Monday, November 30, 2009

Camptown Ponies

These three excellent musicians were playing on South Congress Saturday afternoon for some public relations and spare change. They were fantastic, by the way. I love it when you come upon real talent. The guitar player told me that the three of them were from two different bands so they combined their names to be "Camptown Ponies." She said that they would be playing at a club on N. Loop Sunday night. I signed up for their e-mail list, so I hope that I'll get to catch their act again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Eerie Sunset

Sunset after the apocalypse? My friend Jackie took this from her AMLI on Second apartment of the sunset. Note reflection in the lake. The water tower (near lower right corner) at the Green Water treatment was still upright, but not much of the buildings around are in the picture (save a corner of the Silicon Labs building). Not only did they take the tower down...somehow they have now removed it from the site. Wish I seen that.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Buying local

Here's a shot of the Ave B Grocery, which has been in business since 1906, so I understand. We haven't been by there lately, since it's in Hyde Park, close to our old neighborhood. I assume it's still operating. Anyway, if it is, they have great sandwiches and lots of varieties of root beer.

Friday, November 27, 2009

'Tis The Season

I am not in a very festive mood this year, but we have season tickets to Ballet Austin's performances and when the time for the annual production of "The Nutcracker" arrives the music, the snowflakes and the dreamy dancing will put me in the mood. Meanwhile Ballet Austin's Butler Dance Education Center has turned the normally clear glass of the Armstrong-Connelly Studio into a snowy fantasy for the season to promote the production.

Taken with my iPhone.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Austin's growing up

OK, so this isn't the best shot I've ever taken, but I was on a nighttime wine cruise on Lady Bird Lake and I only had my iPhone with me. But each time I look at our 2009 skyline, it makes me realize how big Austin has become. It looks especially dramatic at night. Anyway, happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dogs like Farmers Market, too!

One of my favorite things about the Farmers Market that happens each Saturday morning a block away from us is getting to see the pretty dogs people bring along. Here is Winston, a poodle I met a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Floral patterns

I had my camera handy and shot this photo of cut flowers in our grocery downstairs not long ago. Having so much good food (including a deli), liquid refreshments and visual treats like flowers available at all times is one of the best reasons for living where we do.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What a view for a football game

A friend got tickets for the Centennial Club at The University of Texas' DKR Memorial Stadium Saturday night. He had a spare and invited me along. The game was against Kansas. I've got to say, this is best way to enjoy a football game--friends, food, and liquid refreshment, in a comfy seat and protected from the elements. Our assigned seats were on the 45 yard line, no less.

Here you see the Longhorn Band in their halftime show. Took me back to my days in the band in the mid sixties. Over forty years and somehow, it doesn't seem that long ago at all.

I could get used to this!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Aliens Have Landed

Not Really. But they did fell the old water tower at the Green Water Treatment Plant that's being decomissioned a block from us. I'm not sure it was supposed to fall on those sewer tiles and, sadly, we didn't see it come down. Here is a picture from way back there when it was still upright.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jazz Masters Play Nightly

One of the nicest things about the smoking ban is that it allows people like Linda and me, who used to come home with headaches and smoke filled nostrils, to go to places like the Elephant Room -- Austin's home for jazz -- and be comfortable.

Here is a photo I shot a few weeks ago of Alex Coke on flute and Jeff Lofton on trumpet. I shot it with my iPhone which kind of gives it a subdued look and feel.

Friday, November 20, 2009

UT Football tomorrow

FFP took this back in September at the first home game. Tomorrow is the last home game (I think) and he hopes to be there again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shapes of Shops

When we are on South Congress, we usually are in front of the shops on the west side but one day last month I took pictures from the other side and noticed the pleasant shapes and colors on these two hip clothing stores.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The new face of downtown

I was out in the neighborhood doing errands on foot yesterday and walked by the base of the Austonian, the 56-story condo tower on Congress Avenue.

I couldn't help but whip out my iPhone and take this shot. It's amazing to this Austin native how tall our town has grown. (The horizontal shape at the top is a construction crane that is still being used on the job.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Out of the Blue

One of the coolest things about the Farmers' Market that happens on Saturdays a block from our condo tower is the inclusion of a band concert. Here is the group which appeared last Saturday-- "Out of the Blue." (Referring, I suppose, to their modality of stretching the limits of bluegrass.) They were playing some really nice tunes and had the crowd in a good mood.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jazz to lift the spirits!

We attended a great jazz performance at St. James Episcopal Church (Jazz at St. James) Saturday night. Here you see sax player Joe Morales (played with the Texas Tornadoes among others) leading his sextet. He gave a truly impassioned performance and left the crowd cheering him. Here you see Matt Smith on guitar and Aaron Lack on vibes. His drummer Ernie Durawa is a Texas legend and has played on Saturday Night Live and at President Clinton's inauguration.

