Life on the East Side: Becoming a Realist and Learning to Love Where You Live
12.02.11 | 04:45 pm
The other night my boyfriend and I heard a loud boom outside of our house. Within minutes the crash was followed by sirens, one after another. Cops and fire trucks sped by and then stopped at the corner; we peeked out the window but couldn’t tell what was going on.
Concerned, we bundled up and headed outside to investigate. We stood on the corner staring into a sea of red and blue lights, trying to see what the commotion was. Finally, we asked a nearby cop, who informed us that a car had flipped over. We walked back into the house, wondering how the heck someone could flip their car in a 30 mile per hour neighborhood zone.
Fifteen minutes went by and we still heard the cops outside, working away; my curiosity got the best of me, so I went back out to inquire further. (We were told that the driver was ok and driven to the (more…)
There exists in Austin a magical place called Big Red Sun. It is a “full service design/build studio specializing in commercial and residential landscape services.” I’d rather call it botanical heaven. For any design junkie, this store will make you drool.
Also located in Venice Beach, California, Big Red Sun carries innovative landscape and design products such as the French-made Bacsac– collapsible above-ground planters, and Woollypocket, wall planters that not only add a fun aesthetic to any inside or outside wall, but are great tools for helping kids learn about gardening.
Big Red Sun is located in the heart of East Austin in an adapted rundown storefront. They were featured in the East Austin Studio Tour and I went to snap some pics. Take a look!
The first thing you notice in Big Red Sun is the knit, mutant-esque deer head plaques on the wall. Yarn tentacles from the deers’ head stretch across the ceiling.
Smack dead in the middle of the (more…)
Dear God I love E.A.S.T. so much!
Our opening night at Super!Alright! was a huge success! So many wonderful people showed up, bought some art, drank some booze and got down to the sweet jams of BK & Mr. E. E.A.S.T. is my favorite time of year because it’s the only time I can pretend that I’m an artist and pretend that I live in East Village circa 1980.
Take a look at some of the great artists showing their work at Super!Alright! below. So happy to be a part of this talented gang.
I will be posting more pictures this week and next from E.A.S.T.
Our gallery space at Super!Alright!
BK & Mr. E crooning sweet jams.
Artist Luther Himes confused and disorientated.
Acclaimed artist Jason Archer’s exhibit
My recycled magazine mosaic
Some of Luther Himes’ commissioned drawings
Adreon Henry’s commissioned Dean Stockwell paintings presented to the actor at the Albuquerque Film Festival. His Blue Velvet paintings were particularly my favorite.
Jacob Villanueva’s (more…)
It’s East Austin Studio Tour time and once again I made stuff. Stuff being the appropriate word here because I’m not really an artist. This is something I share in great detail today on my CultureMap post titled, “The Subjectiveness of Art: Why I Can’t Help Judging Mine (And Why You Should, Too)“. There I talk about my love for making serial killer-related art, Frank Zappa masks and how I blow hate-filled kisses towards Miranda July. I’m usually not one to ask this, but if you read the article and kind of like it, please hit ‘like’ on the Facebook icon. This way CultureMap won’t think I’m a loser.
I love E.A.S.T. I love walking around the eastside and seeing interesting art and running into old friends. Every E.A.S.T. our group at Super!Alright! puts on an exhibit and tonight is the big opening party! Usually 500+ people show up and by 4AM we have rainbow-color Four Loko puke on the walls. We are featuring some pretty big name artists and have complimentary drinks from Treaty Oaks (more…)
I’m currently reading David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries– a 30 year hodge-podge of his observations, diary entries, and blog posts about urbanization, gentrification and transportation taken from the perspective of a bicycle. Byrne often has a child-like approach to observing the world. Everything about us fascinates him. One can see this curiosity in his songs, “Once in a Lifetime“, “The Big Country“, “Neighborhood“, and “Strange Overtones“, or his 1986 cinematic love letter to Texas, True Stories. Though he’s by no means an expert on anything other than dancing like a mentally challenged person, I’ve always valued Byrne’s commentary. He looks for the deeper meaning behind the obvious and makes us think differently about how we view the mundane and the taken for granted.
In Bicycle Diaries, Byrne takes us on his adventures through major international cities such as Istanbul, Manila, Buenos Aires and American cities like San Francisco, New Orleans, and his current (more…)
“This is how people become alcoholics,” I said to my boyfriend as he handed me a bottle of the only liquor he had in the house. The liquor I so hastily requested as we sat listening to the helicopters circling our neighborhood. Even though it tasted like cough syrup that had been sitting in someone’s medicine chest for decades and had begun the fermentation process, I couldn’t drink what was left of that Barcardi Razz fast enough. It was 3AM and I needed to drown out all the thoughts of whatever manhunt was currently going down on the eastside, the reports of gunshots downtown, and the fact that once again my car was broken into less than 24 hours prior.
I can’t find any data that confirms this, but I feel that Memorial Day is a day particularly saved for criminal activity. It’s the gateway into the summer- the time when temperatures rise and so does crime. Evil-doers are giving us just a little taste of what’s to come. Sticky and sweaty lawlessness.
Some of you know, my car had (more…)
Lately I’ve had this growing illogical fear that every single evening someone is trying to break into my house.
Every single night.
Typically around 4AM.
I guess that would make it morning then? 4AM is that ungodly time that really deserves it’s own time of day. It’s the gateway from night into morning. It’s dark and ominous and you most likely won’t hear a soul except for the psychopath hiding outside your window. My window. He likes to hang out there and tap melodies on the pane and dance on dead leaves. He’s a pretty bad dancer from what I can tell, but are psychopaths ever really good dancers?
This fear has begun effecting my life greatly. My sleeping patterns have become distressed and I often wake up to my heart pounding through my chest. Recently I even found myself standing on the street corner in my silk robe dialing 911 in one hand and brandishing an Ikea paring knife and Swiffer mop in the other. That evening I was absolutely convinced someone was in my house and (more…)
People under the age of 20 scare the living hell out of me.
Teenagers have zero understanding of how life works. Unless they grew up in a Little Orphan Annie-type setting. Then they understand the way life works more than I’ll ever want to know. Because most teenagers are inexperienced with the ways of the world, they are prone to doing terrible and illogical things such as shooting animals, driving drunk, taking dumps in public spaces, and wearing pajama bottoms for pants.
When I think about the potential ways that I am to expire, death by teenager is one of my greatest fears. Teenagers act without knowledge of ramifications. They will shoot you point blank with a smile and then go eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. THEY WILL EAT YOUR FIRSTBORN AND THEN USE THEIR RIB CAGES AS TOOTHPICKS.
If you don’t agree with me, take a look at this story that happened on Friday night.
A friend and I were out and about on the hipster-centric east side of Austin. After the bars closed, (more…)