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Highland Park LitFest

Photo by John Burcham

National bestseller and award-winning author Peter Heller will be the public keynote speaker for the 27th annual Highland Park Literary Festival. Heller is the author of The River, the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip. Heller has also written the novels Celine, The Painter, The Dog Stars, and The Guide. An award-winning adventure writer and a longtime contributor to NPR, Heller is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Photo by Vladimir Kevorkov

These are the 13 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

In this, the weekend before Thanksgiving, the holidays are in full effect in and around Dallas, with multiple seasonal events taking place. Other choices include showcases for violinists of different ilks, a popular food writer, a famous comedian, a local dance production, two national concert tours, and a symphonic celebration of Broadway.

Photo by Vladimir Kevorkov
Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle opens at Lighthouse Dallas on November 19.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, November 17

The Trains at NorthPark
The Trains at NorthPark is the largest miniature train exhibit in Texas, featuring more than 750 railcars. Visitors to the exhibit will experience watching the trains circle 1,600 feet of tracks rolling from coast to coast on a whimsical journey across the United States. The trains travel from the fall foliage of New England to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge with stops along the way in New York, Arizona, Colorado, and more. The exhibit will be on display at NorthPark Center through January 6.

The DIFFA Wreath Collection
At the DIFFA Dallas Wreath Collection, top designers from across the world create one-of-a-kind holiday wreaths in a one-night-only silent auction benefiting the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. The fundraiser takes place at The Empire Room.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Nicola Benedetti
The innate musicianship and spirited presence of Nicola Benedetti makes her one of the most sought-after violinists today. At this concert, she will perform the U.S. premiere of James MacMillan's Violin Concerto No. 2. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, led by Fabio Luisi, will also perform Bruckner's Symphony No. 4. There will be three performances through Saturday at Meyerson Symphony Center.

DMA Arts & Letters Live: An Evening with Nigella Lawson
Food writer, journalist, and TV cook Nigella Lawson is the bestselling author of 12 books, influencing a generation with her expressive and evocative writing and sumptuous recipes. In support of her latest book, Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories, DMA Arts & Letters Live will present an evening with Lawson as she shares the rhythms and rituals of life spent in the kitchen and reflects on how the process of cooking, eating, and repeating embodies the story of her life. The event takes place at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson.

Lindsey Stirling in concert
It's not often that a violinist becomes a huge star, but Lindsey Stirling has broken through because of the variety of music styles she plays, from classical to pop and rock to electronic dance music, and because of her energetic performances and videos. Each of her six albums, including the new Snow Waltz, has charted at No. 1 on the Billboard classical charts. She'll perform at Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie.

Friday, November 18

Improv Arlington presents Shawn Wayans
Shawn Wayans was born into one of Hollywood's largest and most successful comedic families, so he was naturally gifted with the ability to make people laugh. He carved his own acting career with a starring role in the sitcom The Wayans Bros., along with movies like the Scary Movie franchise. He'll perform four times through Saturday at Improv Arlington.

Family Music Theatre presents White Christmas
In Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander. The production, running through December 10 at New Vida Church of God, features standards like “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the perennial title song.

Bruce Wood Dance presents Awake
Bruce Wood Dance presents Awake, showcasing work by Bruce Wood, legendary American choreographer Lar Lubovitch, Garrett Smith, and Adam W. McKinney with The Digibees. The production shares stories of injustice and loss in the works by Wood, McKinney, and Smith. Paired with the sweeping choreography of Lar Lubovitch’s Dvořák Serenade, dancers glide through the notes echoing grace and beauty along the way. The production will have three performances through Saturday at Moody Performance Hall.

The Fab Four in concert
The Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles tribute due to their precise attention to detail. With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles' classics such as "Can't Buy Me Love," "Yesterday," "A Day In The Life," "Twist And Shout," "Here Comes The Sun," and "Hey Jude," the Fab Four makes audiences think they are watching the real thing. The concert takes place at Majestic Theatre.

