2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin

2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin


Next Sunday, April 22, 2012, from 11am-5pm, is the 2012 Downtown Living Tour.  The Tour is a showcase of homes located in Downtown Austin, and is put on by the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (it’s DANA’s only fundraiser, and helps keep the organization chugging throughout the rest of the year).  A portion of proceeds this year will also go to The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

The 2012 Downtown Living Tour has [Read more…]

Artwork By Mike Johnston (The Day I Found Treasure At Austin Java)

Artwork By Mike Johnston (The Day I Found Treasure At Austin Java)


mike johnston artist at Austin Java

On Saturday, I walked into Austin Java on 2nd Street, ’bout to get my omelet on.  Chillaxin.  There I was, standing in line, just looking around, and I realize that every piece of art work on the walls is making an impact on me.

A flyer taped to the wall explained most of the artwork was by Mike Johnston.  Life surprised me with these paintings.  All of them bringing a smile to my face.  They put a skip into my step.  14 pieces in total.  Each is repurposed scrap wood.

I purchased every piece in the store.

I couldn’t carry everything home, so I walked home beaming at my purchase, and returned later to pick up my treasure.

“Street art” is one of my favorite visual mediums. Bold, unexpected, high-contrast, ironic, symbolic, stylized, comical, etc.  Some of my favorite “public art” is found on the Lady Bird Lake train overpass, the Lamar underpass, the wall on Castle Hill, the wall on E 5th Street near Saltillo Station.

I’ve seen Exit Through The Gift Shop, and am basically familiar with the work of Shepard Fairey and Banksy.  Which makes me no more than a casual fan of a couple of notable artists.

I didn’t know about Mike until walking into Austin Java, and that’s part of what made this such a nice discovery.  I’m excited to have a collection of local art work that totally vibes with me.  I look at it and smile.

As I research and learn more about Mike and his work the more happy I am to be the newest host of these paintings – which will probably be on the walls of our soon-to-be-redone office (you should stop by in a few weeks to check it out).  Until then, check out more of Mike’s work here.



Somethin’s Happenin’ Here… What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear…

Somethin’s Happenin’ Here… What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear…

2nd St Mannequin Duo

Remember that great old Buffalo Springfield song? Well those were the lyrics that started going through my head as I spotted this scene unfolding tonight in the long-vacant retail space in City Hall, at the SE corner of 2nd Street / Willie Nelson Blvd and Guadalupe.

What I do know is the sweet vibe of SXSW is definitely in the air all around Downtown on these 80-degree late February days. The countdown is on: only 16 more days til Austin starts rockin’ off its hinges!  And I don’t just mean with music… but also energy, enthusiasm, innovation, creativity, knowledge, adventure, technology.  It’s a week when we all can really visualize Austin’s future as a global creative capital.

[Read more…]

Mega Hotel Subsidy Draws Fire From Austin Council

Mega Hotel Subsidy Draws Fire From Austin Council

congress ave hotel

It seems that having Armbrust & Brown attorney Richard Suttle as the representative of the hotel developers I wrote about Monday may be a little too hot for some council members to handle.

On Tuesday morning, Council Members Bill Spelman, Sheryl Cole and Laura Morrison seemed skeptical that his clients need almost $4 million in city breaks to help to build a hotel downtown.

Students of city politics should note that the power base at city council has now shifted from Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez and Chris Riley — who are losing defeated incumbent Randi Shade — to the other council members, who are gaining Kathie Tovo next month.

[Read more…]

Second Bar + Kitchen in Downtown Austin

Second Bar + Kitchen in Downtown Austin

Grilled Cheese from Second

Second Bar + Kitchen is aptly named for it’s Congress Ave @ Second Street location.  But don’t think for a second that the food isn’t first-rate (wakka wakka!).

On a whim, I ventured over to Second a couple of Sundays ago (after a morning coffee at the Austonian’s Caffe Medici) and was pleasantly surprised by the food and the atmosphere of the restaurant. I was seated on the second story, which was a small, covered balcony with simple tables and faux grass carpeting: [Read more…]

W Hotel Glass Falls

W Hotel Glass Falls

w hotel window fail

The Statesman reported that glass panels fell from the W Hotel residences on Friday.

Amber was at La Condesa when she heard the crash, and snapped this pic that shows where the culprit glass panes fell from.  Crazy!

Urban Outfitters Shacking Up At The W Austin Hotel

Urban Outfitters Shacking Up At The W Austin Hotel

Urban Outfitters downtown Austin

The 2nd Street shopping district is likely to get a jolt from patrons still paying off college loans with a new Urban Outfitters clothing store.

As evident by the colorful graffiti, the faux-thrift store (call it ironic?) retailer has plans to move into the ground floor of The W Austin Hotel, which opened in December 2010.

I shop exclusively at Kohl’s, but allegedly Urban Outfitters’ new spot is a big deal because their only other Austin location is not so far away on Guadalupe Street, up near the University of Texas main campus. Perhaps they are targeting the PBS Austin City Limits crowd from shows taped there?

Jokes aside, this is a vindication that downtown Austin is becoming a destination and not in the way of “urban pioneers” loading up on Gatorade and PB&J to venture out of suburbia, like they do in Ohio.

For a number of reasons, Urban Outfitters joins the ranks of business interests investing in downtown Austin.

Cole Broadhead, a principal at Retail Solutions, said the folks at Urban Outfitters “do their homework.”

“Those deals take a long time,” he said. “They do a ton of research.”

Cinco De Mayo Party Worth Checking Out

Cinco De Mayo Party Worth Checking Out

Cinco De Mayo Puppy

If you haven’t made your Cinco De Mayo plans yet – I would check out this event at La Condesa / Malverde in Downtown Austin’s 2nd Street District.  It’s a hip spot with a killer vibe, and I always enjoy myself when I’m there. And there’s no cover, so there’s that….

Malverde has long been one of my fave places to go when I’m feeling a bit hip and want to enjoy a swanky view.  There’s always good music, good people, and good drinks.  The same goes for the restaurant below, La Condesa.  The interior finish out of the place is a reason to go to the restaurant in and of itself, IMO.

The event begins at 5pm (appropriately) at La Condesa.  There promises to be lots of yummy food and drink to enjoy.  Don’t siesta on this fiesta!

Flyer after the jump: [Read more…]

Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS ® (alternatively, from ACTRIS) for the period through 12/20/14 6:31 AM PST. Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided “AS IS” and with all faults. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Information being provided is for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

This IDX solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2014.