Monday, June 01, 2015

Rain, Rain, Rain, I Don't Mind (Photo Essay)

The rain has stopped. It is no more. Like a minor miracle, Texas has been rescued from its years long drought in the span of the last 60 days. Lakes are brimming and spillways are spilling. I must say, I enjoyed every minute of it. It was a wild ride here in the wettest May ever recorded in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. First, a little perspective.

There's a levee system that runs through Dallas and just south of downtown - the one referred to in Bonnie Parker's poem regarding the divide between Dallas proper and its underbelly on the other side. Here is what it normally looks like:

Calatrava Skyline

And after the rains, like this:

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Part of the problem is the Trinity River which runs through the levees is also the outlet for lakes when they overflow. All that water has to go somewhere and go it did. Major thoroughfares were shut down in the metroplex, many for the first time I'd ever seen. I did some investigative reporting to see just how bad it might be. Let's just say it was a bad day for service roads.

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Sort of reminds me of those dioramas showing a dinosaur stuck in a tar pit 

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Yes, there was more than one moment I spent a good deal of time in reverse. Scenes like this were replicated in multiple locations. How many in total I don't know but one certainly had to pay attention and be prepared for detours. Next I went to the Sylvan Bridge which looks back at the Calatrava arch bridge. Turns out many others had the same idea as cars and cameras were lined up wherever I went.

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I wasn't even aware of this offshoot from the bridge leading down into between the levees.

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Not that I was going to be able to access it today (by car anyway).

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But on foot I headed on down.

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Some of the signs took on an ironic tone.

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There was also some commentary on us of a different sort.

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This was the view to the west:

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And back towards downtown:

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I decided to head over to the Calatrava. That place was jam packed.

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See this row of pre-war, no garage houses appraised under $50,000? Some of them have amazing views now. One is for sale. I'll show the price with the view.

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I decided to come back that night to see what I could see with the reflecting waters. The sights were amazing. The mosquitoes, though, were even more amazing, eating me alive! Better show up with a good supply of repellent or you'll easily end up with over a dozen bites on your body.

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The houses in the La Bajada area west of the bridge suddenly find themselves in some of the hottest real estate development in Dallas. The plan is to move them out and yuppify the place while trying to retain some character. Whatever. This first house has a backyard with a bridge in it.

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The house that is for sale has this for a view from the front porch. Asking price? $275,000!

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I have to admit from a real estate perspective the bridge has been a good thing. Turning the old bridge into a walkway was genius and one can feel the vibe in the area growing. So I'll have to eat a few of my words on what a boondoggle I thought the bridge was. The rain, the waters, the smells, and the people called out to me to stay and enjoy the evening. I hope I have good news to report on La Bajada down the line.

Click here to view the entire set.

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