Friday, July 31, 2009

Reflecting on Downtown Residences

The AMLI on Second and the (under construction) Austonian reflected in the east side of our building (360 Condos).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Greetings From Austin

This mural of an old-fashioned letter block postcard is painted on the side of Roadhouse Relics on South First.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Some dogs frolic with their owners on Lady Bird Lake in the off leash park on Auditorium Shores. Many were enjoying retrieving balls or sticks from the cool water.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lake Austin Dining

This is the deck at Abel's on Lake Austin where we had lunch the other day. A venerable campus bar (Cain and Abel's) has opened this outpost next to the always overcrowded Hula Hut. Lots of al fresco dining if you can take the heat. (We dined inside on this steamy day.) We've never dined at the lakeside restaurants over here on Lake Austin Boulevard very much but they are popular with Tarrytown denizens and college kids.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mom and Chicks

This is a peahen and her four chicks. First noticed her yesterday at our club strolling out for a drink out of the shoe wash for the clay court next to us. This peahen is much whiter than most of the others and we call it the 'albino' one. Whether the peacocks (see here and here) find her more attractive I don't know. In any case, the friends of MayfieldPark will be happy to see chicks doing well even if she seems to be raising them at the club rather than that park across the street.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Austin Hamburger Stories

There is a hamburger joint on South Congress called Fran's. There are also some Dan's Hamburger joints. Word is that once Dan and Fran were a couple and after the split some Dan's became Fran's. And, I guess, with the change came the guitar-toting large plastic girl for this shop. The girl was damaged in a storm in 2006 but was restored.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Skyscrapers at Sunset

Standing tall in this beautiful sunset (from July 19th I believe) are the once tallest building in downtown Austin (Frost Bank) and the now tallest and still growing Austonian.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Cup Cake Thing

This place is in South Austin (on South First). It has a cool sign. I haven't been inside so I know nothing about the offerings but that looks suspiciously like the (now ubiquitous) cupcake.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shepard Fairey and Grafitti

This appears to be another Shepard Fairey work alongside some graffiti and posters on the side of a sewing machine repair shop in SoCo next to Home Slice pizza. We saw one of these works earlier at Mellow Johnny's.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

He Used to Deliver on a Bike

The Soup Peddler used to peddle fresh soup on a bike. (There's a pun there somewhere: pedal/peddle.) It's has become a big delivery business, I guess, with at least two trucks. Their kitchen and headquarters is in South Austin on South First.

Monday, July 20, 2009


The Magnolia Cafes are always open. Hence their sign "Sorry, we're open" and motto "24/8." This one is in the SoCo (South Congress) area and the other one is on Lake Austin Boulevard. So if you're in Austin and you need, say, a pancake at any hour. Yeah, Magnolia.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Changes to the Skyline

A home just off Stratford has a startling view of our skyline. The Austonian now peaks above the 360. We took a photo from this house over a year ago, before we moved in. In this time the Ashton has also hove into view, making the skyline look very dense from Monarch to 100 Congress and 1 Congress.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Austin Mural...On a Food Mart

The side of the car wash at this South Congress gas station and Food Mart has representations of the Little Colorado and its lakes, the bats under the Congress Avenue bridge, the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue, the Capitol, the UT Tower and...the food mart that would be visible if the car wash building weren't there. Very clever mural. I think painting on walls, graffiti often excepted though not always, can liven things up. This one certainly adds something to a drab necessity on the corner of Riverside as one arrives in the SoCo area.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jazz in Motion

The Jeff Lofton quartet played inside the cool, dark (and strangely lit!) Dakota Lounge at the Belmont last night. We walked over, trying to stay on the shady side of the street and settled in with cool drinks and nice Happy Hour apps for several sets of dynamite arrangements. Took this with available light so the musicians are in motion.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The decommissioned Seaholm Power plant has been destined to be transformed into shopping and a hotel and condos for several years. The Green Water Treatment plant is being decommissioned right now. There is utility construction on Third Street and I'm told the purpose is to reroute this 24-inch water line to serve the Seaholm project. I don't think that the project will get started for a long time, given the 'downturn' (aka Recession) but it will have proper utilities when it does. Mostly, however, I liked the shapes of the old power plant smokestacks and the new water pipe juxaposed with the workers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

View Changes

I took this on the Fourth of July this year from Headliners Club in the Chase Building. Last year a similar shot showed a hole in the ground where the white crane is and the W Hotel is rising. I understand it will be almost twice as tall as the AMLI (silver building) so next year Auditorium Shores and Long Center won't be nearly as visible, if they are at all, from that twenty-first floor perch. Last yea's shot was taken later and showed more people and the green light already on the AMLI. By the end of next year the skyline will be pretty settled, I think. We will have some time to get used to it before the next round of building gets underway.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Texas Flag

