Photo courtesy of NASA

The world now knows the names of the four Houston-based astronauts who will launch in the first crewed moon mission in 50 years. NASA's Artemis II will see the first woman and person of color helming a lunar voyage, a first since the agency's history.

Astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, herself part of a history-making astronaut class and first all-female spacewalk— will join Victor Glover — the first person of color heading to the moon. Rookie Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen rounds out the crew with Commander Reid Wiseman.

Building on the unmanned Artemis I mission to the moon that concluded in December, Artemis II is slated to launch around November 2024, per NASA. In a scene familiar to space fans, the Artemis II crew will deploy inside the cozy Orion spacecraft that will sit atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Artemis II's crew will spend some 10 days in orbit and even venture farther than the 1.4 million miles logged by Artemis I, adding to the historic nature of the journey. After moon orbit, the spacecraft will return to Earth for splashdown and recovery — always a celebrated moment after the highly anticipated takeoff.

Data gathered from Artemis II will pad information from Artemis I in effort to create a permanent moon outpost. On the moon, crews will learn how to live and work away from Earth, which will pave the way for the eventual mission to Mars. A planned Artemis III mission may launch in 2025 or '26, per NASA, which picks up from the last trip, Apollo 17 in 1972. The Artemis III mission, NASA promises, will see the first woman and person of color on the moon.

CultureMap caught up with a very busy Wiseman, who is now responsible for the success of the Artemis II mission once it launches. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, the 47-year-old earned his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University and is a decorated naval aviator, serving in the Middle East as a fighter pilot. The Artemis II mission commander completed a 165-day trip to the International Space Station in 2014 and was most recently chief of the astronaut office, per his bio. He has two sons with wife Carol, who passed away from cancer in May 2020.

CultureMap: Congratulations, Commander. As Artemis II's leader, you are joining lunar mission commander names like the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, and Apollo 13's Jim Lovell. Do you allow yourself to think like that?

Reid Wiseman: Thank you. I do not allow myself to think like that. I think if you get to meet this crew — Victor Glover, Christina Koch, Jeremy Hanson — I really think we would say we want this to be so routine. We want Artemis II to be so successful and so long term that people completely forget about us. We're just that initial little stepping stone. I really hope that's the case. I am flying with an incredible group of heroes and I can't wait to go get this job done.

CM: What does it mean, as mission commander, to have the safety — and the lives — of these amazing and history-making astronauts in your hands once you launch?

RW: It means everything to me.

CM: You and the crew are so incredibly accomplished in your own individual spaces. Yet when you get to NASA — as Christina Koch once told me — you're kind of learning anew. What are you learning now?

RW: When you look at our crew, our next step is to learn about the spacecraft that will be operating in deep space. It's a very capable, very redundant, robust machine. So we have to get in the classroom, we've got to learn about all the capabilities, but we also have to get out and see the workforce.

We'll be the first humans to ever ride on this vehicle. And there's a lot of unknowns. We have a lot of systems to test. Uh One was very successful.

We need to hit the books and then we need to get in the sim [simulator], we need to practice simulations, learn how we all operate together as a team and then learn about the failure modes of the vehicle, how we can work around to keep ourselves safe and keep the mission going. And then after that, I think we'll be ready to look at Florida — and head out to the moon.

CM: Do prior lunar flight commanders and icons — like Armstrong and Lovell — serve as role models? How about the astronaut network in general?

RW: I think we look at those legends as their heroes, but they are also friends. Those folks really gave their lives to our nation and when they landed on the moon for the first time. But the amazing part for us as younger astronauts is they're still heavily engaged in everything we do right now.

I talked to Jack [Harrrison] Schmitt just a few months ago. Dave Scott still comes by every time he can to talk about geologic processes on the moon. Like these guys are our friends. It's really, really neat.

Neil Armstrong was amazing. John Young was incredible — he led our office for a number of years. Those guys are heroes to us for sure. When you look at who has taught me the most about being an astronaut, it's the folks I flew with on my first mission. It's the folks that I've worked with in the astronaut office. Now, I've seen some exceptional examples of leadership and followership and both skills are critical to be an astronaut.

CM: You learned you'll be headed to the moon — the dream adventure of billions all over the world— in the most office kind of way, we hear.

RW: Uh yeah, we all goofed up [laughs]. We missed the meeting. The chief astronaut put a placeholder on my schedule for a different topic. I was actually at a doctor's office and the doctor just walked in. So, I missed the first part of the meeting and I was able to use Microsoft Teams and dial in towards the end.

When the camera popped up, I saw the chief astronaut — who I expected to see for my meeting. But then, I also saw Norm Knight, our director of flight operations. I also saw Victor Glover and Christina Koch. And I was like, ‘oh boy, I think I just missed something big here.’

