Even More Secrets of Denton County

Last year, we shared with you some of the tips, hints and secrets that make living in Denton easier for us. Many of you enjoyed them. Very few of you were able to find the secret passageway from Recycled to Rubber Gloves, though. Anyway, school is back in session and with it, a whole new crew of Dentonites have arrived. We’ve gone ahead and compiled a new list for 2012. Before reading it, make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with last year’s list.

The following list of secrets is written for the uninitiated, those new to Denton who might not be familiar with the niche that the rest of us have already readily carved and devoured. It’s written for those who need help. Know something that we missed? Tell us in the comments.

  1. Is your toilet broken? Is that bench at the park kinda sticky? Or are you just upset that your dietary specifications aren’t being met at Thai Ocha? If you live in Denton and have an issue WITH ANYTHING tweet your problem to @KevinRoden and he’ll take care of it. He’s on the city council, after all.

  2. Paradise Spirits and Wine, the liquor store we recommended last year, also offers a student discount of 10% off their hooch if you’ve got a student ID.

  3. While UNT’s football team may have a new stadium, watching them play can still leave you feeling a little...asleep. Thankfully, this year saw the opening of the North Texas Derby Revolution inside of the House of Quad. Go there and watch some fierce roller derby action. Better yet -- join a league and play, yourself. There are the de facto women’s teams, but also teams for men and children. Abnormally large dentist bills for all! Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with the schedule of games, but follow the House of Quad and the North Texas Derby Revolution on Facebook and you can be sure to catch the best games.

  4. Aside from various free events, the city also provides citizens with tons of free stuff if you’re on the ball enough to get ‘em. From time to time you can pick up coupons at events or in the mail to score free Dyno Dirt at the landfill. Also, Keep Denton Beautiful has an annual fall tree giveaway. Sign up in advance, show up at your designated time and -- BOOM -- free tree. In addition, the City of Denton's ReUse store is a spot where Denton residents can drop by and score up to six free cleaning items. It's open the first and third Saturday of every month from 7am to noon and Wednesdays from noon until 6pm. The ReUse store is located at 1527 S. Mayhill Rd.

  5. If you’re a LARPer or enjoy some pretty excellent people watching, keep an eye on the Shire of the Arlac Woods Facebook group. They meet up every once in a while in different wooded areas in south Denton by Wiggly Field. We’ve also witnessed LARPing at McKenna park over off of Bonnie Brae, as well.

  6. If you want coffee that is definitely freshly brewed and locally roasted at Jupiter House, order a French press of Bookish Coffee. You won’t be disappointed and you can rest assured that it will make some guys named Clay and Wade smile.

  7. Did you know that Denton has a small water park? Unfortunately, it’s only open for a few more weeks before it closes for the season, but you’ve got one last weekend to go and take a dip in the lazy river. By the way, show up after about 5:30 or 6 and sometimes you get a free entry. When the waterpark does close up shop, the Natatorium next door remains open year round and is a lovely alternative to the city pool or the UNT Rec center pool.

  8. Never exit Pennsylvania.

  9. Need an events website to figure out live music in town? Check out one of the following: Dentr0n, Showli.st, or DentonLiveMusic.com.

  10. Having a hard day and need to leave your car in one of the two hour spots on the square (during the week) for an extended amount of time so you can day drink at the Oak St. Drafthouse? Simple enough. Just wait for the first Parking Enforcement Officer to come by and mark one of the back tires of your car with a piece of chalk. After they’re gone, walk over and brush it off and you’re good for the rest of the day (this has worked in our experience).

  11. If you like being screwed by your landlord, rent property (commercial or residential) from Scott Brown.

  12. Stuck driving north to Denton from Dallas during rush hour? 288 will almost always steal your soul (unless you’re on the A-Train!). You can avoid some of the traffic by exiting State School/Mayhill and turning right at Mayhill. Cut through the area of town inhabited by white walkers and wildlings and eventually you’ll get back to civilization. Visual learner? Click here.

  13. Are you trying to get into audiobooks, but you’re also really cheap and/or antisocial? The Denton Public Library offers you a way to rent audiobooks online without ever having to speak to another human being. Just download the Overdrive Media app to your phone and go to the DPL’s website and rent a few books or put some on hold to download when they’re available.