Saturday, November 19

Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle
Lighthouse Immersive presents Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle, featuring whimsical animated characters alongside footage of professional ballet dancers. The 30-minute immersive experience is set to the sweeping music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, encompassing visitors in a grand immersive display that relays the tale of The Nutcracker from opening to finale. The exhibition will be on display at Lighthouse Dallas through December 31.

Joe Satriani in concert
Joe Satriani is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, mentoring other guitar greats like Steve Vai, Andy Timmons, and more. He's also been part of the supergroup Chickenfoot, which included ex-Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. He'll play at Majestic Theatre in support of his new album, The Elephant of Mars.

A Magical Cirque Christmas
A Magical Cirque Christmas is a comedic, musical, and magic-filled holiday experience. World-acclaimed performers and cirque artists take audiences back in time, immersing them in the spirit of the season and performing Christmas classics through the decades. The one-night-only performance will be at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

Plano Symphony Orchestra presents "Bravo Broadway!"
For the third show of its season, the Plano Symphony Orchestra will be joined by some of the best voices from the stages of New York performing familiar songs from Tony Award-winning Broadway shows like Les Misérables, West Side Story, The Phantom of The Opera, and more. The concert will be at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson.

Chris Rock/Facebook

These are the 15 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend event planner

There will be a lot of funny business going on around Dallas this weekend, with five events featuring well-known comedians, another with a famous sitcom producer, and a parody musical. There will also be four theater productions (including a Broadway tour), the first holiday light show of the season, the return of a big hometown singer, and more.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, November 3

Crow Museum of Asian Art openings
Two new exhibitions will open at the Crow Museum of Asian Art on Thursday. "Phoenix Rising: Xu Bing and the Art of Resilience" highlights a celebrated work, Bronze Phoenix 2016 (Feng and Huang), complementing it with five works from the Crow Museum’s Chinese jade collection that also celebrate the revered phoenix. "Cast: Molding a New Museum for UT Dallas" looks to the future, providing an exclusive first look at the Crow Museum’s second location on the campus of UT Dallas in Richardson. Both exhibitions will be on display through March 5, 2023.

An Evening with Phil Rosenthal of Somebody Feed Phil
The name Phil Rosenthal may not be that recognizable, but he's the creator of one of the biggest sitcoms of all time, Everybody Loves Raymond. These days, he's better known as the star of the Netflix reality show Somebody Feed Phil, in which he travels to different cities around the world to sample local cuisine. At this event at House of Blues Dallas, Rosenthal will talk about his travels, the food along the way, and the new Somebody Feed Phil The Book.

Second Thought Theatre presents One Flea Spare
The final show of Second Thought Theatre's season (which actually opened last weekend), One Flea Spare takes place in a plague-ravaged London, where the home of a wealthy aristocrat and his invalid wife is broken into by a pair of intruders demanding food and refuge. Resigned to quarantine together, the unlikely group sees the social paradigms that once defined their behavior begin to break down. The production runs through November 12 at Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys Theater campus.

Broadway Dallas presents My Fair Lady
Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed? The musical, which runs through November 13 at the Music Hall at Fair Park, boasts such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” and “On the Street Where You Live.”

Chris Rock: Ego Death World Tour
Comedian Chris Rock has been a star for a long time, finding success on stage, on TV, and in movies. But his profile went way up this year thanks to a dumb joke he told at the Oscars garnering the rage of Will Smith, who slapped Rock in front of a worldwide audience. Rock has lightly addressed the incident in the months since, but anything is possible in his stand-up show. He'll perform on both Thursday and Friday at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving.

Kitchen Dog Theater presents The Sound Inside
In the 17 years since she was last published, novelist Bella Baird has almost completely isolated herself from the world. But things change when she meets Christopher, a brilliant but enigmatic student in her creative writing class at Yale. Intensely intimate and deeply moving, The Sound Inside explores the stories we tell about ourselves, the stories that shape us, and the intersection of fact and fiction. The production runs through November 20 at Trinity River Arts Center.

