly
    Kacey Musgraves is having a very good month. She’s in the midst of a sold-out tour, she claimed the Album of the Year award at the Grammys, she presented at the Oscars (wearing a meme-worthy dress), and she just got back to Texas for a triumphant homecoming at the Houston Rodeo. The hottest singer in country music didn’t just treat the rodeo audience to a selection of hits from her blockbuster Golden Hour. Instead, her set catered to a crowd that both has deep ties to country music and is decidedly Texan. Accordingly, the set list broke in two directions. In ... more
  • 12 months The New Buc-ee’s Food Director Shares His Top 10 Road-Trip Snacks Texasmonthly
    “Well, I work at a gas station,” says Jim Mills with a chuckle when asked to describe his job. Mills is new to the “travel center” game: six months ago, he became the culinary director of Buc-ee’s after a career in Houston-area hotels and restaurant groups. But the challenge of running the massive Texas food operations for the convenience-store empire proved tempting for the industry vet: “Because I’m a food guy. I’m a chef, so food is very emotional.” Especially when traveling. “When we eat with pleasure, [when] we have an emotional connection with it, then that’s perfect.” Mills isn’t ... more
  • 12 months ‘My Stretch of Texas Ground’ Is the Very Bad Movie We Didn’t Know We Needed Texasmonthly
    The climax of My Stretch of Texas Ground, a new movie that easily rests in the pantheon of the weirdest Texas movies ever made, comes when Sheriff Joe Haladin—rhymes with paladin, that whitest of knights—storms the makeshift compound of the terrorist Abdul Latif Hassan, played by Junes Zahdi, an actor the movie’s website identifies as being from “Morrocco [sic],” saving Haladin’s son in the process. (Spoiler alert, sorry.) So far, so good. Hometown hero hamstrings halal hoodlum: the plotline that launched a thousand TV episodes and bad action movies over the past twenty years. But the emotional climax of Texas Ground, ... more
  • 12 months Dining Guide: Highlights From Our March 2019 Issue Texasmonthly
    Texas Monthly adds and updates approximately sixty restaurant listings to our Dining Guide each month. There’s limited space in the print issue, but the entire searchable guide to the best of Texas cuisine is at your fingertips online! Below are a few highlights from the new restaurants reviewed this month. Restaurant critic Patricia Sharpe’s 2019 list of Texas’ Best New Restaurants also came out in our March issue, and you can find her latest Pat’s Pick, on San Antonio’s Savor, here. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant: Galveston Vargas Cut & Catch Restaurateur Paco Vargas (owner of Rudy & Paco) has done ... more
  • 12 months Why Do So Many People Type “Forth Worth” Instead of “Fort Worth”? Texasmonthly
    Search the archives of any newspaper in the state for the typo “Forth Worth,” and you’ll encounter plenty of results. It appears in the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, and the Associated Press. The typo even makes it into headlines from its hometown papers, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Fort Worth Weekly. (Lest you think that we’re picking on these outlets, the Texas Monthly archives return five pages of typos.) One could blame a lack of diligence from reporters or gutted newsroom budgets stretching copy editors thinner than ever. But it’s a mistake made by non-journalists, too—a cursory search on Twitter suggests that someone types ... more
  • 12 months Criminal Charges Against Schlitterbahn Officials Have Been Dropped Texasmonthly
    What happened at the Kansas City Schlitterbahn that led to the death of ten-year-old Caleb Schwab was unmistakably a tragedy. It was almost certainly even a preventable one, as in-depth reporting from Texas Monthly’s Skip Hollandsworth noted. But a question that’s lingered since the young boy died on the company’s Verrückt waterslide has been: Was it criminal? Prosecutors believed so. They charged co-owner Jeff Henry, Schlitterbahn employees, the park itself, and its construction company with a range of indictments: for aggravated battery, aggravated endangerment of a child, interference with law enforcement, involuntary manslaughter, and second-degree murder. It was a bold case ... more
  • 12 months Camp Gladiator’s Ally Davidson: “Our Competition Is Netflix. Our Competition Is a Sedentary Lifestyle.” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify Fitness entrepreneur Ally Davidson’s CV features one item that’s proven a real conversation starter: Grand Champion, NBC’s American Gladiators. A decade ago, without telling her fiancé, she spent the morning of her wedding day trying out for the show. A former two-sport athlete at Texas State University, she did 14 pull-ups and ran a 40-yard dash at the auditions, then raced to the church without even showering before the ceremony. She eventually won the show’s second season and used the $100,000 prize to launch Camp Gladiator, which hosts group workout boot-camp-style classes outdoors in ... more
  • 12 months The Texanist: Is “Steak Night” a Texas Thing? Texasmonthly
