|Forget about Donald or Hillary|
Willie for President
Watching the Presidential Debates, I'm starting to think that Willie Nelson for President isn't as farfetched an idea as I originally thought. What are his qualifications? For a long time, he got away with not paying the IRS for income tax. That makes him smart! On the other hand, the IRS finally caught up with him and billed him $16.7 million in unpaid back taxes, interest and fines. Poor Willie had to turn over all his possessions except for this trusty guitar in order to avoid jail time. With true Austin "Live Music Capital of the World" moxie, he negotiated a deal to settle his remaining debt by sharing his proceeds from the compilation album The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Mememories?. The Willie for President mural was originally created for 2016 SXSW by artists Jacqui Oakley, Erick Montes, and Joe Swec.
1423 South Congress Avenue, on the side of STAG Provisions
|South Austin is the quirky neighborhood that Keeps Austin Weird|
Mr. Rogers Mural
On the opposite side of the building from Willie, you'll find a 10x10 foot mural created by Niz, a stencil artist from Lima, Peru. A photorealistic image of the friendly and compassionate Mr. Rogers, his trusty Trolley and the imperious King Friday puppet was stenciled over a vibrant, streaky background of watered down housepaint. If only Mr. Rogers were running for president. Sigh... Bonus, this mural is on the side of More Homeslice which serves pizza until 3AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
1421 South Congress Avenue, on the side of More Homeslice
|Are you sure I'm not in New York?|
Fuggedabout Parking Here
Okay, okay, this isn't technically a piece of street art. But I loved this No Parking sign so much because it really plays into Homeslice Pizza's New York attitude.
1421 South Congress Avenue, on the side of More Homeslice, to the left of Mr. Rogers
|I got 99 problems but the Pizza ain't one.|
99 ProblemsWe were cutting through the back alley behind More Homeslice when this little piece of street art caught my eye. It's not very big... smaller than poster sized. But I like that someone took the time to decorate a place which probably get low traffic.
1421 South Congress Avenue, on the back of More Homeslice
|Before I die I want to ____________________|
Before I DieThe kids loved the Before I Die mural because they got to write on it with chalk. On the other hand, it got mixed reviews from the adults who saw these photos. Some considered it an inspiring bucket list while others thought it was rather morbid. While travel related wishes were often listed, other people wished to "Meet Kim Kardashian" or "release a video game." After we visited, I kept an eye on Instragram to see how long our messages stayed up. They lasted less than a week, and then it was someone else's turn to share their wish with the rest of the world.
This piece was is an extension of a temporary piece created for the 2013 SXSW conference. It's part of a series of New Orleans artist Candy Chang's Before I Die walls that have been erected all over the world. This one is nestled in a residential neighborhood just off South Congress, and I wondered if the occupants minded strangers dropping by all the time. It turns out that this is The Art Barn, a 400-foot boutique hotel that is a stand alone extension of the Kimber Modern Hotels.
|Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds store sign|
Lucy in Disguise with DiamondsThe long collage above this costume shop is certainly not something to quickly glance at while driving by. You really need to stand on the pavement across the street to examine all the details. Can you spot Willie Nelson? I really like the Carmen Miranda zebra statue on top. Why settle for just one costume when you can don two?
1506 South Congress Avenue
|No.. really, I love you so much.|
I Love You So MuchEven though it's quite simple, this mural is one of the most popular ones in Austin, especially around Valentine's Day. On the relatively quiet weekday that we visited, this one had a queue of people waiting for a turn in front of this love letter. My girl and I get originality points for NOT making a heart with our hands. Back in 2010, Austin musician Amy Cook sprayed this message to her partner, Liz Lambert who created Hotel San José down the street and is part owner of Jo's Coffee. Music, LGBTQ pride, and trendy boutique hotels perfectly captures the spirit of the South Congress area.
1300 South Congress Avenue, on the side of Jo's Coffee
Which mural is your favorite?
5 Things to Do in Austin other than Austin City Limits or SXSW
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