Monday, December 31, 2012

Would You Stand in Line?

There is a beer and burger place on South Congress called Hopdoddy. (They also have a place on Anderson Lane.) We have never eaten there. Part of the reason is their popularity.

FFP shot this on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year's Day. Admittedly that's a busy SoCo Saturday with people who still have family in town trying to get out and do something to entertain the folks. But this place often has a line if not one this long. Maybe we will try it someday, at an off hour. Meanwhile we thought we'd show this picture to show that it was agreeable to be outside Saturday. Today it's raining although it's well above freezing. This is a representative crowd of mostly younger Austinites with their denim and light fleece.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Layered Cultural Reference, Temporary Mural

When I'm working crosswords and there are lots of names of sports figures and rap stars it makes me feel lost in cultural references that I never got and don't want to beyond which of the 26 letters they'll serve in the boxes.

This mural is one of a changing line up on the side of Frank's Hot Dogs Cold Beer. They don't keep the WEB site up to date but they do keep letting artists redo the mural space.  Walking by one day this month I saw this one.

Does this make any sense to you? Blow it up to read dialog bubbles.

OK, it's a movie still from the 1956 movie "Giant." James Dean's last movie, I think. He plays Jett Rink, a poor ranch hand who makes it big when oil wells sprout on the range. There is a classic movie still with him in one of the rich rancher's cars with the huge house in the background. In this still, taken in a similar place apparently, there is some minimalist sculpture in place of the house and he is talking to another rancher (Chill Wills' character Uncle Bawley?). The dialog bubbles says:  Jett: "Donald Judd." Other man: "Never heard of 'em."

You have to know the following: Donald Judd is a minimalist artist famous for simple light boxes and stuff. He has an outpost in the super trendy town of Marfa, a once forgotten piece of Texas adopted by posing hipsters (kidding). The film "Giant" was filmed in Marfa. If you know all that and the fame of the doctored still then this is hilarious! But it's temporary because Frank keeps changing the mural if not the WEB site.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Goodbye, T-Bone

T-Bone Walker died in 1975, but this tribute inside the Cheapo Discs on Lamar may now disappear, too. We popped in on Christmas Eve, the last, or one of the last, days they were going to be open to buy some DVDs to watch over the holidays. Partially obscured by some gear and boxes I noticed this and thought we'd feature the blues man's mural here in case it didn't survive whatever will happen to the building now. The building, at 9th and North Lamar, originally housed the first Whole Foods which survived two floods here from Shoal Creek flooding. I think Cheapos is no more. It will be interesting to see what happens to the property.

Friday, December 28, 2012

It Was THAT Windy

On Christmas Day it was cold but worse the wind was gusting to thirty or more miles per hour. Downtown streets were pretty deserted. I was amazed to come upon this scene when we walked by Whole Foods. I finally realized that supplies for the ice rink had blown off the roof of the store: pieces of shelves and rental skates. This tops the abandoned shoe series (mostly collected by FFP), I think. Well, maybe not.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Boxing Day Wine Tasting

Diana Novy Lee and Adam Lee grew up in Texas. Adam was born in Austin. But they have managed to create a renowned winery in Santa Rosa, CA (Siduri Wines and Novy Family Wines are made here). They buy grapes in vineyards from Santa Barbara to the Willamette Valley and produce mostly Pinot Noirs. The Lees, home for the holidays in Texas with their three children, took time to stop by Austin Wine Merchant and pour for a Boxing Day tasting. I tried four of them, all delicious, and brought a couple home. It's nice to have Austin Wine Merchant a scant four blocks from our home.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Unexpected Picnic

On our walks  we sometimes cut through Duncan Park which runs between 9th and 10th on the east side of Shoal Creek, just east of Lamar. Occasionally there are people using two picnic tables, usually folks who look homeless. Mostly these amenities just sit out in the scruffy park, picnic-less. One day when we walked there something caught my eye: they have elaborate tile-mosaic tops. Brightens things up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

Austin, Texas Daily Photo wishes everyone a great holiday whether yours is a religious celebration, a day off from work or if you are toiling away at your job. This is FFP, with festive accessories, dressed for a party standing beside the tree in the Chase Tower lobby. Snapped with my iPhone.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mother Ginger! Sara Hickman!

