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  • 4 months We Have Questions About This Taco Cabana Ad from 1992 Texasmonthly
    On Monday morning, the Internet hive mind that is Reddit unearthed a gem: a 1992 TV ad for Taco Cabana—it appears to be the restaurant chain’s oldest commercial found on YouTube. Before we go any further, let’s all watch it together below. Okay, now that we’re all here, we have some questions. Question No. 1: What’s with the Chili’s diss? Taco Cabana is a restaurant. So is Chili’s. They are both based in Texas, where they date back to the seventies (Chili’s opened its first spot in Dallas, in 1975; Taco C debuted in San Antonio in 1978). But that’s ... more
  • 4 months Kacey Musgraves Won Album of the Year at the Grammys and Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Texasmonthly
    Typically there are two paths for an artist seeking the Grammy Awards’ top prize, Album of the Year. The winner is either a hit-driven commercial juggernaut or a critically-acclaimed later-career release by a legacy act. The young performers who’ve won in recent years are all mega-stars—Adele, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars—while the older artists to score wins, like Beck, essentially received it as a lifetime achievement award. But on Sunday night, something new happened. Kacey Musgraves, whose album Golden Hour has neither been embraced by radio nor serves as a capstone to a decades-long career, took the honor. It was well-deserved. Golden Hour is ... more
  • 4 months Ryan Bingham: “I Thought Music Was Bumming Me Out. Winds Up, Music Was Keeping Me Alive.” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify In 2018, when they set out to work together, producer and guitarist Charlie Sexton asked Ryan Bingham what kind of album he intended to make for his sixth studio album. “I’ve always wanted to make a country blues album,” Bingham told him, laying out the blueprint for would become American Love Song, the 37-year-old’s first new album in four years (released February 15). The record lays out Bingham’s hardscrabble backstory: an itinerant youth spent in New Mexico, Texas, and California; time riding on the rodeo circuit; and the untimely deaths of his mother, an ... more
  • 4 months The Texanist: What Are the Ten Best Texas Movies? Texasmonthly
    Q: I’m a newcomer to Texas. What are the ten films set here that I should see? Tom Ricks, Austin A: “This is Texas—mighty colossus of the Southwest. A land of infinite variety and violent contrasts; a land where today’s ranch hand can become tomorrow’s multi-millionaire. But more than a state, here is a state of mind: manners, morals, emotions. Of people who are often as exhilarating, exasperating, exciting as the land they belong to. Out of this fabulous and tempestuous panorama comes a story of magnificent scope and great personal charm, a cavalcade that spans a quarter-century…. A mighty ... more
  • 4 months With Syrupy Sauces, Brett’s Backyard Bar-B-Que Finds the Sweet Spot Texasmonthly
    Competition barbecue and commercial barbecue don’t have much in common besides the meat and the smoke. Audiences expect very different flavors, which often makes it hard for pitmasters to navigate successfully from one side to the other. Brett Boren of Brett’s Backyard Bar-B-Que in Rockdale has found a way to mix the two in a way that would please both barbecue judges and road trippers. His motto says it all: “Small Town, Big Flavor.” I was skeptical of the peach and bourbon barbecue sauce offered with Boren’s ribs on my first visit, so I skipped it. By my second trip, he ... more
  • 4 months Texas Monthly Recommends: Selena and David Byrne Recorded a Song Together and It’s So Good 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
  • 4 months Best and Worst Legislators in Real Time: Senator Kirk Watson 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. “I ... more
  • 4 months El Paso Has Been a Reminder of President Trump’s Failures On the Border. Now He’s Campaigning There. Texasmonthly
    When he comes to El Paso on Monday, President Donald Trump will use a location less than a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border to again call for a wall between Mexico and the United States—the El Paso County Coliseum. “As the president continues his fight to secure the border, there’s no better place to demonstrate that walls work than in El Paso,” Michael Glassner, the chief operating officer of the Trump campaign, said in a statement announcing the Monday campaign rally in El Paso. But when he arrives in El Paso, Trump will be in a city that, perhaps more ... more
  • 4 months World-Renowned Architect Sir David Adjaye on Building a “Little Temple of Art” for San Antonio Texasmonthly
    Since the 2016 debut of his powerful National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., British architect David Adjaye has become the rock-star international architect du jour, the hottest thing in his profession since four walls and a roof. Last week, Texas got a glimpse of its first Adjaye creation, as the Tanzanian-born, Ghanaian-by-descent Knight Bachelor of the U.K. touched down in San Antonio to give a public lecture and throw open the doors to his latest creation, a free, open-to-the-public art center called Ruby City, which will open officially in October. Perhaps a thousand fans, art mavens, ... more
  • 4 months Listen to ‘Talk,’ a Killer Single From Khalid’s Upcoming Second Album Texasmonthly
    Khalid’s upward trajectory has been a heck of a thing to watch. In 2015, he was a new arrival to El Paso, starting his senior year in high school. The summer after he graduated, he had a single, “Location,” on the top 20 Billboard charts and was hard at work on his debut album, American Teen. That album, released in 2017, went on to be certified double platinum in the U.S. and earned Khalid five Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist. I want to go to the Grammys one day. — Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) January 27, 2014 He spent 2018 basking ... more
