Baby Steps

There was a bit of chill in the air—January in Arkansas and all—so we grabbed the mittens and her fleece hat with the teddy-bear ears on top, the one that, when Velcroed snugly beneath her pudgy chin, turns her into a powder-pink Ewok. Into the diaper bag went a snack—a Tupperware tub of those mystery-food…

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Rocky Road

Out of the dark, there’s neon. “Welcome Back” looping in white neon script. “INDUSTRY” in white-and-yellow block letters, all caps. It’s curious to see, this sign and its optimism, made all the more so by the incongruity of the setting. Because to see such a thing on this stretch of Brighton Boulevard, a place just a…

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On the right track

In 1979, a chestnut-coated thoroughbred named Alydar—arguably one of the fastest horses and greatest sires in history, whose death would spur decades-long controversy—galloped to the finish line at Oaklawn Park, only to be defeated by a nose. And 16-year-old David Longinotti was there to see it. David’s father, a racing fanatic, had taken the day…

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In plein view

Racing the sun, Pat Matthews takes a brush in each hand and attacks the canvas with green oil paint. Not only does this double his speed, helping him quickly capture the western light as it washes over the brown stone building, the evergreen trees and the cold, plunging water, but it also changes the character of…

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Conway

I have to say, I consider myself a fairly cosmopolitan person. After all, I grew up in the second-largest city in Arkansas. I graduated from university (a few times). I’ve lived in Italy and seen the Whirling Dervish dancers of Turkey and walked through the cerulean doors of Tunisia in Africa. So when I returned to…

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Good tasting

Beer Flight Flyway Brewing, North Little Rock With beers like the Migrate pale ale, Night Owl black coffee IPA and Old Decoy oaked old ale, central Arkansas’ newest micro-brewery, located in North Little Rock’s Argenta neighborhood, is for the birds. And with all this winged wordplay, we couldn’t help but order a flight.  (314 Maple St.,…

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The Truffle Shuffle

There’s nothing simple about the bean-to-bar chocolate operation taking place at any given time inside Hillcrest’s Izard Chocolate. Canvas bags of cacao beans are arriving from exotic locales—Belize, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica. Roasters are roasting. Grinders are grinding. Temperers are … you see where we’re going here. It’s a complex process, to say the least.…

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Leap of Faith

The profound connection between beauty and the liturgy should make us attentive to every work of art placed at the service of the celebration. Certainly an important element of sacred art is church architecture, which should highlight the unity of the furnishings of the sanctuary, such as the altar, the crucifix, the tabernacle, the ambo…

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Skylark Cafe

The road to Leslie is strung along the kind of landscape that would be the perfect backdrop for a high-speed car chase—steep, hilly and beautiful, but unsettling. It’s starting to snow, and through the flakes, we can see the stretch of mountainous vistas broken by weathered houses and derelict barns. Twenty minutes and a right turn…

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How to eat Latin

[maxgallery name=”cheap-eats”] El Camino Real 815 S. School Ave., Fayetteville; (479) 521-6268 Hey there, reader: We’ve got a confession. When it comes to Tex-Mex—bottomlessly plated fare where cheese plays a leading role in virtually every dish across the menu—we largely tend to turn a blind eye and tongue, opting instead for our taco trucks and…

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How to eat American

[maxgallery name=”cheap-eats”] Benson’s Grill 2515 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith; (479) 782-8181 With fantastic sweet-potato pancakes, classic breakfast fare (eggs any-way-you-want-them! Cheese-covered hash browns!) and a reputation for some of the best burgers around, we can see why some people never want to leave this Fort Smith staple. Good thing it’s one of the state’s few…

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