“I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle showed up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there wil always be a place for them.”
“Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour.”
“Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.”
It’s not a gentle woodland breeze wafting the smells of nature – it’s the sour bite of drying spray paint. Not the rustle of a leaved canopy – it’s the pulsing of a rap song from a nearby video shoot. Not a copse of ancient forest – but an abandoned set of corrugated steel shacks covered with crude graffiti.
But still the sun splashes. The same sun.
“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”
― Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall
This is a tough time of year for me. I suffer terribly from allergies from the evil Mountain Cedar Trees in South Texas – the clouds of pollen destroy me. The worst is the inability to get an effective night’s sleep. I go into awful hacking coughing fits every fifteen minutes or so.
That makes for long and unprofitable nights.
It was cold today, cold enough that I didn’t want to go outside. But as the day went on, the sun peeped out a little, and I decided to git. I wanted to go take some photographs somewhere, and after a bit of web searching, I found a candidate. There’s a place in West Dallas, near Trinity Groves, called The Fabrication Yard. It’s some old abandoned warehouses that the city lets taggers spray graffiti all over.
I packed my camera and drove down there. The highway had a big cluster of fire trucks and miles of traffic – luckily for me going the other way – but I made a note for the trip home.
When I pulled up I could smell the telltale tang of scorched soybean oil alkyd and solvent left by fresh aerosol paint. There were obvious drug deals in the street, pulsing music from one shed where someone was shooting a rap video and one guy painting a wall – otherwise pretty deserted – while I wandered and shot some pictures.
At least I was out of the house.
“I can’t help being a gorgeous fiend. It’s just the card I drew.”
― Anne Rice, The Queen of the Damned
“Is it a fact – or have I dreamt it – that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time?”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne
“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
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.