Meat Pie!

As I was puttering around the house Saturday, trying to shake off the ache of a sleepless night, I thought about getting some cereal or something in my gullet – but I realized there would be food trucks at the Ciclovia de Dallas and that I would want to eat there. That made for some hungry driving around, but I was rewarded as I cycled across the closed-off Houston Street Viaduct by the appearance of a gourmet food truck that I had never tried before.

It was the Three Lions truck and this one boasted English Food. A while back I tried the excellent Three Men and a Taco truck and it was good. The problem is that the folks behind this truck were British ex-pats and driving another Taco truck around North Texas didn’t fit in with their souls. So the gaudy Taco wrap came off and the truck became Three Lions.

Most of the Ciclovia festivities were over before I arrived. When I rode my bike up to the truck they were working on the menu sign, crossing off the Sausage Roll. Looking at what was left, I decided on the Meat Pie (The Carolina BBQ Pork Mini Burger looked good, but didn’t sound very English to me). While I was waiting for my food a guy came up to grab a napkin and told me, “Oh man, those sausage rolls are great… Oh crap! They are out of them!” He looked at me like a poor relative as they handed me my meat pie.

I moved to the condiment section and chose the bottle of Sriracha (anything good is better with Sriracha on it). A Hispanic family was standing there eating the last of the sausage rolls and the man pointed to the Sriracha and in broken English said, “That stuff is good… spicy!” I agreed and gave it another squirt.

I carried my pie back to where my bike leaned up against the concrete bridge rail. I sat there eating, listening to the live music, and watching the bikes of the Ciclovia de Dallas roll by. It was good, though I was so hungry I can’t really give a fair review.

Some day, though, I’m going to try that sausage roll.

Three Lions Food Truck Home Page

Three Lions Facebook

Three Lions Twitter

Three Lions food truck at the Ciclovia de Dallas

Texas in our hearts, England in our blood.

A meat pie, Sriracha sauce, a diet Coke, a bike, and a concrete bridge

Ciclovia Dallas

The crowd at Ciclovia Dallas on the Houston Street Viaduct with the Dallas downtown skyline

Saturday, April 14, was a day I had marked my calendar quite some time ago. It was the day of the first Ciclovia de Dallas, and that looked really cool to me. I had never heard of a Ciclovia before. It means bike path, or in this case, the temporarily closing of a road to automobiles so that it can be taken over by cyclists and pedestrians.

The good folks at Bike Friendly Oak Cliff had organized this event and the City of Dallas had closed off the Houston Street Viaduct to cars. The viaduct is a long bridge that reaches out of the skyscrapers of downtown over to Oak Cliff across the vast Trinity River Bottoms. Over the decades I’ve lived in Dallas I have driven across the Houston Street Viaduct many times and I knew it would be a dramatic place to hang out and ride a bike because of the view of downtown and the long drop down into the river.

My intention was to get up early and get to see the whole thing, but I had a rough Friday the Thirteenth the day before and I was so upset I didn’t get to sleep until about five in the morning. So I slept in and it took quite a bit of willpower to drag my aching and worn out body from the bed and into the day. My mind kept racing and coming up with a million reasons not to drive down there and ride my stupid crappy bicycle over an old bridge.

But I persevered, took my bike apart (reminding me why I want to save enough money for a folder) and shoved it into the trunk. Then I drove downtown and proceeded to get caught in several massive traffic jams and lost and lost. I was hungry, frustrated, and sleep-deprived and couldn’t find a parking spot or make the right turns. I fought my way through downtown at least four times, crossing over the Trinity, then making a mistake and ending up on a crowded Interstate going the wrong way. Twice, I went by so closely I could see the folks on bicycles riding back and forth, but couldn’t find a place to stop (or at least couldn’t spot one before I drove by it). I was getting very close to packing it in and going home, but I thought I’d take one more drive across the river.

Finally, after wasting an hour driving around, I gave up and turned down an obscure side street in Oak Cliff, deciding I’d park there, assemble my bike (reminding myself why I want to save enough money for a bike that folds) and ride around looking for the bridge on my bike. After heading off I realized that the entrance to the bridge on the Oak Cliff side was only fifty feet on down the road.

I was late and a lot of the Ciclovia festivities were past, but there was still a nice crowd there and it was a lot of fun. I rode back and forth over the bridge enjoying the views of downtown and the Trinity river bottoms and looking at all the interesting people.

Music at Ciclovia Dallas

Unicyle riders - I was too slow to get a photo of them riding.

Bicycle Polo on the bridge

Bicycle Polo player

It was so much fun I didn’t pay much attention to getting photographs – I missed the bicycle powered smoothie maker. Didn’t get photos of the unicycle riders on their single wheels. There were food trucks on hand so I was able to get something to eat and I felt a lot better after that.

While I was eating I noticed a guy along the bridge sitting there with a manual typewriter. I’ve wanted a manual letter-hammerer for years and I asked him what he was up to .

His name is Thomas Cantu and he types up little chapbooks on that manual typewriter. I bought one (A Mexican American’s Guide to Your Parent’s Homeland) and chatted with him for a minute. Thomas writes about the Mexican-American experience and how drug violence is destroying Mexico. He says the typewriter is nice because people come up to ask about it and it’s an easy introduction. I told him I’ve always wanted one to put a roll of paper into – he recognized that was how Kerouac wrote.

Thomas Cantu and his typewriter.

So I rode one more lap of the bridge and then went back to my car, took my bike apart, and loaded it into the trunk (getting grease all over and reminding myself about how nice it would be to have a folding bicycle). It was a lot of fun, I hope the event was enough of a success for the city to take the ball and run with it. It would be a great annual thing – to close off the bridge and allow one day of slow riding and walking.

A Ciclovia… what a great idea.

What I learned this week, March 30, 2012

In his defense of Obamacare, the Solicitor General quoted from the Preamble to the Constitution. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t immediately familiar with the exact wording of the Preamble – but I found this video that explains it all.

Strangest of Places

Abundance Is Our Future (and We All Know It)

A Museum on the Streets of Rome

The odd and amazing story of Sealand

Sealand is a small country located off the British coast on an abandoned WWII artillery platform in the North Sea.

Things I want to do in Dallas (coming up)

Candy and I have tickets to the SavorDallas Wine and Food Stroll tonight down in the Arts District. I bought them for her birthday.

The Deep Ellum Arts Festival is coming up April 6-8th. My favorite band, Brave Combo will be there. I’m trying to save enough cash to buy another sculpture by David Pound.

April 14th is Ciclovia de Dallas – where the Houston Street Viaduct will be closed to traffic and open only to bicycles. Looks like fun – another bridge party.

Free concerts in the Dallas Arts District. Unfortunately, these are on Thursdays and my writing group meets then – but I might be able to work something out.

Any other ideas? What am I missing?

Free Things to do in Dallas

For all of you Mad Men fans out there:

Seven Things I Wish I’d Have Known When I First Became A Photographer

  1. Care about what you are photographing
  2. Learn how to use your camera and stop changing systems
  3. It’s not the camera that makes the shot – it’s the photographer
  4. Find the light first, the background second and the subject third
  5. If you photograph people or make pictures professionally understand that being nice is better than being good
  6. The best photographs in the world happen when …. there is solid, real emotion and/or love
  7. Serious photography is about protecting memories, telling stories, keeping moments

Sorry, I’m sure this is more interesting to me than it is to you….