Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Talk

Jackie went to a book signing last week at BookPeople and here's her report.
We went to BookPeople to hear E.J. Dionne, the journalist and political commentator, talk about his latest book, “Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent.”  His premise, as one of the reviewers said, is this: "Are Americans rugged individualists? Are we community-loving civic republicans? The answer to both questions, writes E. J. Dionne in his wise new book, is yes. We value individualism but not as an end in itself; we value community but not at the expense of fundamental liberties.” This apparent conflict has been intriguing me and Steve as we observe the partisan mud-slinging of this election season. We love the book-signing events at BookPeople, which, as you know, has been Texas’ leading independent bookstore since 1970 and voted best bookstore in Austin for more than 15 years.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Austin's City Hall...Really!

Jackie was on Cesar Chavez the other day when she noticed this sign on our City Hall: "Maricopa County Courthouse." Some location filming must have been taking place! We never found out what. Does anyone know?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mosaic Art

When the Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse moved to the other side of South First, they went from a worn old building to a beautiful one complete with these mosaic panels which I think are by James Talbot.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hotter than a Pepper Sprout

FFP shot this at the Keeping it Weird Festival of a taco vendor's salsa in a giant molcajete (lava rock mortar). It was pretty hot that day, but we still need heat on our tacos.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Intentional but what Intention?

This mural art from the East Side is obviously done with planning and permission. Still, not sure of the message.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Russian Theme Girl

I've always wondered why this bar on West Sixth Street had a Russian theme and name. A few weeks ago they got some new signage including this sexy Russian girl (you can tell because of the fur hat). I have to say I've never drunk there but I guess vodka is a popular ingredient.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Green Delivery

If you delivering organic stuff, you should definitely do it in a Prius with a Banana on top.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Birds!

Walking in East Austin one day we saw grackles doing an Occupy on a Moonlight Tower. So many! They even covered most every inch of the guy wires.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Good Day to Catch Something

Caught this fellow well-prepared to catch some fish on Lady Bird Lake one day this month.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Season of the Young

The young birds are around (as we saw with the little green heron). We saw this immature swan (with his parents I believe) at Lady Bird Lake this month, too.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Growing up With Tattoos

One thing that is different than when I grew up is how many adults have tattoos. Have you ever wondered how kids will feel about tattoos when they've grown up in the arms of parents, nannies, babysitters who have them. Will they see them as a sign of adulthood to be quickly embraced? Or as something to rebel against by, I don't know, doing something else?

Friday, July 20, 2012

You Are An Artist!

At the Keep Austin Weird Fest there was a booth promoting painting parties. The folks will set up you and all your guests to 'create' a copy of some famous work that you get to take home with you. Which begs the question of how many copies of starry night the world needs! Still...looks like fun, huh?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's This?

This is a close-up of...a water weed in Lady Bird Lake. This non-native plant, Eurasian Water Milfoil is growing prolifically in large sections of the lake. From YNN:
"This is a very seasonal thing, the plants grow and get kind of thick,” City of Austin Environmental Scientist Mary Gilroy said. “They become a bit of a nuisance in the summer, but they are good habitat for fish and turtles they produce a lot of oxygen and they trap sediment, so we like the fact that there are plants in Lady Bird Lake."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

South Lamar Signs

Happened to notice on our last foray down South Lamar that an automotive shop ("Austin Speed Shop") had this wonderful rocket ship. (The great guitar sign behind that decorates the music gear shop South Austin Music that has this great mural.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Truth?

The area on the southeast of the Lamar Railroad overpass is constantly buffed of graffiti but new stuff always shows up. This one is apparently a series. (See this one caught on the support for the footbridge  on West Fifth.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reflecting the Same Sunset

The sunset on June 30 (same as yesterday) only reflected in the Frost Bank Tower. It's amazing how many looks the sunset can give this tower on different days or just different times in the setting. For example: full orange and shades of pink.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunset Behind the Tower

One of the things that is west of here is a big communication tower at 10th and West Lynn and on June 30th I zoomed in on it from our pool deck with a fiery sunset behind it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day

Jackie shot this wonderful picture of the fireworks we got to have for Fourth of July this year (because the fire risk had been lowered by rain). I present it for France's Bastille Day!

Friday, July 13, 2012

While the Sun Sets

Sunsets can be dramatic from our building but we usually capture them reflected in the tall buildings east of us because we have an east-facing unit. On the last day of June, however, the temperature was unusually pleasant and I took a camera to our building's west-facing pool deck. FFP read a book while I took shots and waited for the light to change. I like this picture of him.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Car Has An Opinion

FFP shot this with his iPhone the other day. There are no stickers on the bumper but lots of diverse opinions on the back of the car.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rainy Weather

We are getting some rain and that's a good thing. Jackie shot this wonderful panorama looking west Monday night as storm clouds moved in toward downtown.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meaning What?

This mural (or graffiti, or is it both?) on the East Side left me wondering, as many do, what's it trying to say?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weirdly Beautiful

Here's another picture from the Keep Austin Weird Festival. These women look pretty striking (and attractive) in their costumes. That's our building emerging from the cape and the W Hotel on the right.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Eyes Have It

The multi-eyed character says "Step 1: Learn to Paint." I seem to be on a graffiti kick, huh? This is some more from the permission walls of the failed condos.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Graffiti Sculpture

That's the way to add dimension to things. This is Castle Hill again. Love it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Historic Home on Academy

This beautiful old home on Academy Drive gave the street it's name, actually, when it was used as a military school in the early 1900's.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sea Creatures

When I noticed this building in east Austin on a walk a couple of weeks back I thought it sure looks like this house in South Austin. Same artist, I bet.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rules for Graffiti

Who knew graffiti had rules? Well, really it isn't graffiti, I guess, if you follow the rules. We've shown pictures of the 'art' on this concrete below Castle Hill before. (The ruins of a failed condo project from years ago.) But the other day we noticed this sign. So this area will be a battleground between those with permission and those without. I shot a few pictures a few weeks ago and will give you a couple of examples in the coming days.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Theme Day - Chimneys

It's been too hot here to think of a roaring fire. But it's theme day and by a democratic vote the theme is: chimneys. Here's one on a private home in west Austin. At least I think it is a chimney! Very interesting shape.

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