CM: Well, we've all missed meetings. But this was big — like headed to the moon big.

RW: Right [laughs]. It turned out that both Christina and Victor also missed the beginning of the meeting. So, we all showed up in perfect harmony.

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman Artermis II moon

Photo courtesy of NASA

Reid Wiseman is suiting up for the moon.

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Volleying questions to tennis star Frances Tiafoe during the 2023 Dallas Open

Sports Q&A

The Dallas Open, the only indoor tournament on the men’s pro tennis tour in America, runs February 5-12 at the Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex on the SMU campus. The event features 60 international players headed by top seeds Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe from the U.S. in singles action.

Fritz is ranked No. 8 in the world, Tiafoe No. 15. Among the other top players scheduled to appear: Denis Shapovalov of Canada, Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, John Isner of the U.S., Adrian Mannarino of France, Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, and Taro Daniel of Japan. Reilly Opelka, winner of 2022’s inaugural Dallas Open, had to withdraw this year due to injury.

Although Tiafoe is considered one of the fastest players on the pro tour, CultureMap managed to catch up with him on his way to Dallas.

CultureMap: You caused a major fashion ruckus with the mega-decibel outfit you wore during the recent Australian Open. How did that happen? Was it your idea or Nike’s and will you be wearing it during the Dallas Open?

Frances Tiafoe: I’m not in a position where I can sit with Nike and tell them what I want to wear and they’ll make it happen. It definitely wasn’t coming from me. All they told me was, I was going to wear something sleeveless and it’s going to be loud. I said alright, cool.

When I got there and saw it, I said, well, it’s definitely loud. I thought, I’ll rock it. I think I can pull this off. They gave me an alternative outfit but I thought it was kind of bland. Let’s go with the loud one. In Round One, the outfit was going everywhere. Round Two, yeah, all the attention was really cool. I don’t know if I’ll be bringing it out for the next tournament. Maybe I’ll have some different cool ones coming. We’ll see.

CM: Speaking of unusual, your forehand doesn’t resemble anything in a tennis instruction manual. Same question, how did that happen?

FT: I used to have a normal forehand, technique-wise. Everything I do is unorthodox. I have a certain flavor with everything I do. I just tried something different and it felt good, it felt loose. Obviously I’ve had coaches try to change it when I was struggling. I was told that it wouldn’t work at this level or that level. Now I’m sitting close to the top of the game and it’s proved to work at every level. It is what it is. I just hope that kids don’t want to copy it because it’s not ideal.

CM: Unlike many players, you seem to have fun on the court. Is that something that comes naturally or did you have to work at letting yourself enjoy tennis?

FT: No, no, no, it’s not a pre-meditated thing. Who I am on the court is just who I am as a person. I’m a genuine dude. I like to have fun. I’m blessed to be out here playing tennis and playing at a high level in front of people who want to watch me play. I like when people scream my name. I have little kids mimicking some of my celebrations and stuff. It’s already an atmosphere before I even do anything. This is fun.

CM: You beat the great Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open last year. It was one of the most exciting matches ever at the Open. My heart was pounding watching at home as you drew closer to match point. How did you keep your cool down the stretch? Was your heart pounding, too?

FT: Absolutely! My legs were like cement close to the end of the match. It was partly because I was tired, also because I was so nervous. Yeah, the first time you beat a GOAT, those wins are hard to come by. It’s not easy at all, it’s one of those things you don’t know what to expect because you’ve never been there before. I was trying to stay in the moment, stay locked in, not worrying too much about the score line. I thought I did a good job.

CM: You and Jack Sock defeated Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at last year’s Laver Cup. It was Federer’s final match of his career. Did any part of you think, maybe this isn’t such a good idea? Maybe I should let Federer win?

FT: I knew what time it was when I got out there. I knew I was going to be behind the 8 ball. Not that everybody was going to be against me, but they would be for Roger. I wasn’t going to lie down. I’m a competitor. It was interesting. I hit him and the crowd booed me. I had never been in a situation like that. Hey, it’s kind of cool to say that I beat Roger Federer in his last match. I don’t think he was apologizing for beating everybody for 20-plus years. I think he’s sleeping perfectly fine at night.

CM: What was the first extravagant or crazy thing you bought when you started cashing big tournament paychecks?

FT: I like to buy nice clothes and stuff. I’m not really a crazy spender. I like knowing I can take care of my family, stuff like that. I got my brother a car, a C-class Mercedes, for his birthday. He’s my twin brother and we turned 25. Seeing other people happy from what I’m able to do for them means more to me.

CM: You seemed heartbroken and practically in tears after you lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the U.S. Open semifinals last year. How do you get over a defeat like that?