  14. The mustachioed fellow at Paschall who used to work at Banter is an excellent bartender. He’s worth waiting in line for. Just don’t ask him for a bloody mary. Actually, on second thought, they’re all great bartenders. Just remember to bring a change of clothes if you don’t want to smell like smoke the rest of the evening.

  15. There are free shows at the basement of J & J’s Pizza all the time. Look for flyers while you’re enjoying a slice of pizza and attend a bunch of ‘em.

  16. You can golf for $15/round (public price on week days) at the TWU golf course. You know, if you like golfing and stuff.

  17. Kroger is the least crowded early in the morning. We’re talking like 8 or 9am, sometimes even 10 or 11am. You might think that if you show up at 10pm that no one will be there, but YOU’D BE WRONG. It’ll still be crowded.

  18. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at about 9pm, you can catch a great haunted tour of the square. The tour starts at 9pm and they meet at the steps on the east side of the courthouse. For $10, you get a pretty good amount of information and entertainment. Go here for more information.

  19. Next time you’ve got an open night and there’s little to nothing going on, check out a show at the UNT Sky theater in the Astronomy building. It’s open to the public and often has cheap shows that are great family fun.

  20. Denton does have a nicer hotel than the Holiday Inn. The Wildwood Inn is over on Lillian Miller Parkway. They even have an excellent restaurant that’s open to the public Thursday - Saturday evenings, too. Heck, you can even get married there, if you want. You might want to read the Texas Marriage License Application and Report of Divorce Records first, though.

  21. Ladies (both granola and non) seem to dig Juliet’s Jewels over on Sycamore. Get some eggs and a banh mi at the Community Market one Saturday morning and follow that up by walking across the street to the jewelry store.

  22. Did you know that Denton has a skate park that is free to enter and is open from 6am until 10pm. It’s in north Denton by the aforementioned waterpark. They even sometimes host classes and clinics every once in awhile. You can view their schedule here.

  23. After you get hit by a jerky UNT student whilst riding your bike, hop on over to the Querencia Community Bike Shop over on Oak St. They’ve got the tools and know-how to help you get your bike back in tip-top shape.

  24. Denton Wiki is a great resource for various and sundry things around town. They even have a page dedicated to eating and drinking cheaply around town and weekly drink specials, too.

  25. If you fancy yourself a photog, do yourself a favor and start taking pictures somewhere other than the square. The personified version of the courthouse asked us personally to let you know that it’s tired of being a backdrop and that there are plenty of other beautiful/interesting places in town. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Denton Signage

We'll be the first to admit it, if a new store opens up with a plastic or wood sign with vinyl letters covering the front of it (even worse -- a vinyl banner sign), it probably isn't going to be on our list of places to visit anytime soon. Thankfully, in this town we don't have that problem too often. With the addition of the new drum shop, Ghost Note, to the square, Denton has gained another beautiful piece of signage to an already impressive list. With some notable exceptions, (Morrison's - figured we'd give others a fighting chance), we gathered a few photographs of other signs we like in town (some old and some new). Look through them below and vote on which sign you think is the best in town in the poll below. 

 The Ghost Note

Denton Square Donuts

 The Campus Theatre

Bookish Coffee Mural 

 Atomic Candy

 Loco Cafe


 Denton Donuts

 Black Box

 SoHo Salon

 Now tell us! Vote in the poll below and let us know which sign is your favorite in town: 


The above photographs by no means represent the high number of beautiful signs in town. If we left out your fav, let us know in the poll or comments.

Overview of 2012 Denton Annual Citizen Report

Saturday saw many mailboxes stuffed with the City of Denton s annual citizen update, Denton Moving Forward. In this neat little ~6 x 12 fold-out, lots of interesting information about city-related milestones that occurred in 2011 (as well as a few things that are set to happen in the years to come) was compiled together. As far as we know, this pamphlet went out to every City of Denton Utilities member. For those of you who either didn t receive a copy or accidentally threw it out along with your Bed Bath and Beyond mailer, we ve compiled a list of the eight things that stood out to us as interesting. Read below and if we missed something that you found interesting, let us know in the comments.

