Party of nothing?

pdrgell.jpg This image is copyrighted by “PARTI DE RIEN 1988, 112A W. North-Loop, Austin, TX. 78751.” It is hinged on the side and is entitled “Sunday afternoon, bus stop.” In observance of the copyright, I’m not giving the dimensions of this work printed or silkscreened on good paper or showing the size of the margin beyond the black border. The images as I recall them are all based on photographs, employed in a solarized black-and-white form. This is derived from a single photograph, but others are montages of more than one location. Some seem to have additional hand-applied water-color.

I’d love to know more about “parti de rien,” who consigned these hand-made cards to Congress Avenue Books and at times to Laguna Gloria Museum downtown. There may even be an artist’s name on one of these miniature works of art, but this is the first one found as I try to organize my Austin ephemera with an eye to taking better care of some and donating other items to the Austin History Center.

The structure depicted is at the southeast corner of Sixth and Colorado, I recall, perhaps erroneously. I loved Gellman’s. Among many, many other items, it sold hats, leather goods, First Holy Communion dresses and veils, and Finesilver khaki twill trousers made in San Antonio. Finesilver made work-clothes and also did some manufacturing for the military, I think. Finesilver garments were cheap and they lasted forever. Sixth Street was for a long time home to several conjunto bars, and the staff of Gellman’s spoke Spanish.

This is not my favorite Parti de Rien item, but I think that, if I run across them, I may upload additional images in the hope of learning something about their creator. I’d have more, but I sent a lot of them to other people. They sold for two dollars apiece. If anyone knows anything about these, please comment.

3 Comments so far

  1. Pat D (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 4:16 pm

    I used to work at Austin Nat Bank and bought most of my work clothes at Gellmans. Cheap Levis and Wranglers for entry-level dweebs like me, along with the stock old-school western wear and a few odd items to boot. And the prostitutes would patrol that corner til sun-up, even on Sunday nights. The Green Spot, Triple J Tavern, La Plaza, Madison Square Garden, Johnson Bros. Shoes, and Gordo’s. Ah those the pre-Jones-Peveto days when you were thankful to see a cop on the Sixth street beat…

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

    Yesss!!! I used to love to hear the music on Sundays coming from the Spot, the Js, the the Plaza. I used to love hitting Freddie’s next door to the liquor store for a quiet daytime beer and some conversation. I still miss Shanblum’s restaurant supply and much else from before and after that era. When Madison Square Garden moved over to Pleasant Valley / Elmont, that was the end of that. I think that the real-estate stuff was already beginning to happen. Did you ever eat at Hallie’s, a pioneer restaurant along there? The cigarette machine by the ladies’ restroom at the Driskill was, along with the ones at the Chili Parlor and in the Capitol basement, one of the few locations selling non-filter Camels, and cheaply.

  3. Rantor (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

    I forgot to say that I still miss the freight depot that became the Shiner distributor back when the trucks had Alvin Crow, Marcia Ball, and other local faves painted on them, all this now under either the Railyard or part of the convention center.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.