We do Dallas

We have avoided this very large, high traffic city since our first days with the RV.  Then our friends Deb Friedman and Scott Mackler moved to Dallas from Rochester.  Last year we convinced them to enjoy New Years Eve with us in Liberty Texas, clearly not a large or even medium sized city.  This year their schedules were full, as is normal for people who must still work (there I did it, I uttered a four letter word).  We did some research and found a Passport America affiliated campground really close (that is large city close) to their home.  Sandy Lake RV and Mobile Home Park is located adjacent to the George W. Bush Expressway.  The park is old, the sites are tight, and the pavement is breaking down.  Everything else works fine and we are not bothered by traffic noise for some reason.

Scott’s office is not far from the park and he came over as we finished setting up and we had some time to get caught up while Deb was still seeing patients.  We followed Scott to their house in Dallas proper.  It is deep into a lovely gated, walled community surrounded by the city.  After downsizing to a 1470 square foot apartment and living in the roughly 350 square feet of Gee Whiz, their home seems very spacious, even huge to us.  We had a delightful Shabbat dinner and rolled home in time to get to bed.

Saturday morning began with me fussing to get our new satellite service to work.  I hadn’t been able to do anything in Livingston because our antenna was staring into a tree.  As I turned on the antenna and the receiver the installation wizard that had tried to run in Livingston jumped ahead two steps to try to connect to phone and/or internet.  Since neither of these is connected all I needed to do was bypass this step to continue with the installation, but no there was no way to do that.  The resulting lengthy tech support call resulted in my learning an undocumented sequence to jump out of the wizard and an appointment for Sunday morning with a tech.  I shut the system down and we went to see some galleries we had found in our research.

We started at Afterimage Photograph Gallery.  This seemed to be a logical starting place since Afterimage is the name of the magazine published by Visual Studies Workshop (VSW) where Carol got her MFA.  The collection is quite glorious with images by well known masters and work that we did not recognize (well I didn’t anyhow).  We engaged the salesman and he suggested that we continue to Dragon Street where we would find Photographs Do Not Bend (PDNB).  We made our way there after having a lovely lunch at MoMo which is in the same complex as Afterimage.  While we were walking around the gallery, Burt Finger, the owner appeared and we had a lively conversation about photography, photography in Rochester, especially at VSW and a friend of his from Rochester who we also knew for many years.  If anyone reading this is going to be near Dallas and has any interest in photography these two galleries are musts.  Burt then pointed out three galleries on Dragon Street within walking distance that he thought were worth our time.  We visited those and a few more as well.

If you want an intense exposure to several galleries with a wide range of material in less than a day while in Dallas, I cannot imagine that there is anyplace better than Dragon Street.  Indeed I would compare it to Newberry Street in Boston (haven’t been there in so long I am not sure the comparison would hold up today) except theses spaces are all old warehouse and thus have very high ceilings, grand spaces and many have loading dock entrances.  Eventually our ability to look at another image or sculpture with any discernment ceased.  We drove to Central Market, the only grocery store we know that approaches Wegman’s for quality and quantity of choice not to mention wonderful staff.  After 90 minutes we checked out with more than enough food to replace what we had consumed since arriving in Livingston.  Shopping in Livingston is from the stone age.  There is nothing wholesome and fresh to buy.

We rushed back to Gee Whiz and unloaded the purchases into the refrigerator and the the cupboards and without slowing down we turned around and headed for Deb and Scott’s.  After a brief entertainment by Mr T (cat) we headed out to dinner in Scott’s truck to Baboush in the city.  Another DO NOT MISS, unless you really hate middle eastern cooking and even then you should go there.  While there have the baba ganoush, maybe have two orders and think of us while you eat the second one.   The lamb chops in Moroccan seasonings were heavenly as was everything else that came to the table.  Surfeit, we returned  to Deb and Scott’s and played with Mr T some more before returning to Gee Whiz to get some sleep.

Sunday we planned to go to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth as soon as the Dish Tech finished setting up our satellite receiver.  Before he arrived I turned it on and it seemed to have fixed itself overnight.  He arrived and after a fair amount of mumbo jumbo with his boss came to the conclusion that the antenna was not providing a strong enough signal.  He left, giving me the phone number for King Satellite Services even though I assured him that my antenna was Winegard, not King.  I exchanged email with both King and Winegard over the subsequent 24 hours.  I learned that indeed King does not service their competitor’s antennae – surprise, surprise and Dish informed me that the mumbo jumbo that the tech had assured me was the problem was indeed the right stuff for the antenna I have!  It works fine now.

We had lunch and drove 40 minutes to Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth which is a member of the National Reciprocal Program so we were able to enter as members.  The space! The collection! the installation!  Not sure I can say a whole lot more.  They had a wonderful Donald Judd and in the next room on a wall where you could see both they had a Daniel Flavin, those two men were friends and Judd’s own museum in Marfa has a major permanent installation of Flavin’s work.  We noticed a docent giving what appeared to be a private tour early in our visit.  Later she saw us again and stopped to chat with us and ask if we had any questions about what we were seeing.  We had an extended conversation with her and she gave us some interesting pointers.  I am not sure I remember ever being approached by a docent with that kind of friendly gesture.  Back to the coach and dinner and reading before turning in.  Today is Monday, galleries are closed even if it isn’t Martin Luther King Day and Inauguration day.  We finished our shopping and are settled in for a quiet day.

Back to Livingston Tuesday, January 22, which happens to be tomorrow.

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