Their Prowess is Potent

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up.
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.
They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
Reckless and wild, they pour through the turns.
Their prowess is potent and secretly stern.
As they speed through the finish, the flags go down.
The fans get up and they get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns.
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.
—-Cake, The Distance

Bicycle Drag Race, Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (Large Marge), Dallas, Texas

Oblique Strategy: It is quite possible (after all)

I was sitting at a bar, I had a few minutes to kill before my meeting, drinking a cup of coffee. This was in the cold, dark, heart of urban hipsterdom. There were two millennial women sitting near me, talking with the bartender/barista loud enough and close enough I could hear clearly.

They were discussing “old people.” I could have interrupted and said something, but I did not – they were enjoying themselves too much.

What I could have said was, “You know that old man you see every day shuffling down the sidewalk, using a cane to keep from falling into the street, head bowed, moving with incredible difficulty as if he was walking through a sea of invisible molasses. You see him and wonder where he is going, why he is using such energy for so little purpose; you wonder why he even bothers to get out of bed – that is if you think of him at all.

Now you see that sixteen year old boy shooting hoops, jumping high, not a care in the world.

Remember, they are the same people. Those are simply two points on one line. In his head, the old man is still the sixteen year old boy. It’s hard to understand, hard to believe, impossible for you to comprehend, but undoubtedly true.”

Cause he’s going the distance.
He’s going for speed.
She’s all alone
In her time of need.
—-Cake, The Distance

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The Life of a Ghost

“I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

(click to enlarge)
Frank Campagna mural, Hickory Street, Dallas, Texas

I took the above photo(s) during the last Hidden Art Bicycle Tour. The mural is along Hickory Street, between The Cedars and Fair Park. Frank Campagna painted it – he has done a series of murals in this spot. It’s always sad to see an old one go – but that’s the transient nature of murals – they come and then they go.

Obviously, I took two shots, one with cyclists, one without – and layered them in Photoshop.

Musical Cyclist on Frenchmen Street

“My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day.

I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”
― Tom Waits

Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

What I learned this week, July 9, 2017

The imposing facade of the St. Vincent’s Guest House, facing Magazine Street in New Orleans. I had to move around a bunch of film crews and trucks to get this – they were shooting scenes for Treme. The St. Vincent must be a popular location – they did scenes for Red (the Bruce Willis film) there – now I’ll have to watch the damn thing.

Lower Garden District landmark St. Vincent’s Guest House to be renovated, converted into luxury hotel

This is very sad to me – St. Vincent’s is one of my favorite places – I wrote about it here.

Now I won’t be able to afford to stay there. But at least it will survive (and thrive). Time marches on.

Here’s a closeup of the sculpture on the clock on the carriage house. Pretty cool, huh. You’re not going to see stuff like this hanging off the Hilton.

I hope they keep the gargoyle.


Napflix

Napflix is a video platform where you can find the most silent and sleepy content selection to relax your brain and easily fall asleep.

Taking siesta to the next level.

While viewing Napflix I discovered a game of Pétanque.  It wasn’t very exciting, but I found it interesting. Now, I find there is a Dallas Pétanque Club. Now I feel an urge to visit them someday and see a game.

These rabbit holes are so easy to fall into.


And now that we have Napflix – in Spain there is a bar dedicated to the art of the nap.

Spain’s First ‘Nap Bar’ Just Opened in Madrid


Send a Text to SFMOMA and They’ll Text You Back an Artwork


50 (Big and Little) Things It’s Finally Time to Get Rid of

Your new decluttering motto: #ruthless.


Texas liquor agency rebuked after investigation of Spec’s

The special evil of a regulatory bureaucracy.


The Universe Itself May Be Unnatural


KAFKA’S JOKE BOOK

Why did the chicken cross the road?

It had been crossing so long it could not remember. As it stopped in the middle to look back, a car sped by, spinning it around. Disoriented, the chicken realized it could no longer tell which way it was going. It stands there still.


Oh the irony of driving cars to ride bikes


10 Bike Lanes So Depressingly Crappy They’re Almost Funny

I’ve seen some that could make this list.

This photo, however, is a pretty nice pair of lanes, though they tend to get covered with broken glass.

Bicycle Lanes on the Jefferson Viaduct from Oak Cliff into downtown, Dallas.

The city I live in has done a good job of putting in useful, dedicated lanes.

Bike Lanes on Custer Road

Bike lane on Yale, near my house.

What I learned this week, June 04, 2017

BIKE COMMUTING’S WORST ENEMY ISN’T WHAT YOU THINK

Many think the ultimate enemy of the bicycle is the car, but the reason cars are so dangerous is simply the false perception that our streets and roads are made for driving and nothing else.  It is the complete dismissal, whether conscious or unconscious, of any other practical way of getting around.  It is the lack of understanding that cars are one of many forms of transit, albeit by far the most popular one.  It is the lack of respect for bikes as a viable vehicle for traveling to where you need to go.

