Prentiss Riddle: Austin

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South Austin Ramble

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.

austin 2002.07.30 link

Comments

I envy your digital camera. I'd like to be able to take photos of the murals around D.C. There's a lot of amateur wall art here. My favorite mural is a small one on the side of a funeral home. It shows the Good Samaritan extending his hand to a man lying down on the ground and says "Don't look down on a man unless you gonna pick him up."

Reen [reenhead ARROBA reenhead PUNTO com] • 2002.07.31
Yes, that sounds photo-worthy. An Austin mural site wouldn't be a bad idea, either, although to do it properly I'd probably need a better camera with a wide-angle lens. Or at least a tripod.

What I *really* want to do is an Austin roof art site. Is there a renaissance of roof art in other cities like there is here? We've got dozens of businesses with prominent sculptures on their roofs indicating what they sell. You can get a taste of it here. My favorite is a lightbulb store featuring the gigantic bust of a man with a (you guessed it) light bulb turning on over his head.
Roof art is breaking out from commercial art, too -- there's one private residence in a fairly toney neighborhood that has a giant chicken on the roof like something out of H.G. Wells' Food of the Gods. I personally want to commission a sculpture of a UFO crashed on the roof of my house, but it's waiting on that lottery check. (Maybe I should settle for some unidentified flying flip-flops instead.)

Prentiss Riddle [riddle ARROBA io PUNTO com] • 2002.07.31
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