Friday, December 31, 2010

High above the ground

Here you see astronaut and famed video game developer Richard Garriott playing Mother Ginger for Ballet Austin's The Nutcracker. OK, I had to take this shot with my iPhone, so no flash and it's blurry. But you get the idea. I've recruited the VIPs to play Mother Ginger since 1997 when we started using social all-stars for the role.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let's Pretend

Even after living downtown for over two years I sometimes feel like it's all pretend especially with the big buildings that have cropped up. This is more graffiti that has appeared on the railroad bridge over Lady Bird Lake. The AMLI on Second, W Hotel and Frost Bank tower can be seen behind it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shop at Big Bertha's

There is a uber-cool little vintage shop called Big Bertha's in the same center on South Lamar as the Alamo Drafthouse. Go there and buy boots or a colorful vest. Or a cool vintage dress.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Million Dollar Bridge

The funny things about this sign and the graffiti? The sidewalk is really not a sidewalk but a bridge which takes one directly across Cesar Chavez to the north side from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge (which is really a bike and ped bridge). It used to end abruptly overlooking that street and one had to go down a ramp (bikes, brave walkers) or stairs (walkers, trick bikers) to the south side of the street. One still has to do this. So it wasn't really closed so much as never existed. Also the bridge (which has been under construction for quite some time) takes you to a new apartment house or the Lance Armstrong Bike Way where theoretically pedestrians aren't allowed. Since there is no sidewalk along Cesar on the north side here, peds sometimes use the bikeway or walk beside it in the grass. I understand that the sidewalks underneath Third Street have 'been improved' (haven't tried it, takes me a bit out of its way and used to be sort of harrowing because of the narrow sidewalk and heavy traffic) and that a path under the railroad tracks will be built to reach Third Street (possibly not in our lifetime, very expensive, how will they make it safe at night?). So the graffiti writers who seem upset at the 'closing?' Who are they? Random pundits? Bikers? Apartment residents? Sadly when the 'sidewalk' opens it won't add much to our walking experience except give us access to this picnic table. Sunday, when we took this picture, we were on our way back from a walk to the movies at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Not a hard walk but could be made easier with some pedestrian improvements.

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Graffiti

It seems as soon as they paint over the graffiti on the railroad bridge over Lady Bird Lake that it is like a new canvas asking for additions. This particular piece, shot from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, shows what could be some advice for people doing an outdoor yoga class on that wide park-like bridge. In the background are several of the newer downtown buildings including the new W Hotel, the Austonian and the Ashton .

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winding Down the Holiday

Snapped this at the Driskill the Friday before Christmas week. I imagine the decorations (including this magnificent Gingerbread house) will be up through the New Year. I guess we will soon return to regular programming here. (And stop wearing Christmas colors!)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And A Merry Christmas to All

We don't usually appear portrait-style but here we are to wish a Merry Christmas. We are posing with one of the Headliners Club Christmas trees. Whatever your religious and cultural traditions, best wishes to our City Daily Photo family.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute Shopping

This time of year shopping just gets silly. And I don't mean because it's two days until Christmas. The madness starts before Thanksgiving. However, if you stick to local boutiques you can recover some excitement about getting something for a friend or relative. This is my reflection in the little boutique on Congress called AuthentiCity. Lots of unique, artist-created items. Including that sculpture of a head. Yes, that's me reflected in the window.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday View from The Long Center

I was backstage at The Long Center last night for The Nutcracker. On the way out, I used my iPhone to snap this view of a girl playing on the City Terrace. You can see the vertical lights of our home across the lake in the background.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Countdown Continues

We showed you Jackie's shot of the Capitol tree during the Holiday Stroll. Here is a day time shot of the many, not so lone stars during the day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas on Its Head

The restaurant 24 Diner in our neighborhood has turned Christmas upside down. Our friend Jackie took this shot.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Are you listening?

We went to a fabulous party last night at a magnificent Westbank home. Our friend Kevin, accompanied by a piano and bass, was belting out some classic songs-- Christmas oriented and otherwise. That's Billy Wolfe on the keys behind him. The home was dolled up to reflect the Stork Club. This is a shot I took with my iPhone from a front row seat. What a shindig!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Armadillo Christmas

My friend Jackie shot this during the holiday stroll. But where? Festive armadillos for an Austin holiday! This is day three of eleven days of Christmas here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Festive at Our House

We haven't actually decorated for Christmas...but the lobby of our building greets you with a pair of trees.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Days of Christmas Two

Someone told me the Angelina Eberly statue had a knitted hat and scarf. But when I went by on Tuesday she only had mittens. And a little decoration on the spokes of the cannon. (We showed Angelina and debated her story here on this blog in 2007.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Eleven Days of Christmas

We haven't decorated for Christmas. (Unless you count putting the cards we received on a table with three Christmas gift sacks for my in-laws.) But everyone else? Yeah. So we will run pictures of such Austin decor, starting with this one of a giant ornament in the window of the historic Scarborough building. Your main ATDP contributors reflected.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed on Burnet

I think this building on Burnet (photo by Jackie) might have been a Motorcycle Sales Center. Or a tattoo parlor. Now it doesn't appear to house a retail business best I could tell. Anyone know? I used to live in this neighborhood and keep better track of the evolution.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bird Watching - Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Our friend Jackie also shot this on her perambulation around Lady Bird Lake Thanksgiving weekend. She says: "We saw our first yellow-crowned night heron of the year. They arrive in December and winter and breed here, but last year we saw very few. So we were thrilled to see this one." Great shot. Nature at our door step.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bird Watching - Cormorants

Our friend Jackie is the bird expert on the team. She got this great shop a couple of weeks ago of cormorants on Lady Bird Lake. Who says there is no nature in the urban lifestyle?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Look--up in the sky!

This jet and two of his mates were making serious con trails over our skyline this morning. I grabbed a camera and snapped this shot.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

W Flash Mob

Today the W Hotel in our neighborhood opens. (It's two blocks away.) Their employees gathered as a flash mob and danced at the front entrance yesterday.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Music at the Stroll

Jackie captured this group at the Congress Avenue stroll. I wasn't there but I'm guessing maybe some jazzy carols??

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Capitol Christmas

Jackie shot a swirl of people who came out to see the Capitol's tree get its lights. We didn't make it to the stroll but I hope to go stroll the Avenue a few times before Christmas. After all, Congress Avenue is just five blocks from our home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Stroll, Light Yourself Up

Our friend Jackie took some photos at the annual Congress Avenue holiday stroll and Capitol Christmas tree lighting. In this photo, it seems people have lit themselves.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Formal

We've been going a lot to a thrift store run by one of our charities (Top Drawer supporting Project Transitions). Not to shop but to donate stuff we are cleaning out. This is their very creative window display with a vision of the Christmas formal with Christmas colors. There are lots of interesting shops and restaurants on this stretch of Burnet Road north of 45th Street. Currently Top Drawer has a lot of Doc Martens and other shoes from the (sadly) closed Atomic City shop. Always interesting shopping there.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Christmas. But I hope you don't have to spend too much time celebrating around this tree. The Seton Northwest Hospital volunteers decorated the tree in the hospital lobby on Monday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Did Santa Lose This?

Walking down West Sixth the other day I spied this and wondered if a certain jolly fellow was missing his ride.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Salsa and Cerveza Bus

At Austin institution El Arroyo on Fifth Street this old bus has quite an interesting hood ornament.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We snapped this picture a week ago on my father-in-law's 100th birthday. That's his 90-year-old sister beside him. Today is City Daily Photo theme day. The theme is time and what better way to represent it than with someone 100 years old. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.