At a much-loved Austin coffee shop on West 6th Street in Clarksville, a young man behind the counter handed me my biscotti, looking on in astonishment at my Vanishing Austin series. "All these places are gone??" he asked, seeming a bit dumbfounded.
"No no no," I told him hastily. "This series of photographs is my take on what Austin stands to lose whenever a new high-rise condo overtakes the old-style artsy Austin buildings with all the charm and funk and personality that these have." (well, I said that more or less.)
He seemed relieved.
"But look," I pointed out. "Already this is gone. And this. This, too." We both looked longingly at the Alamo Drafthouse neon sign that once enlivened the Warehouse District (I called my image Remember the Alamo). And we contemplated the image I called Frisco Gold, where soon Walgreen's would stand in place of the Frisco-Nighthawk's vivid golden orange-roofed home on Burnet Road.
But his face lit up when he saw the one-of-a-kind mural that Marriott would soon raze--painted on the side of the building next to Las Manitas (Avenue Cafe) on Congress. "That Joseph's mural," he explained about the image I call Stylin' High, "I love seeing that mural because that's my name. Joseph."
We both considered this loss solemnly.
He promised to visit my Vanishing Austin blog and post a comment.