Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Fun Sunday Fort Worth Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Bike Tour

Yesterday I blogged about a bizarre bit of propaganda that touted something being called Panther Island Pavilion as a revolutionary game changer that is changing the face of music in Fort Worth and the world beyond, with this Panther Island Pavilion music venue being a huge attraction that will put Fort Worth on the music map.

I read this propaganda and wondered to myself if it were possible that the totally nondescript Rockin' the River location, which I'd checked out previously, could possibly have morphed into something special, since I last looked at it.

So, I decided to take myself, and my bike, on a Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour on this next to last Sunday of May. I drove to Trinity Park, via the 7th Street bridge, whose new arches, I must say, look cool. This will be a good-looking bridge, when completed, methinks.

Let the Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour begin.

The photo at the top is part of the downtown Fort Worth campus of Tarrant County College. This part of the college was supposed to be larger, with part of it on the opposite side of the Trinity River. After millions of dollars in cost over runs it was decided to spend millions more to turn the defunct Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters into the main campus of the downtown Fort Worth campus of Tarrant County College.

You are looking at the former Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters, that became a college, below.

Fort Worth's Boondoggles sort of feed on each other, at times. Radio Shack's Corporate Headquarters, that Radio Shack could not afford, and soon had to sell, came about with a land grab via eminent domain. From the Radio Shack Boondoggle Fort Worth lost acres of free parking, which, for decades, had made access to downtown an easy pleasant experience, because along with the free parking there was the world's shortest subway line to take you from the free parking to the heart of downtown Fort Worth. And the subway ride was also free. The Radio Shack Boondoggle clearly did lasting damage to downtown Fort Worth. I think of that anytime I need to park in downtown Fort Worth.

Well, let's leave those Fort Worth Boondoggles behind and visit some Trinity River Vision Boondoggles.

Below we are looking at the confluence of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinity River. This is also the location of the Trinity River Vision's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats. This is the area described in the propaganda article I blogged about yesterday, with the below paragraph...

Over the past two years, Panther Island Pavilion, a 40-acre space tucked away underneath Henderson Street just outside downtown, has risen from a barren patch of real estate you might not even notice on your jog along the Trinity Trails to become a focal point not only for civic planners with an eye on tomorrow, but for the city and state’s music industry.

Impressive isn't it? Actually, in person, this is a mess. J.D. Granger references new and improved music stages. But, what I saw today, was the stage I'd seen previously, is now missing, replaced by the two blue outhouses you see  at the center of the picture. The stage on the right has been altered since I last saw it.

A couple lifeguard perches have been added. The sign on the lifeguard perch says it is "A PRODUCT OF THE  TRINITY RIVER VISION."


The sign also advises "SWIM AT OWN RISK."  If a floater runs into trouble does the lifeguard shout that you are swimming at your own risk?

That is a Panther Island Pavilion cement encased outhouse you are looking at above. The stage we saw in the previous two pictures is in the background.

I think the MMG should be changed to OMG.

J.D. Granger is planning on having thousands of people attend music events that will turn Fort Worth into the live music capital  of the world. All those people? And only a few outhouses? Outhouses? Is there any other big city in America with so many outhouses near its downtown core?

Continuing on with the Trinity River Vision part of our Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour. Next stop, Coyote Drive-In.

I was hoping to be impressed by the Coyote Drive-In. I was hoping to see a well designed, landscaped, attractive modern looking take on a drive-in, something that reminded me of the long gone Skagit Drive-In of my long ago youth.

The word that quickly came to mind when I saw the Coyote Drive-In was TACKY. The cyclone fence topped by 3 strands of barbed wire is one example. The parking lot had  not been resurfaced from the days when its facing bankruptcy owner sold it to the Tarrant Regional Water District. I saw no landscaping. A fence made of worn looking boards surrounds the area where the movie watchers park. The entry to the drive-in, where you pass on to the property to get in line to buy your ticket is, well, missing a Welcome to Coyote Drive-In sign, or any other type signage. Maybe it was there and I missed seeing it.

The Coyote Drive-In has the look of something built on the cheap, the extremely cheap. Totally aesthetically unappealing. Which makes it a perfect pairing with the Panther Island Pavilion.

Leaving the Coyote Drive-In our next stop on the Fort Worth Boondoggle Tour is the world's premiere urban wakeboarding venue, Cowtown Wakepark.

I must say, of the three Trinity River Vision Boondoggle up and running operations, Cowtown Wakepark is looking the best. The last time I saw Cowtown Wakepark it was a littered, overgrown mess. Today there were 4 guys wakeboarding at the same time. Several people were watching. The thing that totally surprised me is how clean the water looked. It is a totally different color than the Trinity River which you can see at the same time you are looking at the Wakepark lake.

What is making the Wakepark lake look so clean? There is no apparent filtration system. There are no aerating fountains. The water looked so good I thought to myself the TRV Boondoggle should lose this Cowtown Wakepark thing and turn this into a swimming lake.

On thing I forgot to mention and forgot to take pictures of, because I was focused on pedaling into a very strong wind, was at the Panther Island Pavilion location a couple of the old subway stations had signage attached of the "STAGE 3", "STAGE 4" sort. Can these possibly be some of the "new" stages J.D. Granger references in the bizarre propaganda article in If that is the case I guess it is sort of admirable that J.D. is re-purposing something lost due to the Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters Boondoggle.

Yeah, it is really clear to me, that J.D. Granger's vision for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is leading Fort Worth to a very special future, a music, drive-in and wakeboard mecca for all the world to come and enjoy...

No comments: