Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Austin Character

Thought I'd show you another shot from the mural on Eighth Street (on the wall beside Hickory Street Bar and Grill). This represents Leslie. Leslie is frequently seen downtown in various stages of cross/un dress. Leslie is a fixture of Austin's weirdness. He ran for mayor. He has a Wikipedia entry.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunset Reflected

Yesterday the sunset caused a reflected glory in the clouds in the east.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Longtime Downtown Living

On Eighth Street just west of Congress there are some charming condos that I always thought would make for nice downtown living. They seem to be often used, in the lower floors at least, for businesses and I now like being downtown but a few stories up where we can retreat from the street. I don't know who owns them but you see them for rent now and then. I'm not sure how long this property has looked this way but I think it's been this way since I arrived in Austin over three decades ago.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Urban Sombreros

My friend Jackie took this of the W Hotel construction. She even came up with the delightful title. These workers came up with a hard hat adaptation that added protection from the sun to their hard hats. Special points to the ones who came up with a reflective white piece of cardboard for added coolness.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Mural in Town

This summer an artist named Shawn Gillepsie painted a new mural along Eighth Street on the Wall by Hickory Street Bar and Grill. There are many characters in the mural and the above is one detail. In some of the news coverage I saw that these naked (yet primly covered) ladies were receiving a few tsk-tsks. Turns out that there is a good reason for their lack of attire: they are reading a brochure about Hippie Hollow. While I question whether there is a brochure about it, Hippie Hollow is a rocky 'beach' (using the term loosely) on Lake Travis where clothing is optional. Our recent drought may have rendered it more or less a beach, but now I understand this inclusion in the "Life in Austin" mural. These ladies are sun worshipers!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Seaholm Power Plant

Seaholm Power Plant from 25th Floor of Spring Condos. Taken with iPhone. This is one of the vacant lots downtown where redevelopment hasn't begun but is planned. The plant has been decommissioned. The new complex slated for this land would incorporate the old iconic deco-era plant as a shopping and event complex. The Tom Green Water Treatment Plant just east of it (see water tank in photo) is decommissioned and is being cleared now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Day Dawns

Yesterday the day dawned cloudy and sunrise was a pink streak in the sky behind the Frost Bank and Austonian (looming out of the picture). The clouds brought some rain, too. Perhaps more will come today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tribeza Style Week

There was a big fashion show last night at the Long Center under a runway tent. FFP shot this picture of one of the models. It is Tribeza Style Week. Tribeza is a local lifestyle magazine. When we walked home I felt like I should put one foot directly in front of the other. But I was wearning flat shoes, of course!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mutual Support

This mural is on the outside of Ginger Man at its new Lavaca location. It is famous for a wide selection of beers on tap and a comfy UK-style atmosphere with darts and such. It made way at its old 4th Street location for a condo building which has yet to break ground. We would still consider this part of the Fourth Street/Warehouse District.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chile Lady

We went to a media party and fund-raiser at El Chile on Congress yesterday. The paintings decorating the spot are interesting especially this one of a red chile lady on a green chile float on a sea with yellow chiles. The food is fresh and tasty at this newest outpost of the Manor Road spot. The owners are building a little local restaurant dynasty with their more casual El Chilitos and Red House Pizza. We'll have to get back to this spot although we wish they were open for Sunday brunch. Businesses on Congress seem to feel there would be no business on Sunday, but that is changing as more and more people move downtown.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunning on Lady Bird Lake

My friend Jackie shot some pictures of the turtles on Lady Bird Lake Friday while taking a tour of some downtown high rises over on the East Side of the trail. The lake and trails make a nice 'back yard' for downtown.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Door to Old and New Mexico

In our old neighborhood is a beautiful building where you can enter a restaurant suffused with Old, decorations but also drink edgy cocktails and view amazing modern Mexican art. We have to drive frequently to this North Central Austin legend, Fonda San Miguel, for a 'fix.'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hill Country Skyline

Last night FFP and I drove only a few minutes from our condo to a Westlake Hills home for an event. This is one of their views of the beginning of the Hill Country and the skyline. I won't identify buildings today...I'll let you see how many you can figure out. Just a bit of Lady Bird Lake is at the far right.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


All the hip places are offering interesting cocktails these days with infusions, fresh fruits, muddles of herbs, interesting liquors and liqueurs. Annie's (on Congress) is no exception and they were displaying some on the bar when we went in the other night. Fact is, I had a Moscow Mule which is an old school drink involving ginger beer, vodka and lime. Very refreshing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rustic Planter

