There are only a handful of stores left standing now at Collin Creek Mall in Plano. It’ll all be torn down soon. I’ve worked many mornings from the food court there, just me and the old folks who walk the mall and meet up for coffee.

The mall is being razed to build a new billion dollar open air, multi-use development that will host stores, apartments, green space, and even a “lagoon” of all things. It’ll take six years to build, if everything goes according to plan. Judging by the impact of other recent construction in the area, the whole place will be off-limits for vehicle traffic for quite some time to come. I’ll need to find some new working spots.

I’ve heard they’re going to excavate the drainage tunnels under the mall in order to expose the creek that runs under the parking lot. They say there are homeless folks that live down there, underground. And criminals have been known to dart into those tunnels when being chased by the cops. There’s a geocache down there, placed by one of the founding members of the Texas Geocaching Association, a guy who goes by the online handle of 9key, a legend among Texas geocachers. I suppose I missed my chance to find it.

Just walked up on two skunks fornicating. 💈🐱❤️

In trying to recall the name of my new favorite artist after the Cottonwood show, I somehow misremembered her name as “Alyssa Stank”, which I actually googled. Alyssa Stank. That could be a name. Right?

Richardson's Cottonwood Art Festival

The Extraordinary Paintings of Alla Tsank
The Extraordinary Paintings of Alla Tsank — Photo by Tobyblog on Flickr

Somewhere around the beginning of May (and again in the fall) the city of Richardson, Texas invites artists from across the country to gather in Cottonwood Park for a big market day celebration of beauty and imagination. The Cottonwood Art Festival features some brilliant and rigorously curated talent, and is described by the artists themselves as one of the best art shows in the country. This year we decided to pay a visit as a family. And although the younger two would crap out early from the mild heat and post-rainy day humidity, we did manage to hang around just long enough for me to discover my new favorite artist, Alla Tsank.

More on her later.

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