Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dirty Martini

A friend had a couple of these last night. Personally I drank some perfect Manhattans. The location was III Forks and the reason was that a friend was singing there (while most everyone else in town watched UT trounce a hapless opponent in the school's football kickoff).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Juxtaposition of Houses

FFP took this juxtaposition of houses in Clarksville/Old West Austin last Sunday. The house on the left probably looks good on paper with its height making use of the lot and different materials. It looks a little ungainly with the older house that is making use of 'porch storage.'

Friday, August 29, 2008


FFP enticed me out of bed this morning with the promise of a beautiful sunrise. It was worth it. Notice the construction with the crane to the right of the picture. That will be a very tall building one day. Future pictures will record its progress I hope.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where's This House?

I'm not sure what all locales would have a house with this design, but the plants, including a cactus, mark it as a picture from here. The house is on Highland north of West Sixth. The neighborhood includes big old homes and modest homes in an area known as Clarksville, once home to emancipated slaves. It also includes modern infill, apartments, condos and some businesses that are iconic like Nau's Enfield Drug and Jeffrey's.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Memorial

This plaque is embedded in the sidewalk at West Ninth and Lamar, southwest corner. It's been there for years. I was told by someone who lived in the neighborhood that this lady was killed in a bike accident. I think anyway. I'm very vague on this and I can't find anything on the WEB. OWANA is Old West Austin Neighborhood Association. This plaque in down the hill east of a steep piece of pavement that once had a giant memorial to a cat killed by a car. I don't have pictures of that (or none I can find) but I do have pictures of the image rendered on a T-Shirt here. If anyone knows the history of this memorial, let me know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Mural

When you blog for a time you become a chronicler of change. I showed you the side of Shoal Creek Saloon before but it had a different (and puzzling) mural. It's more in line with the offerings at the restaurant and bar now but somehow less fun.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rest in Peace

This is a 'ghost bicycle' memorial on West Sixth Street. It's survived a long time. That's my god dog Zoey prancing along behind it. We decided to take our walk that direction so I could get a picture. FFP actually took it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Not Everything Downtown is a Smart Wine Bar

While there are plenty of steak houses, wine bars, sushi joints, etc. downtown there are also tons of casual places, including Frank and Angie's Pizzeria and Joe's Bar and Grill. Their parking lots touch but they do not share amicably. I highly recommend Frank and Angie's where the Lagosi's Lament pie has multiple cloves of roasted garlic.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Yet Another Sunset. And another one reflected on our eastern view at that. But I just had to show you this one. Earlier black clouds scuttled behind the tower, driven by a fierce wind from the south. Later, playing a game with my friend at our dining table, I looked over her shoulder and saw this. It's hard to capture in a picture, especially the stages and changes. It was so nice that I didn't even bother to go across the hall to the fitness center and see the actual sunset.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I took this picture in Hyde Park near the Elisabet Ney Museum back in May 2005. I'm thinking of snapping a series of street and streetside memorials. I really need to get a shot of that bicycle memorial strapped to a street sign on West Sixth. I don't know if this painted memorial has survived but some info about the accident has although it's sketchy.

The other day there was a cyclist in front of me going down Nueces between Fifteenth and Sixth. This stretch has a bunch of four-way stops (the above accident was at such an intersection) so it was no trouble just staying behind this cyclist because he came to a full stop at each then accelerated athletically while I was stopping. Thus he managed the same pace as a car. At one stop, he started to push off when a guy who was careering down a steep hill on a bike, shirtless, helmetless whizzed right through the intersection. The guy in front of me paused, balanced in his lycra outfit, calves rippling and waved his fist at the guy. But really who would have thought the other guy would stop? In any case, let's all watch out for each other. At my old house we lived on a street with a popular bike lane. We built a circular drive to keep vehicles out of it as much as possible and to allow us to pull out headfirst, keeping an eye out. At my new 'house' (the high rise) our next door neighbor to the north is a one story bike shop. So when we enter or leave the garage we need to be alert to cyclists. And, indeed, cyclists who may not stop for stop signs. They needed to see that guy on Nueces the other day who made obeying the traffic rules look like a workout in itself.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Second Street Wave

I promise to get off Second Street and branch out but's a newish shop selling swimwear and underthings reflecting a summery street.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Out of Kilter

A bike is great transportation downtown until a wheel is out of true and the seat gone.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Car or No Car?

This is an AustinCarShare.Org car that has a parking place on Second Street. You sign up and then you can use it when you need it and pay by hours and miles. Yesterday we didn't drive our cars. I know FFP will get out today, but I may not unless it stops raining. (I was supposed to drive to tennis.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Not in Europe

Happily, in the 36 years since I first visited Europe, cafe life has been somewhat simulated here. Back in 1972 coming home from across the Atlantic for a Texan meant giving up a lovely coffee drink like this in the morning and a perfect little cup of black magic after dinner. There was very little sitting on sidewalks having food and drink. Now we pay homage to that a lot, at least in the large cities in Texas. This setting was Taverna on Second. I'm not sure who invented the Mimosa (or the one dollar one on Sunday morning served here!) but they also serve Bellinis (also a buck on Sunday) and that's Italian like Taverna.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dog's and Their People

I wondered about the folks who opened a dog shop (no grooming or boarding, just 'stuff') on Second Street, but when you see all the dogs in our building, you figure the market might be there. When you blow up this picture of Lofty Dog's window, keep in mind that Austin has an unofficial (?) motto of "Keep Austin Weird." We've shown the doggy shoes they sell. And I actually saw a dog wearing such shoes on the elevator the other day.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Size Zero

