Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday Somnambulations

  • So, the week warms up to decent weather, and now we're looking to start next week with sleet.
  • Well, it is winter.  At least the Trinity isn't frozen over.
  • I had a meeting in the city 'Where the East Peters Out' this week, so on a lark I took the TRE (shades of Amon Carter).  You can still see the motorcycle/4WD trails south of the Rock Island line, both east and west of TX-360.  I used to ride my 80cc trailbike, and later 100cc enduro there as an adolescent.  Before that, I can recall my Dad driving up Telephone Pole Hill in his Scout 800, and also using it to winch out FJ-40s.  (Not ragging on the FJ40 - he later had a couple of them himself).
  • Farther east¹, there's massive wetlands/swamp areas both north and south of the rail line, near the Bell station.  They looked like they could keep the whole metromess stocked in mosquitoes for a full season.  Former strip mining pits, I think.
  • Kinda weird to stop at Irving Downtown.  My first bank account was at Irving Bank & Trust, which had a 6 or 7 story office building a stone's throw from the station, and was the tallest building in downtown Irving.  My first elementary school was named for one of the directors.  Now there's just a single story Chase Bank on that site.
  • You could make a category of Trivial Pursuit - Banking Edition trying to remember what bank acquired or merged with another.
  • I saw the ball fields, now part of the Trinity River Greenbelt, where I had YMCA football practice in 5th or 6th grade.
  • Arriving at Union Station, I decided to answer nature's call before catching the DART connector.  I was the only white person. In. The. Lobby.
  • Since I was running early, I decided to do some sightseeing and ride the rails south of Dallas.
 A Rolls-Royce up on blocks...sure, why not?

 Tribal Public art at the Illinois or Kiest station
  • On one of the segments, a guy who was a cross between Tracy Morgan and Eddie Ray Routh boarded the DART train, talking angrily on his cellphone with earbuds/inline mic.  I'm glad I was facing away, as the thought bubble above my head would've looked like Phil Hartman's Sinatra talking to Chris Rock's Luther Campbell: "Can't understand a word, pal.", as I wondered if even June Cleaver could translate his rant.  I could make out several GDs, as well as this sort of sentence, "Checkmate n----r, that's what's the f--k!"  When I deboarded to catch the return line to downtown, I was the only melanin-challenged person waiting on the platform (of about 20-25 people).
More art.
  • I appreciate the tagger's RKBA sentiment, but I'm not sure a tanker car is the proper forum for expressing it:
Klicken Sie, um zu vergrößern
  • There was a pretty strong police (DPD and DART) presence near the West End station.  I tend to be pretty 'law-and-order', but still had to chuckle watching some officers glide around on their 3-wheeler Segways (I wonder if they have built-in donut hole dispensers?).  And it was downright odd watching three officers interrogating a man on a platform bench because he wouldn't show them ID.
  • I had a Filet-o-Fish sammich at the West End golden arches.  Supposedly, McDs is updating the FoF recipe, but apparently it hasn't rolled out nationwide.
  • If you're waiting for a DART train, beware of the grackles in the trees above the sidewalk next to the platform.  You're welcome.
  • The South Side condos were once the Sears Roebuck distribution center, allegedly its first operation outside of Chicago, somewhat analogous to the Montgomery Wards building on West Seventh.  They're now condos:
Kinda surprised that the management permits satellite dishes on the building.
  • Not for sure about this, but I think that the old I-H parts house in Dallas in the late '60s was between the Sears and [what's now] Gilley's.
  • Using a cellphone camera through a perforated window shade film can approximate an 8mm image:
All clear today on the grassy knoll.
Photo courtesy of The Donald Rabinowitzapruder.
  • I had a mid-day regional pass, and boarded the DART line for my return trip within the stated time range, but my connecting TRE was not scheduled to depart Union Station until 50 minutes after the mid-day expired.  Wanting to do the right thing - or at least not incur a $75 fine - I asked the DART conductor who was walking through (I was already seated on the train) if I was g-t-g or if I needed to buy another ticket (I did, of course, point out that I'd boarded the DART within the allotted time).
  • Maybe because I was dressed like Eddie Murphy's 'White Like Me' dude, he looked at my ticket and said "I'm not really sure, but don't worry, Sir, there's not any ticket checkers on this run.  If anyone asks you, just tell them you talked with me."
  • And sure enough, no one asked me about my ticket.
¹ Correction: The TX-360 CentrePort station is actually east of the Hurst/Bell station.


RPM said...

I used to ride the TRE quite a bit when I lived near Bell Station. It was generally a good experience. The afternoon schedule from downtown Ft.Worth had issues. Not sure about riding DART rail south of downtown though. It gets very monochromatic very quick.

I also raced a few times at that motocross track (wasn't it Trinity Valley?) in High School. Quite possible we crossed knobbies a few times.

The Donald said...

M - You're right about it getting dark quickly as you go south of downtown.

I think I could get used to public transportation - I had learned to use rail/bus routes when we lived overseas briefly in the early/mid '70s, before I had a driver's license. It forces one to become disciplined in planning what you need and what is worth schlepping around.

My visits to the 360/river bottom area were likely earlier: The IH Scout hill climbing would have been circa '68-72, while the trail/enduro bike forays were in the '75-78 range.