Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Break- Texas Visit

By Sabin Chakradhar

After the hectic schedules and deadlines from fall semester, it felt great and refreshing to have the long break before starting the new schedule. During the break, I took the trip to Texas along with my wife to visit my sister who lives in Irving city. This was going to be my second visit to Texas, the first one being very short I did not get an opportunity to observe the place up-close and only left me with the longing to visit again. And this time I had more time.
On first week, I took some time to see different buildings in the Dallas downtown. I came to know that some of my friends from college are working in the architectural firm in Dallas and they joined me and walked me around some of the famous buildings designed by the great Architects like Frank Lloyd Wrights, I. M. Pei, Rem Koolhaas and firms like Morphosis Architects etc. It was a great feeling walking around the buildings that I had only read in books and seen only the pictures of.  Every now and then we discussed about the Architectural features of the buildings and about the Architects and my sister waited there yawning. We also went to some museums including ‘The Sixth Floor Museum’ from where President John F. Kennedy is believed to be shot from and ‘Perot Museum of Nature and Science’ designed by Thom Mayne and his firm ‘Morphosis Architects’.
The effects of the Urban Sprawl could be seen on the streets of the suburbs of the Irving city. The pedestrian ways are wide but we can barely see any one walking on it. People like to stay indoors and use cars whenever they need to get out. I am used to seeing lot of people in the street back in Nepal, and it amazes me every time I see the empty streets of United States.  Whereas the river walk in the San Antonio was a different experience with so many people and so many activities going on in the streets. The place itself was very amazing and the people in such large number walking, eating, singing, sitting, dancing etc. made it even more exciting. I believe that the ‘quality of space’ has this tendency to change the behavior of people.
After the refreshing break and tours, I am back in form and ready for another exciting semester.
Figure 1: Perot Museum of Nature and Science by Thom Mayne

Figure 2: Dallas City Hall by I.M. Pei

Figure 3: The Reunion Tower

Figure 4: The River walk in San Antonio

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