Seeing bikes as transit machines, like cars only slower, is an important mental hurdle for non-cyclists to overcome.  It is no different than choosing a pickup over a sedan, a sub-compact versus an SUV, or a luxury car over a coupe.  It is simply another way to get from point A to point B, with advantages and disadvantages.  The sooner we all accept this fact, the sooner we will begin to open our eyes to a multitude of transit options for our cities that truly benefit everyone.

Stylish bike rider, French Quarter, New Orleans


4 Important Things to Consider When Designing Streets For People, Not Just Cars

When drawing a street on a plan, you start with a centerline and offset it on two sides. It is quite literally a line connecting two places with a certain width. This width is almost always determined by an engineer who is trying to match an algorithm for how many lanes are needed for the cars that will drive down this street, and how many utilities will need to comfortably fit here. Instead, we should think about streets and all their various uses—as places for gathering, finding our way, living more healthfully, with nature, and with each other… and build from there.


Frozen in time: US photographer revisits Nicaraguan village to recreate pictures of rural families 20 years after his first trip

For portrait photographer Robert Kalman, the art form is all about people. He has traveled across continents to document people in their environments – whether the streets of New York and Paris or rural villages in Central America. And one timeless Nicaraguan village has, over the years, continued to draw him back.

Since his first trip to Larreynaga, Kalman has returned at least five times to document the lives of villagers there.

 


Right now, I am really enjoying the new Twin Peaks on Showtime. I am a huge fan of David Lynch – but if you say you hate everything he has done, I can’t argue with you.

Every David Lynch Film, Ranked

It’s not easy to rank every Lynch movie, not least of all because of the director’s cult status. Lynch fans aren’t playing around, and debates can get heated (especially when it comes to Dune or Fire Walk With Me). And then there’s the fact that every movie is so jaw-droppingly different. There are certainly recurring “Lynchian” elements, which David Foster Wallace defined as “a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former’s perpetual containment within the latter.” More obviously, there are certain visuals you look for when watching a Lynch movie: red lips, a hallway, long red curtains, a highway at night, a stage lit by a single light. Then there’s that feeling that comes with certain Lynch movies—and lingers; that unshakable dread of being in someone else’s dream (or nightmare).

 


Downtown Dallas, Texas

I worked downtown in the early 80’s and one of my favorite things was watching the skyscrapers go up. I was surprised at how different the construction methods were for different buildings.

Tall tales and big holes are part of Dallas’ skyscraper lore

The 1980s gave Dallas most of its skyline, with more towers popping up than any time in the city’s history.

Along with the tall buildings came a few tall tales.

Three skyscrapers from Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

Striking new skyscraper in downtown Dallas will be tallest in decades

“The new Amli tower is significant because it will create a true mixed-use environment at the highest level,” said Johnny Johnson with Cushman & Wakefield, which markets the Fountain Place offices to tenants. “The energy sparked by the pedestrian experience will enhance the complex and everything that surrounds it.

“It will make Fountain Place an even more desirable place to be.”

Downtown Dallas

 


How to Start a Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writers

What an interesting idea! Wish I had thought of that.


Dancers, Arts District, Dallas

Arts tycoon on hunt for photographers to document life of Dallas Arts District

Reflecting Pool, Arts District, Dallas, Texas
(Click To Enlarge)

Hall has spearheaded a new endeavor titled “Through the Lens: Dallas Arts District.” It’s a call to action for “professional photographers, emerging photographers, mid-career photographers and students” to start snapping their shutters. The goal is to create a body of work that captures “a glimpse of the life and vibrancy that defines the Dallas Arts District,” whose 20 square blocks will become the photographers’ tableau.

Bethan, Patio Sessions, Arts District, Dallas, Texas


THE BEST ROOFTOP BARS IN DALLAS

I’m a big fan of three of these: The Soda Bar, Bar Belmont, and 32 Degrees. Gonna have to check out the rest.

Dallas Skyline from the Soda Bar on the roof of the NYLO Southside hotel.

The view of Downtown Dallas from the Belmont Hotel

The view of the Belmont from the porch at Smoke – Dallas skyline in the background.

 


 

Without Thought On Anything But the Ride You Are Taking

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle

Design District Dallas, Texas

Design District
Dallas, Texas

Bicycles lined up outside Community Beer Company, Dallas.

I Am Haunted By Waters

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”
― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Before and After

Entrance to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail, Dallas, Texas

I took this photo on a fun organized bike ride last October.

We lost about half the ride at Lee Harvey's - but here's the rest at the Santa Fe Trestle Trail. (click for a larger, better version on Flickr)

We lost about half the ride at Lee Harvey’s – but here’s the rest at the Santa Fe Trestle Trail.
(click for a larger, better version on Flickr)

Here’s what the same spot looks like now.

Downtown from the entrance to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail, Dallas, Texas

Downtown from the entrance to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail,
Dallas, Texas