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Showing posts from March, 2011

Avoca, Fort Worth's Newest Independently-Owned Coffee Shop

A few people stand at the coffee bar ordering multiple shots of something hot, dark and delicious. They look satisfied as the owner explains what they’re drinking. Then they try another. More people walk in to do the same. They don’t take a seat, rather they just stand at the bar consuming multiple shots of coffee and talking with the baristas/owners behind the bar.
“That’s our business model; it’s to teach and help people learn about coffee,” Avoca co-owner Jimmy Story said. “We want people to know what they’re drinking and where it comes from.”
Some of us have to work, so I take a seat. This place is cool. It has a peaceful, friendly and local feeling about it. Maybe that’s because it IS friendly, local and peaceful. It is open with high ceilings, concrete floors and sliding glass garage-like doors that I assume they will roll open on a beautiful day. The music is not cacophonous either. 
Story and his coffee companion, Garold LaRue, opened Avoca March 17 on Magnolia just across from S…

Spring Gallery Night at Artspace 111 (a photo essay)

Events at this venue are always a good time. I'm always impressed with the art and the turnout. Here is a peek at the evening. All art and music was from local artists.







Bistro Louise ... and other fantastic brunch places

At my age (29) it is so difficult to get a group of girls together, so I've organized a brunch at Bistro Louise this Sunday with six of my good friends. And yes, I started rounding them up weeks ago to make sure it happened.

Why did I choose such an expensive place? Because it's worth every penny of the $27.95 they charge for the extravagant buffet. Here's why:

I went there a few weeks ago for the first time and it was the best brunch experience I've had in Fort Worth. I say "experience" because it's also about atmosphere and your convivial cohorts.

You start with the exotic and fresh, imported farm cheeses and hors d'oeuvres. After a plate of the rich and creamy cheese I felt like Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss (it wasn't pretty). It truly was memorable because that cheese was so good. And the hors d'oeuvres include things like mushroom tarts, shrimp tostadas, asparagus ham and cheese strudels, spinach galettes and more. I managed to fit o…

Upcoming posts ... stay tuned!

Weekend on Caddo Lake

The mysterious tall trees Caddo Lake is known for remain hidden in the early morning darkness. Our fishing guide, Billy Carter, is supposed to meet us at 7 a.m., but the sun has yet to rise. The tired family gathers around the breakfast table grabbing Marie Calendar’s cinnamon rolls and Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits discussing our potential catches for the day.
As the sun peeks through the cypress forrest, I remember how uniquely beautiful it is here. Rumored to be five hundred years old, bald cypress trees grow 60 feet out of the water. The angelic Spanish moss delicately hangs from the trees’ limbs — it doesn’t rustle in the wind like leaves do, rather it quietly dances and floats like individual notes in a harmonious composition. In the dark when the wind is still, they look like stalagmites in a cave.
Billy pulls up a little after 7, and six of us pile into the boat. Billy’s roots run as deep as the ring-dated 400-year-old bald cypress trees that tower all around. He’s been a licens…

Upcoming Events (things I've done before and enjoyed!)

March 26: Spring Gallery Night
Get to know a few local artists while gallery hopping. It is a great way to get to know the art side of Fort Worth a little better and knock it out in one night ... like speed dating but with galleries. Ugh. Most places even provide free wine and cheese! (PDF booklet of events that night)

April 3: Big Taste of Fort Worth 2011 
A great way to find out where you should eat next. With all of Fort Worth's growth and development, there are so many new places to try.

April 3-23: Jubilee Theatre — The African Company presents Richard III
The one time I went to see a production at this theatre I absolutely loved it. I get antsy quick, but this show kept my attention until the very end. I laughed, I cried and even better, I got to peek into another world. I was still in Fort Worth, but it was such a unique experience I felt I got to leave the bubble for a bit. After the show we went to the Reata rooftop for a snack and drink. It was a fantastic night.

