Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Jackie always takes an early Sunday morning walk around the lake. She encountered this critter trying to get in on the bread scraps intended for ducks, swans and turtles. She says: "We see a lot of them in Lake Austin, where they were first brought in to eat the invasive duckweed. (Of course the nutria and the duckweed have both flourished.) Had never seen one on the hike and bike trail before. However, since the UT rowing crew competes each year for the Fighting Nutria award, nutrias must also be commonplace on Lady Bird Lake. And I found another nutria photo on Flickr from the same area of the trail." She found a link fingering nutria in the top 100 invasive species.

Monday, May 30, 2011

South From the W Residences

This is the view south from the W Residences. City Hall in foreground, South First (Drake) Bridge stretching across Lady Bird Lake, Auditorium Shores and Long Center in right corner.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where Once Condos Were Planned

There was a condo project planned for the Castle Hill area on strangled bits of W. 10th and W. 11th and Baylor where W. 11th is cut off from above next to the Castle-like structure giving the rise its name. There were some concrete slabs and walls poured before the project was abandoned so naturally there was an attraction for graffiti artists and vandals. The work was painted over again and again until finally it looks like some work was commissioned or, at least, allowed to remain. And a sunflower is trying to dress up the neglected lot. This project was started and abandoned so long ago that it's become a fixture. Here's a view from above here (before the Austonian and W were built).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Graduation Photo

Jackie caught this gal last Sunday getting a graduation photo on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. She's standing on a camera case to get her head above the railing and among the skyscrapers behind her.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hole in the Sky

Jackie shot this threatening sky, with one little hole of blue, on the night before the alleged impending apocalypse. (Last Friday.) We did get some rain out of those clouds, fortunately! We need rain here in Austin.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Man's View

We went to a party at the W Residences. Here's Forrest with the master bedroom view behind him.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Night Heron

Nice picture taken by our friend Jackie near Rainey Street.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Serious Hiking

We were walking across the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, just ambling along like most people, when we encountered these fellows who were definitely upping the ante for effort what with heavy packs and, yes, tires they were dragging.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sea Horses

I'm surprised that I can't find a more conventional view of the Littlefield Fountain at the University of Texas that we've shown here on the blog. Maybe it was just too obvious. Here's one from Wikipedia. But I like this close-up from the back that shows clearly that the horses are half horse, half giant fish. I'm not sure I understand the relevance in a memorial to the 'Great War' (WWI), but it is dramatic. This fixture on the UT campus is over seventy years old.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rise Up

This is a statue of Cesar Chavez on the UT campus. It's a relatively new addition.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Catch a Sunset

This pair was catching a sunset one night near the W Hotel pool.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Police Force

Our friend Jackie shot this picture from her balcony during Obama's visit. The mounted police were out as part of the protective force. One great thing about living in a high rise is shooting things at the odd angles in the street below.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Doing the Hairdos

We went to a party a few weeks ago that was early-sixties themed. Most people came all decked out, but for women who wanted a special hair treatment, they had a crew of hair stylists for last minute touch-ups or in some cases, build-ups of "big hair."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dogs at Play

On a recent sunny afternoon, we went to the leash free area of the south Lady Bird Lake shore. I caught this shot of a dog about to leap into the lake after a ball.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adapt of Texas Lobby for President's Ear

My friend Jackie snapped this picture when Obama was in town of Adapt of Texas folks rallying the president to their cause.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The President was Here

The President visited last Tuesday. He was here to raise money after a speech about immigration in El Paso. It is doubtful that this man's plea was seen and noted but our friend Jackie shot his picture dutifully waiting for a chance to have his plea for his brother heard. Folks waited outside the ACL Live Moody Theater to plea their causes. It cost $1000 to be inside and north of 35K to have dinner with the president in an Austin home. The Veteran's Administration is in some turmoil. We will post this fellow's picture here. Maybe the president reads this blog.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Faces of Creativity

I interviewed a local art teacher for my newspaper column the other day. Two of her students showed me these clever portraits of half their faces.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Welcome Violet Crown Cinema to the 'Hood

Two blocks away from us a bar and grill with small comfy cinemas showing art films has opened. We've only been once but I suspect this will become a regular hangout for us.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lots of Art to Choose From

We went to the annual 5x7 show at the Arthouse at Jones Center last night. The first of these events in their new space it showcased 1600 art works from hundreds of artists, all in a roughly 5x7 format. After eating and drinking and visiting with friends while they looked at pieces they might like to own, an air horn sounded and one could grab a tag and become the owner of the art after the show is over. All the works were $125 or $100 for members. I bought a raffle ticket and won a chance to pick early and get one work for free. If you are in Austin, make your way over to see the show before the art goes to grace homes.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Great Book for Charity

We're involved with a fund-raising event for Badgerdog Literary Publishing, which offers creative writing programs for schoolchildren around Austin. For the silent auction, we asked a number of local celebrities to create covers for books. This one was done by the fashion editor of The Austin Chronicle. You see my hands and my camera in the mirror he put on the front.

The books will be auctioned and the funds will go to the organization. The event happens next Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Going Nowhere to Raise Money

These guys are part of a group on Second Street riding in place to raise money for fighting cancer. In this case, they get a pass for riding on the sidewalk.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Helping my Mom!

Local TV personality Michele Velles gives her companion Emmylou a drink at the Four Seasons yesterday where a luncheon was held to raise money for Emancipet, a local non-profit providing tens of thousands of free or affordable spays and neuters plus basic well care for area dogs and cats. Two dogs were guests...Emcee Michele's and Sophie, who belonged to the chair of the event. They were well-behaved except that Emmylou fell asleep.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fly Your Lone Star

The other day someone was flying the Texas Flag on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. Took this with my iPhone. Flag obscures the Austonian, W Hotel under it, 360 to the left.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eat Your Veggies!

Some more goodies at the Farmer's Market. It must be radish season. Those carrots look tasty, too.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fresh from the Farm

Spring vegetables are coming in looking good at the Farmer's Market in spite of the drought. Here you see onions and radishes in profusion. I took this photo last Saturday. From my window I can see that that folks are down there setting up their stands right now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dogs at Play

A few weeks ago these dogs met in the off leash area. One fellow is still deciding whether to play.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jazz Last Night

We decided to go hear our friend Liz Morphis sing with the Jazz Pharaohs at the Elephant Room last night. Here you see her crooning with the guys.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Escalating Love

There was some graffiti at Jo's on South Congress. Everyone, well, loved it. Then someone put unwanted graffiti over it. The wall was painted. Then the original graffiti recreated. Now the sign at Snack Bar nearby reflects the love. (Or did a week or two ago when this was taken.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do You Have a Fishing License?

There has to be a story behind these fishermen with the elaborate gear and these two Lady Bird Lake denizens watching them. Taken Saturday on our way the the Pedestrian Bridge Piano Extravaganza.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Aftermath

After Graham Reynolds got through hammering that red piano into pieces, the crowd descended on it for parts to take away for souvenirs.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Day the Music Died

Here you see well-known composer and musician Graham Reynolds taking a sledge hammer to a piano that was slated for extinction anyway. This happened after he and some other players gave a concert at the foot of the pedestrian bridge not far from our home. These old pianos have been placed around the downtown area and anyone can play on them at any time.