Cheeky Roadside Memorabilia (With A Coulrophobia Warning)

Retro advertising signs and characters

I’m sharing these pictures, taken in the backyard at Austin’s Roadhouse Relics, for the weekly photo challenge, cheeky. I recommend you take a look at the other submissions, if only to see Michelle’s cheeky parrot, shared for our inspiration.

The figures along the roof are the cheeky bit in this picture, although the picture is doubling as a delaying tactic as I know there are increasing amounts of people with a fear of clowns.

I assume quite a few of these are not familiar with the term coulrophobia, which makes me wonder why we give such strange terms to fears. Believe me, if you have a phobia, you want a good clear warning. Obfustication is the last thing you need with danger approaching (that word must have more than a hint of irony in it, surely?).

But, to back to my ~~~warning~~~ if you share this fear, please look no further.  Continue reading

Thursday Doors: Blue Sky Door

Door painted with landscape and a floating armadillo

This characterful door hasn’t experienced much traffic lately, as the untrampled wildflowers bear witness. It is part of the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture (Southpop) complex on South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas – or just around the corner from it.

I found this picture particularly tricky to write alt text for. How do you describe it in just a few words to a person who can’t see it? Continue reading

Americana: Neon Signs

Broken Spoke sign

Our eye is often caught by things that seem a little exotic. This week’s photo challenge (names) has reminded me to share images of neon branding signs you can hardly miss seeing. The last sign in particular is the kind we don’t often see in the UK.

The first decorates the entrance of Broken Spoke, on Lamar Boulevard in Austin, TX. Dating back to 1964, you’ll see this country music venue variously described as a honky-tonk, the earliest stomping grounds of Willie Nelson or the last of the true Texas Dancehalls.  Continue reading

Cities at Night

New Orleans at night seen from the river

Many pictures have a hidden story. We can all see how the river softens and reflects the city lights, but this picture has a mental soundtrack for me. A wisp of smoke towards the top right brings back memories of the steam calliope playing its wavering tune of valediction to New Orleans as we paddle off up the Mississippi River on the other-worldly American Queen steamboat.

The shot below was supposed to show bats streaming out at dusk from their home under Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. You might just make out the heads of some of the watchers peering from the top of the bridge on the left, but you’ll have to take my word that there were bats – hundreds of thousands of them – all with the invisibility cloak of my faulty technique. But no matter.

Bat vigil in Austin, Texas

While scoring nil out of a hundred thousand for the bats, by serendipity, I’ve ended up with this Gustav Klimt style view of the city and its people gathered on boats, bridge and banks to witness the little creatures emerging from their bat bridge.   Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant Street Art

Hog by Bob Wade for hopecampaign.org

I’m out of my depth here. I don’t know anything about bikes. So I’m not going to try to describe the bike bit. I’m not even going to make jokes about road hogs – after all, this one seems to be a bit of a sweetie.

Motorbike art: hog snout

The humour, the juxtapositions and the colourful reflections on the gleaming chrome made this street art irresistible so I lingered around it, trying a variety of different angles and detail shots. I love the snout and the curly tail.  Continue reading

Street Art in Austin, TX

Tacoxpress

The runner up post from my recent poll fits in nicely with this week’s photo challenge: on the way. I’d never been to Austin, Texas before and found our brief trip a bit of a tease. Try to imagine my increasing awe and fascination at the extent and variety of street art we came across, while conscious of our shared desire to arrive promptly for a timed slot later that day.

Continue reading