Part-time personal chef Steven Bailey was growing tired of bland, industrially processed food. As detailed by D Magazine, Steven was determined to do something about his frustration, so he hit the road one weekend in his Volkswagen Rabbit and began scouring Texas farms and markets for fresher ingredients. The more organic, locally grown food he brought back, the more friends and neighbors started requesting some for themselves. The growing demand led Steven to start Urban Acres, where customers can track down organic produce, dairy, and grass-fed meats from local farmers and artisans who never use pesticides, hormones, artificial flavoring, or shoddy magnetic force fields.
As a member of Urban Acres, members pick large, medium, or small shares of organic fruits and veggies, as well as meat, coffee, and granola shares if desired. Urban Acres also sells locally grown grub to members and nonmembers alike at its Oak Cliff Farmstead, which D Magazine says "brings a bit of country to the big city." There, visitors can find shelves and counters fashioned from reclaimed wood, a bee colony on the roof, and produce snuggled in boxes of hay. Urban Acres also offers hands-on educational opportunities to learn about small-scale urban farming.
D-BAT’s climate-controlled facilities house instructional cages that can hold dual baseball/softball machines to etch players’ muscle memory with sound mechanics without the pressures of game day. Founded by former collegiate and pro-ball players, D-BAT caters to the needs of diamond dusters who are still searching for a cool nickname such as Babe, Catfish, or Jeff. With 20 tokens or a one-hour rental, power and contact hitters can tramp over the new, artificially verdant field turf and hunker over home plate for fast and slow pitches. The machines’ varying speeds and locations simulate live pitches, and consistent repetition slowly whittles away a swing’s jerks, hitches, and poor manners until it is one smooth and powerful transfer of power. A pro shop stocks Easton and Rawlings lines, equipping players for their latest battle with an orb-hurling automaton.
Below Elite Cigar Cafe's black tin ceiling, teeth-clenched stogies smolder and reach for the sky with aromatic plumes. The humidor stocks 90 cigar varieties, from everyday indulgences to high-end smokes such as the Serie 1926 from Padron, which has earned a spot on Cigar Aficionado's yearly list of The 25 Best Cigars on more than one occasion. Alongside the leather-appointed smoking lounge is a full bar and café replete with wide-screen televisions, southwestern cuisine, and a healthy selection of bottled and free-range beers.
The staff at Outdoor Pro Shops, Inc. keeps arrows flying true with products by top brands such as Mathews, Mission, and Genesis and the practical wisdom of more than 25 years of experience. Bowmen enlist the services of experts Chuck Harper as they revamp equipment with custom-built strings, sight adjustment, and quiver mount or conduct lessons in the 20-yard indoor archery range.
For 40 years, the watersports enthusiasts of High Trails Canoe and Kayak Outfitters have outfitted visitors for outdoor adventures, renting the vessels they lift their name from along with standup paddleboards. In addition to renting gear, the staff also teaches kayaking classes that include beginner and advanced touring courses, as well as how to navigate surging waters such as rapids or a neighbor's hot tub. For sportsmen looking to purchase their own watercraft, High Trails' team stocks a fleet of multisport, sit-on-top, and hybrid kayaks from brands such as Hurricane Kayaks and Heritage Kayaks. An online advice page guides guests through choosing kayaks, encouraging them to consider design, material, and comfort.
Blue Sea Adventures' two SDI Five Star scuba-training facilities bustle with seasoned dive instructors and dive masters who incorporate online training into their courses. The varying curriculum touches on an array of basic, intermediate, and advanced skills, including open-water scuba diving, underwater photography, and rescue know-how from the FEMA-approved Emergency Response Diving International Program. Additionally, Blue Sea Adventures’ certifications are recognized around the world. Swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling gear is available at Blue Sea Adventures’ stores, which feature expansive showrooms and professional repair technicians who can fix simple or more complicated problems, such as cleaning out the strawberry milk shake so often caught in snorkels.