FT: Every loss hurts but the Slams hurt a little harder. The Alcaraz match was devastating. The love I felt from the fans was something. I was close to something really special, something I really wasn’t planning when I got to New York. Time helps you get over it. With tennis, there are so many events, there’s always the next thing. I wanted to attack the next thing, which happened to be the Laver Cup. If you go there and clinch the Laver Cup and beat Roger Federer, that helps you.

CM: You’re wearing a necklace that says “Big Foe.” When are you getting your own signature tennis shoe?

FT: I rock the “Big Foe,” man, the lifestyle. I love my nickname. The fans call me that and it’s pretty cool. It’s about being me and enjoying my life. About my own shoe, you’ll have to ask Nike about that. Maybe if I win a Slam that will change. I’m just happy to have some shoes on my feet so I can go out and play this sport.

. ---

The Dallas Open runs daily through February 12 at Styslinger / Altec Tennis Complex (at SMU), with sessions at 12 and 7 pm. Tickets and more information at dallasopen.com.

Photo courtesy of Vsevolod Maevskyi

Renowned Ukrainian dancer who fled war stars in Tuzer Ballet's 'Nutcracker' in Dallas

World stage

On February 24, 2022, Ukrainian-born dancer Vsevolod "Seva" Maevsky lay in bed, nursing a back injury at his home in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he was a member of the world-famous Mariinsky Ballet.

Vsevolod "Seva" Maevsky

Photo courtesy of Vsevolod Maevsky

Vsevolod "Seva" Maevsky gave up his career with Mariinsky Ballet to help his family flee Ukraine.

The phone rang.

It was a friend and former Mariinsky colleague, calling from Mexico.

“In your country, Ukraine, now is war,” the friend told him.

Seva phoned home to Kyiv.

Russian military forces had invaded the country. Family members wanted to leave.

Seva wanted to help, but it meant saying goodbye to the Mariinsky - his dream ballet company and dance home for the last four years.

“I really had no choice,” he says. “I had to help my family.”

But at 24 - a man of combat age - Seva could not go back to Kyiv, as he would not be allowed to leave once he entered Ukraine.

Instead, with little money, few possessions, and still suffering from debilitating back pain, the dancer journeyed from Saint Petersburg to Turkey to reunite with his mother, brother, two sisters, and a niece fleeing Ukraine.

There, they would try to make a plan for the future - whatever the future should look like.

Conflicting worlds
Ten months later, Seva is sharing his story ahead of his unlikely appearance as a guest principal artist in the Tuzer Ballet’s Nutcracker performances December 17-18 at the Eisemann Center in Richardson.

His engagement as the Nutcracker Prince with the respected Tuzer Ballet likely would not have come about had Seva not found himself displaced from both his homeland and his adopted home country - and seeking opportunities to perform where he can.

In a virtual video interview from Seva’s new temporary home of Dresden, Germany, he makes two things clear: 1) He will not complain about his personal situation because many of his countrymen and women have it much worse, and 2) Out of respect for his friends in both Ukraine and Russia, he does not want to discuss politics of what he calls “a stupid war.”

“To be honest, sometimes it’s so hard when I start to think about it because, yeah Ukraine’s my home, but Russia, I have a lot of friends,” he says.

In fact, Seva says, the day he told his Mariinsky director that he would be leaving Saint Petersburg to help his family, he was met not with a “goodbye,” but with a big hug.

“It was difficult because I grew up there and everybody was so kind to me,” he said of the company he’d come of age with since he was 19.

Born in Kyiv, Seva achieved early success as a ballroom dancer, partnered with his sister from the age of 5. It was his mother’s dream for him to dance ballet, so she enrolled him in the Kyiv State Ballet School. Seva went on to win several international awards and competitions, including the prestigious Gold Medal Grand Prix Kyiv (Ukraine) in 2016. He earned a scholarship to study with the Ellison Ballet in New York and then, in 2018, won the Gold Medal at the acclaimed Youth America Grand Prix New York.

Then came the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet, one of the biggest and most respected companies in the world (rivaled only by Russia’s famed Bolshoi).

Determined to help
But in the spring of 2022, Seva suddenly found himself in Turkey without work, without income, without the routine of rehearsals and performances with one of the world’s pre-eminent ballet companies.

Determined to help his mother and siblings - who were struggling with employment and finances - he took out a loan with friends, searched for auditions, and reached out to ballet contacts around the world to help him find dance work. Yet his crippling back pain persisted, and he felt his 24-year-old body falling out of shape.

“I had to do something because I had to help my family and I had to just keep going because it's my profession,” he says. “It was hard. I remember I did my second audition and (I was) not in shape… I was disappointed. I was like, okay what happened with my body, I’m losing everything here. It’s really important for dancers, if you want to improve yourself, you just keep going.”

