Green House Food Truck

There were a lot of choices in food trucks down in the Dallas Arts District on Friday. Most of my Favorites Were There – but, as always, when presented with a temptation, I chose one I had never tried before.

I have seen the Green House Truck on several occasions, but, for no good reason, hadn’t tried it yet. It was one of the first trucks in Dallas, it may be the first one – a pioneer from the days that they were highly restricted.

The Green House is known for healthy food. Looking over the menu, I chose a Portobello Mushroom sandwich on Ciabatta bread with walnut/basil pesto, grilled vegetables, and a side order of sweet potato fries.

Makes you hungry just thinkin’ ’bout it, doesn’t it.

My food was really good – I regret not trying the truck before – I’ll definitely look for them again.

Green House Food Truck – Follow them on Facebook – from their home page – Schedule/Location and finally – their Twitter

Dallas Arts District Sets Stage for Food Trucks

Gourmet food truck brings healthy fare to Dallas business districts

Green House Truck Rolls Into Dallas

A lot of trucks and a lot of hungry people.

Ordering from the Green House Truck

Your order is up.

At work in the truck's kitchen. I like the sauce bottles. Sriracha rules.

Portobello on Ciabatta sandwich with sweet potato fries.

Available Light

Friday… there was going to be a lot going on down in the Dallas Arts District. It was the end of spring break week, the streets would be blocked off and all the venues would have events scheduled. I decided to take some pictures. My plan was to get out of work and take the train down before the sun set – taking advantage of Daylight Savings Time to get some shots off during the magic hour.

Unfortunately, everything wrapped around the spindle and I didn’t get out of work on time. When I reached the Arts District it was dark as pitch. I wandered around – there was a band playing in the garden of the Nasher, and they were going to show Hugo in 3D on a giant portable screen, but every square inch of space was already spoken for by blanket-toting families and groups of partiers that had invaded while I was still in my cubicle. Their multi-colored quilts marked off the territory of every clan like patchwork Balkans that no tardy invader could penetrate.

I retreated from the Nasher Museum and wandered the streets. A short time ago only a handful of food trucks would show up down in the Arts District for these events but the phenomenon has rapidly grown and well over a dozen lined both sides of Harwood street. There was music and food and a huge crowd surging in the darkness. Folks poured in and out of the Nasher, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art.

Despite the lack of available light I experimented snapping some shots. Some day I want to learn how to use a flash properly, but, still, I have a strong desire to use available light only. I want to steal the stories of the people I’m shooting and a flash warns them of the upcoming thievery. Forget about a tripod in a crowd like this.

The problem is when there isn’t enough available light. I set ISO all the way up (grainy photographs), Aperture Wide Open (no depth of field, everything out of focus) and Speed as Slow as Possible (anything moving is extra fuzzy). There was no way to avoid blurriness, so I tried my best to minimize and control it. I’d prop my camera on a pillar or lean against a light pole, trying to gather in all the photons I could before it all goes to crap.

I don’t know if the blur is artistic or simply poor technique. I like it though… I guess that’s something.

Waiting to order at the Ssahm Korean BBQ truck.

Sharing a foam plate and a quiet moment in the surging crowd.

The colorful blur in the left is a guy walking around selling light sticks from a bag - ten dollars a piece.

(Click to Enlarge)

(Click to Enlarge)

I didn’t stay long. Shooting all these people in the dark filled me with a terrible loneliness – the kind you can only get inside of a festive crowd. So I packed in all in and headed back to the train station. When I got off in my neighborhood I still had about six hours left on my train pass so I stuck it into the money slot of the ticket vending kiosk. Hopefully somebody else could use it, out for a night on the town.

Old Barn (again)

Old Barn (click to enlarge)

Another picture of another old barn. This one is from pretty much the same spot as the one  I posted the other day, taken only a few seconds later in another direction. It was processed with the same software, but going for a different effect.

All the Information in the World

In my surfing a few days ago I came across, as I’m sure you did, the news that after 244 years Encyclopedia Britannica was giving up on its print edition.

