Austin Is a Town of Continual Juxtaposition

Vanishing Austin_Overtowering Sandy's by Jann Alexander © 2013
Overtowering Sandy’s by Jann Alexander © 2013

There’s no shortage of colorful contrast in Austin, and there hasn’t been in a long long time. Juxtaposition is Austin’s middle name these days, and figures prominently in my Vanishing Austin series as the most striking way to show our recent urban history. Here’s a selection of images that shout out Austin’s more recent juxtapositions (a tongue-twisting word that simply means “the act of placing things side by side, especially for the purpose of comparison or contrast”)—and thanks to the magic of the telephoto lens, I can truly place things side by side for contrast, even when they’re separated by a lake, as is Sandy’s Frozen Custard from the Now Leasing Condos with Crane in the image above. ♦


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Endangered Species of Austin, poster by Jann Alexander © 2009
Endangered Species of Austin poster

Shop my Vanishing Austin series: While many Austin landmarks are lost, many are survivors still. Admire them all in a slideshow, HERE. Prints start at $35.

You can marvel at what’s lost and what’s survived in my Endangered Species of Austin poster, featuring 16 Austin icons, and sized at a handsomely large 24 x 36,” available for $25, HERE.

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22 thoughts on “Austin Is a Town of Continual Juxtaposition

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      1. Thanks for the link. Juanita’s Tacos looks like an old caboose. And I love the Bitter N. Very clever.

        There certainly does seem to be a lot of old and new there. I live in the boonies so I don’t see a lot of that kind of thing. I do see a lot of old, though, especially when I look in the mirror. LOL


        1. Juanita’s Tacos WAS in an old caboose; sadly, Juanita lost her lease to a parking lot owner who hoped to make the big-time with more condos, but that didn’t work out. There’s lots of old here, but plenty of new, and the two don’t always play nicely together. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


        2. Oh, that’s sad about Juanita. I hate to see scenarios develop like that where nobody wins, Juanita the bigger loser of the two, I think.


  1. I found the ‘Duelling Threats’ image particularly striking – especially as the snake had been made from existing items. Sometimes, in the process of urban renewal, the new-builds are so sleek that they seem to say little about the area and make little attempt to incorporate or relate to what was there before.


    1. Thanks for visiting and for your insights on urban growth–lamentable enough, but the positive is that the carelessness gives us juxtapositions!

      There’s a fun story associated with that snake–hissing, I like to think, at the new condos rising awkwardly out of balance beyond him. He was made by a famous Texas folk artist, Bob “Daddy” O’Wade, for a uniquely-Austin restaurant, and sadly, is now hidden from view by an outdoor tent the owners erected. The photograph caught the attention of an art collector who’d just bought a condo in the “new-build” pictured; he purchased it to decorate his living area. The irony was not lost on him.


  2. I’m so excited to have wandered onto your blog! I lived in Austin for about two years but moved away to go to graduate school. I worked at South Congress Cafe for a little over a year. I miss that town so much! I’m excited to read up on my favorite city but sad to hear that so many things have changed since I’ve left.


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