Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Austin and San Antonio

You Don't need teef but Teeth help
Its a salon not a BBQ joint.

I’m not going to lie to you but when people told me I’ll like Austin Texas as much as I liked New Orleans or Nashville I thought.. “Ohh… You don’t know me that well”. Now being here I realized… “No… I didn’t know Austin that well”. Austin gets the joke. It’s a great city (let alone the capitol of the state I fear I wouldn’t like at all).

In the middle of a dessert of conservative, Christian Texas- Austin is an oasis for people who don’t take themselves that seriously- I hate when people think just because they LIVE in a place- it is much superior to other places (I live in NYC- I see so many of these people who don’t cross bridges and see the beauty of the rest of the country and turn their noses up at them). Texas always came across to me like this- to quote my colleague Frank Vignola “You want to succeed from the union….. see you at the Olympics”.

This is Stubbs joint.. "Trust me I'm a cook"
Something rubs me the wrong way when I hear a New Yorker refer to middle America as fly over states or Texas say how much better they are from the rest of the country- now I’m in Austin and I see why they think this way… But Austin gets the joke and almost plays with it.

When I am here (or in the south) I start feeling like, maybe in another life I was southern. I can get into the groove and used to this life style. I love it down here as much as I love home.. Hell maybe that means I love travel and enjoy different cultures... Maybe more people need to get out and see the world and maybe stop stereotyping cultures and judging their people.

Maybe we can all enjoy each others company and better each others lives or at least share some of these recipes so I can eat this kind of food back home. 

Great bar- used to be a real Depot
One of Austin's most unique nightspots is housed in an old Missouri-Pacific train depot. Real train cars serve as seating areas, and the ladies restroom is a real caboose!  I Don't need to add a joke here- you already thought it...

The building that houses Donn's Depot was transported, via train tracks, from McNeil, Texas, to its current location about 30 years ago.

The King... and Elvis costume

On any given night you will find an eclectic crowd ranging from students to retirees. Donn's depot bridges the generation gap with its diverse range of mucisians and musical genres, ranging from swing, country, and modern folk/pop.
One of the coolest thing here is seeing teenagers and older folks share a dance floor and not think a thing about it.
During one of the bands sets this old couple got up and started slow dancing to this bluesy loud guitar songs- even through the transitions he didn't miss a beat- In fact we were laughing because he looked like Hank Hill and Lady Bird competing for the dog dance trophy.

Second Coolest street in Austin

The Famous 6th Street: Reason its famous- it's classy bourbon street: 

Likely Texas' best known street, the seven block's of 6th Street between Congress and IH 35 is where the cool kids go to party.

6th Street is the heart of Austin's live entertainment scene and the capital of third coast music. 

Ya Gotta respect Willie Nelson Blvd though.

Sixth Street (formerly known as Pecan Street) is lined with many historical houses and commercial buildings dating from the late 1800's and early 1900's. The storied old buildings now house numerous bars, a host of live entertainment venues, tattoo parlors, art galleries, casual cafes, upscale restaurants, and the Haunted Driskill Hotel. 
Live music of every genre is found here- You can't walk down the street without people trying to bark you in their venue with drink specials and live music. 

Angelina Eberly: We are about to make out.

In 1842, six years after Texas won its independence from Mexico. President (of Texas) Sam Houston thought Austin was an inappropriate location for the capitol of Texas, and campaigned to have it moved to a city he found more to his taste—Houston… What a wad of crap- just because they have the same name?!.
 When the citizens of Austin resisted his attempts to move the capitol, Houston sent a delegation of Texas Rangers to steal the government archives (no different from today’s thieves in office). They would have succeeded if it had not been for a fiery local innkeeper named Angelina Eberly, who heard the rangers loading their wagons in the middle of the night. She hurried down to the the corner of what is now Sixth and Congress and fired off the town cannon, missing the rangers but blowing a hole in the General Land Office building- Like all great women- Crazy as hell. The cannon fire roused the populace, who chased down the rangers and recovered the archives near Brushy Creek. Had it not been for Angelina’s impulsive and crazy gesture, Houston would now be the capitol of Texas. In a very real sense, Angelina Eberly was the savior of Austin.

They love them some Elvis

Mean Eyed Cat

 We ran around and Tomorrow we will hang and listen to some live music. Donn's has my vote along with Mean Eyed Cat- a Johny Cash Bar. Her are some shots of the bars.

The Driskill Hotel: Most Haunted Place in Austin

Room 525, which in 1998 re-opened after years of being off limits is one of the hubs of ghostly activity in guest rooms. For years the Driskill staff had closed the room and used it as storage. The doorway leading into the bathroom had been bricked up due to an Austin urban legend known as the "suicide brides." This legend claims that two women had committed suicide in that bathroom 20 years apart to the day. This is far from confirmed. Although a woman is known to have ended her life on the 4th floor, room 525 is one floor up and had already been closed off by then. The exact history of 525 may never be known, since the room's closing predates all current staff members. When reconstruction forced the re-opening in 1998, many strange things happened. The room needed to be painted four times, as the walls kept peeling. An air conditioning vent that was left lying on the floor blew cold air. When it was moved the blowing stopped. One of the workers described an unusual but distinct humming in his chest upon entering the bathroom. When the brick was torn down, the bathtub was full of crystal clear water. The faucet was not dripping, the floor was dry, and that room had been closed off for years!

This is Spanky and Feldman- both named after Hollywood legends
Comedy Tonight- Its so Cheesy

Barton Springs: where Robert Redford learned to swim,  is a swimming hole in Austin that is half man made- it is fresh water that comes out of springs and the city uses as a swimming joint.

Of course they go together... duh?!

The Capitol: You can just walk right in- they will let anyone in... explains bush'e run in there.

Looking up the Dome
House of  Rep meet here.

You can fart in this spot and everyone in the capitol would hear it: Politics as Usual

At these prices they are paying us to go out
Well Its time to go see some of that night life here everyone talks about. We saw 6 quality bands (I mean super amazing bands) for $12 total covers..

The Saxon: Doug Grissom and Bruce Hughes and the All Nude Army

The Continental: Uncle Lucious and upstairs room (the galliery) Ephraim Owens, Hector Ward and The Big Time

Antones: The Walers (as in Bob Marley and the Whalers)

This must have been what the 80's where like with gas this cheap and people letting us in without a cover to see some of the best music I ever heard.
Hector Ward is in The wheel chair- He had an Elvis Quality about him

Chris Gaffneys Table
Joining Chris For a drink at The Continental

The Continental: Started in 1957, this BYOB (it was dry back then) it became famous place to see amazing music and drink hassle free later became the first burlesque club (in the 60's) .

Chilling Back Stage

These guys totally Rocked

Bruce Hughes
Doug Grissom
Shredding the hell out of the guitar

If your at The Saxon: You gotta be good
My Camera died by the time I got to Antone's.
In 1975 Antones opened and had amazing acts hit the stage as “greats” as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Los Lonely Boys, Bono & The Edge of U2, to Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, to Eric Clapton, to Dwight Yoakam to Bruce Willis and Elvis Costello.

In July of 2009, Antone’s Nightclub celebrated its 34th Anniversary and is undeniably a major reason that Austin, Texas is considered The Live Music Captial of the World.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shots from Photographer Carlotta Holley