Nancy Best Fountain

“There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination
they produce more hues than can ever been seen.

There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of
them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Nancy Best Fountain, Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

On Friday I took some photos of the new Nancy Best Fountain at the East End of the park.

The kids loved the water and the multicolored lights.

Morse Code

“Code is not like other how-computers-work books. It doesn’t have big color illustrations of disk drives with arrows showing how the data sweeps into the computer. Code has no drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology.”
― Charles Petzold, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

Pacific Plaza Park, Dallas, Texas

Sawtooth Reflections

“A new social type was being created by the apartment building, a cool, unemotional personality impervious to the psychological pressures of high-rise life, with minimal needs for privacy, who thrived like an advanced species of machine in the neutral atmosphere. This was the sort of resident who was content to do nothing but sit in his over-priced apartment, watch television with the sound turned down, and wait for his neighbours to make a mistake.”
― J.G. Ballard, High-Rise

Downtown Dallas, Texas

When I moved to Dallas, many moons ago, in 1981 – the city center was in a building boom (one of many). Reflective glass hi-rise buildings rose all around me as I walked from the bus stop to my work everyday. I’d go out onto the streets for lunch, eat greasy Chinese food in a little park (if the weather was bearable), and look up at the construction high overhead.

I was fascinated at how many glass hi-rises had curtain walls that were sawtooth-shaped. It easy to figure out why. That shape gives a large number of corner offices – which are loaded with prestige and command a premium price.

For the proletariat eating their egg rolls on the street – they also have cool reflections.

Nancy Best Fountain at Night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse
Still, it’s so much clearer
I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge
― REM, Nightswimming

Nancy Best Fountain, Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

On Friday the Dallas Photowalk folks had a sunset photowalk planned at Klyde Warren Park here in Dallas. I took the DART train down there – which was good because the traffic was horrific. We met up at six or so, walked around, took some photos of people taking salsa dancing lessons and then walked down to the new Nancy Best Fountain at the East End of the park.

At sundown the light and sound show surrounding the fountain began. The water shot high in the air and the kids danced around in the water like they were actually having a good time.

Playing in the Fountain

“Let’s swim to the moon
Let’s climb through the tide
Surrender to the waiting worlds
That lap against our side.”
― Jim Morrison

Nancy Best Fountain, Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

On Friday the Dallas Photowalk folks had a sunset photowalk planned at Klyde Warren Park here in Dallas. I took the DART train down there – which was good because the traffic was horrific. We met up at six or so, walked around, took some photos of people taking salsa dancing lessons and then walked down to the new Nancy Best Fountain at the East End of the park.

From the website:

By day, the Fountain is an interactive play area for families and a relaxing respite in the heart of Dallas. It features a 5,000-square-foot splash pad, which can accommodate hundreds of children at a time.

By night, just after sunset, the Fountain will come alive for 30 to 45 minutes with dancing water and a choreographed light and music show, which changes monthly.


Guests are encouraged to play in the water—even during the evening performances—making it one of the most unique fountains in the world.

And that is how it was. The summer heat is fading a bit here in Dallas, but it is still plenty hot. Hordes of children played on the vast concrete pad running around between intermittent computer controlled spurts of cooling water.

I tried to buy some food from a nearby truck, but the line and the wait was too long.

Then, as the sun set, the music began and the huge fountain came to life. Colorful giant streams of water burst into the sky, raining down onto the crowd of children who rushed around screaming in joy.

There has been a lot of criticism of this new fountain… it was too expensive/big/Dallas-y/pretentious/obnoxious/wasteful.

for example:

“During a time where there are literally lines of cars over a mile long trying to get donated food, a $10 million fountain just screams ‘Let them eat cake,’” says community activist Soraya Santos. “I’m an art lover, and I am proud of our Arts District and our beautiful downtown parks, and would have loved to see this at any other time, but right now it’s incredibly tone-deaf.”

or another:

A Facebook group called DFW Corona Connection had several posts and comments criticizing the use of the money, suggesting it could’ve been better spent on homeless shelters or other pandemic relief efforts.

“Because a 10 story, $10 million water fountain is exactly what this community needs to bounce back from a pandemic-driven economic crisis. How do you spell tone deaf?” wrote page administrator Josh Smith.

I had read all this and was interested in actually seeing the thing and deciding for myself.

Well, that’s all bullshit. It’s fantastic. Hundreds of kids were having a blast – as were their parents watching them. A free blast, I’ll add. No tax payer money went to the fountain; it was built completely through donations. What is a better way to “bounce back” from the draconian pandemic restrictions than with a unique public space/amenity that brings children and adults together, giving them insane amounts of joy.

I took some photos – they are on my desktop now and I’m working my way through them – you’ll see more than a few here in the coming days. Sorry about that.

Jack-o’-Lantern

“For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth….Such are the autumn people.”
― Ray Bradbury

My son Lee came over to visit last Saturday – to hang out and watch Tulane win a football game (both his school, Tulane, and mine, Kansas are 3-0 on the season – which doesn’t happen very often). He brought a pumpkin and, although Halloween is still a bit off he carved it up into a skull. Candy loves skulls. He still has his artistic talent.

Lee’s jack-o’-lantern, with candle inside, out on the back porch.

Somebody Had A Bad Day

“After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.”
― J.G. Ballard, Crash

Scene of a crash. That heavy metal bollard – put in to protect the brick signpost – was bent. Somebody hit the thing hard.

I futzed and dutzed around today and didn’t get out for my daily bike ride until the brutal heat of the afternoon. It wasn’t too bad, though, I took some ice and water and at least on a bike you make your own breeze.

I found the bike trail blocked at Larkspur and Plano roads. Someone had hit a protective bollard, bending it more than a bit, and knocked the stop sign/street sign over. There was broken glass everywhere, though the car(s) involved were long towed away. I cut through a church parking lot and rode some residential streets to avoid the broken glass and bent steel.

Reality Is Torn Down Around Us

“Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.”
― J.G. Ballard

Margaret McDermott Bridge, Dallas, Texas