Thursday, August 31, 2006

Downtown Corn Dog

State Fair comes but once a year, so it's nice to know you'll never have to wait 11 months to get a proper corn dog.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pegasus at night

This image is wobbly because I didn't have a tripod with me at the time when I snapped it last night. Still, I hope this conveys what a vivid beacon he is.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do You Know the Muffler Man?

This big fella' lives at Ken's Muffler shop at Fitzhugh and North Central Expressway (75). He's about 20 feet tall. Most common in the 50s and 60s, there are muffler men all over the USA, and many of them have been altered from their original butch, beefcake images. This one has had a hillbilly makeover. Notice the freckles and the patched denim and the straw hat. What a cornball. I love him.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Texas Theater, vintage shot

Photo from the early 1930s of the Texas Theater, which was where the Dallas Police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald all those years ago. This theater is still standing over on Jefferson in Oak Cliff just west of Downtown. I'll mosey over there one day soon and get some photographs.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Big Daddy's Liquor, W Hotel, Downtown

Taken on Continental facing East.

That big tall pointy building has a cautionary tale attached. After it was erected, the first big freeze came and sleet froze onto the angled surfaces of the building. However, when a thaw came, a huge sheet of ice nearly killed a pedestrian below the building. The building was then retro-fitted with defrosters to keep ice from forming on the windows. Ah, happy endings!

Dallas Hyatt Regency Hotel and Reunion Tower

Exterior of this hotel was used in the sci fi thriller film Logan's Run. Shot from South-bound on Industrial at Continental.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Art Deco Lakewood Theater

The marvelous all-original deco Lakewood theater (with a stage!) in the Lakewood section of east Dallas. I love this place. I saw Bowie in The Hunger here when it first came out, oh, absolute ages ago. I've been to various shows, operattas and art events in this theater, and I reckon I'll be seeing Cyndi Lauper here in about a month. 'cause even after all these years, I just wanna have fun.

Starck site, Hooters, Downtown

The orange barrier surrounds the site where the new Philippe Starck -designed residences will be erected. Beyond is Hooters and downtown. The overpass is Walton Walker Expressway, also known as the Canyon.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sunset Tuesday

OK, not the most spectacular setting ever, but the sunset a couple nights ago was too beautiful not to attempt to preserve. I knew it would be fleeting and that I hadn't time to scout a better location for a shot, so here it is. In a sense, this sunset is the perfect one for my blog, as it is so very real.

I see other daily photo blogs with spectacular shots of architectural wonders and I admire that tremendously, but that is not what my blog is about. My purpose is to show the ordinary sights that one sees in Dallas. I hope I'm giving a realistic view that still makes the viewer want to visit this unique city.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

El Fenix Restaurant downtown

This is a great bit of 1950s signage that has been preserved intact, thankfully. The Martinez family started El Fenix restaurant ages ago, and they are a Dallas institution, with stores all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area and beyond throughout Texas. If you ever meet someone who was a kid in Texas between the 50s and the 80s, get them to sing the El Fenix song for you. We all know it by heart. Trust me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hickory House Beer Sign

Well, it seems there's no end of the juicy bits of Industrial avenue, so here we are again. Hickory House is a barbecue joint on Industrial just below the beautiful 1930s Zang bridge which links Oak Cliff to downtown.

I LOVE Hickory House Barbecue for never re-painting this sign - it's beautiful. Sadly, the green neon that reads "breakfast" in reverse was not lit that day even though its glow is hard to miss on the brightest days. I'll snap it again next time I see it on.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Stemmons Expressway at Continental

Photo taken August 18 from Continental avenue facing East across Stemmons Expressway and beyond to downtown. I love the big trucks in this shot, including the upper deck of the overpass which is the exit from Stemmons onto Walton Walker Expressway, locally known as "the canyon." The canyon runs between downtown and the uptown/Oak Lawn section of Dallas where AA Center is and Victory Station is being developed. Soon ahead to the slight left this vista will also include a fabulous high-rise residence designed by French wonder Philippe Starck.

Directly behind me is the bridge across the Trinity River which will be replaced sometime in the next few years by the first of 3 new bridges to be built here using designs by the famous architect Calatrava. I know. big woop.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

American Airlines Center Marquee August 18

I won't be posting obsessively on the development at AA Center, but I do find these giant vid screens to be particularly fascinating, especially while they are beta testing and are just planes of color blocking. They change colors about every second, so it's a rather hypnotic spectacle. I took this photo on August 18, and you can see from the photo earlier in the week that they've scooched the screens over together. I'll post later as more panels go up and more progress is made. Of course, once they start showing sports crap, these panels will be infinitely less interesting to me, but for now, it is a lark to see what a painstaking process this is - not at all like hooking up a tv.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Los Lupes on Industrial Avenue

Fabulous signage from Los Lupes restaurant on Industrial Avenue. Authentic Mexican food. Good stuff.

In the background you can just make out the top of the recently completed W Hotel and a couple of the tallest buildings downtown.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Top Liquor

Top/Tom's Liquor - this old sign has the animated chevrons cycling down and around the elbow of the arrow. Great styling with beautiful, classic sign color. I love that they changed the name of the store but only slightly so they could keep the original sign. This gem may be found on Industrial avenue, near the courthouse, jails, hookers and strip joints, like any respectable hooch emporium would be in any town.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

American Airlines Center Marquee testing

In this photo you can see the giant panels of screens where they are being tested all week. The tilted facade where these 8 or so panels are mounted will be entirely covered with these panels, soon. I've been fascinated by these giant tiles of intense color as I've driven through the area daily.

