Today’s parade was brief but spirited. There was precipitation and there was wind; temperatures were barely above freezing. There was a loud salute. The Del Valle color guard and cadets, so often a sharp presence at Austin parades, stepped out smartly. Krispy Kreme, assorted pirates, and legacy Texians passed by, looking chilly but jolly. The Texas Cowboys were visible on a trailer somewhere on the bridge but were not seen along the parade route on the Avenue. Construction workers paused. Some members of the police security staff were dancing to keep warm. Small in numbers as the marchers were, they certainly seemed to outnumber the spectators. See a couple of unedited videos and a few photographs.
Or maybe this entry should go into the Humpty-Dumpty Department. Having created great upheavals and disruptions and caused Tesoros, Las Manitas, and Escuelita del Alma to uproot themselves, greatly to the detriment of the quality of life downtown, the Marriott Hotel people, it’s reported, have put their project on hold (byline Shonda Novak, The Real Deal blog, local daily). So I suppose that this block, since ownership changes have already occurred, will sit there for who can guess how long with the greatest part of the frontage on the east side of Congress just plain vacant and deserted. If only we could have been spared all this from the beginning. The destruction of a once-thriving block of activity has now been decisively accomplished and will remain unremedied for the foreseeable future.
u p d a t e : Here’s more, much more, from the local daily. Mike Martinez is quoted as saying that the block “lost a lot of its foot traffic and vibrancy,” although he then goes on to express some optimism about the future. The article includes the latest on other stalled projects, complete with maps.