Hi, Linda's husband Forrest (FFP) here for a rare post on ADP. Since 1997, it has been my task to recruit famous people from around Austin to be Mother Ginger in Ballet Austin's "The Nutcracker."  Here you see State Musician of Texas Sara Hickman, who played the role on Saturday afternoon.  This photo was taken backstage in her dressing room before doing her thing on stage. This year's 13-performance run of "The Nutcracker" brought in record-breaking crowds.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Good Morning

Forrest shot a few pix with a camera we keep in the living room as the sun came up on this pre-holiday Sunday. Life is good in Austin and we aren't traveling anywhere. It's quiet downtown now. Peace to all of you everywhere.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Trail of Lights

We hadn't been to the Trail of Lights in Zilker Park for years. The last time I dipped into it you drove your car through. My sister and her family were visiting and the oldest kid was a teen I think. She's 44 now. In fact, the trail itself hadn't been there in a couple of years. There were financial difficulties. This year private sponsors were found and the lights and aging character displays went up. A dear friend was the event director. So we went. I didn't take a camera but shot this with the iPhone. You get the idea. That winding path through the park with trees decorated and giant dinos and such gave the impression of the maddest Christmas yard display ever. It was free and it was a hit with people with kids. Long lines to walk the mile or so through the park included lots of strollers and squirmy wide-eyed kids.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Sign?

I've been laughing at mutterings of apocalypse then I look out our living room window to see this in the sky. A sign?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

From Graffiti to Icon to Icing

Sorry...just have to show you (at least) one more detail from the Four Seasons Eclectic Austin Gingerbread display. In this picture are a Torchy's Taco trailer and Jo's SoCo shop with the 'I love you so much' graffiti that became an icon to be preserved (and photographed with many people like the pair of Ginger people here). I took FFP's photo with the graffiti and here is the iconic trailer sign  after Torchy's moved to South First from the parking lot of a bar in our neighborhood (and before it opened brick and mortar locations as well). Torchy's was on the cutting edge of trailer food in Austin. And it turned a little cold today but still no snow!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Right Size Tree

The tree at the Driskill tops out just below the beautiful glass ceiling.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Eclectic Icons

Can't resist showing you this shot which reproduces the original Daniel Johnston mural on the side of a shop on the Drag and the brand new Zach Scott Theatre. That's an eclectic pair for sure and while they are far from neighbors maybe they should be!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Four Seasons in Confection

For those of you who have seen the Four Seasons Austin, appreciate how accurate this gingerbread rendition is in the confection village. If you haven't seen it, take my word for it! To its right is the Seaholm Power Plant which in reality is about ten blocks away. But we give the bakers license for that just as we do for the frosting of snow which we rarely ever see.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gingerbread Tower

This year's Four Seasons decorations are all about Austin and Texas. Their gingerbread village includes lots of Austin's iconic places. The University of Texas tower is shown here. I have digitally altered the lights a bit so it appears that there is a number 1 there. No, the boys haven't done that well in football but the women of Longhorn Volleyball brought home a national championship trophy last night. If you are in Austin, find time to go see the Austin 'village' in the Four Seasons lobby. I'll show you a few more shots leading up to Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Decor

We haven't decorated for Christmas. But we are lucky because we live within walking distance of lots of hotels and businesses...that do! FFP and I started a tour yesterday and here he is in the historic Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin lobby with their tree which I don't think could support a single additional ornament. Beautiful. We will continue our festive pictures leading up to Christmas...all without unpacking a single ornament ourselves.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fiddling While You Buy Food

At last Saturday's Farmer's Market in Republic Park, FFP caught this fiddler busking for tips on Fourth Street.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kicking off the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Every year there is an event (now held in the Palmer Events Center) that is near and dear to my heart. Why? Because it is a Christmas event but starts at a respectable distance into the season. It features unique artists and purveyors with something a little different than your malls. And they have several musical acts a day. Oh, and they serve alcohol. It's the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.