    Q: I’m recently arrived from Colorado and have lived a fairly well-travelled life, but I’ve noticed a food phenomenon here that is unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else. Is this glorious thing known as “steak night” a Texas thing? Name Withheld, Austin A: Clang the triangle. It’s dinner time in Texas, y’all! And if you’re lucky, it’s steak night. But what exactly is steak night? Is it a particular night of the week when a restaurant features a steak special? How about when the Texanist throws a few well-seasoned slabs of meat on his backyard grill—does that constitute steak night? ... more
  • 12 months ‘Letters From the Pit’ Tells Tales From an Austin ER With Humor and Empathy Texasmonthly
    You are an emergency room doctor. A 24-year-old man had gone to bed the night before feeling just fine. He woke up with a swollen arm and came to the ER. It’s hours later, and now you must tell him he probably has lymphoma, blood cancer that could take his life. It’s hard enough to break the news to an elderly person. The assignment is a horrible one when the patient is so young. “The arrows life throws at us are unpredictable. Most are just a nuisance, but this one is a body slam. Death at a young age is ... more
  • 12 months Tales From the ER Texasmonthly
    You are an emergency room doctor. A 24-year-old man had gone to bed the night before feeling just fine. He woke up with a swollen arm and came to the ER. It’s hours later, and now you must tell him he probably has lymphoma, blood cancer that could take his life. It’s hard enough to break the news to an elderly person. The assignment is a horrible one when the patient is so young. “The arrows life throws at us are unpredictable. Most are just a nuisance, but this one is a body slam. Death at a young age is ... more
  • 12 months Joaquin Castro Files Legislation to Counter President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration Texasmonthly
    U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, filed legislation on Friday aimed at heading off President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency so he can build a border wall—securing at least 226 co-sponsors in the House and bringing the nation’s executive and legislative branches one step closer to a constitutional battle. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was in Laredo Friday, told reporters that House Joint Resolution 46 would be on the floor for a vote Tuesday. Democrats now control that chamber after winning back the majority in the November midterms, so the resolution is assured of passage. But both lawmakers said ... more
  • 12 months Drive Through Uncle Henry’s Tamales for Beef Links and Cracklins Texasmonthly
    There’s a different story behind each item on the scant menu at Uncle Henry’s Tamales in Beaumont. Owner Hal Guillory was just 16 when he began working with his uncle, Henry Guillory, in 1974. They served nothing but tamales at the time. Henry, who had been selling tamales in town since 1937, had moved his small shop from under the Mariposa Street viaduct (since demolished) into a building on Fourth Street and Washington Boulevard. Hal remembers eating the Beaumont-style links from Patillo’s Bar-B-Que just a few doors down way back then, but nowadays he prefers his links. “You cook them ... more
  • 12 months David Whitley’s Secretary of State Confirmation May Now Be Doomed Texasmonthly
    In a move that would be a major defeat for Governor Greg Abbott and could have implications for the tone of the Legislative session, all twelve Democratic senators have indicated they will vote against approving David Whitley to become secretary of state. Whitley, whose job includes being the state’s chief elections administrator, has been mired in controversy since sending out an election advisory on January 25 warning county elections administrators about potential non-citizens illegally being on voter rolls. Although he has been acting as secretary of state since Abbott appointed him in December, Whitley’s job still requires confirmation by two-thirds ... more
  • 12 months Best & Worst Legislators in Real Time: Senator Angela Paxton, for Filing Legislation That Could Directly Benefit Her Indicted Husband Texasmonthly
    In 1973, Texas Monthly rolled out its first edition of  “The Best and Worst Texas Legislators,” an annotated list of the Texas lawmakers who had brought the most honor and dishonor upon themselves and upon the legislative body during the just-ended legislative session. With this year’s iteration, we want to show our readers what’s on our minds as we deliberate on one of Texas politic’s most anticipated lists. So as the 86th Legislature progresses, we’ll be writing about the highlights and lowlights of the lawmakers as they happen in a new online feature called Best and Worst Legislators in Real Time. “That’s pretty blatant” ... more
  • 12 months How ‘Checkpoint Carlos,’ a Work of Art Along the Texas Border, Was Inspired by Memories of the Berlin Wall Texasmonthly
    When artist Doerte Weber first contemplated an art installation drawing comparisons between the U.S.-Mexico border barrier and the Berlin Wall, she felt like a voice in the wilderness. Despite repeated attempts to partner with educational institutions, private landholders, and public lands, the San-Antonio based artist couldn’t find a home for a long-term installation near the existing border fence in the Rio Grande Valley. “Everybody just said no, we don’t want you, you can’t put it up even temporarily,” Weber says. That was four years ago. Today, Weber’s Checkpoint Carlos stands at the National Butterfly Center in Mission on the banks ... more