  • 4 months “If the Police Aren’t Safe Here, What About Us?” Asylum Seekers Fear “Remain in Mexico” Policy Texasmonthly
    On Sunday night, hundreds of families waiting to seek asylum in the United States were jolted by the sound of gunfire near Casa del Migrante, a shelter housing them in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez. “Last night we heard a bunch of automatic fire and they said they attacked a police station here. If the police aren’t safe here, then what about us?” a Honduran man staying at the shelter asked Texas Monthly this week. The gunfire the migrants heard on Sunday appears to be the latest in a series of organized crime attacking Juárez police officers that led the U.S. consulate ... more
  • 4 months Bodacious Bar-B-Q’s Jordan Jackson Gets Back to His Barbecue Roots in Gladewater Texasmonthly
    Jordan Jackson is living the dream. It’s not because Texas Monthly named the Longview location of Bodacious Bar-B-Q, which he reopened in 2015 with his late father-in-law Roland Lindsey, the fourth best barbecue joint in Texas. He appreciates the accolade and the profitability that followed, but along with the notoriety came uncomfortably high expectations and stress. Like so many other successful pitmasters and chefs that came before him, he yearned for a small place without the attention, where he could focus on cooking. Most pitmasters don’t ever get to make good on that wish, but Jackson found the obscurity he was ... more
  • 4 months The Best Thing in Texas: A Scottish Mountain Man Was Rescued—After His Distress Signal Was Picked Up in Houston Texasmonthly
    WHAT: An unlikely life-saving rescue, thanks to a Houston organization that monitors the airwaves for distress signals. WHO: Houston’s International Emergency Response Coordination Center and a 70-year-old Scotsman, known only as “Ken.” WHY IT’S SO GREAT: There are many ways to live. Ken, a Scottish retiree who chose an off-the-grid lifestyle, had spent 25 years in relative solitude a dozen or so miles outside of the small Scottish Highlands town of Fort William. Now 70 years old, Ken—his neighbors didn’t know his last name—fell ill. While he enjoyed living off the grid, Ken was apparently mindful of his safety, according to The Telegraph. ... more
  • 4 months How President Trump Uses Texas as a Prop Texasmonthly
    President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech contained a number of unusual claims, but one in particular stood out. “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime,” the president said, “one of the highest in the country, and [was] considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.” The White House thought it had made a very powerful point, and the president’s allies repeated this claim a lot on Tuesday, some more skillfully than others. Donald Trump ... more
  • 4 months Texan Wrongfully Flagged For Possible Illegal Voting Joins Lawsuit Against Texas Officials Texasmonthly
    Julieta Garibay vividly remembers the sense of triumph she felt when she became a U.S. citizen last April—and again when she registered to vote in time for last November’s midterm election. But her pride turned to dread when she learned last week that Texas Secretary of State David Whitley had sent a stern advisory to county elections administrators. Whitley flagged as many as 95,000 Texans whom he said may be non-citizens who had illegally registered to vote. Garibay, 38, a resident of Austin, reached out to Travis County officials and asked whether her name was on the list. They confirmed ... more
  • 4 months These El Pasoans Are Rejecting Trump’s False Claims About the City’s Border Fence and Crime Rate Texasmonthly
    El Paso community leaders reacted angrily Tuesday night after President Trump repeated false claims that the city was violent and dangerous before a border wall was built. Trump—apparently acting on bogus information from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton—has made the claim several times in recent weeks, and did so Tuesday night during his State of the Union address. “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime—one of the highest in the country, and (was) considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is ... more
  • 4 months Beto O’Rourke “Excited at the Prospect” of Running for President, Will Decide by End of February Texasmonthly
    On Tuesday, Beto O’Rourke ventured to New York City to answer questions from one of America’s foremost and beloved question-askers: Oprah Winfrey, who had him—along with Michael B. Jordan, Bradley Cooper, Melinda Gates, and Time’s Up president Lisa Borders—on stage as part of her “SuperSoul Sessions” series. The full interview will run in mid-February on the mogul’s OWN Network and appear as a podcast later in the year—but unlike a chat with a movie star or philanthropist, the answers O’Rourke had to give are a bit more timely. They’re timely because the Democratic primary field for the 2020 presidential race ... more
  • 4 months Listen to a Whole Dang Song About Topo Chico by Robert Ellis Texasmonthly
    Houston singer/songwriter Robert Ellis has spent his career singing odes to lost loves and restless living. On his new album, Texas Piano Man (released February 14), he adds another subject to the list of things that make him pour his heart out: Topo Chico. The song, fittingly called “Topo Chico,” is the last track on the album. It premiered on Tuesday morning at Garden & Gun and shows the musician in rare form, with a honky tonk beat, slide guitar, and and a swinging bass line coming together to honor the greatness that is a freshly-opened bottle of Topo Chico with a little ... more
  • 4 months Governor Greg Abbott Calls for Significant Reforms on Complex Issues Like Property Taxes, School Safety Texasmonthly