Marc Maron: This May Be the Last Time
For almost 30 years, Marc Maron has been writing and performing raw, honest, and thought-provoking comedy for print, stage, radio, online, and television. A legend in the stand-up community, Maron has appeared on many television talk shows, including with Conan O’Brien more than any other comedian. He starred in his own sitcom, Maron, on IFC, co-starred in GLOW on Netflix, and continues to put out two episodes a week of his podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. He'll perform at Majestic Theatre.

Friday, November 4

The Light Park
Most holiday light shows wait until around Thanksgiving to open, but the new The Light Park is already raring to go. It features a mile-long, drive-thru spectacular where guests will witness millions of lights synchronized to a mix of music by DJ Polar Ice. Open daily through January 1 at Hurricane Harbor Arlington, the show claims it has the longest light tunnel in the world.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Fabio Luisi & Lise de la Salle
Leading into Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Women in Classical Music Symposium (running Sunday through Wednesday), they will explore the work of three female composers who dared to make a difference in the world of classical music. Julia Perry, Clara Schumann, and Louise Farrenc were highly educated and internationally trained musicians. These talented women helped pave the way for female artists, like featured pianist Lise de la Salle. The concert, which will have three performances through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center, will include Perry's Study for Orchestra, Schumann's Piano Concerto, and Farrenc's Symphony No. 3.

Mainstage Irving - Las Colinas presents Gypsy
Gypsy is the ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters' success while secretly yearning for her own. Set in 1920s and '30s America, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born, the landmark musical explores the world of two-bit show business with brass, humor, heart, and sophistication. The production runs through November 19 at Irving Arts Center.

Coppell Arts Center presents Spamilton: An American Parody
Hamilton gets the comedy treatment with Spamilton: An American Parody, the story of a very famous writer/director/star trying to save Broadway from mediocrity and oblivion. The show not only takes aim at Broadway's mega-hit, but manages to make hysterical mincemeat out of all current and classic Broadway, plus a good deal of pop culture, too. There will be performances on Friday and Saturday at Coppell Arts Center.

Lewis Black: Off The Rails
Lewis Black's live performances provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. He is a passionate performer who is a more pissed-off optimist than a mean-spirited curmudgeon. Lewis is the rare comic who can cause an audience to laugh themselves into incontinence while making compelling points about the absurdity of our world. He'll perform at Majestic Theatre.

Saturday, November 5

Piff The Magic Dragon & Puddles Pity Party: Misery Love Company
Piff the Magic Dragon and Puddles Pity Party have both become big acts around the world, not bad for two "losers" from America’s Got Talent. These satin-adorned down-and-outers have been pals since they first met ages ago at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Neither is easily amused, but when offered the chance to play a double bill, they both agreed it was a pretty good idea, and thus was born The Piff and Puddles Misery Loves Company Tour. They'll perform at Majestic Theatre.

D.L. Hughley's Funnier than a Mutha
Completing the weekend of comedy in and around Dallas will be D.L. Hughley's Funnier than a Mutha. The event at Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie will feature some of the funniest Black comedians working today, including Hughley, Rickey Smiley, Donnell Rawlings, Tony Baker, and Cocoa Brown.

Sunday, November 6

Demi Lovato in concert
Since the last time Demi Lovato played in the Dallas-area, a lot has changed for the hometown singer. She suffered a drug overdose shortly after that concert, took a break from music, released two new albums in back-to-back years, and came out as non-binary, now alternating between using they/them and she/her pronouns. The show will take place at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in support the new album Holy Fvck.

Photo courtesy of Chris Rock

Chris Rock will perform at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving on November 3 and 4.

Photo courtesy of Sanderia Faye

Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture presents “Letters and Spirits”: Sanderia Faye

Sanderia Faye, Hurston/Wright Legacy Award-winning fiction and nonfiction author, activist, Southern Methodist University professor, and sommelier, will discuss her award-winning Mourner’s Bench.

