Rainbow-themed entry among finalists for best photo taken in B-G letters

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Nickalaus Swan in front of ilume.

Visit Dallas is running a contest for best photo taken with its B-G letters. And while we’d never try to influence the outcome of an election, we think it’s noteworthy that the week-eight winner — which is now one of the finalists — was taken between the rainbow-colored letters at ilume.

Although our cover shot of the glamorous Jenna Skyy in a flowing red Balanciaga gown didn’t make it into the finals, the above photo with Nickalaus Swan holding a rainbow fan did. This was after publicist Scott Barretto and ilume developer Luke Crosland had the letters repainted in rainbow colors and placed in front of the Cedar Springs complex. They will remain there until September.

The tally in Visit Dallas’ contest finals, at the time of this writing, had Swan tied for fourth place. But he was only 20 votes behind the leader.

To vote, go to Visit Dallas on Facebook and “like” the page. Then click on the People’s Choice tab. Swan’s picture, marked “Week Eight Winner” is at the very top. Click “vote” and share.

—  David Taffet

Rainbow-colored ‘B-G’ letters arrive at the ilume on Cedar Springs

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Just in time for the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality rulings, the rainbow-colored “B-G” letters have arrived, as promised, at the ilume on Cedar Springs. Above is Dallas Voice’s Chance Browning striking a pose this afternoon, fittingly, in his “Marriage is so gay” tee. A few more pics after the jump.

—  John Wright

Rainbow-colored version of ‘B-G’ letters coming to Oak Lawn

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A mock-up of the rainbow-colored ‘B-G’ sculpture.

Dallas’ “B-G” letters are coming to Oak Lawn repainted in rainbow colors, according to Scott Barretto.

Barretto’s Social House Media agency and ilume developer Luke Crossland are paying for the colorful paint job and the sculpture will be placed outside Crossland’s building at Knight Street and Cedar Springs Road in front of the old Monica’s.

Barretto said painting should take about six days but the letters in rainbow colors should be ready in time for some June Pride Month photography.

The letters are part of a marketing campaign conducted by the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote tourism to the city. The idea is for people to be photographed standing between the “B” and “G” to make the “I.” The letters have been placed in various places around the city, but not in Oak Lawn.

—  David Taffet

Kroger adds security to parking lot to prevent late night noise, partying

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The Kroger on Cedar Springs Road has added more security to its parking lot on weekends to try to curb noise and illegal activity after the bars close.

Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston said two weeks ago that the store wanted to work with Dallas police and ilume management to create a permanent solution to ilume’s concerns about late night partying continuing in the unmonitored pay lot.

He said he’s now met with all the stakeholders and more security has been added to maintain control of the parking lot.

Joshuah Welch, director of operations at ilume, said the store is working to maintain security until 4 a.m. when the last of the bars close, which has been helping.

“This is helping clear out the loitering and parking lot parties that were occurring after hours,” he said.

Welch previously told Dallas Voice that the parking lot has become a nuisance with noise and partying after the parking lot attendant took money and left it unsupervised. Ilume has offered to operate the parking lot for Kroger in the past, which Huddleston said was one of the ideas to solve the issues that have increased over the past few months.

Welch said the increased security will continue on a trial run for a month before management meets with Kroger again about the issue, but he is “hopeful that this is a permanent solution to the noise and chaos that was occurring in the parking lot after hours.”

—  Dallasvoice

UPDATE: Erica Andrews memorial set

Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 3.16.52 PMThe memorial service for former Dallas resident and famed drag diva Erica Andrews has been set.

The service will take place Thursday at ilume on Cedar Springs Road. Although scheduled to take place inside the facility’s Great Room, the candlelight ceremony may expand to the pool area, depending upon attendance. It will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

Andrews died suddenly on Monday night, following a lung infection. Born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, she long called Texas her home, and frequently performed at the Rose Room. She also appeared in the film Ticked Off Trannies with Knives, pictured right.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Kroger plans to find solution to parking lot noise, crime within 2 weeks

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On Friday, we told you about the complaints from ilume management about noise and illegal activity going on in the Cedar Springs Road Kroger parking lot on weekends.

Management said they’ve tried to work with Kroger representatives over the past year to resolve the issues, but nothing has fixed the problems.

Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston said the store is aware of the complaints over the last year and has worked to resolve the issues, including increased security patrols of the parking lot. He said the noise has escalated over the last month.

