Monday, October 27, 2008

We Used to Be Weird

About ten years ago, merchants on South Congress just south of the Congress street bridge in an area that was then known as 'the strip'started feeling the pinch of rising property values and big box stores. Some of them came up with a slogan. "Keep Austin Weird" started showing up on bumperstickers, T-shirts, beer cozies, etc. It then got co-opted by the bigger businesses and the city government, who have pretty much made it meaningless. A case in point- these three bulidings. One is brand new to Austin, one is in Sydney Austrailia, one is in Tampa, and one is in Atlanta.

I borrowed the shot of the one in Sydney from Pam's blog. The others are from commercial sites promoting the buildings or the design firm.


lime said...

ugh...soulless glass highrises. where are the funky places that give it charm. philly used to be unique when the zoning prohibitted any building that soared over the head willim penn's statue. when they wanted to develop more that fell by the wayside and now it's another city full of high rises.

Sienna said...

That is uncanny!
(BTW you are welcome to any pics, consider my corner of the world yours).

The strangest thing happened near that building, a couple of friends and I went for a stroll in the evening, walking ahead was a woman and man, arm in arm...he stopped at one stage and walked back to us and said to me "your not from here are you.."
(he meant Sydney, the city)

I had been just walking along, thinking about how busy, beautiful in some ways, but lonely this city was...he told me how he and his wife had retired here, how they loved the anonymity of the city-it was completely the opposite to what I was I feeling..

It was like he had picked up the vibes and wanted to explain how a contrast of feeling on this was okay? You know it was the only conversation about Sydney, (with a local) I had in the two days I was there, the feeling that Sydney was home for them, just as my wide open spaces and nature were my home...


MsLittlePea said...

At least you guys try to embrace weird. I wish my town was weird.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Austin is still a blue oasis in the desert of red that is Texas.

But yes, So-Co is not what is was 15 years ago.

seventh sister said...

Yes, Lime, soulless is a goodo adjective for them.

Pam, I think they were all done by the same architects. That firm is getting a lot of loot for one design.

Sorry, mlp, FLA is never gonna be weird. Funky, maybe, but weird, never.

BSR, Soco is not even 15 years old, maybe 1o at most. It was the strip until some little twit at the Chronicle called it SoCo and that was the end of a good thing. I don't use the term SoCo preferring South Congress so as not to be to trendy.