7.12.2011

I love Central Austin. No matter where you look there's something funny and happy.


I love living in Austin because there are people who make their lives into art, don't care what the people in the suburbs think and take pleasure in living large.  How else do you explain an upscale trailer park in the middle of the most expensive and desirable property in the city, occupied mostly by people with a flair for fun?  I've seen this mannequin on top of this RV for months.  It's been dressed up in Christmas costumes and lights, Valentine's Day finery and sporty Summer outfits.

I always mean to stop and go introduce myself and thank the person for helping to stave off the growing menace of mediocrity and group think.  I want to thank them for keeping Austin Weird, which is synonymous with keeping Austin fun.  Even the most curmudgeonly church goer probably understands on some level how important it is for society, culture, technology and even business to have a cadre of people who are still capable of thinking outside the box.

I finally met Jim.  I was doing a photo assignment across the street at Barton Springs Bike Rentals and I'd parked down the block behind the original Chuy's.  On the way back to my car I stopped to chat.  Jim was fun, smart, and happy.  And he does art all the time.  But he doesn't do it after work.  It is his work.  And there is no stop and start.  He lives it.

I think the name of his RV sums it up best.  On the top, over the driver's window there's a logo.  It says, "Flair."


It's stuff like this all over Austin that reminds me that life is short and the real goal is to have maximum fun without hurting anyone else.  I think of displays like this as reminders to me not to get too serious.  The pathway to serious is lined with migraines, ulcers and, eventually surrender.

Let's not just shoot more fun stuff, let's participate and do our share to keep all of our cities weirder and more creative.  After all, the wealth of the 21st century goes to the culture who creates content.  And I would conjecture the funnest kind of wealth goes to the cultures who create the funnest content.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Coming from a conservative itty bitty town back in 89, Austin put it's hooks in me from the get-go. The creativity you see here is amazing and fun. It will still cause me to raise an eyebrow every now and then but it's always good for a chuckle none the less.

Frank Grygier said...

Austin is a fun and wonderful place for photographers. You can go just about anyplace in the city with a camera and a tripod with no hassle what so ever. I wish i could have a mannequin.

kirk tuck said...

Frank....you CAN have a mannequin. Just tell everyone it's for practicing your lighting...

Michael Ferron said...

Thanks for the reminder to get my butt back into the downtown area. I live in "P"ville just north of the city and it has to be the most boring place to live photographically speaking I have ever seen.

Dave Elfering Photography said...

Even conservative Omaha has it's "bohemian" area (the Old Market in case you should ever be here) and yep, its always fun down there. But I also love shooting small, quiet towns where they do stop and ask "you want to shoot HERE?... WHY?". Unassuming has it's charm also. I took the longest photo walk of my life in DC from one of the mall to the other and had a blast. Still amazed I didn't get arrested or mugged (DC is a place of extremes).

Broch said...

I'm pretty lucky regarding where I live. I'm in Urbana, IL, and there is plenty of weird here. I love it! Thanks for the great post, Kirk!

William Souligny said...

You ought to try the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert north of Reno, NV if you're looking for weird. Happens each August. Miles of hot, dry desert; thousands of "participants," color, costume, and pageantry. Check it out on the WEB. Beats a few pink flamingos on the lawn and a mannequin on a motorhome by far.

Thanks for the pictures, good cheer and the great post!

Mindless said...

Unfortunatelly in Hungary we are at the "be the same", mimic the americans as we see it in the movies and anyway, let's part of a a group, the bigger is better :(
I'm lucky I attended a special secondary school where all of us were individuals and studied that it is good, we have to stay colorful. :) But it is hard to go over against the society...

Anonymous said...

Kirk... for someone who wants to try a Zeiss lens, would you recommend the 35, 50, or 85? This novice would like to give a Zeiss a try and am confused as to which way to go. Thanks in advice for your expert advice!!

kirk tuck said...

William, Burning Man is what? A week or two out the of year and then everyone goes back to being an orthodontist or mechanic? My call to action is to make every day of your life fun and weird and different than the mainstream. If I want over the top I'll just head to N.O. for Mardi Gras or Rio for Carnival. I want to celebrate 365 art.

kirk tuck said...

Mindless, sounds like Hungary is no different than the U.S. It takes some extra effort to be different but why be the same?

To Anonymous: Hard to say. You'll probably see the biggest difference between Canon/Nikon and Zeiss with the 35mm f2. It's very cool.

Anonymous said...

Kirk.... but as I've read your blog over the years, you seem to prefer the 50mm...is that correct? Is it slightly easier to focus or do you prefer the slightly longer reach (which I think I do)?

kirk tuck said...

That's what I like but it may not be what YOU like. Also, the 35mm is a 50 (for all intents and purposes on my 7D or 1dmk2).