All Decked Out For the Holidays

Vanishing Austin—the ongoing photography series that tries to stay ahead of the wrecking ball—is looking pretty festive this month, at its first appearance at Austin's annual anti-mall, shop small, holiday gift show, the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is decidedly aimed at Austinites who believe that to live local, you shop... Continue Reading →

— Found: An oft-painted warehouse wall, pitted, cracking, alive with color. Lost: The desire for perfection. “Perfectionism means that you try not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived.” ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life  ♣ Related articles Bird by Bird:... Continue Reading →

Why Do Photographers Love Grunge?

For photographers, the grungier, the rustier, the more lonely a subject is—the better. We crave texture, pattern, a story. A lonely place has a story, and photographers have many stories to tell. ♦.   .   .    BUY PRINTS: Choose from 99+ Vanishing Austin prints and a poster by Jann Alexander, starting at $25. Shop my Vanishing Austin series: While many Austin... Continue Reading →

Blessings for The Man in Black

A broken-down bus that long lived at Austin's famous honky-tonk shows some respect for the Man in Black. The missing 1948 Flxible Clipper bus that once lent its retro funk to Austin's best-known dance hall, the Broken Spoke, made an unannounced road trip last spring to Adkins, Texas and ended up parked at Texas Pride Barbecue. Seems... Continue Reading →

The Pattern of Change Is Change

It takes a whole lotta cranes to hoist up a new Marriott in downtown Austin, where change is changing faster than you can say change. The upcoming architecture at 2nd Street and Congress Avenue demonstrates the pattern of change in a city where urban = big growth. Is it too late to keep Austin Weird?... Continue Reading →

In 2004, there was architectural eye candy everywhere you looked in Austin.

When Austin's Americana Theatre held its gala opening in 1965 with a premiere of The Rounders, starring Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda as aging cowboys, its builder pitched his single-screen theater as “The Showcase of Austin, featuring beautiful lobby, AirFlo rocking chair loge seats, and exotic ladies’ lounge.” Its movie lifespan was short: it closed in... Continue Reading →

Reflections on Making a Mark

.    .    . There's a complex explanation in physics for reflection. Reflection is defined as "the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves. The law of reflection says that for specular reflection the angle at which the wave... Continue Reading →

Singing the Moody Blues for Antone’s

Antone’s, the club whose name is perhaps most synonymous with The Live Music Capital of the World moniker that Austin carries, is up for sale. Though its soul left the club long ago, when Clifford Antone left Austin for parts unknown. Upon Clifford Antone’s death in 2006, former Austin Mayor Will Wynn conceded, “One of the primary reasons... Continue Reading →

Oh, the stories we can tell, when we have a connection with our art.

Overcome by Tall Towers and Big Cranes

We'd honestly like to see more of the Tiniest Bar in Texas. It's just that these days, cranes and other towering structures are rapidly closing in on it. Makes it kinda tough to spot such a tiny bar. Hang on, Tiny Bar! Don't let the Tall Towers and Big Cranes bring you down! ♣ Related articles Tiniest... Continue Reading →

Walk Back to Weird at Wiggy’s

Walk or Don't Walk, it's up to you at Wiggy's I have long been fascinated by juxtapositions. In fact I've tried to build my entire Vanishing Austin photography series around them, and this one always grabs me as I look towards downtown in the early evening. Despite the other towers rising all around and high... Continue Reading →

A woman you meet at a gallery opening has loved a real cowboy, and had a varied career as a founding designer for Texas Monthly, as an LA Times art director, as a NY restauranteur and now plans to be a screenwriter. The temperature soars past 100 and locals tell you that's about 20 degrees... Continue Reading →

Who Lives in Austin to Work?

"People don't live in Austin to work, they work to live there." —Robert Rodriguez In the vein of working to live in Austin, I offer a Vanishing Austin photograph revealing the true reason for drinking beer, as described on Little Woodrow's billboard on West 6th Street. It's Labor Day Weekend—the oxymoronically-named weekend when we all stop... Continue Reading →

Yes, there's reason to worry that Austin is no longer weird. But if you look around—weird is everywhere.

Turned On and Powerful Once Again

Austin Power: "You can't turn me on." Austin Powers: "Au contraire baby, you can't resist me." Austin Power's getting turned back on, after two-plus dormant decades, as its transformation from an Art Deco design icon to a "future urban oasis . . . in downtown Austin" gets underway. Our city can't resist a redevelopment opportunity this... Continue Reading →

A Summer Invitation

— There is nothing as inviting as a languid, limpid pool of cool blue water on a hot summer day. — ORDER A PRINT of Blue Pool by Jann Alexander and visit for more fine art photography and paintings. RELATED ARTICLES Truly in Hues of Blue ( Cool, Clear Water ( Daily Prompt: Water

Blue is the color of summer in Austin. Blue skies. Blue pools. Blue lakes. Blue neon. Blue tattoos. Blue is happy. Blue is what I see every time I go out with my camera in Austin. If you love blue and live in Austin, you're in luck. Austin has a lot of Blues: True Blue Tattoos  (above,... Continue Reading →

How Does Austin Beat the Heat?

Sunny and 102°?!  How to Beat the Heat? How else—with frog legs, fried pies and air conditioning. Indulge in some cocktails, then splurge on some Texas beef, after breakfast. Throw in some towers. Oh, and did we mention . . . beer? ♣ Recognize this Vanishing Austin icon?   BUY A PRINT: Choose from 99+ Vanishing Austin prints and a... Continue Reading →

Yes, it does. As noted in What's Vanished Since 2004, some of Austin's best treasures have gone missing since I began my Vanishing Austin photo series that spring. It was Las Manitas on Congress Avenue that vanished in a truly public way, and marked the first time Austin's sleepy citizens roused themselves to fight a corporate invasion that... Continue Reading →

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