Ups and downs

escalera.jpgMount Bonnell may be the Austin favorite when it comes to sets of stairs. My personal favorites are the staircases in the Capitol, just because I like them and also because they take you up to where you can look down. Another favorite staircase location is the Driskill. The courthouse steps let you avoid the elevator, which is always good. The Paramount stairs are festive when crowded with an audience. The stairs to the doors of St. Mary’s Cathedral are wonderful for those who are spry.

A beautiful and mysterious corner of the UT campus is the Texas Memorial Museum, with its equally handsome step approach flanking the plinth of equine statuary that guards it. And by the way, if you’ve found an arrowhead or a fossil down by the river or would like to know more about some mysterious object, don’t forget that identification day at the museum is this Sunday afternoon, 22 January, from 1 to 5 pm.

The worst set of stairs in town is at the main library, or at least the backside of them. Although, again, they allow people to avoid the pokey elevators, they are a bump on the brow for the unwary.

Lately a new favorite has joined the list. It’s both real and unreal. It returns again and again as a backdrop for the free photos published in ¡ahora sí!, the weekly published in Spanish by the local daily. Before this staircase stand couples newly married, brides in their finery, and young women celebrating their fifteenth birthday. Sometimes the staircase is deep in the background, and the large mullioned window can be seen. At other times, those photographed stand close to the foot of the stairs, and the window is absent. This flight of stairs appears to be painted on canvas and is evident only in photographs by Flores y Videos Duprat. I watch for it every week.

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