Día de los Muertos has been a long-standing tradition for many Hispanic families throughout Texas. But McAllen is giving truth to the ever-present saying that “everything’s bigger in Texas.” For this year’s celebration, the city unveiled a 36-feet-tall La Catrina statue overlooking McAllen Convention Center’s Oval Park—making it the largest statue in the country. The towering skeleton, which sports a fancy hat with feathers, will be on view through November 2, the day when Día de los Muertos ends.
—Danielle Ortiz, editorial intern
The North Texas suburbs have long had a reputation for being a little bland. But the region has long been home to a dynamic and growing Asian-American population—and it’s never been easier to find food from nearly every corner of the world. In Frisco, an East Asian retail complex called Frisco Ranch houses Korean bakeries, boba tea shops, and the supermarket chain 99 Ranch Market. And though the weather is finally getting chillier, paying a visit to Somisomi there is worth it no matter the season. The shop sells soft serve in flavors like milk tea, matcha, sesame, and ube, a lavender-colored yam. But the real reason lines wrap around the store on a Friday night is because of their desserts, especially taiyaki, the puffy Japanese pastry. The fish-shaped, waffle-like dessert is filled with sweet custard, red bean, Nutella, or taro.
—Amal Ahmed, assistant editor
It Comes at Night
Halloween has come and gone—but if you’re like me, enjoying a truly great scary movie is a perennial pastime. Slasher films and paranormal plotlines can start to feel tired, so it’s refreshing when a movie plays with the horror genre and surprises you with more than just a simple jump scare. It Comes at Night, directed by Houstonian Trey Edward Shults, is set in a world that’s undergone a plague. At surface level it seems like a survivalist thriller, but it also delves into the paranoia of a family that encounters another mysterious family seeking refuge. The movie’s fueled by escalating tension and also serves as bold commentary on xenophobia, which strikes a chord in this era.
—Arielle Avila, editorial coordinator
Houston’s Axelrad Beer Garden, located in Midtown, is a community unto itself: It hosts all sorts of events, from open mic nights to yoga morning brunches and pet-friendly “yappy” hours, in a venue featuring board games, vendor space, and a giant neon tree at the center of the yard. A good night for me either begins or ends in one of their hammocks, with a chilled glass of one of the many beers on tap and a slice of pizza from Luigi’s Pizzeria next door.
—Sam Russek, editorial intern