    In what may be a stark contrast to the expectation later Tuesday of a potentially contentious state of the union address by President Trump, Texas governor Greg Abbott offered a kinder and gentler state of the state speech that hit on themes that Texas Democrats could agree with him on: education, property tax relief, and mental health care among them. The tone of Abbott’s speech was far softer than even his own speech just two years ago when he raised the hot button issue of sanctuary cities in Texas and called for a hiring freeze of state workers because of ... more
  • 4 months The (Fake) Beto Diaries, Vol. 3: Williamsburg to the Wilds of Times Square Texasmonthly
    Former Democratic congressman and likely presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke posts journals of his life, his thoughts, and his travels; only some of those make it to the web. We’ve imagined one that got lost along the way. Welcome to the Beto Diaries. Dear Diary, A four-foot-tall shrimp with an impish grin stares down at me from the third floor of a postwar building at Seventh Avenue and 44th Street. I’m in New York City. Times Square, to be specific. A cacophony of horns and voices and footsteps engulfs me as I stand outside the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. The flash ... more
  • 4 months If Beto Runs for President, Where Does That Leave Texas? Texasmonthly
    The day after Beto O’Rourke lost his closely contested Senate race against Ted Cruz by 2.6 percent, I heard an argument that convinced me that O’Rourke’s next political step was obvious: He needed to run for Senate again in 2020. Political scientists Jim Henson and Josh Blank of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin had laid out the case. O’Rourke had nearly pulled off one of the most stunning electoral upsets in the history of the union. He’d built up a massive database of voters and volunteers and donors. He’d gone from being virtually unknown outside of El Paso to ... more
  • 4 months The Switch Brings a Cajun Influence to Stiles Switch-Style BBQ Texasmonthly
    After many years of barbecue success at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (which made the Texas Monthly Top 50 list in 2013 and 2017), owner Shane Stiles thought it was time to branch out. He wanted a second restaurant that was less laser-focused on Central Texas style barbecue than the original. After teaming up with chef Todd Duplechan from Austin’s Lenoir, they opened The Switch last June in Belterra Village out near Dripping Springs. There’s still plenty of barbecue, but the goal was to blend Cajun flavors with their beloved smoked meat. After seven months in business, they’re dialing back the Cajun ... more
  • 4 months Signs of Border Wall Construction Seen in South Texas As Debate Over Funding It Continues Texasmonthly
    With a federal funding fight over a border wall occupying much of the country’s consciousness—and expected to occupy much of President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night—many people don’t realize that Congress already allotted nearly $1.6 billion for wall construction last year. That reminder grew into a grim reality for opponents of the wall this week as contractors are showing signs in South Texas of preparing to break ground for a new section of wall. Thirty-three miles of wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley was appropriated by Congress in fiscal year 2018 when Republicans still controlled the ... more
  • 4 months Measles Cases Confirmed in Houston Area Texasmonthly
    On Monday morning, three cases of measles were confirmed in Harris County. By the middle of the day, two additional cases were confirmed, one each in Montgomery and Galveston County. The trend suggests a possible outbreak. The disease, which was considered eradicated in the United States in 2000, has been on something of an upswing in recent years, with 372 cases confirmed in 2018. This year is on pace for an uptick in the once-eliminated disease: Through January 31, the Center for Disease Control has identified 79 cases of measles in the U.S. If the rate remained consistent, that would ... more
  • 4 months Q&A With Author Elizabeth McCracken: “Austin Is a City of Books As Much As Music” Texasmonthly
    Elizabeth McCracken wasn’t born in Texas, but we welcomed her as fast as we could. The author of two short-story collections, a memoir, and two novels, McCracken has been a finalist for the National Book Award, won the prestigious Story Prize for her short fiction, holds the University of Texas James Michener Chair in Fiction, and is associate director of the New Writers Project in the UT Department of English. Her first novel in eighteen years, Bowlaway, out February 5, is bringing in rave reviews from the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others. It stands toe-to-toe with any ... more
  • 4 months Going Vegan Brings You One Step Closer to Beyoncé (and Possibly Free Tickets to Her Shows) Texasmonthly
    Beyoncé and Jay Z are international music royalty, capable of selling out venues anywhere there’s electricity, with tickets selling for hundreds of dollars a pop. What’s a cash-conscious fan to do, beyond start a Bey and Jay future concert fund? As of last week, there’s another option: Consider going vegan, and you could check out every tour either of them plays for free—for the next thirty years. That’s the pitch they’re making in partnership with Greenprint, an organization started by celebrity trainer and nutritionist Marco Borges. Borges, whose work with the couple helped convince them to go vegan themselves, launched ... more
  • 4 months Y’all! Look at These Two New Baby Lemurs at the Houston Zoo Texasmonthly
    Here’s a nice way to make your day brighter: pictures of baby lemurs. Baby lemurs that you can see in Texas. By coincidence, there are two different baby lemurs in the Houston Zoo right now, each with different parents and different breeds. On December 23, a male Coquerel’s sifaka lemur—those are the ones with white fur, and dark faces and chests—was born to mama Zenobia. The zookeepers declared that he would be called Dionysus, an epic name for a little guy, and he quickly began the lemur growing-up process of living on his mother’s chest, then her back. He is now ... more
