Editor’s note: Another year has come and gone, so we are looking back on the most-read CultureMap stories of 2014 — from the State Fair to a supermoon sighting, among many other memorable — if not entirely pleasant — moments.
1. How to get every discount imaginable for State Fair of Texas 2014. The State Fair of Texas started its 24-day run at Fair Park on September 26. Smart fairgoers hunted down any and all discounts to save a little cash — and there was no shortage of bargains.
2. The 10 best new patios in Dallas to drink and dine outdoors. Smart restaurateurs incorporate a patio into their floor plans whenever possible, because Dallas has the weather to enjoy it throughout most of the year. Back in March, taking into consideration the new places that had sprouted up around town, we came up with a list of the best new patios. RIP, Belly & Trumpet.
3. Logo for Yum! Brands banh mi restaurant angers Vietnamese community. On September 12, Yum! Brands opened its new Banh Shop with a logo that featured the name of the restaurant set against a five-pointed red star — the symbol for communism — which stirred unfortunate memories from those of Vietnamese descent. Yum! responded to the controversy swiftly and introduced a new star-less logo by the end of the month.
4. Beaten by White Rock's entitled parents, Cane Rosso fills in patio fountain. After more than a year of struggle, Cane Rosso White Rock filled in the copper-lined fountain on its patio this past August. The fire-and-water feature was the centerpiece of the patio, but it quickly became a health hazard as unsupervised children threw in rocks and dirt, or else climbed into the water, some wearing diapers.
5. Deep Ellum rocked by trio of sad deaths. Back in June, an unfortunate trilogy of deaths hit Deep Ellum when three well-known regulars died within the same week, including punk-rock musician and music lover Brian Alguire, easily identified by his trademark mohawk; Scott Lastowski, a 39-year-old veteran bartender; and his friend David Rell, 51, a longtime music fan who worked at Blockbuster Distribution.
6. Edgefest 2014 lineup goes gently with Beck and Avett Brothers. In February, 102.1 KDGE-FM announced the lineup for its 24th annual music fest, which was held April 26 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. The full list included 14 bands, and the overall vibe seemed consistently gentle — from the Avett Brothers' roots rock to the electropop of Smallpools. It was definitely more mellow compared to prior lineups.
7. Five best Dallas neighborhoods to buy a house right now. Some areas, like the Park Cities and Lakewood, will never cool down. But we were curious about the next hot neighborhoods — where the home prices are still affordable, the amenities are plentiful and the values are bound to go up. To find out, we asked local real estate experts where homebuyers should invest their hard-earned money.
8. The go-to list of every hot Dallas restaurant opening for fall 2014 and beyond. To satisfy Dallas foodies who like to stay on top of all the restaurant openings, we devised this list back in October. It began with restaurants that were either newly opened or are opening soon, and it ended with those coming in 2015.
9. Kung Fu Saloon once again slammed by allegations of racist policies. In May, DeAndre Upshaw, who is black, was denied entry to Kung Fu Saloon in Uptown Dallas because he was told his high-top Converse sneakers were "against the dress code." The bouncer's statement was puzzling, because several members of Upshaw's party were wearing similar shoes. The only difference? They were white. This was not the first time Kung Fu Saloon was accused of selective dress code enforcement, and the incident prompted a peaceful protest, the revealing of Kung Fu's "secret" dress code and an investigation by the City of Dallas.
10. Meteor splits in two over moonstruck Dallas sky. A meteor crossed the sky over North Texas on July 12 at 9 pm, enthralling many around Dallas who watched as it split into two before its inevitable fade. Many were already watching the sky to catch what was the first perigee moon, aka Supermoon, of 2014.