We never had Britannica in our house – it was too expensive. We had a cheaper, more “modern” looking set… I don’t remember the brand. Of course, my schools – every school (I went to… I think twelve different ones)  library had a set of Britannicas. I wasn’t a big fan of them; they seemed too stuffy for my taste. I loved the top-line World Book (which looks like it is still in print) – I remember when I discovered the transparent acetate pages that showed the human anatomy in several layers. It seemed like amazing information luxury to me.

Most kids used the various encyclopedias to plagiarize their school reports, usually cribbing the short paragraphs out verbatim.  I, on the other hand, used to read encyclopedias cover to cover, from AA, through Z, and on to devour each annual update and addendum. I loved reading them. I’d read my books at home, then I devour the ones in the school library, then on to the history sets (I loved these because they were in chronological order) and finally the long shelves of Time/Life educational books.

Sitting here, writing this, I remember the hours spent turning the pages, the slight fungus odor of the old paper, the weight of the editions as they came off the shelf, the nasty paper cuts – I remember following the footnotes and then the memory of getting to the same article in alphabetical order. I retained a surprisingly large amount of information – not sure how much good it did me. The tomes were good on dry facts but not so much on wisdom.

I am not overwhelmed with wistful nostalgic sadness, though. Plenty of people are full of woe that an age has passed and they lament the disappearance of such a totem of their youth. My thoughts run in a different direction. What I think about is what a kid that, in a vain attempt to satisfy his unquenchable curiosity, was forced to read encyclopedias cover to cover, volume to volume, could have done if he had been born a few decades later and had access to the internet. It would have been like drinking from a fire hydrant.

I’ve been seeing headlines like, “Encyclopedia Britannica killed by Wikipedia!” That is not true at all – Wikipedia is a great thing, but sometimes you want information that wasn’t written by nineteen-year-olds. There will always be a place for the verified truth.

“This has nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google,” Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. President Jorge Cauz said. “This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people.”

The top year for the printed encyclopedia was 1990, when 120,000 sets were sold, Cauz said. That number fell to 40,000 just six years later in 1996, he said. The company started exploring digital publishing in the 1970s. The first CD-ROM edition was published in 1989 and a version went online in 1994.

The final hardcover encyclopedia set weighs 129 pounds and is available for sale at Britannica’s website for $1,395.

An entire set costs more than an iPad. A low-end tablet is half that.  There is an iOS app which is free, but has a $1.99 a month subscription for unlimited content.

If you went back in time to, say 1969, and said, “Hey, for half the cost of that shelf full of heavy books, I’m going to give you a little book or pad, about the size of a magazine, that you can take anywhere with you and when you touch it, the content you are looking for will appear on it, more or less instantly. It will be in full color, with sound and full-motion television, when appropriate. You’ll have to throw the old, paper ones away, though. To keep it updated you’ll have to pay two dollars a month. Oh, and if you need a break you can play Angry Birds on it too.”

What do you think the reaction would have been? It makes me think of Arthur C Clarke’s third law- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. A fully loaded iPad would have looked like magic in 1969. And that’s 1969! I remember 1969. I was twelve. I was reading encyclopedias in 1969.

I wish I had had an iPad.

This is me in 1969 (or so). I look like a kid that read encyclopedias cover to cover.

#Britannica

No More Encyclopedia Britannica

The Death of the Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia Books–The End of an Era

Throw the book at ‘em

Encyclopedias and Wikis

Goodbye Britannica, We Will Miss You!

Death of a Salesman Part 2: Encyclopaedia Britannicas Going Out Of Print

Encyclopedia Britannica going 100% Digital

Britannica encyclopedia out of print but the bibles still going strong

Encyclopedia Britannica to end print editions

No More Print edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannnica RIP

WILL YOU MISS THE ENCYCLOPEDIA?

No more Encyclopedia Britannicas in book form

The World on a Shelf

Encyclopedia Britannica is going digital only.

