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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Magnolia Brew Pub by Carlo

A small-framed man with huge piercing blue eyes, fair skin and a thick Italian accent stands in the middle of an unfinished brewery on Magnolia just next to SiNaCa glass blowing studio. He's covered in dirt and sweat. His name is Carlo, and yes, he's the man behind the pub's moniker.

A loud generic beer truck pulls up in front of his place. An older man with a mustache and a uniform pops out to meet the owner of the pub. He asks when Carlo was going to get his liquor license so he could sell Carlo beer. Carlo grins and politely tells the man he won't be selling that kind of beer.

The distributor seemed surprised. He kept pushing as if Carlo would change is his mind, but he stood his ground as he wiped sweat from his brow. Carlo is mostly brewing his own beer.

Carlo moved here from Torino, Italy. He said in the last ten years microbreweries are popping up all over his native country. They brew and sell European-inspired beer from the likes of Germany, Belgium, etc. He plans to do the same. And no, he will not be bottling Peroni. The only thing Italian is the business model and the food. He'll offer a small menu of pizza and pasta. Carlo said he loves to cook.

The interior has a beautiful wood bar and trim. The microbrewery is even in place. The red-brick exterior adds to the antiquated feel of the place. The building was constructed in the 1920s and most recently was a Gunn's Cleaners.

So why open this unique place in Fort Worth? He moved here to take a job as an engineer for Lockheed Martin, but quit to start his passion. He's spent years and poured everything including his heart into this place.  He finally plans to open in July.

I wish Carlo the best of luck and can't wait to see this place open!

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Blog

I'm sure you've noticed I haven't posted as frequently. For the next few weeks, I will only be posting about once a week. I'm busy teaching summer school.

Stay tuned, and don't give up on me just yet!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Night at Woodstock, Fort Worth

Concert in the Gardens will devote an evening to the famous 1969 Woodstock Festival 8 p.m. June 10 in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.

Um ... sounds awesome.

Even cooler, the tunes by Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Band and more will be backed by a full orchestra.

Bring a blanket, your favorite six pack of beer (or soda) and wear something to noodle in.

Definition of noodling according to Urban Dictionary - "The constant movement and flailing of limbs and head attributed to [...]. Often characterized by sudden movements, such as jerking one's arms out from the body as if trying to pull up long sleeves off your arms, although you are undoubtedly shirtless."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fort Worth's Community Gardens

Cruising through Fort Worth's south side I passed a sign that read "Fairmount Community Garden" with a list of sponsors below it.

What is a community garden? I wondered. According to the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) website, it is any plot of land gardened by a group of people. It can be urban, suburban and it can have flowers or vegetables.

Located on 5th just across from Fairmount Park, Fort Worth's neighborhood garden has 76 leased plots, director Susan Harper said.

Harper said Andrew Schoolmaster, TCU's dean of liberal arts, and Paul Paine, Fort Worth South, Inc. president, approached her in 2008 to start the garden. It took them two years to get everything together because it was the first and only community garden of its kind in Fort Worth. There was some red tape.

Schoolmaster (what a name for a dean) is an urban geographer, so it made sense to him that Fort Worth needed a spot like this.

The community garden has a few plots for children where parents can educate them on nutrition and gardening. It is also a source of food security for the underprivileged families in the area. For a $35 annual fee a family can lease a plot. This price includes mulch and water to take care of their veggies.

Community gardens are also great for urban renewal — it takes an empty space and makes it attractive again. And it truly is pretty, which is why it must have won first place in social revitalization at the Neighborhood of the Year Conference. Harper was very proud to share this with me, as she should be. The garden has only been open for a little over a year, has an award and a waiting list.

Thanks to a comment on this blog I learned several community gardens are sprouting in Fort Worth. A Tarrant Area Food Bank website has a list of local vegetable gardens you should check out! It sounds like they have a lot of great things going on for the community.

You don't have to live in the Fairmount community to participate in this urban experience. Harper said people from TCU area, Mistletoe, Ryan Place and other areas have leased plots. If you would like to get on a waiting list or know more about the garden, call Susan Harper at 817.721-7223.

Fairmount Community Garden

The Sign

Fairmount Community Garden
p.s. I should note there are community gardens in many other parts of the metroplex, but this is the only one in Fort Worth proper. Check out Dallas' Community Gardens of Oak Cliff website. Coppell has them too!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another Great Summer Weekend in Fort Worth

Looking at my calendar I noticed some fun things coming up this weekend! June 3 is another First Friday on the Green at the small park between Magnolia and Rosedale.

This event is packed full of great local flavors, drinks and live music. And this next concert features one of my favorite local bands — Calhoun!

Saturday, June 4 is my favorite Concert in the Gardens show. The Classical Mystery Tour, which is a Beatles cover group that tours the globe, will captivate all ages with popular tunes we can sing along to. Lawn passes are $16. We bring our own snacks and wine, sit on a blanket and have a picnic-style night out with friends. Children under 10 get in free.