Mr. and Mrs. Stewart — we know that this happy couple won’t be auditioning for “Married at First Sight.”

Married at First Sight is an American reality television series based on a Danish series bearing the same name. The format created in Denmark has been adapted in the USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland.  The series features three couples, paired up by relationship experts, who agree to marry when they first meet. The couples spend their wedding night in a hotel before leaving for a honeymoon, woo hoo. Upon returning home, they live together as a married couple for eight weeks. Thereafter they can choose to stay married or divorce. The show has been around for five seasons and is coming to Dallas in a few weeks to film here.

SOS the Dallas show needs candidates, mostly hetero guys, but anyone who is willing to participate according to the terms — get set up, then see if it all works — can apply for the show.

When I first heard about the show, I was a little skeptical: how can you marry someone you have just met at first sight? Of course I applied it to real estate: who buys the very first house they see?

Turns out, a lot of people. I couldn’t find hard core statistics, but according to HOUZZ, a lot of people fall in love with the first house they see:

Looked once and knew I would buy it. Even the selling agent said he knew I was his buyer. Had to convince hubby

Sometimes that first look is even on the internet!

And then I found that actually, the show has done a pretty good job at playing matchmaker. (more…)

 

What are the best Dallas-area neighborhoods for trick or treating? Find out from Zillow. (Photo: Stephen Depolo via Flickr)

What a treat! Zillow released its annual Trick or Treat Index, and this year, Dallas haunts the chart at No. 11. The index narrows down the best cities to score candy based on single-home density, average home values, and number of children under 10. In summary: More candy for less walking.

After the jump, check out  Zillow’s list of top spots and a few other local haunts. Plus, brush up on some Halloweeen safety tips to keep the night freakishly fun. Got any favorite trick-or-treating spots? Hit us up in the comments with the best neighborhoods for those full-size candy bars.

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Last week, Amazon announced they are seeking proposals from municipalities to build a second headquarters away from their original Seattle location.  They expect to spend $5 billion to fully build-out the campus that would house “as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs” and be the same size as the Seattle campus … over the next 15 to 17 years.  They also figure their gravitational pull will bring in “tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.” High-paying is defined as jobs exceeding $100,000 per year in salary.

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A temporary restraining order was filed by Hiram Patterson at the last minute, stopping the Dallas City Council from removing the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park.

Robert Wilonsky and Tristan Hallman at the Dallas Morning News alerted us that, just as soon as crews were trying to figure out how to remove the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee astride a horse in Oak Lawn’s Lee Park, work was ordered to stop. That’s thanks to a temporary restraining order filed by one Hiram Patterson. 

The statue, a symbol of one of the most revered figures of the long bygone Confederacy, has been a contentious subject around the horseshoe at 1500 Marrilla. The vote, which took place earlier today, ended with 13 council members and our Mayor Mike Rawlings voting for removal, with Sandy Greyson objecting — she wanted more time to study — and Ricky Callahan straight up walking out. 

U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater granted a temporary restraining order as the removal appeared imminent. The Dallas City Council had voted in favor of immediate removal earlier in the morning and crews had been trying to figure out how to remove the statue through much of the afternoon.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The case was brought by Hiram Patterson against Mayor Mike Rawlings and the City Council.

According to the Dallas Central Appraisal District, there’s only one Hiram Patterson on record, residing in Northeast Dallas. A cursory Google search brings up a lot of Confederate flags. And gravestones. Here’s who filed the suit, according to D Magazine:

The temporary restraining order was filed by Kirk Lyons, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “white supremacist lawyer,” on behalf of Hiram Patterson and the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who contend in the motion that the removal of the statue is a violation of their rights of free speech and due process. Lyons, who denies being a white supremacist and called himself a “Christian attorney of Southern ancestry” in an interview with the New York Times, filed a similar lawsuit against the University of Texas after it removed Confederate statues on its campus.

Read the full complaint after the jump:

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Will the statue be removed today? Yes!  No!

