Austin Daily Photo
We are known to be a bunch of hippies here in Austin, so the regular occurance of murals is not surprising... this one is somewhere on the drag (Guadalupe). I think the pieces of wood and the fellow walking past complement it perfectly. Living art! Surely it means something too, but what I have no idea.
Slices & Ices
This is the back of my favourite pizzeria, Slices and Ices on Guadalupe. We usually see it from this angle, coming in from the little parking lot. Having your own parking lot in town is a big advantage for a business as it gets very overcrowded down there. I think Cream vintage clothing must have the other side of this one. Guadalupe is the main "drag" heavily laden with students, 7,500 of whom are freshpeople starting at the University of Texas today as I type. Good luck to them, and may they enjoy a slice or an ice between classes sometimes.
Driving down South First street is like a quick visit to Mexico. From its curioso shops to its restaurantes to its Mexican grocery stores, you really get the feel that you are in another world
is a great please to sit on the patio and enjoy a wide range of food from the interior of Mexico or, of course, a great plate of Tex-Mex.
For more real pictures of Mexico, check out http://guadalajaradailyphoto.blogspot.com/
the spiky building
I won't try to explain about the recent erratic posting here as it would be boring, but hopefully, normal service will proceed from now on... anyway, we are still showing the great pictures of my ten year old daughter M, and this is one of one of Austin's most distinctive buildings and highlights of our downtown skyline: the spiky building! Its real name is actually Frost Bank Tower
. But there is some nice dramatic Texas sky in this picture too.
We got behind with our photographing Austin scedule, partly due to a trip to Houston and Glaveston (down on the bottom of Texas by the ocean ) so for one day only, today we give you a picture from a recent visit we made to Houston, Texas, home of the famous NASA, home of only such scientific trifles as, ooh, the Moon landing rocket, the space shuttles, you know. Little things like those.
This spacesuit is a nice old-fashioned style of the kind you can see in films like 2001 A Space Odyssey
. Modern ones are so high tech they cost twelve million dollars each. Gulp. But the earliest one they had on show looked like a boiler suit you would wear to clean the attic. Those early spacemen must have been really tough.
As I'm sure you are all aware by now, we adore cranes and powerlines. This is a great shot of a construction site near downtown Austin with our beautiful blue sky as the background!
Here is one of the highly decorated attention-attracting roadside stores of South Congress, Electric Ladyland/ Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, the vintage clothing store recommended by Frommer's
. I love the tradition of the outrageously fancy store front. A lot of their clothes can be hired as well as bought, but some have surprisingly high prices for purchase, which I imagine reflects their popularity as hire costumes. Better make a Princess Fiona dress yourself than pay two years' worth of hiring fees. (Just call me a business analyst).
Driving Down South Congress
Those of us who live in South Austin probably think of this as the city's most characteristic view- it starts on the long South Congress road, which leads right across the bridge over Town Lake and all the way up to the capitol (the small building in the middle with the pointy hat). Not a spectacularly arty or fancy scene, maybe, but definitely part of our lives here and something to show y'all how Austin really looks. (Apologies for the non-posting yesterday- Flickr's fault this time.)
Photo credit: My Daughter, 10.
shopping at dusk
Here are some old-fashioned shops at dusk, hence the blurriness and the pretty light effects. I am not quite sure where it was, perhaps Shadrach (who is not a recent ignorant immigrant like me) or a reader can identify the road? South First? They are interesting to me for the architecture- there aren't too many buildings of that classical style in Austin, and they remind me of where I used to live in London, (Camberwell) which was full of them. (Picture by daughter again, as will the next few be, due to the fact that she seems to have hijacked the camera...)
mail vans at night
The title is self-explanatory... but don't you just love mail vans? Old-fashioned dead-tree mail is so exciting and romantic compared to email, all love letters and birthday gifts and fascinating postcards from friends around the world, yes? OK, not really. Really it is 99% bills and advertisements. But if you do get anything special, it might have handwriting and you could save it as a treasure, and those things are easy to underestimate in the modern cyber world.
picture credit: daughter (10)
lights at night # 2
Here are some more special effects done with road lights and digital camera by my daughter. I think I like this one even more than the last one, from an artsy perspective. Thinking of making it into a rather elegant (and irrelevant) card to send people for Christmas or The Holidays as we call the contentious religious festival here in the United States.
in the swim
Schools have started again, but it's never the wrong time of year for an outdoor swim... I've never heard of an indoor pool here, although there must be some. In the winter, they just heat some of the outdoor pools. This is Northwest pool
, which on Tuesday was the location for Austin area homeschoolers celebration of "not back to school" day; an honourable cause which our homeschooling oldest daughter was very glad to support!