1. Remember when Rayzor Ranch was going to be a Southlake Town Center-style shopping center and be comprised of all sorts of interesting shops and maybe a movie theatre or something? Well guess what. We re moving even further away from the initial vision and installing another big box store next to the Wal-Mart and Sam s Club that have been sitting there for a while. That s right, folks, soon, you ll be able to buy boring clothing and housewares from...Kohl s on University.

2. The City of Denton has a Youtube channel featuring videos with DPL s Library Larry and newsbreaks from Denton TV. It s bested only by the ex-pat Eli Gemini s Youtube channel.

3. Denton is going to be making quite a few bike-friendly changes in the immediate future. The cover of Denton Moving Forward is even covered in sharrows. You can read the newly adopted Bike Plan here. There you can see how Denton plans on reducing traffic accidents, creating more cycling-related facilities such as Querencia and gradually turning Denton into a bike sports destination over the next ten years.

4. The Denia Recreation Center in South Denton has a 35 black-light mural in their gymnasium that you need 3D glasses to see. Yes, this is for real. We ve never really thought of Pink Floyd s The Wall as good workout music, but when you ve got a black light 3D mural near you, what other choice do you have?

5. The grand re-opening for the Golden Triangle Mall is actually expected to happen in 2012. Apparently construction has already begun, but we re unsure as to what exactly has been changed at this point.

6. Thanks to a grant from Think Green Waste Management, Keep Denton Beautiful will be installing solar-powered trash and recycling receptacles around Fry Street. They should be perfect receptacles for that post-Lou s-binger vomit.

7. In addition to the awesome selection of ebooks that the Denton Public Library has already added to their selection, the DPL is also making a move towards RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology for checking books back in and out in an extremely-timely fashion.

8. North Lakes Park is making a move to be more friendly to the blind and other visually impaired by adding in things such as tactile bricks.

Notable Absences from the pamphlet:

DCTA changes made in the past year. (A-Train anybody?)
Construction on Fry St. (when the heck is that supposed to be finished and what type of retail will we see there?)
Business moving in a north-eastern direction from the square (NV Cupcakes, Oak Street Drafthouse)

11 Things that Happened in Denton in 2011

2011 was an okay - good year in Denton. Below are 11 things that were important in some way, shape or form to the town. We're sure to be missing a few. Add what things you thought were important in the comments. 

1. Denton was overrun by breakfast cafes.
2011 was the year local business tried to give Old West a run for it’s money. First, the biscuit-heavy Loco Cafe opened on Congress about mid-year and then the partially-vegan Seven Mile Cafe (which we apparently need to try again) followed shortly after. In addition, what was originally a day and night affair, Denton Square Donuts, recently changed their hours to breakfast and lunch only (with the exception of Friday nights), as well. Where will you be eating your brunch, Denton? Are there enough people in town to support this many local am eateries? 

2. A-Train
While the powers-that-be continued to push for the widening of 35E, DCTA unleashed the A-Train and Denton took notice. While it might have hit a few cars while traveling (and a person), it still enables Dentonites to hop over to larger D while reading the latest Haruki Murakami book. In addition, it brought our local biz a few o’ them fancy Dallas folk with all their spending money.

3. New UNT Football Stadium

UNT/Apogee a dot on the Denton skyline next to the TWU towers and Morrison's Corn Kits this year when they finished building their new stadium. While it was heavily maligned during much of it’s conception, we haven’t heard much complaining since. The addition of the three eco-friendly wind turbines next door also helps.

4. Kevin Roden elected
Longtime drinker and thinker, Kevin Roden, was elected to city council to serve in district 1 this year. Roden has already shaken things up quite a bit in his short time in office and seems to be a much needed catalyst to getting things done in Denton.

5. Eli Gemini moved away
A longtime friend of We Denton Do It, Eli Gemini, moved from Denton to Hollywood, CA this year. After his brief stint as host of Eli’s Monday Minute, he ran once more for city council, directed a short film on gay culture at UNT and then promptly moved to California. He will be missed.

6. Mellow Mushroom/Love Shack opened on square
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, a few slightly less-than-local businesses continued to open on the square this year. And while the fact that Mellow Mushroom spent $800,000 revitatlizing their location is an argument being used against food carts in Denton, it did warm our hearts to see the pizzeria man a booth on the square during the tree lighting. We’ll take Crooked Crust over any other pizza in town, though.