  • 4 months Jay B. Sauceda: “Through a Texan’s Lens, Everything That Ain’t Texas Is a Little Gray” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify First it was a Texas Monthly cover story. Then a coffee table book. And now it’s the basis of a newly opened exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Jay B. Sauceda himself admits he’s a little surprised at the mileage he’s gotten out of a July 2015 aerial photography project that found him tracing 3,822 miles of Texas borders, shooting stunning landscape photos while leaning out of a single-engine Cessna he was flying himself. Not surprisingly, across each form it’s taken, the project has spawned a popular question for the 33-year-old photographer/author/entrepreneur/aviator/humorist. Did his ... more
  • 4 months The Texanist: Has PC Culture Tamed the Texanist’s Tongue? Texasmonthly
    Q: I just read a rerun of one of your advice columns, “Contemplating the Texas Exit,” that I got in my daily Texas Monthly email newsletter. In the article there is a link to other road-related advice columns you’ve written going back as far as 2008. I went down the rabbit hole and read them all. In doing so, I noticed that your current replies are more relaxed, refined, and politically correct. It seems that your tongue was once a little sharper. Not that it bothers me that your tongue was sharper (I think we could use more of that bluntness today); I got ... more
  • 4 months The Texanist: Revisiting Some Favorites for February 2019 Texasmonthly
    May 2010 Q: My husband and I go dancing almost every weekend, but I end up dancing with his best buddy more than I do with him. His friend is just a better dancer, and there’s no hanky-panky going on, but I’m starting to feel guilty. Do I need to stick with the one that brung me? A: The conventional wisdom would have you reserve your dance card for him that brung you, yes, but the conventional wisdom would also have you stop at five tequilas and refrain from trying to “sit in” with the band as guest vocalist on ... more
  • 5 months The Mavericks Now Have Their New Dirk Nowitzki–Steve Nash Combo Texasmonthly
    The Dallas Mavericks unexpectedly landed a superstar on Thursday, trading for the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis. It was a masterful move by the Mavs, who capitalized on a recently-turned-sour relationship between Porzingis and the Knicks to land the disgruntled seven-footer for essentially nothing, emerging from the deal with arguably the most promising guard-forward combo in the league. Porzingis was, until maybe 72 hours ago, the Knicks’ franchise player. He melds strong defense around the rim with the ability to shoot from deep, and at 23 years old he’s already one of the most dynamic players in the league. He ... more
  • 5 months A No-Knock Raid in Houston Led to Deaths and Police Injuries. Should Police Rethink the Practice? Texasmonthly
    On Monday afternoon, a group of veteran officers on the Houston Police Department’s Squad 15 narcotics task force gathered at a small, tan, white-trimmed home of suspected heroin dealers to conduct a raid. It turned violent within minutes, and by the time the raid had ended, four of the officers had been shot and injured while the home’s residents—Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas—were dead, along with their dog. The shooting immediately prompted the expected response from law enforcement advocates and state leaders. Governor Greg Abbott offered prayers for the injured officers and characterized the incident as a “solemn reminder of ... more
  • 5 months Who in the Heck is Bringing Spinach Dip to Super Bowl Parties? Texasmonthly
    This past week has been tough for media. As mass layoffs (at Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Vice, and newspaper companies Gannett and McClatchy) illustrate, publications across the country are dealing with the tension between producing meaningful reporting and publishing the content readers eagerly click on, as profits largely go to tech companies rather than journalists. But we won’t get into that here—you clicked this post to learn about spinach dip. On Friday, recipes website TheKitchn.com posted a story titled, “Here Are the Most Popular Super Bowl Snacks in Every State, According to Google” featuring a counter-intuitive dish for each state in ... more
  • 5 months Introducing the Best and Worst Legislators in Real Time 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. The list has appeared in our pages every odd-numbered year since—much to the delight and dismay of its subjects. As we begin work on this year’s iteration, we want to show our readers what’s on our minds as we deliberate on this list throughout the session. So as the 86th Legislature progresses, we’ll be writing about the highlights ... more
  • 5 months Citing Inhumane Conditions, Detained Asylum Seekers in El Paso Go On Hunger Strike Texasmonthly
    Eleven asylum seekers detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement El Paso field office have gone on hunger strikes to protest their lengthy detention and what they view as inhumane treatment. Several who have been on a hunger strike for more than a month are being force-fed by ICE.  The detainees are using a form of political protest with a long and sometimes deadly history. “The men we spoke to expressed interest in having a bond hearing and being released on bond. They’re able to pay for bond, it sounds like, and they want to be released from detention,” said ... more
  • 5 months A Guide to Texas Dried Sausage, the Perfect Portable Snack Texasmonthly
    I did a double take at the ropes of sausage hanging over the meat counter at Granzin’s Market in New Braunfels. The parched sausages dangled from a wooden dowel like stage props. They were neither packaged nor refrigerated, but they weren’t plastic. A young man behind the counter unhooked one and handed it to me, and for just $4.79, I took home a half-pound link of dried sausage made exactly like they did it 38 years ago, when Granzin’s first opened in town. Owner Gary Granzin explained the process to me. “We smoke it for three hours before it’s put ... more
