What I learned this week, July 20, 2012

Editorial: Finding Lost Dallas

Cities should be dynamic places. The corner of Commerce and St. Paul streets, where the building that once housed the hotel still stands, is a great place to see how this works over time. When it opened in 1956, the Statler Hilton was a marvel to behold. It was home to the largest convention facility in the South. Some of the hotel’s amenities — music in elevators, a rooftop pool and televisions in every room — were trendsetting and the height of luxury.

It was also the first glass-and-metal hotel in the nation. As such, it was a precursor to the Modern movement that defines the Dallas skyline. The buildings that now seem so familiar to all of us rose from the remnants of the old downtown. When you see footage of Dallas a half-century ago, what strikes the eye is how little of it seems to be left.

LOST DALLAS


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Help me, I’m melting!

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Shane Pennington, the artist that did the ice sculptures down in the Dallas Arts District that impressed me so much that I visited them day after day, as they melted:

First Night

Next Day

The Day After That

A couple days after that

A week and a day later

– I found a cool article about his show in Berlin – “Leaving the Shade.

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The two human form sculptures, what is left of them

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Not much ice left

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How 8 Sci-Fi Gadgets Are Becoming Reality


A Modest Proposal: Nasher vs Museum Tower


Howard Jacobson’s top 10 novels of sexual jealousy


The 50 Best Rolling Stones Songs (in case you were forgetting….)


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A while back I wrote about a Foodtruckapooza event at the remains of the old Valley View Mall. It was such a success the mall owners are trying to bring in a little business by making it a regular thing.

New Valley View owners hope to park food truck test kitchens in vacant food court stalls

It’s a fascinating story of urban devlopment, timing, and the death of a mall.

A few weeks back, the Becks rolled in more than two dozen food trucks for a fest that filled the parking lot — first time that’s happened at Valley View in a long time. Said Scott last night, the traffic jam brought in ’round 12,000, which is why the Midtown Food Truck Fest becomes a regular event beginning July 20 and scheduled for the third weekend of every month, with an indoor component that will include a beer garden.

Concurrently, they’re partnering with Jack FM to create food truck “test kitchens” in the seven empty food-court slots once populated by the likes of Sbarro, Chick-fil-A, Sonic and McDonald’s.

In two months’ time, the Becks hope to fill empty food-court spaces with food truck test kitchens.

“You will have your favorite food trucks in one location,” says Scott Beck, who notes that’s about two months off. “We won’t make those spot into national or regional vendors. We’ll have food trucks who want test kitchens for a month. They will rotate in and out — and be right there in the food court. Every food truck wants to be part of that. They think it’s interesting to do a test kitchen, because there are only so many things you can make in a food truck. This gives them the chance to do more items in an area that’s promoted.”

I think I might head down there after work today.


Some very interesting editorials about the future of energy in the US.

The Energy Revolution Part One: The Biggest Losers

Energy Revolution 2: A Post Post-American Post

Energy Revolution 3: The New American Century

While the chattering classes yammered on about American decline and peak oil, a quite different future is taking shape. A world energy revolution is underway and it will be shaping the realities of the 21st century when the Crash of 2008 and the Great Stagnation that followed only interest historians. A new age of abundance for fossil fuels is upon us. And the center of gravity of the global energy picture is shifting from the Middle East to… North America.

2 responses to “What I learned this week, July 20, 2012

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