Set in the summer of 1964 in Maeby, Arkansas, the book tells the story of a young girl coming to terms with religion, racism, and feminism while also navigating the terrain of early adolescence and trying to settle into her place in her family and community.

The event begins with an author meet-and-greet, where guests can enjoy craft mocktails, cocktails, and light bites. An author-led discussions of the book will be followed by a moderated Q&A with the author.

Photo by Liliana Castillo

Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture presents “Letters and Spirits”: Ben Fountain

Renowned Dallas author Ben Fountain will give his hometown the first glimpse of his forthcoming novel, Devil Makes Three, well in advance of its publication in September 2023.

National Book Award Finalist and NBCC winner Fountain’s newest novel is set in the aftermath of the 1991 coup d’état of Haiti's first democratically elected president. The novel follows an American expat who owns a dive shop, his Haitian American friends, and an intelligence officer who may be complicit in the disasters that surround them.

The event begins with an author meet-and-greet, where guests can enjoy craft mocktails, cocktails, and light bites. An author-led discussions of the book will be followed by a moderated Q&A with the author.

Photo courtesy of Anna Badkhen

Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture presents “Letters and Spirits”: Anna Badkhen

Guggenheim Fellow and author Anna Badkhen kicks off the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture’s new literary series “Letters and Spirits” with a discussion of her new essay collection, “Bright Unbearable Reality,” long-listed for the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Badkhen seeks what separates and binds us. Her book of 11 essays set on four continents addresses the human condition in a time of unprecedented dislocation.

The event begins with an author meet-and-greet, where guests can enjoy craft mocktails, cocktails, and light bites. An author-led discussions of the book will be followed by a moderated Q&A with the author.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Texas hot spot hooks No. 1 ranking as best college city in America

Studies Show, Study Here

It might be a bit reductive to call Austin a college town, but that's what makes it so good. It certainly benefits from the creativity and industry of college living, but there's a lot more to do than go to gentrified lunches and cool, underground shows.

Recognizing this special balance, financial website WalletHub has declared Austin the No. 1 college city in the United States for 2023, beating out some obvious contenders like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to being the best city overall, Austin also tops the large cities list, and is one of only two Texas locales represented in the top 10 of any category; the other is College Station, No. 6 on the small list.

The most represented state, perhaps not surprisingly, is Florida, with four cities in the overall top 10. The top 10 college cities for 2023, according to WalletHub, are:

1. Austin
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Gainesville, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Rexburg, Idaho
7. Provo, Utah
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Miami
10. Raleigh, North Carolina

And how did Austin make the grade? WalletHub looked at key metrics across three categories to determine the rankings.

Austin scored best, No. 12, in the “social environment” category, determined by metrics like students per capita; breweries, cafés, and food trucks per capita; and safety issues like vaccination and crime statistics.

Its ranking at No. 21 in the “academic & economic opportunities" category puts it in the 95th percentile, even above Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, famous for their Ivy League prevalence.

And perhaps unsurprising to those who currently reside in Austin, the Capital City ranked worst in "wallet friendliness,” at No. 204 out of 415.

Elsewhere in Texas, El Paso did well on the overall list at No. 36, followed by Houston (No. 64), Dallas (99), Fort Worth (153), and San Antonio (169).

Dallas landed well down the list in every category: wallet friendliness (226), academic & economic opportunities (168), and social environment (147).

Fort Worth fell even farther down the list in the same categories: wallet friendliness (242), academic & economic opportunities (201), and social environment (149).

Notably, cities that tend to fall lower in similar studies ranked relatively well among college towns.

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Christmas spirit is in full swing, with all but one of this week’s events being holiday-themed. Check off pics with Santa for both the family and fur babies; take a Christmas cocktail-making class; sample holiday spirits from around the world; and stroll acres of candlelit walkways while indulging in holiday hors d’oeuvres and drinks – just to name a few. ‘Tis the season.