  • 5 months Former Texas Secretary of State Believes Inaccurate Voting List Should Be Rescinded Texasmonthly
    On a day that Governor Greg Abbott downplayed apparent inaccuracies in a voting list that his secretary of state compiled of potential non-citizens, a former secretary of state said the list should be rescinded. “I think they need to rescind it, do due diligence and make a more accurate list,” Carlos Cascos, who served as Abbott’s secretary of state from January 2015 to January 2017, said of his former office. “They contact everyone and admit to it and say, ‘We made an honest mistake,’ and recompile the list.” Cascos’ belief that the advisory should be rescinded aligns with the demands ... more
  • 5 months Catholic Church Begins Releasing Names of Texas-Based Clergy Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minors Texasmonthly
    Saying the nation’s ongoing scandal of priests involved in sexual misconduct is tearing the church apart, Catholic officials in Texas began releasing a long-promised report detailing credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving children against priests dating back to 1940. Thirteen of the state’s fourteen dioceses were expected to release the names and details of priests, deacons and other clergy members. The release began with a 23-page report by the Archdiocese of San Antonio. There has been some expectation that this list might be the largest of its kind released so far. But the names and details fell far short of ... more
  • 5 months BBQ News Roundup: Super Bowl-Worthy BBQ, Brisket-Flavored Mezcal, and Californians Complaining About BBQ Smoke Texasmonthly
    A fire destroyed Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que in Dallas in September of 2017. The recovery has been long, but the barbecue joint has finally reopened. A Top 10 BBQ joint has a second location: Houston, we have lift off! 1/19/19 11AM- SOLD OUT! 110 S Heights BLVD pic.twitter.com/d14YyYiUJe — Truth BBQ (@truth_bbq) January 18, 2019 The New York Times recommends ordering a whole smoked brisket from Truth BBQ ($230, which includes shipping) for your Super Bowl viewing. San Antonio will get a second location of Pinkerton’s BBQ, another Top 50 BBQ joint, in 2020. Austin Food + Wine Fest, coming in April, ... more
  • 5 months The Woman Behind the Kamala Harris Presidential Campaign Is Ann Richards’s Granddaughter Texasmonthly
    California Senator Kamala Harris had what many consider a boffo kickoff last week for her Democratic presidential campaign—a huge rally in Oakland, the most widely viewed CNN candidate town hall ever, and kudos from pundits. While Harris was everything her handlers could hope for—poised, polished, prepared—there’s always someone behind that kind of success, someone who helped plan and pull together the events, a strategist with a steely vision. In this case, it was a Texan with a political pedigree: Lily Adams, the 31-year-old granddaughter of Texas icon and former Governor Ann Richards, and daughter of former Planned Parenthood president Cecile ... more
  • 5 months Catherine Hardwicke Puts a Female Action Hero on the Border in ‘Miss Bala’ Texasmonthly
    A decade after she broke records with the success of Twilight, Catherine Hardwicke is hoping to break barriers with Miss Bala. Set for release February 1, the reboot of a 2011 Spanish-language film of the same name centers on makeup artist Gloria Mayer (played by Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez), who has to escape a Mexican drug cartel after her friend is kidnapped. As a female-focused action film, Miss Bala is unusual. In a 2018 study, USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative found that only 33 of the top 100 grossing films from 2017 depicted a female lead; their analysis of 1,100 films spanning a ... more
  • 5 months Love Letters to Texas Texasmonthly
    Texas Monthly has been giving Texans, both new and old, insights into this exceptional state for nearly half a century. Our February 2019 collector’s issue curates stories from our archives that celebrate the Texas icons and oddities that so many of us treasure, and reflect our love of the state’s land, traditions, and characters.View Original PostThe post Love Letters to Texas appeared first on Texas Monthly. ... more
  • 5 months A Fort Worth Couple’s Dog Died After They Hired a Dog Walker on an App Texasmonthly
    Since ride-sharing began changing how we get around, startup founders have aspired to create a business that’s the “Uber of [whatever industry doesn’t have an Uber yet].” Grocery delivery, women’s haircuts, massage, flowers, lawn care—for any given service, someone likely got venture capital funding by proposing to connect providers and customers, all from the convenience of their phones. One such service is Wag!, a dog-walking app based out of Los Angeles that promises “trusted dog walkers in your area” with live GPS-based tracking. Through the app, you can hire a dog walker who will come into your house, take your ... more
  • 5 months Dance Halls, Dive Bars, and More: The Good-Time Gathering Places of Texas Texasmonthly
    Dance Halls By John Spong From “Step Right Up,” originally published in December 2009 The way to a true Texas dance hall—not the urban simulations, with their cosmetic trusses, last-call footraces, and she’s-mine testosterone—is through the country, a long drive by pastures and cornfields and cattle guards, past driveways that look like roads and roads with numbers for names. You’ll half think you’re lost on the way, then feel a shock when you get there, not at the size of the structure but at the number of trucks parked outside. An older couple at the front door will take your ... more
  • 5 months From East Texas to El Paso, Four Texans Reflect on Where They’re From Texasmonthly
