Monday, January 30, 2012

Imagination in the open

Amazing. Amusing. Stunning.  Supply your own adjectives after you've viewed the photos on Street Art Utopia, testimony to the spirit of unfettered human creativity.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A peek at "The Park"

 Thursday evening we Arts District volunteers got a great opportunity to attend a special presentation about "The Park."  That is the five soon-to-be-fabulous acres decking Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Uptown and the Arts District.  Come this fall we can expect to be taking our ease on a bench in a grove of oak trees, having a bite to eat at the pavilion restaurant, pitching a ball for Fido in the dog park, strolling through the botanical garden,  bringing the kids to their very own play area, watching a performance on the great lawn....  Well, I could go on and on, but the best thing to do is to click on over to their very lovely and informative website. This is the sort of thing that makes you want to live in Dallas.

An additional perk of the evening was a chance to take in the marvelous view from The Park office's fourth floor balcony overlooking the nascent park (see the first of the trees!) with the Arts District and downtown beyond. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rain...and Wind

It's rain that Texas certainly needs, with much of the state still in severe drought, but I wished it could have held off a bit longer yesterday.  Unfortunately it was pouring down as we set off for the Dallas Wind Symphony concert, just a hop away at the Meyerson Symphony Center in The Dallas Arts District.  With our usual frugality (not innate in my case, but an article of faith to my spouse), we parked in the $5 lot at One Arts Plaza.  Normally this provides us a pleasant stroll down Flora Street to our destination, but last night it was a struggle against the elements which left us rather soggy from knee to toe.  Nevertheless we thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

If you live in the Dallas area, if you have never been to a Dallas Wind Symphony concert, give it a try.  We went for the first time this past fall and were delighted both by the music and by the high good spirits of it all. The Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Wind Symphony also performed last night, and the place was packed with excited (and voluble) middle and high school kids, most of them members of various bands.  A touching note: on the program was one of my favorite pieces, Ottorino Respighi's Fountains of Rome which had been transcribed for winds many years ago by none other than the father of the DWS's energetic and personable artistic director and conductor Jerry Junkins, Fred Junkins who was in the audience.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The talented Mr. Fellowes

Like most of you, I'm swooning over Downton Abbey: the compelling characters,  the splendid sets and locations, the detailed period costumes, all enriching the drama penned by Julian Fellowes.  To enjoy more of his engaging storytelling, open the covers of his two novels, Snobs and Past Imperfect.  Neither is a period novel (unless, of course, you didn't come of age in the 60's and therefore consider anything set in that era to be "period"), but if you like a good English comedy of manners done with wit, charm and, yes, affection, then these are for you.  I often speculate on whether I would personally like an author of a book I've read, and I can imagine sitting down to a pleasant and entertaining lunch with Mr. Fellowes.  You might also like to check out his acting skills as Lord Kilwillie in the 2000-2005 BBC series Monarch of the Glen.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carpe diem

When the thermometer is thrusting past 100ยบ this summer, these are the days one needs to remember in order to keep living here in perspective. We flung to-do lists aside last Thursday to stroll around the Dallas Arboretum, serene in its more subdued hibernal aspect. 

View across White Rock Lake

This spring-like weather is encouraging over-eager blossoms: forsythia, azaleas, tulip tips poking up through beds of pansies. 

Most likely next  month they’ll be rudely rebuffed by a lashing of frigid weather that we’re never quite prepared for.  So for now we’re trying to make the most of these blue skies and balmy temperatures.  Of course, what I really should be doing is cleaning leaves out of the flower beds, to grind up and return as mulch.  Well, maybe tomorrow...