Seva’s first performance after he left Russia ended up being in Orlando, Florida. The Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), which he’d won in 2018, invited him to perform at their gala in April 2022.

“I was so happy to be back on the stage, to be back (in) shape,” Seva says.

Gala performances with companies in Switzerland and Italy followed, and on May 1, he moved to Dresden and started with the Dresden Semperoper Ballet. He proudly paid off his loan in three months. “I’m so thankful to the director and teachers here, that I can keep going,” he says.

Seva is also working with a manager who is focused on helping artists, displaced by war, find opportunities in America. On November 12, Seva performed in a sold-out concert in Los Angeles called “Reunited in Dance,” featuring renowned dancers from around the world impacted by the war in Ukraine.

From Dresden to Dallas
Seva connected with Dallas’ Tuzer Ballet through Lauren Lovette, another guest principal dancer in the Tuzers’ Nutcracker. Lovette is the choreographer in residence at the acclaimed Paul Taylor Dance Company and performs as a guest principal dancer around the world.

Tuzer Ballet co-founder Pat Tuzer says that when a couple of the dancers from prior years’ Nutcrackers became unavailable this year, a friend recommended Lovette, who recommended Seva.

"We're really excited to have someone of his caliber joining us,” Tuzer says. “He's a citizen of the world with the experiences he has already had at such a young age. It will be wonderful."

Pat and Tanju Tuzer’s ballet company has the longest running Nutcracker in Dallas-Fort Worth, back for its 41st holiday season. They describe their Nutcracker as “a blend of global inspiration and local brilliance,” with technically difficult choreography inspired by their international training in Hamburg, Germany - along with more than 400 original costumes and professional sets that transport audiences to a magical wonderland.

Seva will rehearse in New York for several days before flying to Dallas for the weekend performances. It will be his first time in Dallas.

“I really appreciate it, this invitation to be back on the stage in USA,” Seva says. “I'm really happy and to be honest, USA was from my childhood like a dream… Dallas is a new place for me, and I think we will do everything great and I just want to be thankful for that opportunity.”

As for his family, Seva’s brother and mother have remained in Turkey. His sisters, remarkably, have gone back to Ukraine.

“I know it’s so dangerous for them still,” Seva says. “They’re like, ‘We’ll just see what happens.’ I hope everything will be okay.”

With the unprovoked war dragging on and instability throughout Ukraine and Russia, Seva is not sure what his own future will hold. It’s been two years since he stepped foot in his homeland of Ukraine, and he also misses his friends in Russia tremendously.

“I don’t have, like, exactly plans,” he says. “I have some offers to keep going and to maybe change companies next season, but we’ll see. I just want to dance, I just want to improve myself, and help my family.”

'Art helps'
Coincidentally, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet premiered exactly 130 years ago, in December 1892, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. What has now become a holiday tradition around the world features themes of growing up, conquering fears, and finding beauty in lands around the world.

They are themes that resonate offstage with Seva.

“Art, and in this case, ballet, help people to forget for a while about problems outside,” Seva says. “They come to see this performance and they see me, like, as a prince in Nutcracker, for example, and they think about this. Art makes people think in a better way.

“With this situation (in Ukraine) ... we can change it if we will start thinking in a different way, like a more peaceful way, and art helps with this.”


Tuzer Ballet presents "The Nutcracker," 2 pm December 17 and 18 at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, Richardson. Tickets: $20-$80 through the Eisemann Center website.

Photo courtesy of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Preston Place: University Park's idyllic, tight-knit neighborhood

Your Expert Guide

There are so many great places to live in Dallas that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.


Eighteen years ago, real estate agent Mary Ann Chapel and her family moved to Preston Place in University Park, drawn by its excellent schools, prime location, architectural variety, and charm.

"It has been a wonderful place to raise my family," she says. "The neighbors really do all know each other. It is easy to meet people and get to know them (and their pets), and the kids have friends to play with after school. It's safe enough for the kids to bike or walk to school, to Germany Park, or even Highland Park Village when they're old enough."

In 2016, Chapel began focusing her real estate career in her own neighborhood.

"I have personal knowledge of the homes and amenities here. I understand the qualities that make this part of town unique," she says. "I live in an older home, so I have an understanding and appreciation for the original homes in Preston Place, as well as the beautiful homes built more recently."

Preston Place's location is a big plus for potential buyers, as it's close to the Tollway for quick travel south to downtown Dallas or to all points north in 30 minutes or less. Dallas Love Field Airport, Inwood Village, and the shopping and restaurants on Lovers Lane are just a short drive away.

"My home is only four blocks from Bradfield Elementary School and six blocks from Highland Park High School, so I love seeing the students and families walk past my home every day," Chapel says. "Highland Park Village is also just four blocks away, so it's easy to walk down to Starbucks for coffee, enjoy a night out at any of the amazing restaurants, or see a movie at the theater. The Fourth of July parade even passes by on Preston Road at the end of our block."

Chapel offered up a few of her personal favorites about life in University Park's Preston Place. Here's her guide to the area:

Where to eat & drink
Highland Park Village is full of restaurants and shopping, and you'll usually find Chapel at Lounge 31 or Mi Cocina. During the holiday season, she especially likes to visit Monkey Bar — the "secret" bar atop this location of Mi Cocina known for its views of the trees strung with twinkly lights.

Where to play
Take your pick among the Park Cities’ many green spaces, including Williams Park and Lakeside Park, the latter of which Chapel says is great for a picnic or a longer dog walk.

The Moody Family YMCA offers 3,000 square feet of space, top-of-the-line fitness equipment, over 95 group exercise classes per week, and more.

And, of course, this wouldn't be Texas without Highland Park High School football games on Friday nights.

Where to live
Traditional-style homes are typically found in this area, Chapel says. However, you'll see a wide range of architectural styles mixed in, from cottage and farmhouse to Tudor and French Provincial, as well as Mediterranean and contemporary. You'll also find several different types of Colonial-style homes, including Dutch, Federal, and Georgian.

"Many homes in this area are original, having been built in the 1930s and '40s," Chapel says. "There's a very charming neighborhood vibe here. Each block is well-connected, and I love all the neighborhood parties that happen in this community."

Prominent Dallas architect Charles Dilbeck is also well-represented. Chapel herself lives in a Dilbeck home, and there are many examples of his work within a few blocks.


Mary Ann Chapel lives, works, and plays in University Park's Preston Place. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email mchapel@briggsfreeman.com, or call 469-371-8418.

Photo courtesy of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Vaquero: Westlake's luxurious, gated, private community and golf club

Your Expert Guide

There are so many great places to live in North Texas that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.


"We have been working in the neighborhood for the past 10 years," says real estate agent JL Forke, "and Vaquero is one of the most unique communities in all of Texas."

A gated neighborhood in Westlake that's close to Southlake Town Square and DFW International Airport, Vaquero is also home to the parents of Forke's real estate partner, Jennifer Shindler.

"We love the relaxed environment — as soon as you enter the gate, you feel like you are on vacation," Shindler says. "Vaquero is where the city ends and living begins."

Forke and Shindler offered up a few of their personal favorites about life in Vaquero. Here's their guide to the area:

Where to eat & drink
If you live in Vaquero, you are almost certainly a member of the Vaquero Club. Its clubhouse is perched atop a hill for the best views, and offers dining options that range from formal to casual to outdoors by the fire pit. And if you don't feel like dining out, the club restaurant will deliver food right to your door.

Where to play
"When you become a member of the club, you gain access to a lot of neighborhood amenities including golf, tennis, pickleball, group activities, swimming, the gym, and a stocked fishing pond," says Shindler.

"The clubhouse also has a kids club, which allows parents to have a date night at the club," says Forke. And, speaking of children: Those in the neighborhood have the opportunity to attend Westlake Academy, a nationally ranked K-12 charter school operating under the International Baccalaureate curriculum.

Shindler personally enjoys a round of golf, while Forke likes to explore the neighborhood's many trails and lakes.

Where to live
Vaquero has various custom homes, and the pair says there is a type of home for every architectural taste, including French, Santa Barbara-style, Texas Hill Country, Mediterranean, and contemporary.

The pair has sold many homes in the neighborhood, but their most recent is a gorgeous example of Vaquero's high-quality building.

2211 Vaquero Estates Blvd. is a Santa Barbara-style home that was fully reimagined by David Stocker, AIA and principal of SHM Architects, with interiors by designer Barry Williams.

Before going on the market, it underwent a two-year renovation that included a showstopping kitchen with a butler's pantry and bar, a primary suite with two oversized closets, a Crestron whole-house AV system, Lutron lights, and floor-to-ceiling steel-and-glass back walls that offer views of the resort-style backyard.

A game room, home theater, elevator, and separate golf-cart garage complete the dream dwelling.


JL Forke and Jennifer Shindler work and play in Vaquero. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email jshindler@briggsfreeman.com, or call 214-215-5181.

Agents Jennifer Shindler and JL Forke

Photo_JL Forke & Jennifer Shindler
Photo courtesy of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
Agents Jennifer Shindler and JL Forke
Photo courtesy of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Midway Hollow: A blend of home styles with a strong sense of community

Your Expert Guide

There are so many great places to live in Dallas that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.