    El Paso and the Borderlands By David Dorado Romo From “A River Runs Through It,” originally published in June 2010 Growing up I had no idea of the multiple layers of meaning connected to the places I passed through every day. The layers opened up slowly. One such place was the Santa Fe Street international bridge, which links El Paso to Juárez. In many ways this binational thoroughfare best captures the essence of the fragmented city I’m from, a city originally called El Paso del Norte (the Pass of the North) that was later split in two along the Rio ... more
  • 5 months Recipe: Instant Pot Queso with Beef Texasmonthly
    All hail queso, one of the world’s perfect foods. It can be a sauce, a dip, or dinner all on its own. It has the power to completely turn around the most mediocre of days and at least make the terrible ones more bearable. And it is completely suited to the Instant Pot. Most Instant Pot recipes focus on its pressure-cooker feature, which is indeed a minor modern miracle. But remember, this is called a multicooker for a reason: it boasts several different ways to cook food, and this recipe for queso with beef uses three of them. First you ... more
  • 5 months Where to Find Some of the Best Sausage Wraps in Texas Texasmonthly
    Some folks say there’s no such thing as bad barbecue. I’ve eaten enough barbecue to know there’s no truth to that, but I can honestly say the one barbecue item in Texas that has never let me down is the humble sausage wrap. When a salty, fatty, juicy sausage link is enrobed in a slice of fluffy white bread, it’s a beautiful thing. Some sausage wraps are better than others, but unlike dry brisket or tough spare ribs, they’re never a disappointment. While traveling the state searching for the next great barbecue joint, it’s easy to get caught up in ... more
  • 5 months Here’s What You Need to Know About the Texas Voter Registration Advisory Texasmonthly
    Last week, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley issued an election advisory to all county elections administrators that his office had recently completed a cross-check of state voting records with data from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s driver’s license bureau. The state’s chief election officer identified 95,000 people who registered with the DPS as non-citizens, but whose names match names on voting rolls. Of those, an estimated 58,000 of these people have voted in at least one election. The advisory set off a firestorm. Here’s everything you need to know: What’s the big deal? Republicans nationwide have long spoken of ... more
  • 5 months The Texas Film Showcase Presents: ‘From Tonga’ Texasmonthly
    Euless is home to one of the largest Tongan communities in the U.S., which initially formed as immigrants came to the Texas city for its proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and its jobs. Over the past few decades, Tongans have brought their own Polynesian traditions to local life in Euless, including on the field, as players have transformed Trinity High into a football powerhouse. In From Tonga, Huay-Bing Law, then a student in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the Moody College of Communication at UT Austin, explores how the immigrants have revitalized the local high school football team. Texas Monthly: How did you find out ... more
  • 5 months Telling the Story of a Texas Freedom Colony Through Decades of Photos Texasmonthly
    What would become a decades-long relationship between photographer Richard Orton and the Upshaw family began with five simple words: “I don’t see why not.” Thirty years ago, a friend told Orton about a black community called County Line, just twenty miles from Orton’s family home in Nacogdoches. Though he was a fifth-generation Texan, he’d never heard of the town, or of the Upshaw family, which had called it home since the 1870s. When Orton drove out to see the place in November of 1988, he didn’t have a plan. He parked under the old red oak tree in Monel and Leota Upshaw’s front lawn ... more
  • 5 months The Best Thing in Texas: Thousands Showed Up for Burial of Unaccompanied Veteran Texasmonthly
    Update, January 29: On Tuesday morning, Joseph Walker’s family told KVUE that they had held their own service for him, and that they were not made aware of the military funeral. “He’s not alone,” his great-niece Dana Williams told the network. The funeral director told KVUE that “they tried several times to contact Walker’s brother,” but couldn’t reach him. Williams said that her uncle was handling burial payments, and if there was a problem she was unaware of it. The family seemed to appreciate the support of the thousands who came out for Walker, but Williams expressed her disappointment that they ... more
  • 5 months 13 Texan Beauty Products to Get You Through Winter Texasmonthly
    The cold temperatures and strong winds of winter can bring an onslaught of beauty obstacles. Whether you’re tackling dry skin, chapped lips, or frizzy hair—or you just want to revamp your skincare routine—brands from across the Lone Star state have you covered, from a tried-and-true classic like Mary Kay to a rising star like Drunk Elephant. Here’s our roundup of winter beauty products to get you through the cold Texas weather, from a hydrating mask that soothes dry lips to a serum that leaves you glowing. For a Dehydrated Face Renee Rouleau’s Hydraboost Rescue Cream ($74.50) Austin-based celebrity esthetician Renee ... more
  • 5 months Nolan Ryan: “Why Wouldn’t an Athlete Want to Be a Positive Role Model?” Texasmonthly
    Subscribe Apple — Google Play — Stitcher — Spotify In 1999, then senior executive editor Paul Burka wrote a cover story about Nolan Ryan, months before Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeout leader was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Burka asked how Ryan how was enjoying retirement. “For a moment Ryan fixed me with a pitcher’s stare, a look so deep that it seemed to originate from behind his eyeballs,” Burka wrote. “I didn’t retire,” answered Ryan. “I just don’t play baseball.” Twenty years later, in a suite at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond—home of the Astros Triple A affiliate the Round Rock Express—Ryan ... more
