Archive for September, 2009

New castle in town

It's a church, now a castle

It's a church, now a castle

For well over a year work has been going on at the site of the former San José Catholic Church and more recently, Greek Orthodox “Holy Name of Mary” church and St. Hilarion Monastery in the Bouldin Neighborhood on the corner of W Mary and S 3rd St. At least according to this listing on, it’s finally finished.

The owner, and architects Urban Nature Inc. have taken some bold steps in turning the old single story church, into a “castle”. The materials used are complimentary to the original church, which dates back to the 1930’s. Bouldin neighborhood is home to some of Austins oldest residential homes, and also some of the most ecclectic and unusual properties in town, and this further diversifies the local building styles.

Local neigthborhood activist and Austin Neighborhoods Council President, Cory Walton has been keen on establishing Bouldin as a local historic district, while at the same time being home to some of the cities most innovative. Take a tour care of the homeaway website, or drive down and have a look, make up your own mind, Castle or monster??

Got friends visiting from out of town for ACL, I have. I don’t think mine could afford the $1500/ night 4 night minimum, but it’s still available!

Possibly the worst road in Texas

blakemanorThree weeks ago I was riding along Blake Manor Rd, right near the Texaco gas station, when, WHAM, right in front of me one of our small group dropped her front wheel down this crack, immediately went over the handlebars and landed face first on the tarmac.

The blood exploded from her mouth, she lost four teeth and fractured her upper jaw; it was gruesome, I bailed rather than hit her and ended up with a scrape on my elbow and leg. It could have been much worse for her, she was wearing a helmet, and although it cracked, it did its’ job and protected her forehead and the frontal lobe of her brain.

Last Friday she wanted to see where the accident happened and so we agreed to meet up and I’d walk her through it. She bought a camera. What shocked me, driving from the west end of Blake Manor RD on 973, was just how bad shape this road was in. Yes, the drought is playing havoc with the road surface. It doesn’t help that much of the road on the south side falls off as the land slopes downhill. But simply put, this road is a hazard for car drivers. There are at least two sections where the road is likey to break away completely and there are dozens of sections with cracks almost as wide as a Dollar bill, and more than 5ft long.

Surprisingly, the actual crack where she crashed has been part filled, there seemed to be whole sections where tarmac has just been dumped on the road randomly and smoothed down. It’s really inconciveable that this road is in such poor shape, given that the frontage road of Mopac between Bee Caves and 360 seems to have been re-tarmaced recently, when it was one of the better roads anyway.

So, I advise ALL cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers to avoid Blake Manor Rd between 9730 and Lockwood Rd unless absolutely necessary. And unless you know otherwise, I declare this, the worst section of road in the greater Austin area, and possibly all of Texas!

Thought for the day #3 No blocking rule

austin-tx-town-lake-trail-running[1]The rules for Town Lake trail are few and far between, and quite rightly so. Don’t drop litter; clean up after your dog; keep to the trail; don’t take samples from the plants; women wear a sports bra while jogging, men make sure you shorts don’t let the mouse out of the house while jogging; dogs on a leash except at auditorium shores; cyclists, no speed in excess of 15MPH.

None of these are formal, they are just good. So, today my thought was, no blocking. Walking three abreast on the trail just doesn’t work. It really doesn’t work when you are all wearing mp3 players and not talking to each other, let alone listening out to what’s going on around you.

Three going clockwise can’t pass three going anti-clockwise; three on one side, two on the other, pretty much blocks one passing in the middle. So I propose that where there are three people blocking one side, now the football season is with us, it becomes an automatic right to be able to execute a tackle from behind on one of the three if you need to pass.

No need for those slightly embarrassing calls, on y’alls right/on y’alls left, instead just shout no blocking and run or bike right through… (more…)

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