The other morning I found myself outside my usual stomping grounds and walked a part of South Austin I'd only driven through before.
I did a loop through the two Bouldin Creek greenbelts. The West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt feels much larger than it looks on the map. Mostly forested, it has some open meadows as well and must be gorgeous in wildflower season. I saw signs of some homeless campsites and have heard rumors of a long-standing hobo camp in the area, so it's perhaps not the best place to explore alone. The trail ended in the middle of the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, a laboratory for domestic architectural styles ranging from monied art-nester (new house in stone, wood and tin, left) to hippie eco-warrior (milk carton fence, right):
After a mocha at the Bouldin Creek Coffee House I did the East Bouldin Creek Greenbelt, a plot so tiny that it's more of a belt buckle than a belt. The trail emerged into a sweet little neighborhood park at James and South Third, with backyard-style playground equipment and lovingly landscaped beds decorated with junk sculpture and mosaics.
I suspect one of the people behind the park art is living down the street in a shaded cottage surrounded by balanced rock sculptures:
I like my quiet and conveniently located "near north" Austin neighborhood, but I sure envy South Austin its funk.