Five stories that have North Texas talking: Volunteers will read "Moby Dick" in shifts over four days at the Modern in Fort Worth; a Big Tex winner is opening a State Fair-themed restaurant; vegans need tacos, too; and more.
Clad in a black, embroidered cowboy shirt and backlit by a giant Texas flag, former governor and two-time presidential hopeful Rick Perry and his professional partner Emma Slater danced the cha-cha. They scored 5 out of a possible 10 from all four judges. Commentators said despite the bottom-ranking score, he was obviously having a great time. Bless his heart.
Perry’s lack of formal training was one of the reasons joining the 23rd season of the show shocked many, including his wife, he told The Texas Tribune in August. He's giving it a go regardless to promote veterans’ awareness and to learn to dance ahead of his daughter’s wedding in October, he says. Perry’s not the only Texan who cut a rug last night. Carrollton native Vanilla Ice is participating in the show, too. Can you guess which song he danced to?
- Didn’t read Moby Dick in high school? Hear the novel read by volunteers this week. Herman Melville's mammoth will be read in five-to-20-minute shifts at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth starting Thursday at 10 a.m. If all goes whale — ahem, well — the reading should be completed by Sunday at 5 p.m. Other Moby Dick marathons have clocked in around 25 hours, according to D Magazine. The museum’s holding the event in conjunction with the current Frank Stella exhibition, which features five works inspired by the novel. [D Magazine]
- On the flip side: Texas, you’re not that well-read. National Endowment for the Arts surveyors asked U.S. adults whether they had read at least one play, novel, short story or poem in the last 12 months, outside of work or school, Quartz.com reports. The data were collected in 2012, 2013 and 2015 by the US Census Bureau, then merged by the NEA. Only 30-40 percent of Texas adults read poetry, plays and fiction. According to the NEA’s estimates, 63 percent of adults in Vermont are reading outside work, and 60 percent in Oregon. Mississippi (22 percent), Nevada (30 percent) and Florida (30 percent) were the states with the lowest rates. [Quartz]
- State Fair Treats will open on Sept. 20 inside a Plano Walmart and serve fair food year-round. Over several years, Isaac Rousso has created award-winning State Fair foods, such as the fried Cuban roll, the smoky bacon margarita and the fried Pop Tart, The Dallas Morning News reports. This year, he won the Big Tex Choice Award for “Most Creative,” for his State Fair Cookie Fries. State Fair Treats continues Walmart’s push for in-store restaurants other than McDonald's. The Plano location serves as ‘the first in a region-wide, then nationwide expansion of the concept.” [The Dallas Morning News]
- A Mexican bakery in Dallas serves a special menu Thursday nights with all-vegan ingredients. El Palote Panaderia opened in northeast Pleasant Grove six months ago by Lily Arais and her husband, Aurelio, who has been vegan for nine years. The menu includes tacos with soy meat, tamales with beans and soy and cookies topped with “cream cheese” icing made from tofu among other vegan friendly iterations, Dallas CultureMap reports. Since the bakery’s vegan menu was first shared on the Dallas Vegan Roundup Facebook page in July, they've recently begun doing vegan food on weekends, too. [Dallas CultureMap]