Dallas celebrated a weekend of Bridge-o-Rama when the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge opened March 3. This very expensive, ethereal white bridge (well, ethereal and white when the sun is in its proper place in the sky) was designed by Santiago Calatrava, and has been variously described, by various posters to Unfair Park, as a vanity project; “a bridge to nowhere” (“nowhere” being La Bajada, a Latino neighborhood in west Dallas); “a bridge to somewhere”; “the stupid fake suspension bridge”; “an amazing addition to the skyline”; a kind of Eiffel Tower; “a world-class bridge”; and “a giant dildo”. Sorting this out is not very important to me, luckily.
I took bridge pictures on the evening before the public celebrations. There was a VIP banquet that night, with people parking on a workmen’s lot close to the piers on the bridge’s northern, glitzy end. I’d first tried to shoot from the southern end, but that part was closed off completely. One of the policemen stationed on Singleton Avenue assured me, though, with a rank southern partisanism that came pretty close to poetry, that if I could have taken pictures from the southwest side, those would have been the very most beautiful pictures that I could have taken, as the view from the southwest was the very best view, and the southwest part of the bridge was the best part of it. But in the meantime, this was forbidden, so I got over to the north side, near some bail bond establishments. A security guard let me through, only after hesitating and working over the matter. If you’re taking pictures of things that people approve of, your camera can sometimes be your pass, I think. Anyhow, he said, “You can only park here if you have an invitation. But I might not see you park here if you just go in and take your pictures and get out”.