Looking for a mix of more established homes and new-builds? You'll find it in Midway Hollow, just north of Dallas Love Field Airport and west of Preston Hollow.

Real estate agent Jennifer Shindler has lived there for five years, enticed by its central location and nearby amenities. However, she and her business partner, JL Forke, have been introducing others to the neighborhood for nearly 15 years.

"We love the sense of community, character, large lot sizes, mature trees, and the different types of architecture throughout the neighborhood," says Shindler.

Forke and Shindler offered up a few of their personal favorites about life in Midway Hollow. Here's their guide to the area:

Where to eat & drink
"Suze Restaurant," recommends Forke. "It’s the best date night spot, and we love to meet clients there. Great food, cocktails, and wine."

The neighborhood Central Market is also a big asset, as is Fernando's Mexican Cuisine with its crowd-pleasing patio.

Where to play
"Midway Hollow is definitely a nice place to go on neighborhood walks under a canopy of trees," says Shindler. "You'll see plenty of kids out playing and dogs being walked. It’s also fun to cross Midway Road and walk the hills of Old Preston Hollow."

Being so close to Dallas Love Field Airport means easy access to the Frontiers of Flight Museum, and Bachman Lake is also nearby.

Where to live
The pair points out that most of the neighborhood's original homes are 1950s ranch-style, with some midcentury modern homes sprinkled in here and there. There is also a lot of new construction that runs the gamut from traditional to transitional to contemporary.

One such transitional new-build is 4163 Park Ln., a recent sale that was listed by the duo for $1,800,000.

It features wide-plank hardwood floors, 11-foot ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, and Jeld-Wen wood-clad windows. Two living areas, a study, and the primary suite are downstairs, while a game room and three ensuite bedrooms are upstairs.

The open-concept kitchen features an island, quartz countertops, and GE Monogram appliances (including a built-in refrigerator). The primary suite offers a sitting area, marble floors in the bathroom, a separate tub and shower, and a custom closet that rivals a small boutique.


JL Forke and Jennifer Shindler live, work, and play in Midway Hollow. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email jshindler@briggsfreeman.com, or call 214-215-5181.

Agents Jennifer Shindler and JL Forke

JL Forke and Jennifer Shindler
Photo courtesy of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
Agents Jennifer Shindler and JL Forke
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

These are the 7 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

On the tails of the holiday weekend, several events return by this week’s end. A gourmet Italian grocer will celebrate an Italian holiday; one of the longest running food festivals in town kicks off on Friday; and a wine tasting event themed after a hit movie takes place on Saturday. Get outdoors and pair a craft pint with a leisurely paddleboard tour. Or sip margaritas poolside after a refreshing yoga class at a top Dallas hotel.

Friday, June 2

Sunset Paddle & A Pint
DFW Surf Frisco kicks off its Friday night guided standup paddle tour of Hidden Cove Park and Marina with an extra incentive: beer. At the halfway point of the two-mile trek, participants stop for a sunset beer toast provided by 3 Nations Brewing. Board lamps, head lamps, and glow sticks provide light for the evening paddle back to shore. Tickets are $60 and the tour will run from 7:30- 9 pm.

All You Can Eataly
The Italian marketplace at NorthPark will close to the public and open to ticketholders for a Festa della Repubblica party featuring more than two dozen food stations, 50-plus Italian wines, 25-plus beers, and multiple cocktails bars featuring Italian libations. There’ll also be chef demos, DJ sets, photo booths, and live music with a dance band. Tickets start at $125, or pay $195 for VIP and get early entry, premium tastings, and a dedicated lounge. The party will run from 7-10 pm, with VIP early entry at 6 pm.

Taste Addison
The popular family-friendly festival kicks off Friday night at Addison Circle Park for two days of local restaurant dishes, wine and spirit tastings, music acts, and more. Participating restaurants include Asian Mint, Taqueria La Ventana, Thai Orchid, Ron’s Place, Lupe Tortilla, and at least two dozen others. General admission is $15, or $5 for kids 6-12. Or go VIP and pay $60 for two beverage tokens, two Taste Bite vouchers, and access to the main stage viewing deck and private VIP lounge. Taste Addison runs from 6 pm -midnight on Friday and 2 pm-midnight on Saturday.

Saturday, June 3

Catalina Canned Wine Mixer at Truck Yard Dallas
The Truck Yard hosts a “bro-down” party themed after the 2008 hit movie Step Brothers. Wear your best tuxedo t-shirt and enjoy a wine tasting, photo ops, food trucks, and a Step Brothers cover band. Admission is free, but a $15 wine tasting from 7-9 pm offers six wine samples and a souvenir glass filled with frose. Costume contests will be held at 5 pm and 10 pm.