  • 5 months The Texanist: What Five Things Should I Do When I Get Back to Texas? Texasmonthly
    Q: I have been away from the great state of Texas way too long and I am saddened to say that I’ve been living in Tennessee while serving with the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division. Right now I find myself deployed to Afghanistan. My question is quite simple: What would be your top five things to do, see, eat, and drink the moment I step foot back on Texas soil? Besides giving mama a big hug, of course? Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks for the great reading and rest assured that I ... more
  • 5 months Where Is San Antonio in Relation to the Border? An Investigation That Is Apparently Necessary Texasmonthly
    On January 19, President Trump spoke once more about a wall’s efficacy in keeping people safe. Speaking on the White House South Lawn, Trump said, “Everybody knows that walls work. If you look at different places they put up a wall—no problem. If you look at San Antonio, if you look at so many different places, they go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country to one of the safest cities immediately. Immediately. It works. We have to put them up and we will put them up. We got to.” Regardless of any given observer’s position on ... more
  • 5 months Introducing “Last Call”: Our New Podcast About All Things Culture Texasmonthly
    Texas Monthly is full of Texas culture obsessives. We love Beyoncé, Richard Linklater, Willie, kolaches, barbecue, beverages, and all of the sports. So it should come as no surprise that in our office, we talk about Texas—a lot. One day, as we were breaking down Kacey Musgraves’s Golden Hour song by song over some beers (after work, of course), we thought, Why are we depriving others of our deep, important thoughts? Why not share this with the people? Thus, Texas Monthly’s newest podcast, “Last Call,” was born. At the end of each month, executive editor Kathy Blackwell and David Courtney ... more
  • 5 months James Harden is Unbelievably Hot Right Now Texasmonthly
    James Harden deserves your undivided attention every time he steps on the court. He’s on one of the hottest scoring streaks in the history of the NBA, and he’s dominating the league in arguably the weirdest way ever. Take, for example, his stat line from Wednesday’s 114-110 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Harden scored 61 points on 17-of-38 shooting, including 5-of-20 from three while hitting 22-of-25 free throws (he also added fifteen rebounds and five steals, but who cares). And absolutely none of those points were scored off of an assist. It was an iconic ... more
  • 5 months Balmorhea State Park Will Reopen, Thanks to $2 Million in Donations Texasmonthly
    The clear, sparkling waters of Balmorhea State Park have long been one of Texas’s most beloved places to swim. Located in Toyahville, the 1.3-acre oasis is one of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pools. When it shut down in May 2018, Texans from across the state lost one of the best spots to escape the summer heat. Thanks to donations from Apache Corporation and hundreds of Texans, the park is slated to reopen. During an annual cleaning of the Balmorhea pool in May, park officials noticed that the concrete underneath the diving board was damaged, which indicates erosion, likely due ... more
  • 5 months Ted Cruz Is Getting Under the Skin of His Senate Colleagues Once Again Texasmonthly
    Remember the old Ted Cruz? The one who was hated by his colleagues? After making nice during his 2018 re-election campaign, the nasty reputation of the junior Republican senator from Texas has returned. On January 24, when Cruz spoke on the Senate floor addressing the longest government shutdown in history, he got under the skin of the usually mild-mannered Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, who exploded over Cruz’s “crocodile tears” about the shutdown. Cruz was rebuking the Democrats for blocking a bill sponsored by GOP colleagues to pay the Coast Guard during the partial government shutdown, arguing that it was the ... more
  • 5 months Why Aren’t Texas Politicians Standing Up for Texas Landowners? Texasmonthly
    If you spent any time on social media yesterday, there’s a good chance you saw that viral video of Colorado senator Michael Bennet laying into Ted Cruz on the floor of the U.S. Senate for failing to protect South Texans from President Trump’s desire to build a wall on their land. Cruz had just made the argument that the Senate should give Trump $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall so the government shutdown could be lifted and Coast Guard employees could get paid. (Earlier today, the shutdown ended, at least temporarily, minus the $5.7 billion appropriation.) Bennet, with ... more
  • 5 months Flores BBQ Is Moving from Whitney to Fort Worth Texasmonthly
    The small town of Whitney will no longer be home to a Texas Monthly Top 50 barbecue joint after Super Bowl Sunday. February 3 will be last day for Flores Barbecue, which will be moving an hour north to Fort Worth. Owner Michael Wyont said he hopes to be serving barbecue from a trailer in Fort Worth by April while they wait for a new building to be constructed. Their new location will be at The Trailhead at Clearfork, along the Chisholm Trail Parkway on the southwest side of town. Flores Barbecue began in San Marcos in June of 2016, ... more
  • 5 months These Texas Members of Congress Are Refusing Pay During the Government Shutdown Texasmonthly
    At least 20 of the 36 Texas members of the U.S. House have confirmed that they are withholding their $174,000 annual salary for the duration of the nation’s longest partial government shutdown. Federal employees will go through their second pay period on Friday without a paycheck. The remaining sixteen members of the House did not say that they were continuing to take pay; they simply have not yet responded to our queries. Sixteen of the House members from Texas who are withholding or donating their pay are Republicans. Ten of the sixteen members who did not respond are Democrats. Neither ... more
