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Texas Monthly

Texas Monthly November 2019

Texas Monthly has been the authority on the Texas scene since 1973, covering music, arts, travel, restaurants and events with its insightful recommendations. Above all, Texas Monthly provides its readers with a magazine of the highest editorial quality, a standard that has earned it 10 National Magazine Awards, the industry’s most coveted prize.

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2 min.
boldly go.

POWDER PREVAILS NORTH OF YELLOWSTONE. Discover some of the most sublime downhill and backcountry skiing on the continent. Get your fix on mixed terrain with no lift lines, affordable lift tickets and 400 inches of fresh powder on average, plus basecamp communities offering up ski-town vibes and some of the friendliest hospitality around. Choose your winter wisely. VisitYellowstoneCountry.com/Winter BIG SKY, MONTANA Come experience Big Sky, home to the Biggest Skiing in America® at Big Sky Resort, which offers more than 5,800 acres of skiable terrain and 4,350 vertical feet. Or glide through the 85 km of world-renowned Nordic trails at Lone Mountain Ranch, drive your own dog-sled team, snowshoe through miles of untouched forest trails and then enjoy après ski after a long day of play under the Big Sky. 55 Lone Mountain Trail | Big…

2 min.
public history: using the past to illuminate the present

History is not just facts and dates. History involves stories, narratives that refflect different purposes and interests. Dr. Nancy Berlage, Texas State University associate professor of history and director of the public history program, trains historians to craft these stories consciously and accurately. Public historians work to make history readily available, relatable, and accessible to the general public. They strive to include a broad and balanced range of historical perspectives from diverse groups to help audiences develop a deeper appreciation of the past and how it connects to the present. Practitioners work in museums, archives, historic sites, parks, government offices, and other locations, sharing their knowledge with the public. Understanding history is vital to developing insight into how the world operates today: “So many of our current policy debates are predicated…

5 min.
new blood

For most of its 46 years, Texas Monthly has focused on telling the story of our state in our print magazine, and we’re grateful that 2.5 million people enjoy reading our work in that way. Today, however, more and more of our audience wants to experience our storytelling on our website, through podcasts and videos, and at live events. The ranks of our readers and listeners are growing rapidly on these platforms, and to take on so many challenges at once, we’re going to need a few more troops. To that end, I’m pleased to introduce you to the twelve new editorial staffers that we’ve hired this year, virtually all of them in the past few months. They’re a talented bunch. Most worked for TM as freelance contributors or interns before…

3 min.
roar of the crowd

“TO SAY A TURKEY’S NUTS ARE UNDER THE WING IS LIKE SAYING A CALF’S NUTS ARE UNDER THEIR TAIL.” Mending Defenses Thank you for the powerful article on the broken Texas criminal justice system [“No Defense,” September 2019]. I have been an attorney in Texas since 1974, and I have seen firsthand the dysfunction and failure my entire career. Having served as a defense attorney and elected prosecutor, I have seen both sides. The injustice is built into the system, and change does not come easy. My hat is off to Drew Willey, who had the courage to take on the system and the judges. His non-profit, Restoring Justice, is an innovative idea and will make a difference for his clients and the indigent defense system. As long as Texas has elected…

1 min.
a spiritual oasis

All that’s left in the ghost town of Calera, about three miles west of Balmorhea State Park, is a church. The Calera Chapel, originally called Mission Mary when it was built by settlers in the early 1900s, emerges from the mesquite brush and desert sand along FM 3078. The minimalist structure’s stucco walls absorb the orange glow of the sunrise, gleam white in the midday sun, and take on a purplish hue at dusk. Rocks surrounding the chapel are adorned with the initials of visitors—the West Texas version of a love lock. After the last of Calera’s hundred or so residents abandoned the town in search of work, in the mid-twentieth century, the chapel sat empty for decades. Fast-forward to 2002, when ranch owner and entrepreneur Kate Vigneron, who had…

2 min.
san antonio gets into the spirit

A sense of magic settles over the San Antonio River Walk when the holiday lights switch on in late November. Draped over the cypress trees that line each side of the river, they add a multicolored shimmer to the water as barges float by. By then, as the season’s cooler temperatures arrive, there’s nothing better than warm tamales or a mug of cinnamon-laced Mexican hot chocolate. ¶ I was born and raised in this city of brightly colored buildings and deep Mexican roots. It’s a place that artists like Cruz Ortiz and writers like Sandra Cisneros have called home, where we still pay tribute to Selena, and where Tejano music is king. The mild fall and winter weather offers ideal conditions for exploring the city far beyond the Alamo EAT +…