Wick Allison Talks the History of Dallas and Digital Media

February 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Krystal Schlegel

Wick Allison, founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of D Magazine, speaks to SMU students at their weekly College Republicans’ meeting Wednesday. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Wick Allison, founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of D Magazine, spoke to an eager crowd of SMU students at their weekly College Republicans’ meeting Wednesday. Allison discussed various topics including the history of our great city and the rise of digital media.

Junior SMU student and President of College Republicans, Chad Cohen, said he did not bring Allison in to speak about the current political scene. Instead, he wanted members to focus on the Dallas community. “Students have to take ownership of the city they are in. We want students to have an appreciation for Dallas’ community, culture and arts,” he said.

The history of Athens

“In a city, we build wealth together,” Allison said as he introduced the history of Athens relating it to the history of commerce in Dallas. He told the story of the importance of the harbor and navy the Athenians built when they discovered the richest pain of silver in the ancient world. “This is a city that instead of thinking what it can do for me thought about its own future,” he said.

Daniel Summa, vice president of College Republicans, said he is into big epic stories and enjoyed hearing how much Dallas history matters. “It made a big difference for me,” he said. He also talked about how College Republicans facilitate a relationship between the student body and important figures in Dallas.

Leading up to a great city

Allison then told the story of a trader in 1841 who stumbled across the Trinity River on his way to Calif. He set up a store, which led to the great tradition of Dallas marking up goods. “That’s why it’s called Needless Markup,” Allison said.

In 1935 during the Great Depression, things changed. “I don’t care about the past Dallas only cares about the future,” Allison quoted R. L. Thornton, a Dallas banker who gave $10 million for Dallas to hold the Centennial Exposition in Fair Park. Seven million people attended The Exposition that attracted young professionals who wanted to do something and have careers. “It was an investment that made Dallas happen,” Allison said.

The next event that put Dallas on the map was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. They had to do something to completely change the attitude and image of the city. International icon Erik Jonsson was called to save the city. “He started the technical age in which we live,” Allison said. Dallas asked Jonsson to become mayor and he knew he had to do his research. So he called on a professor at Stanford, an expert on urban issues and an urban designer to travel the world’s best cities and find what made a great city. They ended the trip in Athens.

Wick Allison, founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of D Magazine, speaks SMU students at their weekly College Republicans’ meeting Wednesday night. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

“Standing on his balcony watching the great harbor, he realized every one of the great cities had a port. That’s when he decided Dallas needed a port and it would be an airport… DFW,” Allison said.

These investments make cities

“Dallas today is the fastest growing city in the country,” Allison said. Today New York City has 48 corporate head quarters while Dallas has 63.

“After growing up in Dallas, it was nice to have the history put into context,” Cohen said, “I hope students feel proud and take advantage that they live in Dallas.”

The rise of digital media

“The challenge for print publications going forward is figuring out how to embrace the immediacy of news and reporting that digital media requires, while still maintaining sufficient depth and quality in their coverage,” Cohen said.

In an interview after the speech, Allison said the past five years at D Magazine have been fantastic with the rise in digital media. “It was so boring to just publish magazines. It is so much fun to find new ways to expand our brand,” Allison said as he pulled out his iPhone and showed me the D Magazine app. “We’ve developed a whole new audience.”

Wick Allison Returns to SMU

February 22, 2011 by · Comments Off 


By Caitlin Clark

The College Republicans will host Wick Allison, publisher and owner of D Magazine, Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

A native of Dallas, attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in American Studies.

He worked in the White House after graduating on the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest.

Allison developed his business plan for D Magazine while attending Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

He cofounded the magazine in 1965 before taking sole ownership in 1991.

The lecture will take place in the Varsity in Hughes-Trigg.

Contact Chad Cohen, ccohen@smu.edu, for more info.

Arts Blog: Design on Dragon

November 18, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

By Lisa Collins

Dragon Street, located in Dallas’s Design District, is an aesthete’s haven. Described as the “intersection of art and design,” the street is lined on both sides with close to 100 galleries, interior décor and antique stores, and hidden treasures.

Last Thursday, November 11th, over 30 shops and galleries participated in Design on Dragon. Participating retailers stayed open until 9:00 for this street celebration that included food, wine, live music, and plenty of art ogling.

Although late afternoon rains looked like they were going to put a damper on the evening’s festivities, the weather cleared up just in time and Dallasites were out enjoying what Dragon Street had to offer.

