Thursday, September 11, 2014

Trinity Skyline Trail (Dallas Does Good!) Photo Essay

Skyline Trail Arch

My old nemesis had me in a death grip, squeezing my brain in a merciless headlock with no end in sight. I was buckling, praying for life to end, bemoaning my purposeless existence. I ran out the door gasping for air. Lying on my back, eyes barely open in crushing misery, I saw the fall moon. I reached out my hand, hoping to hang on. Fly me to the moon.

I wondered, perhaps, of a poetic shot of my lunar friend paired with the nighttime Calatrava bridge. I'd channel my inner bbd, going for one great shot, taking my time instead of my usual carpet bombing from all angles. (One day I hope to make the trek to Colorado and steal learn all of bbd's tricks.) But as I crossed what passes for Dallas' signature bridge I noticed a row of intriguing blue lights to my right as if they were marking an airport runway.

Skyline Trail 3

As I passed I could see it was some sort of walkway enticing me to investigate. Boredom went right out the car window. As I crossed over I saw even more development. I remembered my forgotten post on "The Dallas Bridge To Nowhere" with its promise of one day becoming a destination point. I was hopeful but skeptical. Dallas dreams first and asks questions later - and adjusts after the fact according to funding. But this was up to private developers so who knew what might happen.

Sign 2 Before...

Grove Restaurant Arch 2
...And after

Turns out, quite a bit! I was pleasantly surprised to see this row of restaurants at the base of the bridge exit onto Singleton. I decided I must investigate further.


Grove Restaurants 2

Grove Letters 2

Perhaps it was the warm night air breathing contentment into me but I truly loved the feel of the place. At some point I hope to come back and spend some time here relaxing, when I have the proper frame of mind. But the glittering rows of blue lights were calling out to me to explore. With the building of the Calatrava bridge, this made the old 1930's era bridge expendable. Luckily, they decided to reclaim it as a walkway as opposed to destroying it - an absolutely perfect solution!

Skyline Trail 2

Skyline Trail

Skyline Trail 15

The Calatrava bridge at night naturally drew the eye to it. What a delightful backdrop. As a busy photographer I didn't stop to fully enjoy the view but its looming presence followed me everywhere I went. Of course I captured what I could.

Skyline Trail Arch 5

Skyline Trail Arch 2

Skyline Trail Arch 4

I thought they did a really great job of design and execution. "What a great place to hang out," I remember thinking. But what I found most gratifying was who I saw traversing and sitting and gazing upon the old bridge: muchos Latinos. I heard more Spanish than English as most of the visitors I saw were Hispanic which, in this case, meant local to the area. I mentioned before my affection for the La Bajada area directly adjacent to the bridge and I had to feel it was its residents I was seeing enjoying themselves and appreciating an evening stroll.

Skyline Trail Viewers

But the real question was how much farther had the new development gone down the street. And had any of the funky taquerias and whatnot been replaced. Inhabiting old warehouses was one thing, pushing out the local flavor another. I did find two more notable developments close by: a huge, monstrous place I dubbed "The beer barn" and a 50's style hot dog joint. At least the developers made good on no Appleby's or Chiles moving in which would have been horrific.

Grove Beer 2


But the question remains: Has this become a destination spot? Would someone come here specifically and not just when close by? I don't think it's to that point yet. I think it would require an entire district to become a poor man's Deep Ellum. Can it ever reach that point without steamrolling the local character? I doubt it. But it can certainly become something of high value and who knows, with some highly innovative thinking could become an historic hot spot, the old stomping grounds of Bonnie and Clyde and the few remaining roots of Dallas she has not yet managed to bury or bulldoze.

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