On Monday and Tuesday we participated in an annual event that benefits AIDS Services Austin called Dining for Life. Incredibly simple in concept, restaurants agree to donate a portion of their sales to ASA on Monday and/or Tuesday at lunch and/or dinner. People dine out at these restaurants to support the cause. Monday we returned to our old neighborhood to go to Fonda San Miguel. I snapped this picture of a log planter and some of their distinctive exterior tile. We had a great meal with some specials that included oysters, mussels and a watermelon-based salad. A flashy guest bartender from Spain out-did Tom Cruise, slinging one of the best Manhattans I've ever had.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

View from 33rd Floor of Austonian

This could be part of your view if you bought the north end of the 33rd floor of the Austonian.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A New Vantage Point

We toured the Spring Condominiums yesterday. This is the first Austin Daily Photo picture taken with an iPhone. Taken from the 25th floor of that building, this shot shows part of the new Gables apartments on Sandra Muraida Way plus the Pfluger Pedestrian bridge (which looks like a knot spanning Lady Bird Lake) and the Lamar Bridge. In spite of being taken through a window and on an iPhone I sort of like this shot.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This Could Be Your Rainy Day View

From the South End of the 33rd Floor of the Austonian looking at the top of 100 Congress, the Congress Avenue Bridge, a muddy Lady Bird Lake and SoCo beyond. Imagine what the views will be like from the top (56th) floor! We went to an event at the unfinished building last night. The ride on the construction elevators was exciting, too!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Game Day

UT plays again today as the college football season goes into full swing. But not in its enormous home stadium. They Wyoming? I don't think I've ever been to Wyoming. Thought I'd run one more picture of the jumbo screen that FFP took last Saturday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Get Tired of Sunrise

Yesterday's clouds brought several rain showers...but first they brought this sunrise. Both were most welcome.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vacant Lot

That's the Capitol beyond the vacant lot in this picture. Why am I showing you this, with the dull graded lot in the foreground? Because the lot will contain an eight-story Federal Court House, built with stimulus money. I thought we should track the progress of this project, starting with the ground. Will we be able to see the Capitol when this is finished? My guess is no. What do you think?

This lot, by the way, used to contain an unfinished shell of a building built by Intel during the last bust. It was imploded in 2007 to make way for this project after the city talked Intel into selling the land to the Feds.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Knowing When to Stop

I keep thinking I'll see the traditional tree atop the Austonian, showing that it has reached its full height. However after the roof over the 56th floor (I think) they've added a widget (to enclose mechanical stuff?) that has itself grown to two stories. But soon, very soon...the top? The floor with only a bit of glass is, I think, fifty-two.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to the Wall

This is a detail of a wall off Baylor Street in Old West Austin that I visited in January. We were in that neighborhood yesterday, but I didn't stop by there. Then, while cleaning out my e-mail files I came on a shot that my friend and walking and exploring buddy Allan shot of this detail of the wall and decided it would be today's shot.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sea of Burnt Orange

FFP shot this while the Longhorm Band was on the field. What a sea of burnt orange (as they call their official color).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Watching TV with 100,000 Friends

FFP went to the UT football game yesterday and he watched a lot of plays on Godzilla-tron, the largest hi-def screen in collegiate sports (allegedly). There were over 101,000 people at this game. In this shot animated Longhorns cavort on the screen. I had a nice meal in between picking up and dropping off the football goers. I'm not much of a football fan but the enormous crowd and the stadium are impressive.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Tallest Bird in North America

This sculpture of a whooping crane is about three times as tall as the bird (at five feet or so). The real bird is the tallest in North American and it winters in the Aransas Refuge off the Texas Coast. You find this tribute sculpture at the fancy shopping area in North Austin called The Domain.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just Visible

From Eighth and Congress or so on the second level you can just see the needle on the 360 Condos at Third and Nueces above the parking garage of the Norwood Tower.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Hundred Years Ago

This building on Congress has two flags and two dates. I'll have to find out the story of the dates some time by reading a plaque I think! It's on the west side of Congress between Eighth and Ninth. This second story view was taken from a balcony of a home on Congress.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Big Sculpture

There is a little below street plaza next to the Chase building on Sixth Street. Saturday they had hired a huge crane to install a monumental sculpture in its center. You can see the blue shape at the top of this at street level.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Big Living

Today is the first of the month and, therefore, theme day. The official City Daily Photo theme is big. My friend Jackie recently took a picture from the ground on the east side of the Austonian. Its basic floors and height are almost complete and it's Austin's tallest building. Except for the retail on lower floors, it will be all condos. Regular readers have seen pictures of this building as recently as yesterday and as long ago as the spring of 2008 when it was just some cranes in a hole.

Other participants in the 'big theme day? Click here to view thumbnails for all participants. (There are some problems on City Daily Photo's portal this morning. Try again later if it fails.)