Encyclopedia Britannica to End Print Editions

No More Encyclopaedia Britannica Books

My Encyclopedia Britannica Set is Dusty but Not Forgotten

Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannica To Stop Publishing Books After 244 Years

Goodbye Encyclopedia Britannica

My thoughts on a lost era: Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books

Closing the Book: Encyclopedia Britannica Goes All Digital

read / end of an era

Encyclopedia Britannica ends publication after 244 years

CHECK OUT SOME THINGS THAT ARE GOING BYE BYE

End of an encyclopedic era

Wikipedia and the Internet just killed 244-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica

Rule Britannica

Encyclopedia Britannica Goes Out of Print

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, PRINTED NO MORE

Encyclopaedia Britannica To End Print Editions

Encyclopaedia Britannica wiped out by Wikipedia, selling final print edition

Encyclopedia Britannica Goes Out of Print

Old Barn

Old Barn (click to enlarge)

Messing around with a RAW image using HDR and the Luminance HDR (formerly Qtpfsgui) program. I know everybody is sick of these overprocessed, oversaturated, unrealistic digital photographs, but let me have a little fun.

It looks like this is an old, rustic, overgrown barn out in the middle of the swampy bayou, but it’s actually on the campus of the University of Louisiana Lafayette, in the middle of Lafayette, Louisiana.

What I learned this week, March 16, 2012

From the “I really wish I had thought of that,” department. Of course, the music is the “American Beauty” theme – but the fabric looks better than a plastic bag.

When I watch this, I think of what I know about chaotic systems and boundary conditions and I wonder if a setup like this could be designed to be “stable” – in that the fabric would continue to move in a random way, but staying within the boundary of the circle of fans – for an indeterminate time… like years. Imagine a museum exhibit that simply did this, day after day, week after week, for a year. I like to think of it still thrashing around in the dark, after the museum has closed, still dancing in inanimate beauty with nobody watching. Or, even better, I imagine a lonely museum security guard, at four in the morning, sitting there, looking at it, dreaming his own personal unique dreams.

And two pieces of cloth, plus my favorite Sigur Ros tune.


Really cool new Moleskine product.

Moleskine Messages – postal notebooks.

How do you pronounce Moleskine anyway?

And the correct answer.


More Moleskine hacks – How to set up a mini Moleskine for maximum productivity.


8 million hits – so you might have already seen this…. but even if you did, trust me, it’s worth watching again.


I loved Hee-Haw in high school. It was on in Managua, dubbed into Spanish (except for the songs and music). Trust me, Hee-Haw does not translate well. Still, I’d forgotten how much I loved this little ditty until I stumbled across it on a blog the other day.




Leadbelly’s The Titanic


Ten Tips on Maintaining an Organized LIfe

The Trees are in Bloom

When we first lived in Nicaragua, before the earthquake, my brother and I had to catch the bus to school at the entrance to our driveway on Carretera Sur. Since the drive popped out in a narrow space between two walls, one of us had to stand there and wait for the bus – or it wouldn’t see us and wouldn’t stop.

The problem was there was this big tree – right there, splitting our driveway at the entrance to the highway. It would bloom all the time – covered thick with bright yellow blossoms. These would fall and form a carpet under the tree. It looked great- the blossoms a colorful scene of yellow against the green of the leaves, the brown of the bark, and the dark gray tarmac of the drive and highway.

But the blossoms would rot in the tropical heat. The sweet-smelling flowers would decay into a sickly foulness that was impossible to stand. The smell was unbearable. My brother and I would take turns waiting under the tree, watching for the bus while our sibling stood well back up the yard in the fresh air, until we couldn’t stand it any more and then switch places. When it was really rank we would have to hold our breath and would trade off every minute or so until the bus rumbled up.

I thought of that as I sat at the Farmer’s Market. The central passage, around the La Marketa Café, is lined in trees and the trees were in bloom. They were thick with white blossoms which were falling like a dusting of snow. A thin layer covered the ground, stirred up into tiny white flowery tornados whenever the wind circled into miniature cyclones coming around the corners of the building. They were beautiful.

And best of all, they didn’t stink.

Yet.

