With Cities, It Is As With Dreams

“With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Downtown Dallas from the Commerce Street Overlook (Please click on image for a larger version on Flickr)

Downtown Dallas from the Commerce Street Overlook
(Please click on image for a larger version on Flickr)

Before and After – Bench

“I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.”
― Langston Hughes

I like to ride my bike in the Trinity River Bottoms and take a rest on one of the benches that are spotted along the trail. I took these less than a year ago. You can see the Continental Bridge Park in the background.

My Xootr folding bicycle, Trinity River Bottoms, Dallas, Texas

My Xootr folding bicycle, Trinity River Bottoms, Dallas, Texas

Continental Bridge, Dallas, Texas

Continental Bridge,
Dallas, Texas

Now, the water is rising.

The bench is swallowed by the rising water. Taken from the Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

The bench is swallowed by the rising water. Taken from the Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

I see on the radar that there is another giant storm to the Northwest – this area drains into the Trinity. The river isn’t finished going up.

The Great Floodgates of the Wonder-World Swung Open

“…the great floodgates of the wonder-world swung open…”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, from the Commerce Street Viaduct Dallas, Texas (please click the image for a larger and better version on Flickr)

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, from the Commerce Street Viaduct
Dallas, Texas
(please click the image for a larger and better version on Flickr)

After the Uptown Cyclovia on Sunday, I rode my bike down to the Trinity River – visiting the flood stage water at several places. It was quite a sight to see. I filled up my digital card with photos – I’ll be putting them up here as I process them.

This photo I took at sunset from the sidewalk along Commerce Street. The sun just peeked out from under the clouds for a few seconds.

The blog format can’t do this photo justice – Please click to visit on Flickr.

When A Happy Thing Falls

“But suppose the endlessly dead were to
wake in us some emblem:
they might point to the catkins hanging
from the empty hazel trees, or direct
us to the rain
descending on black earth in early
spring. —

And we, who always think of happiness
rising, would feel the emotion
that almost baffles us
when a happy thing falls.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

Saturday, at the brewery tour at Four Bullets Brewery, they had, as is common at these sorts of things, a number of games, including the grand hipster pastime of Giant Jenga.

I always like to watch this and always try to photograph the moment when the pile of wooden blocks falls.

Giant Jenga requires careful planning.

Giant Jenga requires careful planning.

She was able to remove this piece.

She was able to remove this piece.

But if fell later as they tried to move another piece. Note the rare "suspended section" of blocks. I'm not sure of the physics of leaving a few behind for a handful of microseconds.

But if fell later as they tried to move another piece. Note the rare “suspended section” of blocks. I’m not sure of the physics of leaving a few behind for a handful of microseconds.

Some old images of falling Giant Jenga.

The end of a game of giant Jenga - Community Beer Company, Dallas, Texas

The end of a game of giant Jenga – Community Beer Company, Dallas, Texas

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Four Bullets Brewery

Front door to Four Bullets Brewery, Richardson, Texas

Front door to Four Bullets Brewery, Richardson, Texas

For about I year I watched the progress of a new small brewery here in my own town of Richardson. It was established by two experienced home brewers that wanted to take the next step and open up their own establishment. It was called Four Bullets Brewery and has finally had its soft opening, with the official grand opening scheduled in a couple months.

It’s been open on Saturdays from noon to six with the typical tour deal – ten bucks for a glass and three beer tickets. I have been enjoying these craft beer tours for a few years now and really wanted to check out Four Bullets. The last couple weeks were too busy for me but today I was able to make a visit.

The brewery is located in a little industrial area north of downtown, near the Arapaho DART train station. It’s very close to where I live – but there is a railroad track blocking the way, so I rode north past the rail station and doubled back. It was a nice, easy ride, about three and a half miles.

I folded my Xootr Swift and locked it to a sign out in front – I should have ridden around to the back of the building, but I didn’t know.

My bike folded and locked up in front of Four Bullets.

My bike folded and locked up in front of Four Bullets.

The brewery is small – about the size of a generous garage, but it has an extensive open area out back with tables and some games. The crowd grew throughout the time I was there, until they had a very respectable bunch hanging around. A food truck sold barbeque in the back – he had his smoker located upwind and the smell made it impossible to resist.

The crowd grows in the patio in back of the Brewery.

The crowd grows in the patio in back of the Brewery.

I’m not expert on beers – but I enjoyed the three I tried. They all had the complexity and freshness you expect in a small batch craft beer. I especially liked the Oatmeal Stout – excellent and not too heavy, and the Pale Ale – very drinkable with a lot of flavor without being too hoppy. It’ll be interesting to watch Four Bullets as they go along – see if they get more adventurous with their beer varieties.

The City of Richardson looks at this industrial park as a potential little Design District – with the same kind of development – restaurants, galleries, breweries – that Dallas is working on in the area between downtown and the river. A food truck park is slated to open soon. I hope the trend continues – it would be a cool thing.

I will definitely go back, maybe try and organize a bike ride from a DART station through the east side of the city down to the brewery.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Good Review of Four Bullets

In Dialogue With Pain

“It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value. Acquaintance with grief turns out to be one of the more unusual prerequisites of architectural appreciation. We might, quite aside from all other requirements, need to be a little sad before buildings can properly touch us.”
― Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

Arts District Dallas, Texas

Arts District
Dallas, Texas

“Bad architecture is in the end as much a failure of psychology as of design. It is an example expressed through materials of the same tendencies which in other domains will lead us to marry the wrong people, choose inappropriate jobs and book unsuccessful holidays: the tendency not to understand who we are and what will satisfy us.”
― Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

Not the Shadow Of the Past Nor the Shadow Of the Future

“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Trinity River Dallas, Texas

Trinity River
Dallas, Texas