Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunny Balcony

Of course, it's just a mural atop a store on South Congress. The same store that has this mural on the side of the building. Saturday we were walking down the other side of the street and I decided to shoot this one for you. The store is, I believe, Mi Casa Su Casa and they can provide you with just about any imports from Mexico and Latin America that you can imagine.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ghost Bike

As we've seen before these ghost bikes pop up as memorials to people killed on their bikes. This one is on South First. Here and here are others I've shown you before.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Playing Chicken?

Strolled by an office building on Wednesday and lurking in a shady corner of the parking lot was a car got up as a rooster, I guess. It's Austin, who would question it?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do You Have Any Tattoos?

There are lots of tattoos in Austin and so tattoo parlors are needed to tend to the inked arms, legs, torsos, etc. I swear someday I'm going to start asking inked strangers to let me photograph their designs for this blog. Meanwhile I snap pictures of the signage for the establishments. Ever wonder how we came to call them tattoo 'parlors?' This place is on S. First.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cactus Blooming

Spring for cactus comes a little later when the heat they like gets on. It is sort of trite to shoot the buds and flowers but it is always tempting as they look so fresh and renewed on such a curmudgeon of a plant. When I whipped out my point and shoot to get this shot on my walk yesterday on South First, a bee was exploring the flower.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big Yellow Buses

I went out onto my balcony to get a breath of fresh air yesterday and saw this long line of buses at The Long Center for the Performing Arts across the lake. Obviously, some type of performance for school kids from around the area was happening.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Get a Mural for Yourself

The murals on the doors of this weathered garage apartment in Clarksville are actually advertisements for the artist, I believe, because there was a sign that said to go upstairs re: murals. So perhaps you can stop by if you want some outside art of your own.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Advances in Air Travel

Our friend Jackie snapped this at the airport (ABIA: Austin Bergstrom International Airport). A new way of getting around?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Giant Guitars Again...This Time at the AIrport

There are still a few around on the streets, but a bunch of the giant decorative guitars are now decorating a baggage carousel at the airport. My friend Jackie shot a couple of pictures the other day. I showed this one first because Janis Joplin is front and center. One of my favs. Hard to believe she's been dead forty years.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Everybody says that there's no car greener. . .

Linda and I had a good time yesterday afternoon checking out the Car2Go demos at Republic Park, a block away from our building. In fact, Linda has one of the cards that allows her to use these vehicles. She took a test ride on the little course they had blocked out on 4th Street. She also downloaded an app that lets her see where an available car is, close to her current location. A sweet concept! We often dream about being able to reduce our car inventory. (Oh-- a KVUE TV crew was there and interviewed her after her test drive.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Capitol View

From the south end of the Austonian Pool deck you have a straight shot at the Capitol. Buildings all over town are shortened or stepped down so that Capitol view corridors are available to remind us that we live in the Capital City. Enlarge for a better view.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flamenco Inspiration

Sarah Bird wrote a novel inspired by the culture of Flamenco dancing ("The Flamenco Academy") and last night, courtesy of the Badgerdog Publishing annual event, Sarah read some of the novel while the singing, guitar and dance would come alive behind her. Here she pauses to watch Olivia Chacón dance. Great evening of raising money for a great cause. FFP has worked tirelessly with this group to raise money for their work to bring writing to the community and to the country.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The View

OK, one more from the Austonian. Only this one was taken from the south unit on the 11th floor that was decorated for the Women's Symphony League show house. As you can see the view from the balcony includes the office building One Congress Avenue and the luxury apartments, the Ashton. Oh, and a sliver of Lady Bird Lake. That's a lot different than the view from the 33rd floor shown here where you are looking down on the office building.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Makes Us Look Small

This is the view looking west from the 56th Floor of the Austonian. The nearest tall building (the not yet finished but topped out W Hotel and Condos) is 36 stories. Our home, the 360 Condominiums, is beyond that at 44 stories. I'll stop for now and go back to minutia on the ground. The skyline has changed so much in the last two or three years.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking Down

On Thursday when we were at the Austonian for the Women's Symphony League party, I shot this out the window of the 56th floor gym. Everything is down from here. This is the Frost Bank Tower, of course, looking toward IH35 and part of UT. (You can see the Erwin Center.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dancin' In The Street

The Paramount closed two blocks of Congress in front of the theater last night and, after a packed house listened to Delbert McClinton and other entertainment, the hundreds of guests flowed into the huge air-conditioned tents for drinking, dancing, dinner and a silent auction. The Austin American-Statesman Out and About columnist is rocking out foreground with my friend Dean Lofton (that's the back of her head) as this great cover band Skyrocket grooved the scene. While dancing you occasionally realized that you were in the middle of Congress with clues like the yellow line and rough pavement.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Art with a Flare

Linda and I were both shooting photos at the Arthouse 5x7 party Thursday night. Here's one I caught of a young lady who came dressed in a fluffy skirt. Lots of people had on clever outfits--it was a creative crowd, for sure.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Windy at the High Rise

We attended the opening party for the Women's Symphony League Showhouse last night. It was at the Austonian which is the tallest building in Austin. These lovelies were offering up some food on the 10th floor pool deck. They are learning how windy it can be on the 10th floor but doing an admirable job of keeping the tablecloth and their hairdos intact.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Edible Symbols

In April they had the traffic-stopping (literally) Art City Austin event downtown. A lower key part of it was a display of art in unoccupied retail space. For some reason one artist wanted to have a bake sale in Republic Park as a kind of performance art. They also had a dedication of the renovations around the Treaty Oaks in that park, I think, but I just got there when it was just a bake sale. These guitars were on offer. This is the kind of low-key thing I prefer to snarling traffic for three days and bringing in a bunch of artists from other places and making you pay $8 to walk places you usually walk (or worse, just have to go around at night).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Trip to Capital City