We noticed that Ruby Jane and her band were kicking off the festivities yesterday. So we walked over to Palmer at noon and caught both their sets. That's Ruby Jane fiddling and the wonderful Trevor LaBonte playing lead guitar. The fun goes on 11 A.M. until 11 P.M. right up to Christmas Eve I think. You can buy handmade belts, vintage event posters, art, toys, geegaws, jewelry and other stuff while listening to music and, if you like, having a nip of Christmas cheer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Variety Tomatoes

FFP shot this last Saturday at the downtown SFC Farmer's Market. The dark ones are very unusual, I think.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fresh Mushrooms

FFP brought this picture home from the Farmer's Market last Saturday. I wondered if they sold the mushrooms with their growth medium (which in the case of the one on the left seems to be a small log). The labels offer 'shitake (small)' for $20 and large for $30. What could be more natural!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Outdoor Studio

FFP took a walk by himself because I wasn't feeling too well the other day and he noticed an artist working near the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. I like the composition of this iPhone photo and the way everything surrounding the paintings is fairly drab. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Winter Market

It was shirtsleeve weather in Austin yesterday when FFP went to the Farmer's Market while I played tennis. He shot this picture of people queuing to buy produce behind an array of cauliflower, squash and other stuff.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

PoBoys on Fourth

This surfer bar trailer is on Fourth Street now. It used to be in the vacant lot on Congress at 2nd that is now becoming a giant hotel.

Friday, December 7, 2012

F1 at Oil Can Harry's

I didn't notice this until after F1 was over but Oil Can Harry's got into the spirit of car racing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

F1 is Over

After F1 I noticed this mural at Hangar Cocktail Lounge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Frank's Public Art

This mural changes frequently. Frank Restaurant explains it a bit here although they don't seem to be keeping it up to date.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Turkeys Ready to Trot

Don't you love the runs where people get into costumes? Before the start of the Turkey Trot.

Monday, December 3, 2012

National Athem

Caught the people at the front of the starting line of the Turkey Trot listening to the National Anthem.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bridge of People

 We heard there were over 20,000 people participating in the Annual Thundercloud Turkey Trot on, of course, Thanksgiving Day. Well, there are certainly a lot of people on the Drake Bridge.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Street

Today is theme day at City Daily Photo. Actually it's not the first of the month as I write this because I'm queuing up pictures to cover a period where I hope to not be so tied to the computer. The theme is 'my street' which, I understand, caused some privacy concerns in City Daily Photo land. Well we are always showing 'our house' here and I guess we aren't too concerned because we live in a high rise with around 600 other people and many, many dogs! This shot is of the street (3rd St.) that actually runs in front of the main entrance to our building where you can enter and talk to our 24-hour concierge. If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can see that some bikes are about to cross the pedestrian/bike bridge across Shoal Creek where this street dead ends  Someone is walking a dog (one of our fellow residents, no doubt). There is a pocket park with a sculpture that moves in the wind and some palm trees obscuring a decommissioned railroad bridge. On the left is Austin Music hall and on the right you can see part of our building where there is a restaurant (Garrido's) on the creek and a bit back from there the outdoor area of Mulberry Wine Bar. Above that are a few floors of parking areas for our building. In the distance is another high-rise residence, Spring Condominiums.

Friday, November 30, 2012

More Steak?

