This post is really the tail end of my previous post. Sunday, April 7, 2013, was an overcast day, but I was tired of being in the house. I decided to go somewhere that I seldom go – downtown Austin. I ended up walking south on Congress Avenue from the Texas State Capitol down to 2nd Street, where I turned around and headed back north – until I got to 6th Street.
I was travelling light. I brought only my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, with the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens, and my X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. No camera bag, no tripod, not even a spare battery or a hat.
The truth is, I was just trying to get back to where I parked my car, which was three blocks east of Congress Avenue, on Trinity Street between and East 8th and East 9th Streets. I thought that 6th Street might be a “more scenic” route than 7th or 8th Street.
Within the first block after turning east on 6th Street, on the north side of the street sits the very historic Driskill Hotel, which has very recently been purchased by the Hyatt
I had my lens zoomed to as wide as it would go, which was 12mm (24mm equivalent), and even then I couldn’t get the entire front of the hotel into the frame. This is the only photo that I took that day where I wish I had some different equipment with me. My Canon 5D Mark II with the 24mm Tilt-Shift lens would have allowed me to capture the same photo – and not have the hotel seeming to be falling backwards (due to the perspective distortion). On the other hand, this would have been the ONLY photo that I would have wanted to be lugging that Canon camera (and a bag with at least one extra lens). Instead, this is “as good as I could do, with what I had with me”…
At the very first corner, which is Brazos Street, this is the view looking northeast along East 6th Street. Most Austinites do not see this scene at 4:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon. Actually most Austinites never see this scene, as East 6th Street is a one-way street, with traffic coming straight towards you in this next photo.
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I really don’t have much more of a story to tell. I only walked 2 more blocks along the south side of East 6th Street before I turned north on Trinity Street to get back to my car. Even though I don’t have much of a verbal story to tell, I did capture several photos within those 2 blocks that I would like to share with you!
People from all over the country (the world?) that come to visit Austin and ask “What’s there to do in this town?” are told about East 6th Street as one of the first suggestions. Obviously then, there are several businesses that cater to those who are visiting Austin.
Everyone who lives in Austin has heard or seen the slogan “Keep Austin Weird”. Most find it amusing, but nobody finds it offensive. This web site claims to be the origin of this slogan. I don’t really care, I just liked the tie-dyed T-shirt one vendor had hanging outside their front door.
And while you’re out partying on 6th Street, maybe you’ll have your thought processed altered enough that you might think that this is a good idea. 🙂
But really, the reason people come to East 6th Street is to drink and to listen to live music. I’ve never been to the Chuggin’ Monkey, but I like their sign….
After crossing San Jacinto Blvd, here’s another view looking northeast toward Trinity Street. Note that there really are not any modern buildings on East 6th Street, like there were back on Congress Avenue.
On the southeast corner of East 6th Street and Trinity Street sits Maggie Mae’s. I always thought that it was named after an old (but great) Rod Stewart song called Maggie May, but evidently the real story behind the name of this bar can be found here.
This little blackboard sign was in front of Maggie Mae’s, and I thought it was funny enough to photograph it.
OK, now that I was at Trinity Street, I needed to head north for two blocks to get back to my car. While still standing right outside of Maggie Mae’s, I looked back to the west, towards Congress Avenue, where you can see the modern buildings along Congress Avenue towering over the older buildings along East 6th Street.
Look closer at the photo above, and see if you can see the pair of cowboy boots dangling above the street…
It was just a quick, rather uneventful 2 block walk back to my trusty Honda CR-V.
Even though I had only been walking for 1 hour and 20 minutes, the time had just flown by, and I was certainly glad that I had left the house, despite the overcast and dreary sky that had been so prevalent earlier in the day.
It just goes to show you that sometimes you just need to get out there, and make the best of what you can of it.
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