The trees blooming in the Dallas Farmer's Market

blooms against the sky

the petals fall in front of a mural on a restaurant

Amigos Pottery

Off to the side of the Dallas Farmer’s Market is a store that I am very familiar with. It sits on a sharp corner and has a tin-roofed building and high rows of steel shelving outside. It’s a Mexican import extravaganza called Amigos Pottery. They have a factory in Mexico and produce a bewildering array of artwork and such – pottery, statuary, chimeneas, wall hangings, welded steel, fountains, and mixed combinations of all of these.

Long ago I bought a chimenea there – I’ve bought some planters, and we’ve purchased a bunch of decorative stuff over the years. Today, my friend and I wandered around with our cameras – shooting in the cramped aisles full of… all sorts of stuff.

Big digital SLRs always attract attention and a guy working there asked me for copies of my photos for his website.

I’ll send him an email as soon as I can find what I did with his business card.




Veggies in the Farmer’s Market

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.

—-Gertrude Stein

This last weekend, after grabbings a couple shots of the fashion shoot next door, I met up with my friend and we wandered the Dallas Farmer’s Market, Nikons in hand, taking photographs of what caught our eye. What I saw first was the vegetables (other subjects to follow in the dreary days ahead).

Some sheds at the market feature fresh local produce, others produce dealers – so I suppose what you get isn’t too much different than what you see in your local supermarket, but it looks so much more ripe and delicious lined up there in split-wood baskets in front of the trucks with hand-lettered cardboard signs. The vendors hawk their wares – holding out sample chunks of melon or wedges of grapefruit they cut in front of you with pocketknives. You can’t help but smile and salivate at this cornucopia of wonderfulness.

Filling bags with food to take home is one thing – buying fruit and eating while you walk around is another, a sweet treat – blueberries, tangerines, peaches and plums – all designed to nibble and stroll, packaged in their own skins, ready to give up their juice and pulp.

An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.

—- Will Rogers

One vendor features tomatoes. The back of his slot is filled with pallets of tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes.

Ripe vegetables were magic to me. Unharvested, the garden bristled with possibility. I would quicken at the sight of a ripe tomato, sounding its redness from deep amidst the undifferentiated green. To lift a bean plant’s hood of heartshaped leaves and discover a clutch of long slender pods handing underneath could make me catch my breath.

– Michael Pollan

Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.

—-Henry David Thoreau

In our gardens, Lord Ganesha sends His power through fruits and vegetables, the ones that grow above the ground, to permeate our nerve system with wisdom, clearing obstacles in our path when eaten. The growers of them treat it like they would care for Ganesha in His physical form.

—- Hindu Deva Shastra, verse 438, Nature Devas

I bought some of these - the broccoli and asparagus in the lower right.

I think of New York as a puree and the rest of the United States as vegetable soup.

—-Spalding Gray

Dried peppers and tomatillos

This cabbage, these carrots, these potatoes, these onions … will soon become me. Such a tasty fact!

—-Mike Garofalo

Poblano and Habanero peppers with some tomatillos.

Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.

—-Ambrose Bierce

Apples, peaches, and plums. I love these dark, Texas plums - I love to have a cold bag of them to eat while I drive long distances.

Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.

—-William Blake

Fashion Shoot at the Farmer’s Market

I had plans this afternoon to meet a friend at the Dallas Farmer’s Market and shoot some photographs. For days I watched the weather and despaired that the cold and rain seemed to reign over North Texas. Sunday morning was cold, gray, and the water still fell. Looking at the forecast, though, they predicted that the precipitation would end precipitously at about two in the afternoon – so I decided to hold out hope and drove down there.

Sure enough, right at two the sun broke out. Within two hours there was not a cloud in the sky.

In a continuation of good omens, as I was driving down there, coming off of Good Latimer Freeway, I cut through a new urban condominium development and spotted someone doing a photo shoot on the sidewalk – either a fashion shoot or a set of senior pictures. There was a photographer, a model, a couple assistants off to the side, and a small collection of lights, diffusers, and reflectors.

I love taking pictures of other people’s photoshoots – like the one I stumbled across in Pirate Alley in the French Quarter. I guess it’s because I don’t have any models I can use – so I like to steal images from other people.

The problem with shooting in a condominium complex is that people keep walking by. Nobody seemed to notice anything.

I'm actually taking a photo of the STOP sign. The others just showed up by accident.