It's easy to forget amid the bustle of our 'big city' that we are surrounded by hundreds of miles of small town Texas. But when high school kids are in town for various University Interscholastic League events, sometimes the buses from the schools remind you. This just shows you that if your town is named after a kind of go with it. That's Texas.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Capitol Dome Inside

Shot a quick, off center photo inside the Capitol Dome the other day as we walked through. At some point they are going to install metal detectors so we were sort of celebrating walking through unmolested, although there were lots of Capitol Police (a division of Highway Patrol) keeping order among the school kids passing through and the one we asked a question was awfully friendly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Scholz Garten Mural for Your Inspection

When musicians play on the stage at Scholz's this is the mural behind them. It's a mural representing Bavaria, for sure. Weigh in with your thoughts on the different elements of the painting.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Songs from the Great Depression

In one of those coincidences familiar to Austinites, we were at Scholz Beer Garten during the day for a literary reading and our friend Jackie was there yesterday evening to see Guy Forsyth with the Sweet Home Baptist Church choir singing songs from the great depression. It was an Austin History Center presentation. This is an iPhone shot, but I like it very much. Our event's discussions were inside and the stage was empty outside when we were there so I took the opportunity to shoot the mural behind the musicians since I had only shot the stage populated before as in this picture of Nancy Scott. Tomorrow, perhaps we'll explore the mural.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hopeful Sculpture

Just east of IH35, on Cesar Chavez by the Henry Terrazas Austin Public Library Branch, this sculpture appears promoting peace and understanding. (I think...the inscription wraps around the sculpture so I got dizzy trying to read it and couldn't take a reference picture.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tennis, Anyone?

I play tennis a few times a week. You really don't want to see pictures of that, however! But Sunday, FFP and I caught the finals of the Big 12 Tennis Championships. The UT men won although the team in action here did not. I used the sports capture button on the Nikon P90 to get a selection of shots to choose from. I like this one because the low volley has just come off the racket of the player and the ball and its shadow are still visible. One of my 'ladies of a certain age' who plays tennis with me says that she learns a lot by watching pros on TV. Indeed she came back from illness and injury this week and did play some great shots.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Walking on Water

This is a Great Egret, I believe, on Lady Bird Lake. What's amazing is that he is in the middle of the lake. He's not really walking on water but seemed to be balancing on a branch or piece of wood, adjusting his stance like a log roller as it drifted in the current while he scanned the water for brunch. I took this with my Nikon P90 from the Drake Bridge (S. First) and zoomed in to get some detail but you still can't see his improvised raft although it was apparent to us from his movement.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Long Center Buckled Up

This picture was taken out of the triangular window at the end of our hallway in the 360 condos so excuse the reflection. I wanted to show you that the Long Center was buckled up Saturday to promote the 'Click It Or Ticket' safety program. There was also an inflatable Big Tex to the left. Since I usually shoot the Long Center from our balcony it surprised me to see the how clear the main building at St. Ed's was from this angle when I zoomed in on the Long Center. You see why their sports moniker is 'Hilltoppers.'

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FFP's Moment in Time

Yesterday, Linda outlined the "rules of the game" that we were playing on Sunday morning for the New York Times' Lens Blog project. At 10:03 our time (they gave you leeway for a few minutes either side of 10:00), I was standing to the west of Linda and snapped this shot of a pet dog emerging from Lady Bird Lake after retrieving a tennis ball his master had thrown into the water. Unfortunately, he dropped the ball just before I could get my lens to open--it is hidden behind him. But the shot does show a nice contrast of our natural and man-made environments in the center of our city. They had a "play" category, so that is where I submitted this one. From what I read, they received over 10,000 shots in short order and who knows when they'll be able to get all of them posted.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Moment in Time

Yesterday we attempted to participate in a New York Times Lens Blog project where people were asked to take a picture at 15:00 UTC (10AM Central Time in U.S.) and submit them for processing to the blog as a 'Moment in Time.' We chose to position ourselves at Auditorium Shores where the off leash park and the temperate Sunday combined for lots of 'play' which was one of the themes. This isn't the picture I used because it was taken over ten minutes before the appointed hour and I chose one taken closer to the appointed hour. (The rules seem to admit a few minutes before or after 10AM and we chose to say that meant two or three minutes, not over ten minutes.) The shot I used looked toward our building but had dogs in the water and boats. I may show it tomorrow or show you the happy dog that FFP used for his contribution to the project. Unless, of course, when the project gets up (they had 10K plus pictures submitted) I can figure out a way to point you to our pictures there. I have a feeling it's going to be hard to find an individual picture but it should be fun browsing.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Space Age Flower

We were walking along S. First yesterday when we noticed the unusual space age blossoms on this vine. I'm not much of a botanist, but the bees seemed to recognize it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Today is theme day on City Daily Photo. I missed last month. Just slept through a chance to riff on a theme with the other daily picture bloggers. This month, though, we're back to participating. The theme is 'statues.' Every city and town and village has some and ours is no exception. Since it's the state capital we have the Capitol Building and grounds. Lots of statues. There two, though, are my favorites. The one atop the Capitol dome is Lady Liberty with the Lone Star (great story about her removal and replacement with a copy during renovation for another day); and the one in the foreground which is an old monument to volunteer fireman who died in the line of duty. The oldest one I saw was for a man who died in 1877 during a fire at the 'Blind Institute.' There are many names on the side you can see of volunteers who died at Texas City in 1947 explosions and fires at the port. This was one of the worst industrial accidents in the history of the U.S.

See other city statues: Click here to view thumbnails for all participants