Sunday, June 4

Yogarita at The Stoneleigh
Move over, beer yoga. The Stoneleigh is leveling up boozy yoga classes with the launch of Yogarita, a Sunday morning yoga session paired with a margarita. The one-hour class includes a Casamigos margaritas and a fish taco from the hotel’s Perle on Maple restaurant. Bonus: participants also get a lounge chair for the day at The Stoneleigh pool. Tickets are $40 and yoga mats are provided. Class begins at 10:30 am.

Wine and Cheese Pairing Class at Dallas Arboretum
This seated class will take participants through the art of pairing wine with artisanal cheeses and will be led by a cheese expert from the Mozzarella Company and wine expert from Two Wine Guys. The class is $89 (or $79 for Arboretum members) and will run from 1-3 pm.

Monday, June 5

Lakewood Brewery Dinner at Urban Crust
The Plano wood-fired pizza kitchen hosts a four-course beer pairing featuring local Lakewood Brewery. The dinner will come with four different Lakewood brews. The event is $49.99, plus tax and gratuity, and will begin at 6:30 pm.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus navigates marriage pitfalls in You Hurt My Feelings

Movie Review

Anybody who’s been married or in a long-term relationship knows that it’s almost impossible to be completely honest with his or her partner. There are always going to be moments – whether for the sake of expediency, in a show of support, or other reasons – when one person withholds their true opinion so as not to hurt the other person’s feelings.

That idea is the central tension point of You Hurt My Feelings, which follows Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a writer/teacher, and her husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), a therapist. Beth is in the middle of trying to get her first fiction book published, a process that is causing her unceasing anxiety. Don sees a series of patients, including a constantly-bickering couple (played by real-life husband and wife David Cross and Amber Tamblyn), and a few lapses cause him to question his commitment to the profession.

When Beth and her sister, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), accidentally overhear Don telling his brother-in-law, Mark (Arian Moayed), that he doesn’t like Sarah’s new book and is exhausted having to tell her otherwise, it sends Beth into an emotional spiral. The aftermath winds up pulling in not just the two couples, but also Beth and Don’s son, Eliot (Owen Teague), dredging up feelings that all of them normally try to keep hidden.

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, the film is a funny and genuine look at how even the best couples can run into pitfalls. By most measures, Beth and Don get along fantastically well, supporting each other unwaveringly and showing their love in a variety of ways. When the story puts them at odds with each other, there’s never a question that they belong together, as even their arguments are tinged with exasperation instead of anger.

Holofcener complements the story of Beth and Don with a nice variety of side plots, including Eliot trying to start his own writing career while working at a weed store; Beth and Sarah’s mom, Georgia (Jeannie Berlin), offering up support and criticism in equal measures; and more. Don’s patients and Beth’s students offer an opportunity to expand the two characters’ personalities outside of their marriage while also adding a few other funny roles.

While perhaps not the most insightful film about marriage that’s ever been made, it is still highly enjoyable thanks to Holofcener’s writing and the strong performances. Filmed in New York City, the particular feel of that urban landscape and the way it affects the lives of the characters also plays a big part in the success of the film.

Louis-Dreyfus, as always, is a delight to watch. A kind of spiritual sequel to her previous collaboration with Holofcener, 2013’s Enough Said, the film gives her plenty of room to show off both her comedic and dramatic skills. Menzies makes for a steady presence, showing good chemistry with Louis-Dreyfus and a preternatural calm in therapy sessions. Watkins, Moayed, Teague, and Berlin all fit in seamlessly.

You Hurt My Feelings is not a world-changing kind of movie, but rather a solidly-told story about how relationships can be complicated. With actors who are easy to like and Holofcener’s reliably great filmmaking, it’s a movie for adults that’s nice counter-programming to the glut of summer blockbusters.


You Hurt My Feelings is now playing in theaters.

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings

Photo courtesy of A24

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings.

5 tips to build stunning sand sculptures from 2023 Texas SandFest winners

Fun at the beach

As summer fast approaches, sandy vacations to coastal destinations are on the horizon for many travelers. For those with kids in tow, sandcastle-making might top the list of beach trip must-dos.

But “playing” in the sand isn’t just an activity for children, as proven by the 22 professional sand sculptors from around the world who recently competed in the 26th annual Texas SandFest, held in Port Aransas in April. The internationally recognized event, started by Port A locals in 1997, is the largest native-sand sculptor competition in the nation; nearly 70,000 people attended this year.

