Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eat Local Food

Some of the produce at the Farmer's Market a block over from us on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Giant Red Costume

I missed this show (and I could have seen a bunch from my window!) that was part of Fuse Box last Saturday. A guy named Jimmy Kuehnle dons this giant red 'costume' and performs. He ended in Republic Park and started by our building. He just calls it 'Big Red.'

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arches and Horns

I don't eat much chain fast food, but I think a lot of college kids do so this McD's near campus (it's on MLK just west of Guadalupe) probably does a lot of business. They show their loyalty to the school with a giant bronze longhorn (UT's mascot). Not into hamburgers? Around the corner is a string of Pho houses, bubble tea places and a veggie restauarant.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Green Light?

Friday night the sun was setting when we were walking down Cesar Chavez and had reached the level of the traffic light.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bodies in Urban Spaces

Lots happening in downtown Austin yesterday. But possibly the most interesting was Bodies in Urban Spaces which had an audience follow dancers around downtown where they appeared in most unusual static arrangement on buildings and other structures. You sort of had to be there. But I'll show more pictures along the way in this space. You can also catch it Sunday the 26th at 11AM in Republic Park.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Art City Austin

Last night we ate at Taste Select Wines on Cesar Chavez and at 7PM they closed the street to get ready for the Art City Austin festival. A juried fest with food and probably some frivolity for kids. Apparently it is put on by a confusing alliance that is an umbrella for Art Week Austin which includes other events. In any case, they were staking their claim to the street with giant words like ART (and policemen and barricades). We are probably going to check it out today.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Wooldridge Park is celebrating its hundredth anniversary. An edgy festival called Fusebox is bringing performances to venues all over Austin. Fusebox commissioned the extremely talented Graham Reyolds to write a piece for a percussion ensemble. If you can call this group of drummers, shakers, vibe players and a bass fiddle an ensemble. It was impossible to capture the hoard of players. (The Piece was entitled "A Piece for Fifty Drummers.") The group spilled off the bandstand behind Graham (in the blue shirt) who conducted in the conventional way and with a whistle and took a solo on found objects like metal buckets and an old rusted propane container. Enlarge the picture for a better view of Graham and the others. It was a fun twenty-five minutes with little kids racing down the hills and a variety of citizens sprawled across the park listening. Notice that we've had some rain and the grass is greener than it was here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Coming Soon: Hookah Lounge

This place on 24th Street west of The University of Texas had a sign up but was yet to open. Made me say 'hmmm.'

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Imagine You Are in the Islands

An older apartment northwest of downtown has made the pool more inviting by adding a tropical mural.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Imagining What Was

When I first came to Austin, FFP was my guide. It was his city and it was much smaller then. My experience with it was limited to visits as a kid and teenager and I only remembered fragments: Mt. Bonnell, Palmer Auditorium, the Capitol, a sprawling motel off Academy and South Congress. There weren't many fine restaurants then, but one was called Bloom's and was in a stately old house on San Antonio. This, we believe, is that house. Austin was very different then and so were we! I think you could see the Capitol from the upstairs dining room. Of course, this might not be the house! It has been thirty years or more. We snapped this on a walk to an area west of here called Judge's Hill.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Austin Reggae Festival

I've seen large crowds on Auditorium Shores but those for the Reggae festival on Auditorium Shores Saturday and Sunday (this is the Saturday crowd) were enormous. I'm thinking the inexpensive entry fee attracting people? They were also collecting food for the Capital Area Food Bank.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earth Day Bottle Tree

Yesterday was Earth Day. For some reason this fellow was erecting bottle trees in Republic Park. I didn't get the connection. But they were fun.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Parking...and Noise

Shot this picture at Freddie's on South First the other day before the police threatened to arrest people if they didn't get their music noise below 70 decibels. (First a warning, then a fine, then arrest?) If they didn't serve food, it could be 85. What? This action has created a hue and cry for the City Council to do something to reverse their ordinance. Neighbors of restaurants (and bars which I guess sound softer even when louder?) want them quiet. I think there are exceptions for downtown, but I am rarely bothered by noise and then it's usually sirens. The owner seems to be a nice guy. He canceled 83 bookings of live music after the police visited. If I stand on my balcony on weekends I can hear outdoor venues, even Auditorium Shores shows. Doesn't bother me but that's what one expects living downtown.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cathedral of Junk

A playwright friend of mine attended an event at the far south Austin Cathedral of Junk. His photo is our picture of the day. That's some keeping Austin weird for you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax Protest

Apparently there were tea parties all over the country to protest big government and big spending. This fellow at the Austin City Hall had a "Don't Tread on Me" flag from the American Revolution. Apparently a number of people don't think we can spend our way out of a depression. It's no accident the protest was scheduled for April 15...the day our taxes are due in the U.S.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Texas Flag at Four Seasons

Next to the Four Seasons hotel a condo tower is rising. I've shown you the flags there before with the Canadian one popping out in the wind. The other day I caught the Texas flag snapping in the wind with the new construction behind it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Duck Adventures

This giant vehicle headed west on Sixth (at Lamar) is an amphibious city tour bus from Austin Duck Adventures. It goes into Lake Austin but I've never seen it there. Motorized launches are not normally allowed on Lady Bird (nee Town) Lake. One day I have to take the tour. (And take some pictures for the blog, too.) The vehicle was originally a British military vehicle according to their WEB site.

