Sunday was the fourth day in a row that I did the same thing – left my house on my bicycle and bought a ticket on the DART train for downtown Dallas.
Thursday-Patio Sessions with the Dallas String Quartet (and bonus dancers)
Saturday-Community Beer Company Swap Meet (and more)
Today the good folks at Dallas Cycle Style had organized a ride to the Afternoon Cocktails at the Nasher. The sculpture center downtown has installed new bike racks out front and in honor of the cyclists would be holding a happy hour for the folks with pedals and two wheels.
As always, I futzed and dutzed and spent too much time packing my bike and getting ready. Still, I had a few minutes to spare as I rode up to the Arapaho train station. Unfortunately, it was a beautiful day… and the last day of the State Fair of Texas… and only one ticket machine was working. I have bought a thousand tickets from those machines – I know what buttons to push by heart and know that a credit card is the quickest way to go. Unfortunately, the folks in line ahead of me (damn rookies) had no clue. I stood stoically in line, clutching my already-out method of payment, while they fumbled and bumbled with the confusing buttons and hard-to-see screen. I kept hearing, “OK, push that and we’ll start over again” and other such time-wasting phrases.
So the God of mass transit strikes again and as I rode up the ramp to the platform, my Red Train was pulling out. I had to wait for the next, which was an orange line, which meant I had to ride a bit farther to get to Oak Cliff, which meant I would probably be late, which meant I had to haul ass and sweat like a pig to try and get where I was going in time.
Which I did. We met up in Bishop Arts with enough time for me to catch my breath and then ride across the Jefferson Viaduct back into downtown in amazingly beautiful weather. There is nothing better than that.
At the Nasher, we attended a lecture on the ten sculptures that have gone up around the city in the exhibition called Nasher Xchange. It was very cool – I am going to have to work on riding my bike to each of these over the next few months.
Riding my bike to the sculptures is appropriate. The panel constantly referred to Dallas as a giant car-choked metropolis – which isn’t untrue… but it isn’t the whole story. You can get around the city without a car… you have to simply want to do it.
There was a lot going on at the museum. It is the Nasher’s ten year anniversary. I couldn’t help but think of the excitement when the museum first arrived.
It hadn’t been open very long when I took Lee down there and shot some photographs of him with the sculptures. Then we went back six years later and took the shots again. I’ve put these up before, but I wanted to see them again.
It’s sad that the sculpture/installation Tending(Blue) by James Turrell is gone – closed off because of the condo tower next door. It was always one of my favorite spots in the city and is sorely missed.
The sun began to set quickly so we took off across downtown. I knew the train would be crowded with folks coming back from the State Fair so I boarded at the Union Station, hanging my bike up on the little hook and sitting back behind it. I had the car to myself through downtown but, sure enough, at the Pearl/Arts District Station the crowd coming from the fair (via the Green Line) packed their way onto the train. About a third of the folks couldn’t get on.
I sat there, steadying my bike against the surge of the crowd. I was pinned and couldn’t even give up my seat. One woman, leaning against my bicycle, was obviously very drunk and exhausted and came close to collapsing – only the press of the thick crowd kept her upright all the way to her stop.
It was a relief to get off the train and pump my pedals the last few miles to my house. A very good day.
I have an early meeting at work on Monday, so I’ll drive my car in. That’s a good idea – but it seems like a shame.