This side of the airlines center faces the new W Hotel across the street. The development in the area immediately North of downtown (Uptown) lately has been astonishing. Will post this site again as construction progresses.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Former gas station Diner at First and Main Streets - GOOD FOOD

  Posted by Picasa

See the blue bottle cap circle on the upper left hand corner of the building? That was a relief-style bottle cap that read Pepsi that festooned buildings all over the place in the mid-20th century. This eatery is a First and Main streets SE of downtown. These type eateries usually serve a hybrid of soul food and classic southern home-cookin'. You'll see scraggly types in these joints eating elbow-to-elbow with lawyers and high-toned businessmen. Good food, indeed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Through a buggy windshield, dimly.

  Posted by Picasa

This is the Lone Star Gas Building, an original deco structure from the 1920s. I'll have to go inside and get some photos of their light fixtures sometime, which are a larger, more magnificent sibling to the lovely lamps that frame the entry. This exquisite structure has always been one of my favorites in town, and I love that no moron every persuaded anybody to "update" this work of art.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Here's the Mobil Pegasus on the Magnolia Building in Downtown Dallas.

The photo at left was taken at Field and Commerce streets, looking up the eastbound one-way Commerce which is pretty much the southern boundary of skyscrapers in downtown proper. The red brick building is the Magnolia Oil building.

Magnolia Oil was headquartered in Dallas until they merged with Vacuum and Socony Oil Companies and became Mobil Oil. Thus, this impressive all-original 1920s structure is in effect the corporate beginnings of Mobil Oil. Atop the roof you can just make out the red Pegasus which is the symbol of Mobil and became by extension a symbol of Dallas. This sign is extraordinary, and I think it's about 40 feet tall, and can be seen for miles at night, as it is illuminated with red neon. Over on Fatale Abstraction I've gotten lots of comments from people who always were excited to see the flying horse as children.

Works for me. I still think it's a thrilling sight.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Here is an old art deco theater in Dallas over about where Main Street turns into Columbia. The original facade of this structure has remained pretty much intact with the lovely curve on the southeast corner of the building. The Marquee is still there, and the big sign with the portholes remains intact, if denuded of its original letters and neon.

Sometime in the late 80s this cinema became a Mexican theater, finally switching to pawn shop about a decade ago. Ironically, the big sign of the theater had the 3 portholes, which may in some way be likened to the 3 balls that are the symbol of the pawnbroker's trade.

This photo was taken Saturday, August 5, 2006, late afternoon, while driving down the street.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Magnolia/Mobil Oil Building Downtown

This photo was taken from the corner of Field and Commerce streets looking up the eastbound one-way Commerce. This street is sorta the southern boundary of Skyscrapers downtown. The red brick building is the Magnolia Oil building. Magnolia Oil was headquartered in Dallas until they merged with Vacuum and Socony Oil Companies and became Mobil Oil.

Atop the roof you can just make out the red Pegasus which is the symbol of Mobil and, by extension, a symbol of Dallas. This sign may be seen downtown for miles at night, as it is illuminated with intense red neon. Beautiful.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Like Nu Auto Paint Works

Spectacular surviving neon at 3930 Main in Dallas (map). Love this sign. This site is still an auto body shop, but the shop has been updated recently, so it's a standing-seam metal building, rather than a mid-century edifice. Great that they kept the original sign, which is beautiful.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

First Baptist Church Downtown Dallas

These photos of First Baptist Church in downtown Dallas were taken yesterday afternoon. I love the huge neon sign (about 5 stories tall). In one photo you can see a big yellow crane erecting a new skyscraper on the north end of Downtown by the "canyon" expressway, or Woodall Rogers Expressway, if you want to be all proper about it.

This church is at 1707 San Jacinto(map here), but I took the photograph on the St. Paul St side of the building.

In the photo with the crane, note the mod 60s facade details of the building on the right. Like James Lileks says: "Nothing says 'yesterday' like something that said 'tomorrow.'"

Friday, August 04, 2006

Trinity Industries

Trinity Industries on Irving Boulevard in Dallas has these fabulous signs. I love any company that admonishes people to park correctly. Funny thing is, most of their parking spaces were blocked by this 18-wheeler, but I suppose there aren't a lot of tow-services for the big rigs in town...
Photos taken July 26, 2006.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Kool Breeze Motel

Kool Breeze Motel is located on Irving Boulevard which is a large thoroughfare which stretches from Irving all the way to downtown Dallas, changing to Industrial Boulevard near downtown. (Click here for map)

The sign is red and white, but I thought it looked great photographed in B&W. You can see from the shadows on the sign that the neon is still intact, but I know not if the neon still functions.

Even when the neon is broken of and gone, leaving only the holes on the surface, these old signs with their stylized fonts still look super cool.

Unfortunately, this sign is the scant bit of kitsch that remains of this motor court. The facade and all surfaces of the building have been painted the same dull porridge color, and I suspect they rent rooms out by the hour. *wink wink nudge nudge*