Update 12:02 am: The statue of Robert E. Lee will be moved and stored. More than 50 people signed up to speak at this morning’s City Council meeting concerning the removal of the statue, and several more (including Pierce Allman) were not able to make it to the mic. Per a motion filed by Mayor Pro Tem Carraway, the statue is to be removed and stored in a safe place (using city funds, then to seek private funding to reimburse the city for the removal and storage) while the task force seeks input, discussion and a final decision. Ricky Callahan made a motion for a citizen’s vote: thinks moving the statue might hurt the upcoming bond vote. Says 15 member council should not have power to remove statues, needs to be taken to the voters. Callahan also suggested re-naming Lee Park to Freedom Park. His motion only got 3 votes – 4 for the record, but Kevin Felder did not intend to push the button. Felder wants Lee Park to go back to the original name Oak Lawn Park. Jennifer Gates reminded us of the history framing the erection of the statue and the anti-black deed restrictions (still) found in many Dallas neighborhoods and was the only member who asked the City Manager for the cost of removal ($450,000). Her comments were touching as she relayed a story her father, Roger Staubach, had told about encountering racism while in the Navy. But Philip Kingston really hit the nail on the head: “These monuments represent a false telling of history… there is no erasing of history today.” Let the discussion begin.

The Dallas City council is holding a special vote this morning on the Robert E. Lee statue on Turtle Creek Blvd. There are speakers scheduled, including a lovely woman I met last evening at the statue at Robert E. Lee Park over on Turtle Creek. The meeting is said to be a formality, really, because the bulk of the Council has already decided to tear the statue down after a proclamation made weeks ago by Philip Kingston. You can read all about it here from Jim Schutze.

Sources tell me the voting will begin at 9:45 am as cranes move in at 9:46. Dallas police have been ordered not to tell anyone this, nor to publish any posts on FaceBook, stemming off any violence (which was why I decided not to post this last night.) DPD have blocked off the streets surrounding the building. Are the cranes far behind?

Meantime, the Dallas print media is looking like night and day on this issue.

Over at the Dallas Morning News,  Tristan Hallman says a new group that includes Pierce Allman of Allie Beth Allman & Associates, has formed and is saying, “whoah Nellie” to yanking down that statue. His story ran 12 hours ago.

The new group, Dallas Citizens for Unity and Reconciliation, hopes the City Council will hold off removal while a task force analyzes and discusses what do do about the statue and city’s other Confederate symbols. Presumably they are speaking at Council today.

“It looked like it was just moving too fast,” said Hank Tatum, one of the group’s leaders, referring to the removal fever.

Other members of the new group besides Tatum, who is a former Dallas Morning News editorial page editor, include former Dallas Morning News columnist William Murchison, Pierce Allman, husband of his company’s namesake and a well-deserving Father of the Year, real estate executive Kirby White, and Jane Manning, co-founder of the Lee Park and the Arlington Hall Conservancy.

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Tidy

Tidy’s direct mailers and flyers paper the nation, but customers both locally and nationally say doing business with them is anything but neat.

Mary* hired Tidy, a cleaning service papering the nation with its flyers, after seeing one of the company’s direct mail pieces in her mailbox.

“I paid for a clean that should have been 1,000 square feet clean,” she said. “Their maid did not even make it through my living room.”

“The maid was on the phone the whole time and when I asked her to do the cleaning I was promised she called me a pig and walked out, without cleaning 1/5 of my home.”

Mary said there was no real or easy way to complain, either.

According to the company’s website, the premise is similar to Uber or Lyft. Customers hop online or on their smart phone, set up a cleaning on the website or app, provide a credit card number, and wait for your “Homekeeper” to show up.

There are levels of service, too, ranging from a minimal one hour clean — the Tidy, all the way up to a full cleaning for four hours with two “Homekeepers” — the Mighty.

According to the company’s website, they do a federal and county background check, as well as a check on the national sex offender list and other similar lists.

Mary, who took to Facebook to relate her story, found that several other people had similar stories. Some said that when they couldn’t get satisfaction with Tidy, they contested the charge with their credit card company, and were able to get their money back.