Last night we walked back to the condo on Second Street from dinner at Taste Select Wines. This new dress shop is called Minx and it's one of what seems like many spots that have sizes zero to four. I wish them luck, but of course I can't shop there!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Downtown Venue

Milago, which is at 54 Rainey St. is another downtown condo building. The entrance is welcoming, but we think our location is better vis-a-vis quick access to things.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Before Picture

I took this photo back in June from our balcony. The cranes peeking between the red building and the silver building were working on the Austonian. I can now see the steel rising there. It is interesting living amond a skyline while it changes. When my move from Central Austin is complete I hope to be watching it even more carefully.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The 360 Sunset

Last night we hadn't seen much of the hoped for rain but there was a nice sunset silhouetting the building.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On To New Messes

I decided to shoot a picture looking up above from my computer in the new place as a companion to yesterday's personal photo. I turned the screen saver on which flashed pictures from the files and it popped up yesterday's picture when I snapped. So that's the new mess of books and artifacts I'll be dusting! I'll try to get back to something Austin and less personal tomorrow.

Monday, August 11, 2008


A little personal aside today. This picture was taken in a 'spare room' at our old house where a toy collection and souvenirs of travels were collected on shelves. (Picture was taken in August 2001.) We have given away so many things and yet our condo is piled with stuff and we are still taking mass quantities out of the house. I'll try to return soon to Austin's icons from ridiculous to sublime.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Taste a Bit

It's not news to my frequent visitors that we love Taste Select Wines. However, we just eat their great food and order bottles or glasses from the menu. The retail section has a lot of automated tasting machines and a blackboard with news, though, and I thought it photographed well (sorry about the flahs spot, though). I already showed you chef Bill with his spiky mohawk.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Other Places to Live

Now that we are pouring money into this condo, outfitting it with custom built-ins (and soon speakers, track lights, big flat TVs and shades) we have to stop and consider whether we made the right choice. Of course, we think we did and we might as well think so. But I've also admired the deco look of this place (Avenue Lofts) on East Fifth. I'm a sucker for a few round windows and a bit of a chrome look. I like our west side location better, but everything is a trade off. And, of course, as FFP says "I wish I were rich and could buy in the Austonian, but then again it won't be ready for two years." Yeah, who knows what will happen in two years. Although I might be able to get out of the house in two years while doing it in less than a week is a reach.

Friday, August 8, 2008


This photo was taken in 2006, but George the grocer looks pretty much the same today. He is standing in his original store on Third Street in the original downtown AMLI building. I've shown you his store before, the Royal Blue Grocery. We've visited the store more since moving (or half moving) downtown and we look forward to a fall opening of another, bigger store in our building. Residents of AMLI (and other surrounding residences going up) will be glad to know that this store will remain, too. We may not be New York, but we have our bodegas.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fine Food with an Attitude

We took a break from the endless moving to have a bite to eat and a glass of wine and we tried to branch out but ended up at Taste Select Wines. We raved about our ostrich and marlin dishes and Chef Bill McGrory came out to say 'hello' with his new mohawk. Austin is loaded with talented chefs with experience in venues in other you'd recognize doing great food in places where you can often walk in and cadge a seat and get lots of friendly greetings. Not that it wouldn't do us good to plan ahead and make a reservation: we had to choose between an out-of-the-way two top or a seat at the bar. The latter garnered us lots of attention including the chef's visit, though.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Shopping for the Garden

I took this picture a year ago, but I imagine the little shop, Pitchforks and Tablespoons, beside Eastside Cafe looks pretty much the same today. Great place to grab a gift or something you've been needing for kitchen or garden while waiting for a scrumptious meal. I've shown you Eastside's garden, too.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blast from the Past

I've been a little lazy taking pictures so I'm taking you back to March 2005 for a photo from Auditorium Shores. There was an art exhibit of giant, billboard-sized works about the theme of Coexistence. I think SXSW was going on, too, so there was a fence to control access to the concert area.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Capital from On High

As friends move into higher and higher units you can see the Capitol from different angles. From our tenth floor perspective you can just see the dome. But from the 22nd floor you can see the entrance and a little of the lawn. Our building tapers at the 17th floor to accommodate view corridors that are maintained to the preserve views from here and there.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Named at Last

If you live in Austin, you might notice a story about Claire Wilson James on the front page of the Austin-American Statesman. (I would link you to it but they will annoy you with log-ins and such.) Here she is at The University of Texas standing near a temporary wreath with a framed list of the victims of the August 1, 1966 Tower shootings that we showed you yesterday. Claire's survival is an amazing story. It's also amazing that so little about it was really publicized about victim's stories in the climate of 1966. Those stories would create a feeding frenzy today.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Forty Two Years After A Tragedy

Well-reported in the news media here, yesterday marked the naming of a Travis County Precinct Three Building the 'Tower Heroes Building' to honor the peace officers and civilians who acted heroically to cut short the spree of a sniper from the UT Tower on August 1, 1966. A wreath was placed along the dais and it honored the victims of the shooting whose names appear in no permanent place at this time. This wreath was placed later at the Memorial Turtle Pond. Claire Wilson James was here yesterday to honor her friend Tom Eckman and her unborn child who died and to honor the people who braved the sniper fire to save her after scores of minutes bleeding on the concrete, shot in the first volley from the tower.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Theme Day: Metal

We are soon leaving our big yard and its junk metal musicians behind. This is a detail of the innards of the sousaphone player. I've shown you some of this sculpture before. The French horn player here and the trumpet player here. Since I soon won't own that backyard I thought it most appropriate for theme day to show it. We are probably leaving most of the band behind for the new owners but we are probably selling the trumpet player since we found a willing buyer.

The City Daily Photo group always has a theme day on the first of the month. This month's theme is metal
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants