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.

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.

Dream of Gigabytes

Woodall Rogers Freeway, Dallas, Texas, thirty second exposure, taken from the west end of Klyde Warren Park

Jung said that science is nested in a dream. The dream is that if we investigated the structures of material reality with sufficient attention and truth, that we could then learn enough about material reality to then alleviate suffering: To produce the philosopher’s stone – to make everybody wealthy, to make everybody healthy, to make everyone live as long as they wanted to live or perhaps forever. That’s the goal – to alleviate the catastrophe of existence. The idea that the solutions to the mysteries of life that enable us to develop such a substance, or multitude of substances, provided the motive force for the development of science. Jung traced that development of the motive force to over the period of 1,000 years. Jung went back into alchemical texts and interpreted them as if they were the dream upon which science was founded.

—-Jordan Peterson

I don’t usually remember my dreams. I know I have had them, I can feel them silvering away, sliding into forgetfulness. I’m left with vague feelings of fear and dread – so maybe it’s best that I don’t remember.

But sometimes I do. The other night I clearly remember one – or at least a good part of it. I go on these photowalks when I can manage it, and one was scheduled for Friday night down in the arts district. I’ve been thinking about this walk – working on a way to carry a tripod (it will fit in a gym bag I have – barely) and planning on doing some long exposures in the dark – working with blur and such.

In my dream I was doing my photowalk and taking a lot of pictures. Suddenly, a scene opened up in front of me, something of indescribably beauty and interest. It must have been indescribable because I don’t remember what it was. But it was something that I absolutely had to take a photo of.

When I pushed the shutter nothing happened. I discovered that my memory card was full.

Frantically, I lowered my camera and began deleting photos I had taken, trying to free up space for this amazing something right in front of my eyes. But I was too slow, and missed the photo of a lifetime.

I wondered what this dream meant and resolved to take a lot of photos – maybe even fill the card up.

When Friday arrived I carefully packed my bag with my camera, full battery, extra lens, tripod, and cable release. At the appropriate time after work I lugged the pack down to the LBJ/Central DART train station to ride downtown for the photowalk. Once the train began to move I decided to check everything one more time. It was all in the bag… then I pulled out my camera. Checking the battery once more, I saw the dreaded warning, “NO SD CARD INSERTED.”

My card was, of course, still on my desk at home stuck in my laptop where I had transferred the data from my last photoshoot. I didn’t panic – but was pretty upset at my idiocy. I began to think, “This is a huge city, where can I buy an SD card?” I didn’t have much time,

I don’t like to be late to group things.

I knew there was a 7/11 convenience store downtown, right at my last train stop. It’s major purpose is to sell cheap wine to the homeless, but it might have digital cards – for tourists and stuff. I pulled out my phone, did a search and found a page that listed items that 7/11 stores carried. I typed in “Dallas” and was presented with odd results – then I realized it was a dot.au site and I was searching Australian convenience stores – not much help.

Time was slipping away – the train was hurtling toward a digital-less downtown. So I pulled up Google Maps on my phone, watching the blue dot of my train going down the tracks. Looking ahead – I noticed that there was an office supply store right next to the Lover’s Lane train stop.

I was able to find a 16 gig card in the clearance rack. The whole store had a sad feel to it, Amazon is grinding office supply stores to dust.

Walked back to the train stop, caught the next train, and made it right on time. The day was too hot and I had trouble getting enthused – though I heard a really good Texas ambient band, This Will Destroy You, at the Nasher and am now a bit of a fan. I did figure out how to handle the tripod, camera, and cable release – will work on my technique for the future.

And pay more attention to my dreams.

A Light From Within

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Autumn grasses, Courthouse Square, McKinney, Texas

Oblique Strategy: Work at a different speed

I was driving up to McKinney for a photowalk, taking the route up the eastern side of the city. There were a couple of interesting looking taquerias, a line of small-time used-car dealers, and some place, little more than a shack, with a peeling sign that read:

Minnows
Worms
Picnic Supplies

Now, I know about a weekend fishing trip and how those things go together… this is Texas… but still….

Making Life More Bearable

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
― Kurt Vonnegut Jr., A Man Without a Country

Artwork in window, Waxahachie, Texas

I think I recognize the white glove-things in the photo I took. I watch too much television – and I watch too much “How It’s Made.”

One episode showed how they made latex surgical gloves. These ceramic hand-molds are dipped in a latex solution on a long assembly line. The solution dries on the ceramic hands and the gloves are then blown off with a jet of air. The scene of hundreds of hands moving along the manufacturing process was odd and hypnotic.

I think those things in the window, in front of the painting, are ceramic latex glove-molds.

Maybe.

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping

“Your dreams are your spirit, your soul and without them you are dead. You must guard your dreams always. Always. Lest someone steal them away from you. I know what it is to have your dreams stolen. I know what it is to be dead. Guard your dreams. Always guard your dreams.”
― Brom, Krampus: The Yule Lord

Scary Santa
Waxahachie, Texas

Ghosts In the Library

“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

 

Window Reflection, Dallas Public Library