Tuesday, December 6

Caymus Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Decadent four-course meal features pairings with wines from award-winning Caymus. Courses include Stuffed Mushrooms with Shrimp, Rigatoni Al Forno with Chicken, Filet & Scallop Spiedino with Mashed Potatoes, and Crème Brulée, paired with Caymus wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Conundrum Red Blend. The dinner is $75 starts at 6:30 pm. For the Dallas location, reserve here, and for Plano, reserve here.

Fontodi Wine Dinner at La Stella Cucina Verace
The Dallas Arts District Italian restaurant will host a five-course dinner paired with wines from Fontodi, a producer located in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Courses will include beef carpaccio, butternut squash cappellacci with brown butter and sage, porchetta di Pienza with marble potatoes, Wagyu New York strip tagliata with porcini mushroom and butternut squash, and apple crostata. Dinner begins at 7 pm and is $175 plus tax and gratuity.

Thursday, December 8

Santa Paws at Texican Court Hotel
The Irving hotel invites furry friends and their humans to pop by for photos with Santa and complimentary hot apple cider and s’mores by the fire. Santa will be available for pet photos from 5-7 pm. Also enter to win a “Pups Night Away” overnight stay. Don’t miss the hotel’s pocket tequila bar, Salt, for new holiday cocktails in jolly keepsake glassware.

Reindeer Games Bar Crawl
Here’s a holiday bar crawl that spans beyond just drink specials. Participants get their money’s worth with a night of mini golf, axe throwing, unlimited video games, a chartered “sleigh bus,” and a pizza buffet. Start at Another Round and make stops at Flashback Retro Pub, LoneStar Axe Dallas, and Sylvan Avenue Tavern. Participants will also get a beer or seltzer at each stop. Tickets are $150 per duo, and the crawl will run from 6:15-10:30 pm.

Holiday Spirits Around the World at Hotel Vin
Sample an array of global spirits during this tasting experience at Grapevine’s Hotel Vin. Spirits to be served include Montenegro Italian liqueur, The Dalmore Scottish whiskey, Komo tequila, and Horse Soldier bourbon. Each spirit will be paired with globally-inspired bites. The tasting is $50 and will begin at 7 pm.

Friday, December 9

Cocktails by Candlelight at Old City Park
Candlelight will feature more than 13 acres of holiday cheer with decorated buildings, carolers, craft vendors, and candlelit walkways in Old City Park. Its 50th edition is set to begin on December 10, but adults only can get a sneak peek the night before during Cocktails by Candlelight, which comes with heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple, and the event begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, December 10

Shaken, Not Stirred, Holiday Cocktail Class at Elm & Good
The modern American restaurant inside the Kimpton Pittman Hotel will host a holiday cocktail class great for groups looking to make spirits bright. Elm & Good’s lead mixologist Indy Acevedo-Fowler will guide guests through creating three cocktails: a cranberry margarita, peppermint espresso martini, and sangria rosa. Guests will also receive a branded take-away gift. The class is $35 and will begin at 2 pm.

Sunday, December 11

Brunch with Santa at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria
Meet the big guy himself while indulging in brunch dishes during this family-friendly Sunday Funday. Tickets are $25 for adults (includes one mimosa) and $15 for kids 3-12. Children will get to meet Santa and take family photos. Brunch will run from 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

Monday, December 12

12 Days of Thompson
The Thompson Hotel Dallas will spread Christmas cheer with 12 days of daily holiday activations. The festivities start Monday with Home Alone, S’mores & Sips, a movie night with cocktails themed after the Christmas classic, a s’mores bar, and movie screening amid downtown views. The price is a $15 charitable donation. Doors opens at 5 pm with the movie to start at 6 pm. Other 12 Days of Thompson events range from a pie-baking class and cookie decorating to brunch with Santa and Holiday High Tea. See the complete calendar of events here.

