Where to Eat Now 2012

When I gaze back over the previous year, what dining trends do I see among the ten best new Texas restaurants? Well, to start, it was the year offal went mainstream. If you don’t know offal, just think of it as nose-to-tongue-to-ear-to-belly-to-trotter-to-jowl-to-skin-to-tail-to-knuckle-to-marrowbone-to-cheek-to—oh stop!—eating. Innards are in. Seriously.

Texas Treasures

My journey in early Texas art began during the summer of 1986 while I was a graduate student studying art history at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas. I had volunteered in the registrar’s department at the old Meadows Museum, and I was charged with locating and cataloguing SMU’s University Art Collection, which by default fell under the jurisdiction of the Meadows and was scattered all over campus in offices, closets, and less-than-ideal situations.

Into the Wild

Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman or a parent taking your kids camping for the first time, there’s nothing like a relaxing trip to a state park—the ideal campsite, the hike to a dramatic overlook, the stories told around a crackling fire, the trip into town for barbecue and shopping. From the Piney Woods to the Caprock Canyons to the Davis Mountains, our parks are filled with iconic places that remind us of Texas’s rugged beauty.

The Lost Boys

One morning this past September, Mrs. Mary Scott walked out of her tiny brick house, one hand clutching a plastic tub of birdseed, the other holding on to the front door in case she lost her balance. Taking her time, she stepped off the front stoop and onto a pebbled sidewalk that her husband, Walter, dead now for a decade, had laid down one weekend in the mid-sixties. From out of nowhere, half a dozen doves arrived, soon followed by half a dozen more. “Look at the one that’s all white,” Mrs. Scott said.

The Last Blast

I have asked dozens of astronauts what it feels like to blast off, and words always fail them. A roller coaster is the standard analogy, with adjectives piled on to suggest that it’s something more thrilling and terrible, something inexpressible. Often their eyes clamp shut at the memory and sometimes they shiver. No one has ever answered with a smile.

Lost in Space

On April 12, NASA commemorated the fifteenth anniversary of the inaugural flight of the space shuttle with a party at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Agency administrators made speeches. Russian dignitaries schmoozed with engineers.

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