PediCabs provided event-goers with rickshaw transportation up and down the street, while Ricki Derek, Avoiding Disaster, and Bona Fide Blues provided ambient tunes.

The evening, hosted by the Dragon Street Association, is part of “First Thursdays,” launched in March of last year. Much like the First Thursdays on South Congress in Austin, the purpose is to get residents to view Dragon Street as a shopping destination.

Beverages and bites were provided by Rafa’s Mexican Cantina, Scardello, City Kitchen, Jorge’s, DeLos Vodka, Smoke, Sushi Axiom, Margeaux’s, and Hudson Ferus.

My two favorite stops were Ceylon et Cie, and Laura Lee Clark Interior Design, Inc. Both are showrooms of Dallas decorators and contain eclectic mixes of gorgeous finds that would add a touch of glamour to any space.

Before heading down to the Design District, read D Magazine’s Dragon Street Shopping Guide and learn more about the Dragon Street Association.

Earth Day Inspires Eco-friendly Changes

April 23, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Logan May

It’s another beautiful spring day on the Southern Methodist University campus. The smell of freshly cut grass looms in the air and the clock tower on the north side of campus chimes as students shuffle their way across the boulevard. The sun shines its luminous rays on the faces of a group of sorority girls eating lunch on the concrete benches and the ever-so-gentle breeze flows through their hair like a wave.

A scene like this is like a living dream for environmentalists, but this dream is far from true. All around campus, pieces of trash and empty soda cans litter the lawns and cigarette butts fill the cracks of the concrete sidewalks. There is a constant drip of the faucet in the girls bathroom that goes unnoticed. Dozens of oversized vehicles leave a trail of harmful fog as they zoom in and out of parking spots. This is just the kind of thing that gets eco-friendly people around Dallas ready to speak up.

“It’s just like voting: one person is not going to make a difference, but the aggregate can be significant,” Guillermo Wiener, president of the Environmental Law Society at SMU said.

Earth Day is celebrating its 40th anniversary with ordinary people doing extraordinary things to advocate “green” living around the world.

Earth Day

Earth Day falls on April 22 of each year and is dedicated to raising awareness on environmental issues. Established in 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day has now become a world wide celebration.

According to the Earth Day Action Center, over 289 campaigns are taking place this year to promote this special day. The Center’s website shows over 31 billion acts of green taking place this week. Every act counts, even if it simply cutting a 5 minute shower to a 3 minute shower. Anyone can post their act of green by the click of a button.

Earth Day In Dallas

On Thursday, April 22, residents and businesses of Dallas came together at the Pegasus Plaza in Downtown Dallas to celebrate Earth Fest 2010. Even beyond Earth Day festivities, businesses around the Dallas metroplex are doing their part to keep the environment clean.

Amanda Sterett Jewelry Design is a local company that has been “going green” for quite some time. Featured in “InStyle” and “D” Magazine, Amanda Sterett and her staff are cautious of everything they use. Each piece of jewelry is hand-made with eco-friendly products and the staff at Amanda Sterett are always coming up with new ways to preserve.

“We try to reuse our paper, using both sides, and we send in all of our gold and silver scraps to be recycled,” Andrea Glanzer, Studio Manager for Amanda Sterett Jewelry said.

What You Can Do to be Eco-Friendly

Statistics show that each person uses around 12,000 gallons of water each year, 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean each year, and 5 billion aluminum cans are used each year. There are little things people can do each day to be environmentally friendly and change these statistics.

Turn the water faucet off when brushing your teeth or reuse plastic bags at the grocery store instead of tossing them into the trash. One of those worst things for the environment is topping off gas at the gas station because it sends harmful chemicals into the air.

In addition to lifestyle changes, people can get involved with charitable organizations.

In a worldwide effort to save our planet, Disney is promoting the feature film “Oceans.” For every ticket sold during opening week, a donation will be made to preserve the Coral Reefs. Residents of Dallas can purchase tickets online or at a number of local theaters throughout the week to contribute to this effort.

Around SMU, students are slowly but surely starting to get involved to go green.

Many students ride a bike to and around school versus use their cars, while others carpool to and from class to save money. Another great way to save the planet is to reuse an earth-friendly water bottle.

No matter how small our actions may seem to be, they are truly making a difference. So the next time you see a piece of trash lying on the sidewalk, pick it up and throw it away. Earth Day may come just once a year, but there are little things you can do every day to help the environment.