Dedicated volunteers extract Spaghetti Warehouse trolley from Dallas' West End

Trolley News

Thanks to a dedicated team of conservation-minded folks, the vintage trolley from the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas' West End has been moved to a temporary new home: in a warehouse at Orr-Reed Architectural Co., the salvage store just south of downtown Dallas, which will provide a safe space for the vehicle while it undergoes a restoration.

A permanent home is still TBD, but Orr-Reed will be housing the trolley for at least the next 12 months.

The trolley was one of the original streetcars that ran through East Dallas nearly a century ago. It surged to fame in 2019 when Spaghetti Warehouse closed after 47 years, and the company held a giant auction of its extensive collection of memorabilia.

The streetcar got a bid from an anonymous buyer, but that buyer bailed once they encountered the difficulties of removing the trolley from the location.

The trolley was donated to the Junius Heights Historic District, a neighborhood association in Old East Dallas who wanted to save the trolley because of its role in the original streetcar program that was key to the establishment of Junius Heights.

Orr-Reed is providing the space and backup manpower for free.

"The first time it went on the auction block, I wanted to buy it because I'm obsessed with keeping the city’s history," says Orr-Reed owner Hannah Hargrove. "Dallas is known for tearing things down and replacing it with bigger and better things, but 'bigger and better' only lasts 50 years. Since we have the space, we wanted to be helpful in providing the trolley's next chapter of life."


spaghetti warehouse trolley A team unloads the Spaghetti Warehouse trolley into a warehouse at Orr-Reed.Johann Huebschmann

The move
JD Middleton, who builds out restaurants and bars for his "day job," oversaw a team of volunteers who broke the trolley down into pieces and transported it to the new location.

"My buddy JJ Velez and I saw it in the news, we both had a personal connection," Middleton says. "My grandfather drove the trolley, it's possible he drove that one, while JJ had seen it when he was a little kid, after the Christmas parade in downtown Dallas."

With another friend, Randy Lasiter, assisting, they volunteered to do it on a 100 percent volunteer basis. For the past six months, they've been going there in the early morning, before heading to their regular job sites.

"We do a lot of crazy things for customer requests, and this was right up our alley," Middleton says.

This entailed cutting the exterior into parts: removing the front and back "nose pieces," breaking down the body of the trolley into panels, then splitting up the chassis foundation — like a vertebrae that they cut up, to be reassembled by a welder.

Middleton says that Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shop donated saw blades and trailers and other equipment, as did Frida's Social Club on McKinney Avenue, who provided a big trailer and truck to haul it over to Orr-Reed.

Middleton assembled a group of friends who spent four hours on December 3, loading the trolley piece-by-piece onto trailers, then unloading it at Orr-Reed. He's also volunteered to help restore it.

"There's some rusting on the inside, it's like an old Ford Model-T that's been sitting in a garage," he says. "We'll get it sand-blasted and primed and painted, then put it back together again."

Their work is saving the Junius Heights Historic District hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's like an art project for us, and we're getting the opportunity to help take care of history," Middleton says. "JJ ate there when he was a little kid, and he'd like to take his kid to see it when it's finished. That’s why we're doing it."


Spaghetti Warehouse trolley Spaghetti Warehouse trolley, in pieces.Johann Huebschmann

The new home
The Junius Heights group does not yet have a permanent home for the trolley, nor a plan for how it will be managed or maintained. Details details.

For now, it resides in Orr-Reed's "dry house" — a warehouse they've used for overflow and for items that need to be kept out of the elements such as big furniture items, casement windows, and things that cannot get wet.

Hargrove and her staff built shelving and redesigned the warehouse to make it work.

"It'll definitely affect our day-to-day routine — there's a giant cumbersome trolley that's taking up space — but it’s worth it," Hargrove says. "If we hadn't done it, they would have had to spend a lot of money on storing it rather than restoring it. I'm a keeper of history, it’s my duty, although I've never done anything on this scale."

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it because someone has to," she says. "I feel like I'm doing the right thing."