April 16:

A Day Trip to France (I meant Dallas)

My friend and I both teach thus both get to celebrate spring break. She lives in Dallas, and I never get to see her so I decided to drive to Dallas and find a spot where we could sit on the patio for hours, eat good food and sip on Chardonnay as we dive into what’s going on in today’s world. I had a place in mind already.
I lived in Dallas last year. A few evenings a week my husband and I would jog the Katy Trail and pass by this place called Toulouse. I can’t describe the herb-frites-butter smell that exited out the back of that building and interrupted my runs, but was offensive and delightful at the same time. I envied the people who dallied on the bustling patio for long hours drinking wine and solving the world’s problems while I jogged past in pain. My friend and I were going there, and the jogging attire was left at home. 
There was one tiny table left on the patio, which seems to be the most popular spot in the place. The atmosphere inside and out felt European (for lack of bett…

"The Ethicist" Visits Fort Worth

I think we can all agree that the massacres in Cambodia, Rwanda and the German Holocaust were wrong. But not every ethical question is as clear, and that's where Randy Cohen's New York Time's column "The Ethicist" came in. 
Is it ever OK to lie to your child? What if you're protecting him/her? Cohen tells a group of Cowtown gals last week, yes, it is OK sometimes. 
How important are ethics in today's society when Wall Street giants are dumping on Main Street midgets, Northern Africa's leaders are being exposed and politicians private lives seem more and more inconsistent with their lives of public service?

Cohen helped keep ethics relevant in today's secular world for 12 years, but he isn't actually an ethicist by training. He has never received a degree in philosophy or psychology. Rather he was a three-time, Emmy-award winning writer for the Letterman Show and funny guy.
"I was an accidental ethicist," Cohen said. "Cat Fancy mag…

There's Nothing French About Fort Worth's Paris Coffee Shop

Nestled at the tail end of the newly trendy Magnolia Street in Fort Worth is the old and not-so-trendy Paris Coffee Shop. The diner is known for its old fashioned, home-style breakfast and lunches. It has stayed true to its original ambiance (minus the cigarette smoke) for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been going there since I was a little girl in the 80s.

The place is always packed on Saturday mornings. A long line inevitably forms inside, but don’t let that deter you — the hostess manages the seating arrangements like the Swiss manage their train system. In other words, the line moves fast.

After we were seated I looked at the open room of eclectic patrons and wondered how many people they serve breakfast to every Saturday. So I asked. The owner’s wife, who works the room with a coffee pot in each hand, went back into the kitchen and asked her husband for the golden numbers. He serves about 500 people and goes through roughly 120 dozen eggs on an average Saturday morning. That …

A Road Map Through Austin

I started to feel sorry for my friend as I headed to the Texas state capital last weekend to visit her. I'm a busy body and every minute of my visit is tied to a tight itinerary starting at 7:30 a.m. the following morning. I'm not very good at lounging around the house on the weekends, and besides, exploring new territory keeps things interesting. Not a minute will be wasted! My friend lives in the Travis Heights area of Austin, which is a neighborhood just off South Lamar. The typical Austin hood is as perfectly disheveled as the hippies and blended pups that sit on their porch and frequent the local dog park. In fact, the dog park was our first stop. I've never been and I don’t have pets, so this was a new experience.

The Dog Park
I noticed the proud owners of the gregarious and diverting dogs acted differently than people in most other social situations. They introduced their dogs to Grace and vice versa, but not themselves. They swapped stories about their dogs’ personali…

Introduction to This Blog

So I decided to get back into blogging, but with a focus. Just like I decided to get back into my life … but with a focus.

There are four things I love to do — eat, travel, jog and WRITE. They say when you travel you should do things that you love to do at home, so all of these things go together as necessary parts of my body do. I wouldn’t function properly if I were missing any of the parts.

With a Masters in Journalism and undergraduate degree in philosophy, I spend most of my time over-thinking, digesting everything around me (figuratively and literally) and inquiring. I’m that annoying toddler that is always asking “Why? Why? Why?” except I’m in my late 20s. After two glasses of wine I once politely asked a man why he was missing half of his face. I’m lucky to still be alive.

I used to be a full-time newspaper writer and currently teach an intro to mass communications course as well as a media writing course at the local community college. This keeps the devil from working on my…