  • 5 months Try the Hearty Smoked Brisket Salpicon at Lamberts Texasmonthly
    If I had noticed the smoked brisket salpicon on the lunch menu at Lamberts in time for my favorite Tex-Mex bites, it certainly would have made the list. I recently tried the seasonal menu item at the downtown Austin restaurant for the first time, but for chef Lou Lambert, who founded the restaurant in downtown Austin, it’s a tried-and-true staple. Lambert’s salpicon was first praised in an Austin Chronicle write-up in 2002, after his eponymous restaurant opened on South Congress. (It moved downtown in 2006.) Writer MM Pack loved the combination of shredded beef with a fresh salad. Her only quibble was that ... more
  • 5 months The Best Thing in Texas: A Cancer Patient Found Out He Won $100,000 While He Was in the Hospital Texasmonthly
    WHAT: A man who got some much-needed good news in the middle of a tough time. WHO: “Diesel Dave” Kiley of the Discovery Channel series Diesel Brothers and MD Anderson leukemia patient Abel Fonseca. WHY IT’S SO GREAT: It’s rare that a story about a person being treated for cancer qualifies as “great.” Many of the stories that seem heartwarming at first glance often reveal the holes in our social safety net—but this one is unique. Fonseca was being treated at MD Anderson for leukemia when he got a phone call from Diesel Dave Kiley telling him that he won $100,000 in a ... more
  • 5 months See 3,822 Miles of Texas Borders From Above Through Aerial Photographs Texasmonthly
    From a car or by foot, Houston’s urban sprawl looks a world away from the stark, jagged peaks of Big Bend. But hovering 10,000 feet above transforms the state into a cohesive yet ever-changing topography. Texas’s landscapes become one continuous vista, shaped both by its inhabitants and by nature’s will: the Red River winding through the Panhandle; Interstate 35 weaving across Hill Country; the Piney Woods of East Texas giving way to the bayous of the Gulf Coast. That’s the vantage point that Jay B. Sauceda captured in his aerial photo series, “Texas From Above,” showing at the Bullock Texas State ... more
  • 5 months What the Writer Notes for ‘Urban Cowboy’ Teach Us About The Making of the Film Texasmonthly
    The first time Aaron Latham saw the uncut version of Urban Cowboy, the film based on an Esquire piece he wrote in 1978, he was worried. “I thought we had made a bad movie,” says Latham, who also co-wrote the screenplay. It was five hours long and began with a montage of John Travolta shaving, complete with closeups from every angle imaginable. They had gone overboard, even with an actor who Latham says was, at the time, “Elvis Presley famous.” “We set out to record [him shaving] as if it were a historic event,” Latham remembers. “Like the Germans would ... more
  • 5 months ‘The Good Place’ Actor William Jackson Harper on Playing Chidi, the Dallas Civil Rights Movement, and Ted Danson Texasmonthly
    William Jackson Harper’s success on the small screen was a long time coming. The Oak Cliff native cut his teeth performing in plays in his hometown after college, then spent almost a decade in New York City, where he scored parts in off-Broadway productions and in local television shows (here he is on The Electric Company, as a cowboy/apple rap battling with a hot dog/Lin Manuel-Miranda). Now, thanks to his breakout role in NBC’s hit comedy The Good Place, he’s a familiar face nationwide. Harper plays the perennially panicked philosophy professor Chidi Anagonye, starring alongside Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. ... more
  • 5 months At Whitfield’s in Austin, Pickled Sides Take Center Stage Texasmonthly
    A platter of Texas barbecue isn’t complete without pickles in the mix, but it’s rare for them to become the star. Whitfield’s barbecue truck in Austin puts its pickling program on a pedestal, offering far more than dill chips and pickled onions. The menu offers various pickled sides, each for $4, including strawberries, broccoli, and even spicy pineapple. “The pickling has kind of overwhelmed us,” pitmaster Scott Fogle admitted. He spent time in the pit rooms of Stiles Switch and Valentina’s, both in Austin, before he started to run the early shift at Whitfield’s. Fogle comes in at 3 a.m. ... more
  • 5 months Sheila Jackson Lee Resigns from Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Amid Sexual Assault Lawsuit Texasmonthly
    U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has reportedly stepped down from her post as chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, amid allegations that she fired an aide who had allegedly been sexually assaulted by a CBCF supervisor, according to the New York Times and BuzzFeed News. According to BuzzFeed, the powerful Houston Democrat told members of the CBCF on Saturday that she plans to resign. Jackson Lee was under pressure from the organization after BuzzFeed first reported last week that a former aide had filed a lawsuit alleging Jackson Lee retaliated by firing her after she threatened to sue the CBCF ... more
  • 5 months Potential Flooding Dangers from the Border Wall Must Be Studied, San Antonio Lawmaker Says Texasmonthly
    A San Antonio lawmaker filed legislation Wednesday that would direct two state agencies to study the potential effects a border wall could have on flooding and the environment in Texas. Democratic representative Roland Gutierrez said he wanted to initiate the study after reading a Texas Monthly story (published in partnership with Type Investigations at the Nation Institute) that details how engineers warned of potentially catastrophic floods a border wall could cause in Texas and how the federal government changed testing standards to justify a decision for the placement of a border wall in South Texas. House Bill 990 would direct the ... more
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