Monday, December 17, 2012

. . . on to Austin

On the way into Austin the truck rolls over . . . to 200K miles that is.  And the DUBY keeps on crusin'.

We journey into Austin and land at an AirBnB spot that is perfect.  A mid-century modern house in northeast Austin with an attached 1 bedroom apartment.  One of the owners is a mid-century furniture dealer and has furnished the place in period.  At about 650 sqft (1 1/2 times the size of our first NY apartment) it does the job admirably.  If we were here in the warmer weather there is even a pool.  When we lived in Austin this would have been WAY out of town.  Now it is VERY convenient to everything.  Go figure.

We take in the Blanton museum on the UT campus for a Buddhist Thangka exhibit from Theos Bernard's collection from 1937.  Interesting museum and a nice addition to campus art but the architecture leaves a bit to be desired.  This was the museum that had initially been designed by the international architecture firm of Herzog and de Meuron but was deemed too modern by one of our esteemed Board of Regent's members.  Herzog and de Meuron declined the commission and one of our local Texas architects completed the building.  It is a typical red tile roof and limestone edifice that fits right in with the Paul Cret campus design.  The only problem is the scale.  It simply looks like a typical campus building on steroids.  Way too big.  What a shame.  UT lost an opportunity for a world-class building.

First night in Austin we meet up with our Buddhist friends for a meditation at their center.  Good friends, many of whom we saw in New York at the Phowa.  They have a live-in center with six residents.  several more make up the sangha.  Great folks all.

The next night is dinner with old friends Jerry and Amy.  We go back WAY too far and it is always nice to catch up.  They take us to a wonderful spot on 6th Street where we eat too much and marvel at the circus that 6th Street has become.  What used to be the heart of Texas rock and roll has now become our very own Bourbon Street.  Kind of unfortunate actually.  There is however some interesting art on the street . . .

 On Friday I drive up to Center City with my friend Dale to the funeral for Virginia.  Virginia was a friend and mother to dear friends from high school and the years in between.   Hard to believe it has been 40+ years of knowing them.  It was just by chance that things worked out that I could go.  A familiar reunion for a sad occasion in a wonderful small country Texas church.  A chance to see friends after many years.  

Saturday is simply a day of doing nothing - or very little.  Just catching up with all those things we must do to exist in the world (insurance, bills, etc...) and taking a day to be easy.  Then we end the weekend with a trip to the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.  We meet up with Debbie and Pat again and have a chance to see the Lounge Lizards performing wonderfully politically incorrect music.  Long live the Lizards!

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