Axios Dallas

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Happy Friday! Friendship requires sacrifice.

πŸŒ₯ Today's weather: Cooler. High of 70 with a chance of rain.

🎡 Sounds like: "Padam Padam"

🐢 Situational awareness: Dallas Animal Services is over capacity sheltering dogs. The first 100 people to adopt a dog over 30 pounds or a cat older than six months today through Sunday will get a $50 Petco gift card.

  • If you adopt a pet, send us a pic!

Today's newsletter is 860 sniffling words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Playoff time for Mavs and Stars

We hope we're ready for this rematch. Photo: Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Stars are headed into the playoffs starting Sunday.

Why it matters: North Texans have two fandoms to join to cheer for a playoff run just months after the Texas Rangers won the World Series.

  • It's a good time for everyone but Cowboys fans.

The latest: The Mavs play the LA Clippers Sunday in Los Angeles in the first game of a best-of-seven series.

  • The Stars will play the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, in a best-of-seven series. Vegas dropped to the second wild card spot after their 4-1 loss last night.

The Mavs: The Mavs lost to the Clippers in two of their three regular-season matchups, but they've soared in the Western Conference standings to clinch the fifth seed heading into the playoffs.

  • The Clippers have depth and experience with players like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and James Harden, but the team has struggled with consistency.
  • Meanwhile, Luka DončiΔ‡ and Kyrie Irving have emerged as a power duo and rallied the Mavs to win 13 of their last 17 games.

What we're watching: If the team stays healthy, the Mavs' knack for clutch plays in tense moments could help them clip the Clippers.

The Stars: Dallas has the home-ice advantage after clinching the top seed in the Western Conference this week.

  • The Stars last clinched the Western Conference in 2016, when they were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs.
  • Center Wyatt Johnston, the team's top scorer, and left wing Jason Robertson are among the team's most exciting young players.
  • Plus, goalie Jake Oettinger has a nearly 91% save percentage. 🦦

Threat level: The matchup isn't ideal. The Stars lost to the Knights in the Western Conference final last year.

  • And Vegas has won all three of this season's meetings.
  • Game 1 is Monday.

The bottom line: Be sure to yell "Stars" during the national anthem even if you're at a Mavs game.

2. 🀧 Dallas is the sneeziest

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Feeling tired? Have itchy eyes? Sneezing louder than a leaf blower? Welcome to one of the allergy capitals of the U.S.

The big picture: The Dallas-Fort Worth area is fourth among the most challenging places to live in the U.S. with allergies, per a recent Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America report.

  • Last year, D-FW had the most "high" and "very high" tree pollen days of the 100 most populous U.S. metros.

Driving the news: Pollen counts have been high for the past few weeks in North Texas with little reprieve in sight.

  • And, grass pollen has been especially high this week.

Threat level: Allergy seasons, especially in the Southern states, are getting longer. Growing seasons start earlier and go later than they did 30 years ago.

  • And some states, including Texas, now experience grass pollen year-round, per the report.

Zoom in: The foundation scored the worst places for people with allergies to live based on a combination of pollen counts for tree, grass and weed allergens, use of allergy medication and the number of allergy specialists in the area.

  • Dallas was worse than the average in pollen counts and over-the-counter medication used and about average in the number of specialists.
  • Of note: The report was supported by Bayer Claritin β€” yes, the allergy medicine.

How to help yourself: Check pollen counts before heading outside. Wear extra covering, including hats and sunglasses, on high-pollen days to limit what gets into your eyes and nose.

  • Take off your shoes and change your clothes after outdoor activities to limit how much pollen gets into your home.
  • Use HEPA filters in your home and air conditioning units.
  • Wipe down your pets before they come inside.
  • Shower before bed to keep pollen out of your bedding.

The bottom line: Bless you.

3. πŸ—ž Burnt ends: Bite-sized news bits

We're all just tortured poets. Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏘 The Denton City Council has approved a public-private partnership with incentives for developers to build more middle-income housing. (Denton Record-Chronicle)

🎞️ A new documentary titled "God, Jesus, Trump!" alleges a former Keller ISD trustee "begged" the film crew not to air her interview. (Fort Worth Report)

🎢 Rockwall is the only city to qualify two choirs to the International Championship of High School A Cappella in New York next week. (WFAA)

4. 🍍 One cocktail to go: Billy Can Can

Smoky reminder of upside down cake. Photo: Tasha "Tin Can" Tsiaperas/Axios

Our latest drink adventure takes us to Victory Park after watching a game at the American Airlines Center.

  • You won't be the only one with the idea to get a drink after a game, so be prepared for a slight wait or make a reservation.

Vibe check: Open and comfortable while still maintaining an old-timey saloon vibe. Expect to see big hats on bartenders and heavy wooden chairs at the high-tops.

  • The drinks are praiseworthy, and you should definitely order the cornbread.

What to order: Sonora Showdown β€” tequila, mezcal, saloon-made tepache and lime served in a glass rimmed with tajΓ­n.

  • Former Dallas Morning News food critic Leslie Brenner told us it's her favorite drink in town, so we rushed to try it. We also really, really enjoyed the Glass-Eyed Gringo β€” basically a mezcal white negroni.

Where: Billy Can Can, 2386 Victory Park Lane

Cost: $15

Six-word review: Cheers to smoky, balanced, juicy tipples.

πŸ“­ Know a drink we should try? Hit reply and tell us.

This newsletter was edited by Bob Gee and copy edited by Carolyn DiPaolo.

Editor's note: The chart in item 5 in yesterday's newsletter was corrected to reflect that the athletes' salaries are average annual salaries.

Our picks:

πŸ€πŸ’βšΎοΈ Tasha is wearing this shirt every day for the foreseeable future.

🧹 Naheed is vacuuming more than usual and changing air filters this weekend.

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