BEST OF: Thursday, September 19, 2002
The Best of 2002

Who Walked the Walk - or Tripped in the Two-Step - in 2002

By Gayle Reaves

Um, Mr. Man with Briefcase, could we talk? Maybe over a cup and a cinnamon roll at Coffee House Gallery? Sure, bring Anne with you, if you’d like — but she’s buying her own breakfast. No, I don’t mind if you stand, if you don’t mind that I sit.

I’m not sure how to tell you this, but we’re not sure things are working out between Fort Worth and you. Some folks seem to think that you, one of the biggest men in town, lack substance — that perhaps your rather rigid views on dress and your all-work-no-dance philosophy don’t really fit with Cowtown. Also, we’d like to take you to the Stockyards, and see if we can fit you with a pair of boots.

When Fort Worth Weekly asked various staffers and freelancers to tell us their thoughts on everything in Tarrant County from pizza to politics to public art, a bunch of them — independently — brought up your name in, well, critical ways. And now I hear that you yourself may be leaning toward leaving. Or at least, leaning towards leaning.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that, before our seventh annual Best of the West-O-Plex issue came out, so you wouldn’t take it too much to, uh, heart. If your people decide they’ve made a bad call in getting you your position here, let us know. Maybe we could auction you off to raise money for some of the educational programs that are going begging here in Fort Worth, where our motto seems to be “concrete before children.”

In the meantime, let me give you a copy of our “Best Of” issue. Maybe it will help you learn the town a little better. Staffers, of course, took their assignments for this issue seriously — one reporter even wondered if he could expense a bottle of Jim Beam, since a person should be suffering the morning-after woozies to truly judge the “Best Place to Nurse a Hangover.” At the very least they risked their reputations and their stomach linings, doing the research. And speaking of reputations, we’re kind of embarrassed at the number of staff mentions of Central Market — I mean, what is this, Austin? Then there’s the scary fact that, in Foat Wuth, Neiman Marcus won the popular vote for best place to buy men’s clothing. What is this, Dallas?

Those anomalies aside, however, we think you’ll find plenty of good information in this issue on little-known people and places — where Cowtown put its best foot forward in the last year and where it stepped in it, slogged through it, or just threw a shoe at it.

Readers — several hundred of ’em — put in their 37 cents as well, and they made some pretty damned insightful choices ... and some pretty weird ones. That’s not including the 100-plus ballots entered — surreptitiously — in the 7th Annual Ballot-Stuffing contest. (We catch the most obvious attempts every year, although others probably slipped through. They fall, traditionally, into two categories — A: Hair salons; B: Everyone else.) Folks who think our staff choices on businesses are based on advertising dollars should know this: Some of the most intensive ballot-stuffing attempts came from those advertisers, and they were disqualified. In categories where, say, six different nominees got exactly the same number of votes, or where, frankly, every nomination came straight out of Clueless, we did not declare a readers’ choice winner. In categories where staff felt we had nothing entertaining or interesting to say, we let readers’ choices stand alone. And sorry, but our decisions are final. There were no hanging chads, and we did not call in the Florida election commission to review our totals.

The envelopes, please.

— Gayle Reaves

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