Monday, April 13, 2009

International Refreshment

On a walk not long ago we were beginning to feel the emerging Texas heat after a couple of miles. We popped into Farm to Market grocery on South Congress, a little spot that features local produce and flowers and some local groceries. However, when we went for the bottled refreshment case, we pulled out tasty foreign products we like: Orangina (this bottled in Canada but, I think, a French invention) and a Topo-Chico Lime-Flavored Carbonated water from Mexico. When FFP went inside the Off the Wall store to try on a vintage shirt from their sidewalk sale, I set the drinks on a ledge to take a picture of something and, seeing a small irony, snapped this picture. One thing about the 'daily photo' thing: you finally turn the camera on minutia.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mighty Texas Dog Walk

I was busy during the Mighty Texas Dog Walk, but my friend Christopher Holland took some pictures and graciously allowed us to reproduce one here. Check his flickr album for others. This dog seems very solemn about his costume. Next year I must get out for this event!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sweet Shop

On South Congress there is a sweet little shop serving ice cream and sodas and selling every kind of candy and confection imaginable. And yes, they've been featured here before but I thought I'd show you the front with their shop windows and your photographer (left) and her principal assistant (walking, right) reflected.

Friday, April 10, 2009


These refurbished old apartments on Annie St. in South Austin have a sign that encourages enjoyment. Just "enjoy being" in quotes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wearing Your Art on Your Porch

This porch on a house on Annie in South Austin really reflects the owners. The sign says "Saxophonist Parking Only." We love jazz...maybe we have heard this person play!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artististic Car Painting

In Austin, where a large percentage of the population has to own a car (because public transportation is not that good), you often find that people put their own special stamp on the decoration of their rides. I've seen certain unusual paint jobs for years but I spotted this one for the first time last week on Annie Street in South Austin.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Elegant Race Spectators

These beauties were walking during the Capital 10K with their owners and they could barely get across the Congress Avenue bridge because lots of people with cameras turned away from the race to get their picture and they had to pose.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate Cart

We have trailers selling tacos, crêpes, sno-cones, cup cakes, pizza and now, on South First, we have Holy Cacao selling hot chocolate and chocolate desserts. Not my thing, chocolate, but it seemed pretty popular on Saturday when we were walking and taking pictures.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Red Hot and Soul

Red Hot and Soul is an annual benefit for Austin's Zachary Scott Theatre Center. The venerable center, named for local actor Zach Scott who starred in Hollywood movies such as "Mildred Pierce," throws a music and fun-filled event that helps keep the center and its outreach programs for children going. This year's benefit was at the Hilton and Larry Connelly, left above, was this year's chair of the "Broadway meets the Runway" themed event. Red carpets, Joan Rivers impersonator and great drinks greeted us. Then there was a runway you were invited to walk down and be filmed. , a fashion show, characters from "Wicked," "The Wizard of Oz," dinner and entertainment, fantastic silent and live auctions, etc. After all the presentations the guests took to the runway stage and the dance floor for their own fun in their colorful outfits. We slipped out to hear our friend Jeff Lofton and his quintet play at the Elephant Room before the cup cake buffet.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mural or Tags?

This mural stretches along the back of a building on the east side of South Congress. I say mural because in spite of the graffiti look of it, it seems very organized and not 'over-tagged.' I don't know much about graffiti but there is much in the art news about the style going back and forth between blank walls, the nation's rolling stock and spray cans at night and the world of up-scale galleries and museums. Most recently this seems to be fueled by Shepard Fairey and his Obama poster. Readers say the obviously intentional work here is his. Of course, this crossover from underground to the 'art world' is nothing new. For example: Basquiat has been dead for twenty years. For some reason, I remember only two scenes from the 1996 movie "Basquait." In one he peddles small paintings to Andy Warhol (played by David Bowie) and in another he paints a stack of tires with white paint. But what do you think: did the owners of this building sanction this decoration or not?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Modern Windows

This very modern looking building which could be an office (except there was a hammock out front) had unusual windows set in boxes. It's not the usual look for a house in this neighborhood...which has several historic homes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Green

A new ad mural popped up on the side of Austin Art Glass on South Congress. That bright Austin sun is out so get out your dark glasses. I actually only wear sunglasses to play tennis.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


No, it's yellow, of course! (And April Fool's Day.) Yellow is the theme for City Daily Photo today. This yellow sculpture which viewers are invited to enter is made of lots of yellow vinyl tubes. It is at The University of Texas behind the Blanton Museum.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants