What I learned this week, November 30, 2012


D Magazine: Why Does Dallas Hate Cyclists?

Bicycling in Dallas is too difficult and too dangerous. Bicycling magazine called Dallas the worst city for cyclists—twice (in 2008 and 2012). As a result, only heroes do it. And the solution is simple. We need only change the way we think.

When the story you are reading is published online, there will appear, without question, comments from people who will assail Mike McNair and hurl insults at cyclists of every stripe for getting in the way of their cars. A number of years ago, golf commentator David Feherty wrote a story for D Magazine about getting run over on his bike by a car in Dallas. He did a turn with Krys Boyd on 90.1 KERA to talk about the experience and his long rehabilitation. Online and on air, a sizable number of people said: “Screw the cyclists! They are a hazard and should get off the road!” Words to that effect.

That attitude is the first thing that must change if Dallas is ever to achieve its world-class ambitions. Bicyclists are like children. They are slow. They are sometimes unpredictable. They weave and wander and clearly think the world revolves around them. They infuriate. But they are our future. So we should not only tolerate them, we should encourage and coddle them.

Great News. The Dallas Museum of Art had free admission when it was first opened, and I was working downtown. While it is worth the paid admission, making it free enables a person to enjoy the place on a more informal basis. I used to go there and look at one piece of art only – really think about it. Hard to do that when you pay ten bucks to get in.

Museum Tower is an “attack” on the Nasher Sculpture Center’s garden, building and art

As Nasher Sculpture Center landscape architect Peter Walker sees it, the intense light reflecting off Museum Tower, the 42-story, $200 million condominium complex across from the center, is an “attack on the garden and on the building and on the art.” According to Walker, “What the reflection does is very much like putting light through a magnifying glass, it essentially burns everything that it sees.”

Writing in my Moleskine Journal outside the Mojo Lounge, Decatur Street, French Quarter, New Orleans

Anyone with free time in North Texas tomorrow, Saturday, December 1st, think about coming down to Deep Ellum for the first

Dallas Writing Marathon

Taps for growler filling behind the bar.

Craft and Growler, down on Exposition near fair park, is open and it’s a cool place. A long way for me to drive for a growler full of beer…. but it’s worth it (my car gets great mileage).

An Idea Pomodoro – timer, pen, composition book.

A freelance writer shares his thoughts and experiences using the Pomodoro Technique to cut down on distractions and squeeze more productivity out of his day.

How a tomato helps me get stuff done

The Next Day

It was with more than a little trepidation that I drove downtown to take a look at Shane Pennington‘s installation for TEDxSMU, Transcendence. I had left the place in shambles the night before, with drunken Christmas Hooligans tramping across the Zen garden, poking at the ice, and posing in (for them) hilarious poses with the artwork, snapping a record on their iPhones.

I was relieved to find that the Zen Garden had been restored. There were some folks out keeping an eye on the installation, and a few hardy souls were braving the spitting rain.

Everyone agreed that the thing was mesmerizing in the daylight, even with the overcast skies. I would love to see the ice in bright daylight.

I had an interesting conversation with a woman from the Dallas Center for Architecture. She had given the tour of the Arts District that Morning (the one I attended a few months ago), had discovered the sculptures, and had returned for a closer look.

She said that she had heard that one of the stones in the human forms was from the parents of a childhood friend of the artist. This friend had passed away and after the ice is melted and the artwork is closed the stone will be given back to the parents to be placed in their stone garden on their rural home as a memorial. A nice story.

I would like to return every day while the sculpture melts, if possible. That may be difficult, but I know I can make it a few more times. I have no idea how long it will take before it is all gone. The biggest change from last night were in the human forms – their heads and faces were noticeably smaller and had lost all detail.

A wonderful thing. The only aspect it lacks… if this were my installation I would definitely put in a webcam.

This photo was shot through the large monolith of ice, and you can see a human form beyond.