More troubling, though, were the instances of theft or robbery. At least two other people related instances.

So CandysDirt.com began to look closer at Tidy. Was this a case of a couple of bad subcontractors, or are there systemic issues with the company?

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This statue of Robert E. Lee overlooks Lee Park in Dallas. Could removing this statue celebrating a controversial Confederate leader hurt Turtle Creek real estate?

[Editor’s Note: This post reflects the opinion of the writer and should not be interpreted as the editorial position of CandysDirt.com.]

I lived in Dallas for at least 10 years when I asked someone, “Who is Lee Park named after?” I assumed it was a great city forefather.

Robert E. Lee, I was told; the man who surrendered to Union troops in the bitter War Between the States, the only civil war in U.S. history.

Now, a movement that is growing like a snowball rolling down a mountainside — and crescendoed Saturday night at an anti-hate rally reportedly attended by thousands in front of Dallas City Hall — wants our city to rid itself of Lee Park’s eponymous statue. Duke University removed their statutes yesterday. However, this is also not an overnight movement: some Dallas City Council members have been working on a removal since last April.

I’m not sure if changing the name of the park will follow. The statue was built in Dallas during the Depression in 1936, when the Civil War was well over. Though the war ended, deeply rooted racism was not wiped out with Lee’s unconditional surrender at Appomatox Courthouse in 1865.

I’m not a native Southerner, so I have to wonder why the statue was erected in the first place. This is not Lee’s hometown; he was a native of Virginia. After Virginia, Texas has the largest collection of  Robert E. Lee monuments in the nation.

Why look up to a man who fought to let human beings own other human beings?

And last week, Jennifer Staubach Gates, City Councilwoman in District 13, who is making a lot of mayoral-like noise, wrote her conservative, wealthy constituents that the statue must come down:

My office has received a number of inquiries about the removal of Confederate statues in the City of Dallas, so I want to be clear on my position. 

I strongly support the removal of these statues. Symbols of white supremacy, neo-Nazis, the KKK or other hate groups are unacceptable and must be removed from public spaces that serve all of our citizens, including our public schools. The issue should not be whether or not they are removed, but rather the process of how they are removed, and I look forward to an open dialog on moving forward. 

The sooner we complete this process and remove these unacceptable symbols in public spaces, the stronger we will be as a City. If you have questions about this issue or thoughts on the process, please feel free to contact my office.

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HGTV

The father-daughter team of Doug Broadbent and Paige Poupart own the building and design firm The Masters Dallas. With their new show, Renovation Gap, airing Saturday, they may just be HGTV’s newest Texas team. (Photo courtesy Paige Poupart)

Paige Poupart was already busy — between owning the building and design firm The Masters Dallas with her father, Doug Broadbent, and motherhood, her plate was pretty full. But her days just might get a little fuller now that HGTV has come calling.

Poupart and Broadbent will get a chance to make a case to HGTV viewers Saturday when the pilot for their show, Renovation Gap, airs at 1 p.m. Central.

To say she’s excited is probably an understatement. The father-daughter team working together in the contracting business attracted the home improvement channel, but Poupart says that she and her father have been doing this for years and that she learned the renovation business practically from birth.

“So my dad has been a general contractor for ’35 years,’” she said. “This is such a used phrase (usually when correcting someone who is doing something wrong on the job site) that we actually have an inside joke about it.”

“I grew up renovating our homes with him and then selling them and moving to the next one,” she explained. “Many of these were in New England and historic homes, so I’ve really grown to love the historic character and sensibilities.”

One might think that just living in a state of constant renovation would teach a child enough, but the pair began working together on the jobsites pretty early, too.

“I started working on his jobsites with him probably about around age 10, he offered to pay me to keep the job sites clean, and I was an ambitious girl so I worked after school on his jobsites until he realized I could do more than just pick up track and vacuum sawdust,” she explained.

“He started to offer me more important construction jobs and I told him I wouldn’t work by the hour any longer so he had to pay me by the job.”

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