Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And the Most Colorful Award Goes To...

A walk back in February revealed this magnificent paint job in Travis Heights on the dead end (for cars) street called 'The Circle.'

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Love Love

Just after Valentine's Day, this graffiti graced the Lamar underpass. Things get painted over quickly there. Love love, though.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spaceship? In a Way...

When you look at these sculptures at the Mueller Development you might think of space and space ships. But the sculptor, Chris Levack, was inspired by airborne seeds. So...tiny space ships represented in a large way.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spicing up the Planned Development

When I took a walk around the Mueller Development the other day, I thought the park land given over to natural Texas prairie and the giant sculptures therein were nice but the lake area and the houses seemed a little too planned. But I was heartened to see this yard art, an expression of individuality. Since the houses and condos and apartments start out with a different look from each other (if in a sort of planned way), I think the neighborhood can develop a little patina to make it more interesting and attractive. Pink flamingos never hurt. And these aren't even the cheap plastic kind.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fairy Alley

I told you about Fairy Alley the other day when I posted a picture of the steps leading to that magical house. I thought you deserved a picture of part of the painted fence by the alley, celebrating music, man made and otherwise.

Friday, February 24, 2012

How Do You Feel About Graffiti

Generally I'm against graffiti because I'm a rule follower, but, as anyone who follows along here knows, sometimes it delights. And sometimes it's done with permission, too. The various phone and electrical relay boxes in Old West Austin keep getting personality makeovers. The funny thing about this one is that the buried cable warning seems to be pasted on top of the pink paint job.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marathoners on Bridge

Sunday thousands of people ran marathons or half marathons in Austin. The closest I got to the race was watching runners from my balcony. These folks were massed across the Drake (South First) bridge which was closed to traffic.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Talking about Art

Sunday we went to a gallery talk at the Scanlon Art Gallery at St. Stephen's School. (We didn't know this gallery was there and I don't think I'd ever been on the school campus.) Our friend Katy Nail had a show and that's her talking about her work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Graffiti Goes Black

Sunday we walked around Old West Austin and at the abandoned Castle Hill condo site a team was painting over graffiti. Would the goat be preserved? We will see when we walk over there soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Come on In

A house on Baylor Street in the area with the abandoned condo graffiti and the castle has these steep stairs. Perhaps there is another entrance on the street above.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Can We Go Home with You?

Many days find adoptable puppies on South Congress offered by Austin Pets Alive! How about these fellows? Would you, could you? So adorable, but our pet days are over.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spider Attack

This giant spider at the Mueller Development looms over visitors. The sculpture is by Dixie Friend Gay.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Another view

I took this photo from the balcony of a friend's condo not long ago. They have a great vista of the lake and downtown, don't they?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

And All That Jazz

The Elephant Room is about a six block walk from our condo. Tonight, for the price of a couple of drinks, we were treated to music from seven amazing instrumentalists plus the song stylings of none other than Liz Morphis.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fairy Stairs

There is a house on an alley behind the center that holds Alamo Draft House South and there is fairy dust in the air there. The alley's surface is covered with painted, glittered decorations and the house itself bright with paint and decoration extended to the curb. These are the stairs up to the front. I'd never encountered the house before until I met an owner at a party. The light was harsh in the waning hours yesterday but I like how it streamed through the fence here. They call the place Casa Wonderlandia and, of course, there is a facebook page you can like.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A River (of Traffic) Runs Through It

From our condo, we can only see bits of Lady Bird Lake (our Little Colorado behind the Longhorn Dam) but if you lived on the 30th floor of the Four Seasons Residences then it would stretch out west from your balcony toward the Hill Country. Also, a closer look shows that the river and the limited bridges cause a stream of traffic on arteries like Cesar Chavez (aka First Street). That's the frame for the glass balcony panels in the foreground, not a monorail track. Breaks up the view a little but unlike the W no panels have plunged to the ground!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Objects May Appear Closer

Shot this from the Sky Lounge terrace at Four Seasons Residences last Friday as the sun was going down. Zoomed in on the Capitol. This creates an illusion where the UT Tower and other UT-area buildings appear closer both to the camera and to the Capitol than they actually are. I think the tower is about 14 blocks from the Capitol. For extra points, identify the building to the left of both.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Good Morning, Austin

It's a chilly one (for us) this morning (a bit less than freezing outside). Dawn ripped color through the mackerel sky a few minutes ago.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Downtown At Our Feet

I won't lie to you. Sometimes we go to high rise parties just to thrill at the views. We are standing on a balcony on the thirtieth floor on the west side of the Four Seasons Residences. The unit is unsold if you are interested. The room next to this balcony could just about fit our unit in the 360 inside of it. The unsold and unfinished (just roughed out walls and concrete floors) unit had been outfitted with art by Lance Letcsher and some rugs and tables and a bar. We stopped by to see the art (we are fans) and, of course, check out the views. It had dramatic ones to the north and south, too. This was Thursday night and we later attended a benefit on the 55th floor of the Austonian. We'd been before but it is always nice to look out on the city from high above.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Meet Harley

I'm not sure he's an Austin dog. She was staying at Jim Franklin's studio and belonged to friends. Very sweet dog.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Portrait of the Artist as Himself

Here you see Jim Franklin, a remarkable artist and an Austin legend. The whole concept of the armadillo as a cultural icon came from him. (As did "Long Live Longnecks." And see below for the official designation.) I interviewed him for my West Austin News column and visited in his studio recently. The painting in this photo is of himself -- he drew the original outline for it with his eyes closed. The resulting perspective-bending take is remarkable. I swear that Jim doesn't look like he's aged all that much in the last forty years. He still toils in relative obscurity in a small studio off a side street near a barbecue joint in downtown Austin.

Oh, by the way, here it is in official language --
RESOLVED, That the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the longhorn the official Large State Mammal of Texas and the armadillo the official Small State Mammal of Texas.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Arts

The Blanton's MusiCircus on Saturday provided many juxtapositions of sound and art. It was thrilling actually.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

En Plein Air Skyline

I snapped a picture of this fellow on Saturday as we walked back from the museum event featured in the last two pictures. We had seen him not far away on Wednesday when we were driving. After I asked him if I could shoot his picture I should have gotten his name but I thought I'd be able to find it on the newspaper WEB site because a Statesman photographer got his picture and it had been in the paper. FFP came to the rescue by contacting the Statesman photographer. His name is Chris Chappell. His subject here is AMLI on Second.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Another of the great photos Linda took at MusicCircus on Saturday afternoon at The Blanton Museum. These ladies are all Ballet Austin dancers. We talked to Beth, the blond at the top of this photo, after the piece was over and she said that they had no idea what the music that would be playing would sound like. After Michelle Schumann finished with her toy piano piece, a band upstairs started on their performance. It fit well with the dancing, though.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Yesterday the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas campus had an event called SoundSpace and presented John Cage's MusiCircus in honor of honor his centenary year. It was described as a 'happening of concurrent performances determined by chance distribution.' Performers did Cage music or music in his style or by his contemporaries. The Ballet Austin dancers seen here performed a piece choreographed by the company's Michele Thompson. At this moment Michele Schumann was also performing John Cage's Suite for Toy Piano. We were on the mezzanine above the atria. When the toy piano piece was done, a group called Mongoose began playing on the mezzanine. The dancers continued, having never heard the music of Mongoose which used conventional and very unconventional instruments. We wandered the galleries where a jazz group did Sun Ra music, two flutes played Cage selections, saxophones played haunting music by Cage and others and a piece for oboe, flute, trombone, violin, clarinet and trumpet (along with spoken word) was premiered. At the end the audience played along with a number of players on tiny plastic noise makers. And, finally, the Suite for Toy Piano was repeated. Here is the facebook album with a couple more pictures.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Mural at Cheapos

California artist Jules Muck has been painting around town. This Bob Marley took its place near some existing art work (Hi, Gandhi!) at Cheapo Disks which is still operating in these days of download in the old original Whole Foods location.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Another Downtown Home

You could walk to City Hall from here but instead of living at 'Occupy Austin" you live in this (German-style? Swiss-style) home with a nod to a style with actual timbers in the facade. I think it looks rather nice on West Avenue. Further evidence that it's downtown is the parking sticker machine because these parking spots are subject to payment.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stately Columns

This home on West Avenue has very tall traditional columns. It's funny to walk from our high rise and see places like this.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cold-Blooded but still an Animal

Today is theme day at City Daily Photo. The theme is, simply, 'animals.' Dogs were tempting. But they've gotten their time. And we've already shown nutria. Twice. Birds have abounded. But it's been a long time since a turtle showed up so here is one of the Lady Bird Lake mud turtles, sunning himself on a log recently to soak up some warmth. Taken near Lou Neff point.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.