His act was followed by nationally-known Javon Jackson and his own band of all-stars. This photo was shot with my iPhone in available light, so it's not the sharpest--but I think it captures the mood.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One block to the Farmers' Market

It tickles me when people ask us "How do you get your groceries?" since our move downtown. Well, besides the grocery in our own building and the Whole Foods about five minutes away on foot, the local Farmers' Market happens each Saturday, one block away. (There is a large mainstream grocery on Lake Austin Blvd, too.) And we always see a lot of friends shopping there. A very small town feel in the heart of the city.

This young lady from Orange Blossom Farms had some delicious tangerines for sale yesterday. They really are good.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dethklok rocks, I guess

I had to be told about this band. Dethklok is a fictional death metal group featured in the Adult Swim animated program Metalocalypse. There is also a "virtual" band of real guys performing in places like the Austin Music Hall across the street from us. Here is the band's bus, which has a pretty amazing paint job. They had a concert Friday night--we enjoyed some good wine and food at Mulberry while the audience was streaming out of the hall. (Why is the "virtual" band the one with flesh and blood players? Reality and fiction seem to be confused here.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Up on the roof

I am now doing weekly entries on a construction blog for Arthouse at Jones Center, (go to this link and then click on my name on the left-hand column), a contemporary art space at 7th and Congress, in the heart of downtown Austin.

The other day, I clambered up onto the roof and took this shot.

Take one last long look at the way it looks now. The workers are ready to start prepping for laying down the concrete masonry units. These cinder blocks will underpin the nearly 5 feet of additional height above the existing roof upon which the new rooftop deck will be built. When done, the roof will be a showplace for outdoor movies (a large screen will be up there) and parties.

By the way, this edifice was constructed in 1851 and was the first three-story brick building in Austin. It has been, among other things, a drug store, a law office, a movie theater and a dress shop.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sports Hubris

On Lake Austin there is a property that appears to have its own baseball diamond. I think that's a tennis court on the left. Surely this isn't a private home! I always thought it would be great to have your own tennis court but they require a lot of space. But a baseball diamond?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trailer Trash

What with the popularity of food trailers someone had to make this joke. Near the Hudson's Mighty Cone trailer on South Congress the refuse cans are labeled 'trailer trash.'

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

For fire and visual use only

Sometimes you see visual compositions in life that are striking in their simplicity. Here you see a fire hydrant and hose connections on the building where we live. Besides the balance of the one large dial and the four connections, the bright red contrasts beautifully with the grayish-white of the stonework.

Monday, November 9, 2009

We Don't Get Tired of the Sun Going 'Round

I guess there is no statutory limit on how many sunset (and sunrise) pictures we run. This is a sunset reflected in the clouds and buildings looking east a few days ago. FFP captured it for the few moments that it appeared this way. Picture not retouched or altered. Notice that the top of the Austonian is nearly glassed in. (Yesterday a lot of it was invisible in the clouds for part of the day.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thrifty Pink

A couple of weeks ago the shop window at the St. Vincent De Paul thrift store was all decked out to support Breast Cancer Awareness with pink thrift store buys.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Game Day

When the University of Texas wins, the UT tower glows orange. Our friend Jackie took this last Saturday when the football team beat Oklahoma State. Today is game day again and fans hope the tower looks like this tonight.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Walking home

Linda and I were walking west towards our condo the other night and I snapped this with my iPhone. It captures the spirit of nighttime Austin. Linda's head is on the right. Note the pedi-cab going east. Once in a while, we'll take one for a lark or if we are running late.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yellow Bike Project

Here is the calling card for the Yellow Bike Project at the Austin Arts and Music Partnership. (I showed you their work area inside a bit ago.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Burnt Orange Surnise

Everyone is excited about the University of Texas football team's success this year. On Tuesday even the sunrise was burnt orange. Silhouettes of AMLI on Second, the W (under construction) and the Austonian (with its crane still topping it) are captured from our balcony.

As in yesterday's moon and sunset, no color correction on this one.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Full Moon Rising

On Sunday the full moon shined brightly even as the sunset was reflected in the downtown towers. No color correction on this photo.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bat Season Ending

That smudge in the sky? Thousands of bats. This was taken on a bat cruise by our friend Jackie. Unless you stand directly on or under the bridge (Congress Avenue Ann Richards) what you see when our Mexican Free Tail Bats fly is a huge drawing on the sky like someone sketched with a charcoal pencil only it's moving. They will be gone soon (they are here April-October approximately). These guys and a million or so friends will move to Mexico for what passes for winter here and come back in the spring to pup and eat tons of mosquitoes. And we love them for it.

By the way, we saw a group returning from feeding the other day and it was enough after first light that they were visible.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Doorway to Music

We fancy ourselves the "Live Music Capital" here and whether you dispute that or not, there is something wholesome about a city that would anoint as a club in a strip center a historic landmark. The Continental Club on South Congress has been there for fifty years. We walked by early on a day when the doors weren't propped open to admit patrons and got this rather nice shot of the fancy door and its historic marker.

Today many of our City Daily Photo compatriots will also take on the doorway theme. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.