7. TWU Land Acquisition
Sometimes TWU buys and demolishes houses over by Austin St. to, “eliminate possible criminal activity.” Um...okay. In all fairness, they also say that the spaces left by the demolished homes will be used for future expansion. Kevin Roden pushed for some of the homes to be preserved, but it appears that TWU is still at it.

8. Gas wells
Remember that earthquake we felt a few weeks ago, many point to the many gas rigs surrounding (and inside of) Denton as the cause. Aside from earthquakes, air and water quality are also issues of concern that went mostly unattended this year.

9. 35 Denton’s Continued Growth
35 Denton had a banner year last year with Big Boi and many other high-profile artists. Closing down a portion of Hickory St. also showed that the city now seems to have an interest in throwing the yearly festival a bone every now and then.

10. Bike Friendlier
With the addition of sharrows, bike racks and more bike lanes not only around UNT, but Denton in general, 2011 was a stellar year for those atop two wheels.

11. National attention for larger music groups
While 2011 might have been slightly quieter on the music front than normal during 2011, Denton did have a fair share of local acts getting national attention. Seryn and Sarah Jaffe received much national attention (yes, even from media outlets other than Paste).


What are we missing here? Tell us in the comments!

Five Local Last Minute Christmas Gifts

With Festivus having come and gone very quickly this year Christmas is now right on our doorstep. Unfortunately, we've been really busy and forgot to buy our besties some gifts. We're not fretting, though. We know that there's plenty of local businesses that can help us out in a pinch. Here's where we're stopping. Maybe we'll see you there?

5. Rose Costumes

Head up to Rose's (288 and 35 by the antique malls) and wander around the labyrinthian mix of costumes until you get to the front counter. Maybe your significant other needs a wig? Maybe they need a set of pasties? Maybe you don't want to get slapped in the face and should buy them a gift certificate instead. Rose's can help you with all of these things. Make sure you check out the bathroom before you leave.

4. Jupiter House

Run over to Jupiter House before they close up shop for the holidays and start your friend or loved one a tab. Just give the barista the name of the person you're purchasing a tab for and they'll be getting macchiatos on you for the next month or so.

While there, you could also purchase an I Heart Denton T-shirt. Not only will your friend be decked out in their love of an awesome town, but you'll also be giving a charitable contribution to make sure that families in need don't die of heat stroke in the summer. It's a win-win purchase, really.

3. Denton Square Donuts

Maybe your BFF is a total coffee nerd like us and you'd like to get them the best cup of joe Denton has to offer. Well, surprisingly Denton Square Donuts is the place you should go. In addition to packing some pretty delicious pastries, Denton Square Donuts also sells bags of locally-roasted Bookish coffee. Get yourself a maple bacon bar before you leave.

2. Metzler's Food and Beverage

You live in Denton so your friends and family are most likely alcoholics. Why not be an enabler (it's the holidays, after all) and stop by Denton's best beer and wine selection to grab them something that'll make the holidays a little easier to tolerate? Maybe get yourself something, too.

1. 35 Denton Passes

Delayed gratification is a good thing. It's what separates us from the animals. Grab your friend a 4-day pass to Denton's best festival for the low price of $55 here. 35 Denton 2012 has already surpassed their previous booking efforts and looks to be an awesome time. In fact, maybe you should buy us a pass, too? You can give it to us under the mistletoe.

All Hallow's Eve for Dentonites-only

The clock is ticking closer and closer to Halloween town and whether you're thinking that this is the year you finally stop being the Popeye to your spouse's Olive Oil costume or you're just tired of being a sexy whatever, here's a list of possible costumes for you to blow the lid off of whichever local costume party you plan on attending (it's not Lou's, is it?). These are Dentonite costumes, only, people. So all you out-of-towners can make your own costume ideas. If you have others, list 'em in the comments!
Read More

Secrets of Denton County

August is the month when we have to stop shopping at Kroger. It also happens to be the month when Denton is filled to the brim with fresh-faced UNT and TWU students. As these students attempt to grow out their first beards and lady-beards, they also miss out on a lot of cool stuff because they just didn't know any better.

The following list of secrets, tips and tricks about Denton is for those uninformed youngsters. Read through the lot of 'em. If you didn't know one or two of them, it's new to you, also. Feel free to add your own tips and tricks to the comments section of this post and inform us, too!

Read More