Sunday, March 26, 2006

Shopping, Live Music, and Urban Legends

Woohoo, they let me out last night! I went to a party just west of Lamar near downtown, and since I was coming from Travis Heights, I figured I'd pop into Whole Foods - my first visit to the "new" location - and pick up a bottle of wine.

I goggled. The party was right up the hill from the modest little building which housed the original Whole Foods store - now a Cheapo Discs - a cozy, small-town-Austin-funky neighborhood grocery. It had large, friendly vegetables on the front and showed little indication of turning into a gigantic corporate empire.

Teddy and Marge was playing in the front yard when I arrived. It's a big old house, in pretty bad repair, that's been subdivided into cramped one-bedroom apartments. Oh, but the view... It's on the slope of the hill that rises up from Lamar, and if you stand on the front porch and look out, the Capitol building is staring you right in the face. Steps continue up the hill for the length of the backyard. Margie, her boyfriend Bill, and I climbed them and stood all alone at the silent top of the world, the outskirts of downtown spread below us and the tall buildings glowing like fairy castles.

Of course, the fairiest-castlest building in the Austin skyline is that pointy silver new one my kids call the Alien Nose Hair Trimmer. Bill told me he'd heard that the architect who designed it had been kicked out of UT and finished his degree at Rice, so when he was called to work on a design for an Austin building, he got the last laugh on UT by making the top of the building, when viewed from a certain angle, look like an owl, which is Rice's mascot.

Sound familiar?

The version Bill was told adds the detail that it's meant to look specifically like the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans.

It was a great party. Not every day do I get to turn down an offer to waltz in somebody's front yard (in these shoes? I don't think so) or sing with Margie Pargie through Attic Ted's sound system, which really needs to be looked at by a good electrician, because I don't think the phrase "hot mike" is supposed to mean it shocks the singer at random intervals.

Or maybe they were trying to tell me something.

Our hostess, I understand, is moving out of her apartment because the $650 a month is a bit steep for her, plus she'd kind of like a place that isn't missing part of the floor. I wonder if I could fit my whole family into a one-bedroom? Probably not, but it might be worth it for the view.

And I could shop at Whole Foods whenever I wanted!


At March 29, 2006 9:14 AM, Anonymous Annie in Austin said...

The nose trimmer resemblance was what my husband thought of at first sight, and that's the one that sticks in your head. My own first glance reminded me of the little mole crabs in Atlantic beach sand.
I had to read about the owl before I could see it!


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