Competition entries featured everything from mermaids to the Grim Reaper, all intricately carved, brushed, and chiseled from sand, ocean water, and perhaps a little diluted spray glue that sculptors say helps maintain detail. The competitors work on their masterpieces during the event, allowing spectators to witness their progress from start to finish.

“I do around five international sand sculpting competitions per year. It’s always a great challenge to compete a high level,” says Benoit Dutherage, a competitive sculptor from France who also creates snow sculptures in the French Alps during the winter.

Dutherage took first place in the Duo Masters category, along with his sand sculpting partner Sue McGrew, for their work called “Wish You Were Here.” Comprised of two loving faces (one mystically cut in half), the sculpture was a tribute to Pink Floyd.

“We like to reflect human emotions in our sculptures,” he says. “It is never easy to pick an idea among the thousands of ideas we have.”

Florida resident Thomas Koet, whose sculpture called “The Prospector” won first place in the People’s Choice category, intended to create something with horses and a cowboy as an homage to Mustang Island, where the competition took place. High tides just before the event thwarted his plans.

“The high tide washed away so much of the sand, I had only enough left for a mule or a foal,” he says. “So I decided to make an old prospector with a mule.”

Thinking out of the box when it comes to carving sand is just one of several suggestions Koet has for recreational sand sculptors. (“Who says it has to be a castle?” he says.) He and other winners from the 2023 Texas SandFest say they are always happy to see novices get creative.

Here are five of the pros' top tips for producing a beachfront masterpiece.

1. Think beyond the standard sandcastle
“Design and sculpt outside of your comfort zone,” says Abe Waterman, a sculptor from Prince Edward Island, Canada, who took first place in the Solo Masters division with his sculpture, “Sleeps with Angels.” The mega sculpture featured four angels at four corners holding a blanket carrying a sleeping woman. “While this may not lead to the best sculpture results, one will improve faster by doing this.”

Waterman noted that there are different types of sand depending on location. Some are better suited for detailed work while others work well for verticality. “But something can always be sculpted regardless of the sand quality, the design just may need to be altered,” he says.

Koet recommends picking something that will fit your attention span. “You can make anything you want,” he says. “You can make a cat, a shark, a monster truck, your high school mascot, a sneaker, or a shark eating an ice cream cone.”

2. Use the right tools
Forgo the cheap tourist shop plastic bucket and shovel set. “You definitely need proper tools to get a good result: A solid shovel, a few trowels – not too big – and a wall painting brush to clean your sculpture,” says Dutherage. “You’ll also need buckets.”

Think big painter’s buckets, he says, used to make what’s essentially “sand mud” consisting of lots of water and sand. Which leads to the next tip ...

3. Create a form mold
Consider this the secret to head-turning sand sculptures. Whether it’s a 10-foot-tall wooden box with sides that come off, or a plastic bucket with the bottom cut out, a “form mold” is an open-top vessel used to hold packed sand and water to create a carve-able structure.

“It’s a very useful thing to have in order to get a solid block, and to go high,” says Dutherage. “If you are a handyman, you can build your own forms. But a quick solution is to take a bucket, no matter what size, and cut out the bottom. Then put that bucket upside down on the sand. Add a few inches of sand, some water, mix with your trowel and compact that layer. Repeat until the bucket is full. Then gently pull the bucket up and surprise! You will get a nice block of sand ready for a sandcastle full of windows, arches, and gates.”

The compacted layers of sand and water almost act as cement, creating a sturdy base for carving. Dutherage says folks can easily repeat the form mold process to create multiple bases, either side by side or stacked.

4. Use plenty of water, for the sculpture and yourself
Benoit recommends adding even more water during the sculpting process.

“Bring a plant sprayer,” he says. “Sand needs to be wet to be sculptable.”

Even rain during sand sculpture building isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that rain will destroy a sand sculpture,” says Waterman. “While this is possible, most often it just textures the surface.”

Water is also essential for the sculptor, as staying hydrated is key during the process, Waterman adds.

Texas SandFest

Texas SandFest

"The Prospector" took first place in the 2023 Texas SandFest People's Choice category

5. Practice, Practice, Practice
“The biggest misconception is that I do anything different than anybody who does it only for the first time,” says Koet, who’s been sculpting sand for 25 years. “Sure, I bring more and bigger tools and I spend much more time shoveling the sand high and mixing it with water. But there is no magic other than years of practice.”

Waterman, who admits sand sculpting has taken over his life, competes in up to 10 contests a year and also creates sculptures for exhibits and corporate commissions.

“Tricks and tips will only get a person so far,” he says. “But ultimately practice and putting the time in will get them a whole lot further.”

Benoit agrees. “Making a sand sculpture requires a lot of work and the more you practice, the better you will get,” he says. “But first of all, you have to enjoy the fun of it.”