This is a very large flag at the Texas State Cemetery in east Austin. I can see this from the condo when it's flying so I stopped by to shoot a picture the other day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Atrium Bar

This is the atrium bar at the Fonda San Miguel restaurant. A very pleasant place for some apps and drinks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tortilla Makers

Our own little slice of Mexico is Fonda San Miguel on North Loop. The ladies at the tortilla station were busy last night preparing a basket of fresh corn and flour tortillas for every table.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Emergency Morning

We were already awake this morning (I have a tennis match at 8:30) when all these emergency vehicles converged on the state office building across the way. Tents in foreground are folks setting up for Farmer's Market. I think this probably gave a wake-up call to some Saturday sleepy heads. Seems to have been a false alarm.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A French Illusion in Downtown Austin

Yesterday I stepped off East Sixth Street, an area that has been a little too much given over to bars that smell like stale beer, to this venerable little French restaurant, Chez Nous, which has for decades brought steaks frites, crepes and the stars of a French bistro to Austin. The restaurant is just south of Sixth on Neches, but it's a world away. Outside the temperature was soaring into triple Fahrenheit digits (should we adopt Centigrade to feel cooler?), but inside behind the lace curtains my lunch companion and I enjoyed some pate, a chilled avocado soup, a nice sandwich and crepes. I've been going here for decades. Need to get over there more's a pleasure.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Invisible Apartments

I shot this from the Headliners Club in the Chase building on the 4th. The building on the left is the Austonian which we can see most of (from about the tenth or twelfth floor up) from our window right now. The building on the right, the Ashton apartments, is completely hidden by the AMLI on Second. We were talking recently with someone about how all the units in these buildings will be filled. I always think "but it's only about a 1000 or less places among all the buildings recently finished or close to finished" (Austonian, Spring, Ashton, Legacy, some lower rise Gables and such, etc.). Surely not much more than 2000. For a metro area of over a million and a half with 65,000 people coming downtown to work each day, maybe it's not such a staggering amount of housing stock. This is a closer view (with prettier sunset light) than this one shown May 9th. And the Austonian is eight stories higher.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Decode This

This is a mural on the south wall of the George Washington Carver Library in East Austin. There are lots of interesting symbols and representations and they actually painted over the library sign on this side. I think it is very interesting and colorful. Some murals are informative but this one is more art in my view.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It was cloudy yesterday but the clouds didn't yield any rain. FFP shot this when he got up. The AMLI's green light (we call it our night light) was still on. The Austonian has about half the 52nd floor on. It doesn't look like anyone is at the office in the Frost Bank Tower.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Moon

Shot the top of the Frost Bank Tower and the moon on the 4th from the Headliners Club in the Chase building.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Obligatory Fireworks

They went off all over the country to celebrate Independence Day. With all its flaws the USA is still a pretty great place to live.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Delicious Dish

No flags today. Maybe flags or fireworks tomorrow in the aftermath of our U.S. holiday. But today I'm showing a dish I had at Paggi House last night. It is Hawaiian Ahi Poke (raw tuna) with
sesame crisps and cucumber salad. It was a perfect little dish for a hot day and Paggi House is across the street from Zach Scott Theater where we went after to see the Janis Joplin tribute "Love, Janis."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hotter Than a Pepper Sprout

I haven't been getting a lot of pictures around Austin lately. My excuses? Very hot temperatures cooled only by some brief rain and over a week spent in NYC. Anyway, last August I shot the Hatch Green Chiles on sale at sale at Whole Foods. Their season is probably a month away...but with our record high temps we are sweating NOW.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4th of July,,,Last Year

I took this last year from the Headliners club in the Chase Building. If you enlarge it you can see Auditorium Shores is a mass of people to hear the symphony and watch the fireworks. The pit to the left of AMLI on Second (green light) is where the W is now rising. It will be interesting next year to see how the view is altered. This year we will be up there again to watch from afar.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The Green Water Treatment Plant on Cesar Chavez between San Antonio and the creek is being decommissioned. Later (when times are better?) the valuable downtown plot will be the site of another multi-use development. (This is the view from our balcony so we wonder how much of Long Center and Lady Bird Lake will be blocked by the development.)

The large pool once held water being treated (see here at bottom of photo) but now it is empty. And empty is the theme day for City Daily Photo for the first of July. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.