(Apologies for the lack of picture yesterday- we both thought
the other was doing it... does this happen on all husband-and-wife run blogs? Maybe there is a Dr Phil show about it...)
lights at night
Quite a lot of our photos recently have been taken by my daughter, who is ten and just getting seriously into photography this summer, and this is another one. Isn't it cool? She did it by deliberately moving the camera as she was taking the picture. As usual, I have no idea how she came up with that idea. This new generation of kids is completely beyond me. Although I still expect them to tidy their bedrooms and so on.
Darkened Skyline of UT
As dusk approaches, the buildings grow dark and the sky becomes an illuminated backdrop highlighting the angles of Memorial Stadium and the intricate decorations on the University of Texas tower.
This was probably someone's home once, but now it is a pile of driftwood. We found it in a beautiful road of old wooden houses, tucked away off a main road. These places are very characteristic of the American South, but not designed to last for a million years like your average northern European brock or stone place. Easy come, easy go...
Movies at Central Market
Here is the giant (actually about ten times bigger than it looks here) inflatable movie screen of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Rolling Roadshow
before they showed Monty Python and the Holy Grail
on Wednesday evening. The Rolling Roadshow is a very cool thing, and this year it has been out and about outside Austin as well as in. There is still time to see The Shining
in the hotel where it was filmed in California next Friday, Raising Arizona
in Arizona on Monday, and after that The Poseiden Adventure
on a ship (hopefully not inverted) and (my favourite, I am jealous) Escape From Alcatraz
, on August 26th, on Alcatraz itself. How cool is that? But we also enjoyed the knights who say "ni" and the other knights who have no horses only coconut shells and the French knights who pronounce the k and so on, on Wednesday.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema also have a campaign to save their downtown location, which is a very worthy cause you can support here
Chrome Cream (was Almost Drive-In)
I had to change my picture of the inflatable screen due to a double post. This is what happens when the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. So for your viewing pleasure, Ice Cream Shop and some kind of GTO with a huge chrome blower sticking out of the hood.
This is what America would look like if it had British weather... actually, this picture isn't necessarily from Austin- we went to the Texas coast this weekend, and took this on the journey home. It could be almost anywhere, I have no idea. But look- rain! Everything is grey and dingy and miserable! Isn't it great? Also, I love those American railroad crossing signs, with the actual cross to reinforce the point. "DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS". Exactly.
It's a hot hot Texan day today, as the bright blue sky here tells you. There was a towel hanging on the heavy metal door handle to Room Service because touching it directly would probably boil your hand right off. This shop is one of my favourites in Austin, full of the grooviest vintage things you ever did see, along with its Northern sister, and right now they have a 20% off clothes and accessories sale.
Did I mention how hot it is? It's hot.
A view from the camper van
Other photos only show you what the place looks like, this photo actually captures the experience of living here, as you turn the corner in your VW bus on the way to Whole Foods! An experimental photo this, of the type that is so easy to take from the inside of real life, thanks to the new digicamera era.
Here in Austin, everyone knows we love our music, our Lone Star Beer, and our Texas Rollergirls
(you did know about the Texas Rollergirls didn't you? Oh good.) but we also LOVE our old VWs. Here are a couple shots from last week's monthly Volkswagen meet. Due to the intense heat, August may not be the best month to drive your 50 year old air-cooled car van or semi-military-looking offroad "thing", but the waves from the crowd during the after-meet parade always puts a smile on our face.
First Thursday (part two)
There are quite a few of these old-fashioned outdoor style eating places in Austin. You can sit there under the ceiling fans enjoying your Tex-Mex food and margaritas, watching the world go by and keeping an eye on your amazingly shiny fancy car parked right in front of you outside! Whoever owns this vehicle- wow.(Picture copyright My Daughter again.)
First Thursday (part one)
On the first Thursday of every month, the shops and restaurants along the main street in South Austin, South Congress, stay open late, and lots of people go out and mill around and have a celebratory time. Here is a crowd outside a restaurant and a tree with lights on it, taken from inside our VW going up the street: reflected at the top in the window you can see the red sign from Home Slice Pizza, which we featured in another post
. My photographically talented daughter took this one.
sunsets on the road
Two for the price of one today, as yesterday our wires got crossed and nothing made it to the blog. Summer is the season of blazing orange sunsets but these were rather pink for a change. I like how the other lights show up in these too.
Caution Moving Doughnuts
Here are recently fried rings of dough moving under the glaze waterfall much like Mr Wonka's one of chocolate. The waterfall itself appears to be a solid white sheet until the doughnuts pass through it. Taking the kids to Krispy Kreme is quite fun and you sometimes get a free sample at the end of the line.
Man up a ladder
In our imaginations, we are all remotely connected via the web, like the crew of the Starship Enterprise with their communicators (although they all had to share the same computer). But in reality, we are connected by the cables in the sky, maintained by men up ladders with power-tool belts. I think it is all very cute.