We noticed that the location of the old McCormick & Schmidt restaurant on Congress was being renovated for a new purveyor. (That steak chain retreated to its Domain location.) I always hope for something more creative than steaks...even if it is seafood and steaks when new joints open up. Like a classic French Bistro??? We already have, let's see, Ruth's Chris, Perry's, Eddie V's, Bob's Chophouse, Rivals, III Forks, Sullivan's, Truluck's, Vince Young and Fleming's peddling basic surf and turf. Not to mention that the format at Trio, Finn and Porter, Roaring Fork isn't far off that mark. But if you come to Austin (or come downtown if you are an Austinite) and want a steak then no worries. The reflection is of your intrepid reporter FFP, in shirtsleeves on a balmy Novemeber day, just before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

You Can't Make This Up

On November 21 FFP got up a bit earlier than I and grabbed a camera that was by the windows and captured this. We are currently in New York City (I hope) and I'm queuing this up show you while I'm away.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Different View...Soon to be Lost

I shot this from Brazos street with the construction for the Marriott Hotel in the foreground. When it rises this particular perspective with be obliterated. From left to right: 100 Congress, the Ashton, the Austonian, the W Hotel and Residences and looking small because it's furthest away (it's really taller than any but the Austonian) is the 360 Condominiums (our home).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This very nice shrine was spotted in East Austin earlier in the month.

Monday, November 26, 2012

F1 Car

This one was being exhibited at Fan Fest. Those drivers sure have to be skinny, don't they?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Earth Tones

We were walking around East Austin for an art studio tour and I noticed this house all done up in earth tones. It looks like something a child made with spare Lego blocks. Wonder if they will do it in pastels for Spring and Easter?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Million Dollar Car

This car appeared in front of the Four Seasons during F1. We were told that it cost over a million dollars. It is a Hennessey. Cars don't really interest me, but this one was attracting lots of looks.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pause the Politics

This bus appeared at Fan Fest during F1. I figure that they didn't have time to repaint it after the election.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dress for Success

Spotted this gent on Congress Avenue during F1. He had a deck of cards and alternated between looking at his cell phone and shuffling them. He tried to engage a couple of passers-by but I just moved along muttering 'so orange!'

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


There was some swag for sale at the Four Seasons during F1. It amuses me that they are peddling a book "How to be a Cowboy."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


During F1, a bevy of Lamborghinis took over the Ballet Austin driveway. (The Ballet Austin Dance Education Center was the site of one of the fancy late night parties.) The air intake in front of the back wheel (I guess that's what it is) fascinated me. F1 and its fantastic car displays are gone. Back to normal Austin weirdness.

Monday, November 19, 2012


During the Formula One Week these Ferraris took pride of place along the driveway of the Four Seasons hotel.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Car Checking In

There is a car racing thing called F1. Grand Prix. Something. Formula One. This has come to Austin with the construction of a huge track and complex near Elroy. Every November for a weekend for ten years this race will come to our area. I don't know much about it, but we live downtown and so have been on the periphery of the hoopla. A couple of days ago we went over to the historic Stephen F. Austin hotel where they had managed to get an F1 car into the lobby through door in the background.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wildlife Identification on the Walk Around the Lake

I'm not good at wildlife identification and sometimes I just shoot a picture and wonder...what species is that? Especially the one on the right!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Walk Around the Lake

When we do our Lady Bird Lake strolls there are lots of interesting sites. When we are almost directly across from our building on Auditorium Shores there is Stevie Ray and his shadow in the shadow of our tower.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nick Cave Reflection

I take a lot of reflection pictures but usually reserve them for another blog (which I have been remiss in updating). Thought I'd offer up this one here. It was taken at Art House at Jones Center on Congress and the art work in the lobby is by Nick Cave.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Many Pennies

When we were at SoundSpace at the Blanton last month I shot a quick picture inside the installation of a work by Cildo Meireles. You enter this work and the floor is covered with hundreds of thousands of pennies. I liked the way the light played on these visitors and their outfits.

Monday, November 12, 2012

High Glam, High Energy

Last night we attended a high glam fashion show at The Driskill Hotel given by a friend of ours, Stephen Moser, who is terminally ill.  It was a chance for him to show off his designs, a collection which he has been working on for something like nine years.  Here you see some shoes by another local designer who was also showing his creations on the runway.