  • 12 months Texas Monthly Recommends: Gary Clark Jr. Channels Prince on ‘Saturday Night Live’ Texasmonthly
    Here at Texas Monthly, we love Texas culture, both the classic and the new. On a walk through our office halls, you might find a staffer writing to the sounds of Willie Nelson or spot a dog-eared Molly Ivins anthology on a bookshelf, but you could also encounter an editor revising to the sounds of Khruangbin or a fact-checker theorizing about the latest Texan to grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sharing our new finds and obsessions with other curious Texans is one of the best parts of the job. We hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as we do—and let ... more
  • 12 months Vatican Sending Representative to El Paso to Discuss Immigration With Bishops Texasmonthly
    A Vatican representative will join Catholic bishops from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border next week at a meeting in El Paso to discuss how to respond to the growing influx of Central American families and the Trump administration’s efforts to stop them. The meeting comes as U.S. border officials are taking additional steps to “harden” international crossings in El Paso and plan additional measures to keep asylum seekers out of the country—including placing concertina wire around ports of entry and sending asylum seekers back to Mexico until their claims are processed. “The meeting is about the emergency situation here ... more
  • 12 months You Will Soon Have the Opportunity to Hear Matthew McConaughey Attempt a British Accent for a Whole Movie Texasmonthly
    Matthew McConaughey has one of the most distinctive voices in Hollywood. He’s so instantly recognizable that his ramblings about cars and bulls made meme gold, and he’s made it impossible to read the words “alright, alright, alright” in anything other than a laconic drawl. However, in the upcoming film Bush, audiences won’t hear McConaughey speaking in his familiar Texas accent. Instead, they’ll have the tantalizing opportunity to hear him attempt a British accent. Guy Ritchie, the director of Bush, has had uneven luck getting American actors to do British accents in his films. Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes? Pretty good. Brad Pitt ... more
  • 12 months The Best Thing in Texas: A Message in a Bottle Washed Up on Padre Island—57 Years Later Texasmonthly
    WHO: Candy and Jim Duke of Corpus Christi. WHAT: The unlikely resurfacing of a message in a bottle that was sent as part of a 57-year-old study. WHY IT’S SO GREAT: In 1962, President John F. Kennedy announced the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Project Mercury sent John Glenn into orbit, making him the first American to do so. Bob Dylan released his debut album. And the Galveston Laboratory of the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (now the National Marine Fisheries Service) conducted a study, sending nearly 1,800 bottles into the Gulf of Mexico to learn more about how ocean currents affect the ways shrimp drift ... more
  • 12 months Stiky Ribz BBQ Piles Plates With Towering Sandwiches, Rich Sides Texasmonthly
    James Reed and Brian Shields both had long tenures at good jobs when they teamed up ten years ago for a barbecue competition. Their team name was Stiky Ribz, a moniker they revived for their new food trailer in Forney, about 21 miles east of Dallas. They’re all in on the barbecue business, having left their jobs last summer; their wives, Jennifer Reed and Katrina Shields, also joined the operation. The decision seems to be paying off. They started serving diners last September, and already they’re renovating a building next door that will become their permanent location. “We have completely ... more
  • 12 months Searching for Solace at Possum Kingdom Lake Texasmonthly
    As I loaded up on groceries near Stephenville, I paused to watch as a blanket of white grew thicker on the ground around me. I’d gotten a late start on my drive up from Austin, and when I got back in my dad’s car, I was apprehensive about my ability to navigate the snaking roads from Mineral Wells to Possum Kingdom Lake in the encroaching darkness under a rare Texas snowfall. By the time I pulled up to the front gate of my uncle’s lake house, I could barely see. I grew up on the East Coast—my siblings and I ... more
  • 12 months The Path To Citizenship is Taxing Across the U.S., But It’s Even Rockier in Texas Texasmonthly
    To become U.S. citizens, Maria Garcia and her family had to give up their truck. They had to say goodbye to priceless keepsakes like her little sister’s gold pendant. They had to postpone her quinceañera—a milestone she’d anticipated her entire childhood. Raising the thousands of dollars necessary to navigate the naturalization process meant eight long years of such sacrifices. “I remember my mom always telling me that it was just temporary,” Garcia says. “We could always get our things back or replace them at some point, but this is what we had to do. That’s when I realized what they were ... more
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