Saturday, September 28, 2013

North to Denton: A PhotoJournal - Part Two

It's 11.45AM. 90F. And we have a walk... uphill. Jesus H. Christ.

Denton • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

After take a photo or two of the Denton Tower, Lupe and I headed west on Hickory. 
Like every town in the latter half of the 1800s, Denton was born along the railroad. The town sprawled out about from them. And like any town in the 1900s, roads were the next growth spurt.

(The Union Pacific) South to Fort Worth • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

In a building next to the DDTC (Downtown Denton Transit Centre), there was this big mural of what Union Pacific tracks looked like when there was a passenger stop here decades ago.

Old Denton • © 2013 Eddie Sigala
Continuing our walk east, I tried taking a DigiChrome of these large potted flowers at Bell Ave. and Hickory, but I didn't keep the camera steady, and I got "splotchy" results.

As we headed for the "Square", we walked past the Denton Record-Chronicle office. The DRC is owned by Belo Corp., the same company that owns the Dallas Morning News. It's the first time I have actually seen a newspaper office. I got a few snaps of the building's orange-brown exterior.

Outside the Record-Chronicle • © 2013 Eddie Sigala
10 minutes out from the train, the heat was already getting to us. We had picked a restaurant to eat at in the Square (mainly because they had prices online and I could order something within my $10 budget), but we decided on Burgesa Burgesa, on what could only be a hamburger restaurant.

Lupe and I packed in, covering in its frigid interior. "Aaaah damn that feels good."

We ate our burgers, which were actually really good, and ate our fries with this sauce that was fucking awesome. I don't remember what the sauce was but Jesus was it good. Umm, wow, yeah.

[Panorama coming soon]

After our lunch, we walked uphill to the Square. We didn't know we would have to walk uphill, and both of us were heaving it up the incline. Heat and size and heat do not mix well. Much sweat. Lots eye burning. Ouch.

Crossing Locust (US-77), we made it to the southern promenade of the Square. The first shop we went into was called "More Fun," a comic book/game store. The interior was really nice and bright, modern. There were these tall shelves fulled with board games, and some apparel in between. I tried not to look conspicuous with my tripod, but I managed to get off two shots in the store.

Inside Fun • © 2013 Eddie Sigala
Shelves filled with comics and even a huge cardboard ad for Wreck-it Ralph. We did show some interest in Cards Against Humanity, and asked the man behind the counter. He said $30, and we thanked him.

Next door to the Fun shop was a candy store: Atomic Candy.

Atomic Candy XII • © 2013 Eddie Sigala
I've never seen a candy shop in real life, but this was the real deal. Walls lined with goodies, from bulk candy to European chocolate bars with wrappers written in Greek.

Again, coming into a store with a huge pack and fully-extended tripod is really weird. A man, who I assumed was the owner, came towards me until he saw it was only a tripod. Only a tripod.

Atomic Candy I • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

Lupe and I looked around, well, I looked around. It's hard going window-shopping when you're broker than a fiddle. In the middle of the store, there was this huge carousel full of taffy. Six feet tall, eighteen (or more) selections. I don't like taffy but even I felt like buying a few pieces.

Atomic Candy III • © 2013 Eddie Sigala
After snapping however secretly, we left with two European Kit-Kat bars in our pockets, courtesy of Lupe. <3

Atomic Candy X • © 2013 Eddie Sigala
Next up was a record store, and man oh man was I in heaven. I found a vinyl of Fun. but at $22, it was prohibitive. Lupe offered, but $22 is steep for a record. I declined. I wouldn't have wanted to be indebted for that much with anyone.

From the southern end of the Square, we worked our way over to the Downtown Mini-Mall. I don't have a clue what a "mini-mall", but that wouldn't be the correct name for this place. When we got inside, it was a cornucopia of things. Vintage, old, new, used scattered amongst shelves and tables and boxes. Some model airplanes were hanging from the ceiling high above us, and it looked like you could get lost in here for hours.

You can't really describe the first floor. Too many things to be categorized.

But it's very remarkable. In the back, next to a case of play instruments, there was this huge replica of a sarcophagus. A sticker in the middle said "SARCOPHAGUS BOOKSHELF. $650. DO NOT OPEN." I left it alone. Also on this floor: vintage sound equipment, home film cameras, and old pristine-condition Playboys c.1970s.

Sarcophagus • ©2013 Eddie Sigala
When we headed upstairs, we passed this awesome statue of a young Anakin Skywalker. I think it cost $700. Not sure, though.

Statue of Little Anakin Skywalker • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

Upstairs was the place if you wanted to find old records. Shellac, 45s, LPs, and other things, mind you that they weren't in the best condition and slightly overpriced. Up here, we found objet d'art: a painted skull with Native American imagery. It was beautiful, but most likely out of our price range.

Art • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

Thanks to a balcony, I was able to take a beautiful panorama of the randomness that was the Denton Mini-Mall.

Mini-Mall Panorama • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

After a good forty-five minutes of searching, we headed back outside into the harsh Texas sun. 98F. 1.30PM.

Across the street was Recycled Books. I had specifically looked this up because of how it reminded me of Half-Priced Books. I thought, "Hey, pick up a cheap record."

The store looks much better on the inside, with waist-level shelves filled with books. Towards the backs, tall shelves. This place spans three floors. Walking through a back door, we ran into more books.

Recycled Books B • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

Record shelves full of albums, most out of my price range. Lupe offered again, but I declined. It was bad enough she had paid for my meal, and I couldn't take her money.

It was at this point that she got a phone call from HoJoKo. He would be for her soon, and I would be left to my own devices.

The point of this trip was not only to take pictures, but to accompany Lupe to see HoJo. I knew it was coming, but I didn't know it would hit me hard. I was to join her along the way, and spend time while HoJo spent the morning with his parents.

Five minutes later, as we stood next to the record shelves, HoJo walked in, sporting blue jeans and a red shirt. I leaned over to Lupe, "Hey, look behind me. He's here."

He looked leaner, more toned. He had gotten a haircut, but I hadn't seen him since June 2012. It was quite a sight for sore eyes, but not one where we could be civil to one another.

Lupe turned back to me and asked if I wanted to borrow some money. I declined again, telling her I'd be fine. (I did have some snacks in my pack and two drinks, so I wouldn't need to spend.) I waved her goodbye and she and HoJo walked back through the door.

For some reason, I wasn't mentally prepped. I felt as if I had just been abandoned and watch my person walked away. Maybe I was being dramatic, but it hurt, damn it. I made my way upstairs to the philosophy section.

Recycled Books A • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

It was quiet there, just the sounds of fans spinning. And I think the following photo made some sense to me when I snapped it.

Poetry from Above • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

I spent the next thirty minutes making my way through the store.

Recycled Books C • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

Hard Life • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

Index • © 2013 Eddie Sigala

Spell Check • © 2013 Eddie Sigala
After meandering through Recycled Books (with hurt feelings just because), I headed out into the scorching Texas afternoon. Without a damned clue where to go.

101F. 2.15PM.

In Part III of the North2Denton, Mr. King and his portraits!