“Obviously it hasn’t been successful,” he said. “So we’re looking at other options to control the noise and other crimes.”

Over the next two weeks, Kroger will work with Dallas police, ilume and business owners to come up with a permanent solution to end the rowdy late night activity. A few options would be to hire a valet to stay all night to monitor the lot, as well as have ilume take over the valet.

“We’re trying our best,” Huddleston said.

—  Dallasvoice

Monica’s no longer Monica’s

Restaurateur Monica Greene confirmed on Facebook today a rumor I first heard last night: That she is no longer affiliated with the Oak Lawn eatery that bears her name.

We extensively covered the opening of Monica’s Nueva Cocina and Mi Lounge earlier this year, and the food is worth checking out.

Here’s what Greene said on her Facebook page:

Dear Friends:
Whether change is by choice or imposed, negative or positive, personal or professional, it’s always a challenging fact of life. With any major changes there are actions we can take to ease the process. And I have. The rumors were true. I haven’t been a part of Monica’s Nueva Cocina for about a month now.
For the moment the restaurant still carries my name, I hope that changes soon. I believe that the owners of this restaurant still committed to serve great Mexican Food. I wish them the best.
Monica’s have been a dream that I hoped to bring top reality. For me, it was so much more – a chance to return to the Oak Lawn area, and a chance to take an exciting concept to fruition. Since I had to help earn the reality of this dream, I treasured it every day in a unique way. I always gave it “my all.” Even after a tough year as this past one, I look back with the wisdom of hindsight and I have to recognized that I enjoyed help create a good restaurant. To each of you who supported the restaurant and me. Thank you. Monica.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Construction begins on ilume park

The Crosland Group broke ground earlier this month on ilume park on Cedar Springs Road at Douglas Avenue. Site excavation began this week.

Ilume park will be a four-story 240-unit apartment complex built in a style similar to the original ilume.

Developer Luke Crosland said he expected leasing to begin in about 13 months. He said the property will not have the retail that ilume has across the street, but will have more amenities than the original property.

The new property continues the “green built” philosophy of the first and Crosland said he has met with the city to ensure better sidewalks and lighting.

More on the project in next week’s Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

The big this this weekend, of course, is the release of The Dark Knight Rises, which is an improvement on The Dark Knight but not quite as elegantly composed as Batman Begins. Still, it’s worth seeing if only for Tom Hardy’s man-meat. As a comic book movie, though, it’s about on par with The Amazing Spider-Man and not as good as The Avengers.

For much bigger laughs than all of those put together, though, The Divine Sister is your best bet, with Coy Covington again tackling a Charles Busch drag role in this astute and surprisingly clever riff on nun movies. The entire cast is in rare comic form. Meanwhile, two other shows — Avenue Q and Joseph — announced this week they will be extending their runs.

Friday night is also a great time to be at the ilume … though you’ll have to choice between some competing events. The Red Party hosts a kick-off event for its fall fundraiser with a men’s fashion show (read: bathing suits and briefs) out by the pool, while around the corner at ilume gallerie, The Art of the Bow Tie, pictured, with a reception for artist Jeremy Calhoun and a share of proceeds going to AIN.

That’s not the only art to see, though.

You could have your own art crawl this Saturday. Readers Voice Award winner Daniel Padilla and his brother Manuel open Beyond Infinity at the Padilla Gallery. The works are partly inspired by the current Chihuly exhibit at the Arboretum. Down the street, be sure to catch Cathey Miller’s charming Texas Lady Singers at The Kessler. And jaunt over to East Dallas to see the Sacred David Bowie Art Show open at Wine Therapist.

Finally, if you need to lose some weight, you can get The Biggest Loser to pay for it by auditioning on Saturday for the next edition of the show. You can register here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Axiom closes Monday, Monica Greene’s upcoming Tajin to take over space

Axiom Sushi Lounge at the ilume on Cedar Springs never fully caught on, even after the name change from Fin and despite pretty good sushi. But  it will officially close for good April 30. Monica Greene, who has been planning to open her newest restaurant, Tajin, next door to Axiom since last summer, will delay Tajin’s the opening so that she can take over the Axiom space, according to sources.

Tajin, with which Greene will reinterpret Mexican food in Dallas once again, was supposed to open in March. Opening was delayed to “late May or June” earlier this year. The renovation will like delay the opening even further, to July at the earliest.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones