Let’s first start off with some historical facts. Austin is the Capital of the Lone Star State. It is also the seat for Travis County and the 11th most populous city in the United States, and the 4th most populous in Texas. According to the United States Census Bureau’s July 1, 2015, Austin has an estimated population of 932,000. It’s located in central Texas’s hill country and home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways. In the 1830’s the first Anglo settlers arrived and called their village “Waterloo”, which was on the banks of the Colorado River. In 1839, tiny Waterloo was chosen to be the capital of the Republic of Texas.
Waterloo changed to ‘Austin’ on behalf of Stephen F. Austin. He is known as the “Father of Texas” and the Republics first Secretary of State. A number of Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters or regional offices in Austin. So there you have it. A few tidbits regarding this great city.
I like to begin by sightseeing in places that are free to anyone who visits Austin. Let’s start with the “Hope Outdoor Gallery”. Can you ‘see me through your eyes yet’? Yes, the short one… I’m wearing jeans and standing on a barrel in front of the Eagle’s beak.
This vital educational project is managed by a non-profit organization named Hope Events. It was officially launched in March of 2011 with the help of a contemporary artist by the name of Shepard Fairey.
I took the opportunity to spray
paint our travel site’s name (pictured left) and enjoyed it immensely! This is the only paint park of its kind in the United States. This was developed to provide a place for muralists, street artists, and community groups to express their thoughts in art form. It gives opportunities to display large scale art pieces driven by inspiration, positive, and educational messaging.
It has become an inspirational outlet and creative destination for all who visit. It is also recognized as one of the Top 10 Artistic attractions in Texas.
I can see through my eyes an artist by the name of Helena Martin doing her art work. During my tour around Austin, I would see her artwork all around town.
Here at 206 East Elizabeth St., “Seen through my eyes” is the “Before I Die, I want to… wall (pictured below – right). This too is a public participatory art project that invites people to contemplate death, reflect on life, and share their personal aspiration for all to view. Candy Chang is the one who started this by expressing her grief and depression publicly. Before I Die Walls have now been created in over 70 countries including Iraq, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and South Africa.
Yes, of course I wrote on the wall. My first one was directed towards my publisher, Anthony Scopel. Known to me as Antonio. “Before I Die”, I want to own You, Me and The Dock!
The weather in Austin mid-March can be very comfortable. The sun isn’t to hot quite yet. However, a light jacket is always good to have when traveling this time of year.
Are you ready for the next stop? Let’s go and see a mural that is located on the Southern exterior wall of the Roadhouse Relics.
This particular mural (pictured left) joined the neighborhood business district in 1998. The artist and owner Todd Sanders and his very good friend Rory Skagen recreated this Austin postcard. This added light to a neighborhood that at the time was taking a turn for the worst.
Bringing an influence that will draw people together can save a community from destroying itself. Art is an expression that saves lives.
You’re seeing through my eyes a “Willie for President” public artwork located at 1423 S. Congress Ave. Why not… right! The artists responsible for this mural’s placement are Jacqui Oakley, joined by Erick Montes, and Joe Swec.
Willie Nelson has his own street, statue and now several murals in Austin. Willie embodies the spirit of Austin, which invokes the fans to honor Willie Nelson for what he has given to this artistic city.
Okay, are you ready to go and ‘see through my eyes’, the rest of Congress Avenue? Then lets’ get going!
Congress Avenue isn’t just Austin’s main street. It happens to go over ‘The Lady Bird Lake’ and onto the Texas’s State Capital in the heart of downtown. Congress Ave. is a nationally known shopping and cultural district with many small retailers, restaurants, art venues, and food trucks.
More Home Slice Pizza was established in November of 2005 by three great friends. A married couple Jen and Joseph Strickland, and partner Terri Hannifin combined their passion for food. Their vision for an Austin institution based on the original goodness of authentic New York style pizza was born.
Uncommon Objects on Congress Ave. was established in 1991 by Steve Weiman and business partner at the time Ed Gage. Since 2006, Steve has been the sole proprietor and employs 24 hardworking antique collectors who currently show and sell their valuable treasures. The shop carries every imaginable type of ‘uncommon objects’.
As I look north towards downtown Austin – under the second longest branch (photo), you can see a small part of the state capital building. People were frowning at me while I was standing in the middle of the street to get this photograph. Like every other city, people are always in such a hurry.
The Pennybacker Bridge stretches across Lake Austin and connects the northern & southern 360 highway loop. The bridge was constructed so no part of its structure touches the water that sits a 100 feet below. The bridge is 1,150 feet long with a 600-foot central arched span. At the time of construction – 1982, it was only the second bridge of its kind in the world.
The helicopter service, Helo Austin provides fantastic tours and is well worth the adventure.
So there you have it, “Seen through my eyes” for all my followers. I hope you enjoyed my tour showcasing the great city of Austin, Texas. I want to thank all the fantastic people who I met along the way.
There are many more places to see and experience when in Austin. Try visiting the Science Center, Butler Park, Mount Bonnell, Zilker Park, and Texas’s Memorial Museum.
God bless you all and until the next, “Seen through my eyes” adventure, safe travels!