Art and Mystery at Bouldin Creek

Sometimes I get giddy about how much I love Austin, like when I used to be in love with Shaun Cassidy when I was a kid and he was a Hardy Boy. Here is a good example. I was walking with my brother, Sparkles and Buttercup to Torchy’s Tacos on South First the other day when we ran into random mosaic art built into a bridge over Boudlin Creek¬† at 402 El Paso Street.

I love mosaics because they are three-dimensional and have a texture that you can feel with your hands. They have cool colors and different materials like glass, mirror, ceramic and metal. This mosaic didn’t seem planned by a master city planner as part of an overall design, it felt organic and natural and a little bit rebellious. Not that I don’t like super-planned art, I just like some of both. The art is by Stefanie Distefano and there are other year-round Yard Art places in town. (The Yard Art Tour has many more locations, it happens in April.) So, this art is unique, but it isn’t unique in Austin to be this unique. (Does that make sense?)

But that isn’t all that happened that day.

On the way to eat tacos, the creek was clear.

On the way back, the creek was muddy.

We decide to investigate the mystery.

Just upstream, there is a tiny trail, unmarked and unofficial, so we hold hands and head that way. After a short walk, my brother sees it, run-off from a neighborhood dumping into the creek. So we follow the muddy water flowing beside the curbs to see where it leads.

We made a right turn at the next street. Then we crossed the street. Then we found it.

It was bizarre to see water bubbling through asphalt and cement. The same water that can flow harmlessly through our fingers, can break through the streets that hold up our cars. It ends up the heat is causing more water pipe breaks in the city, because the ground is shifting.

Yes, the city is too hot. But, with Austin’s random art and random hikes, not to mention Damn Good Tacos,¬† it’s worth it.

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The Beast Behind the Secret Door

Elizabet Ney Austin, Texas

I’m not sure how it happened, but the girls ended up in their super pretty princess dresses an hour before it was time to leave for the Halloween party. I wasn’t sure how to keep them busy and clean at the same time.

Then I remembered the castle.

Elisabet Ney - Austin, Texas

An hour was the perfect amount of time to see the castle and how perfect that they were dressed as princesses and we could finally find out if there was a Beast living there.

Sparkles, Buttercup and I played at Shipe Park during the summer and you can see the Elisabet Ney museum from there. Sparkles thought it looked like a castle and she wondered if a Beast lived there, like in Beauty and the Beast, her very favorite movie of all time.

So we went to the castle, dressed like princesses. Sparkles asked the docent if there was a beast living in this castle and she said “No.” Sparkles looked disappointed then the docent looked confused.

Sparkles and Buttercup looked at all the sculptures and asked questions like “Why is that man asleep?” and “Whose baby is that?” Well, these were sculptures of people who were dead, but I told them they were just sleeping and the Mommy was in the next room.

They liked climbing the stairs and seeing the houses in the neighborhood from the 2nd story windows. A friend met us there and with the extra help, we were able to climb a skinny spiral staircase to a tiny room with a secret door. Maybe there was a beast after all…

It was a great Halloween adventure. Thanks Elisabet Ney. Thanks Austin, Texas.


It’s the Same, Just Different

Several weeks ago (my posting isn’t always timely or in order, that is for sure), Blue Eyes, Sparkles, Buttercup and I went to the Yard Art Tour. (Many thanks to Spike Gillespie for her more timely post.) We started at the house of The Sharon Smith, where we saw this…

The Sharon Smith at the 2010 Austin Yard Art Tour

And, while there were 23 homes on the tour, sometimes things are different with little kids, so after we smelled poop, and not from the kid wearing the diaper, we headed home. I might think that I didn’t get to see much art, but I’d rather think that at this pace, I’ll never run out of art to see. It’s kind of the same with little ones, just a little different.