East Austin Street Art

A mural in East Austin

A mural in East Austin

During my weekend in Austin I stayed at an incredible Airbnb run by a Hungarian woman. It was a farm just on the outskirts of town. They had goats, horses, dogs, bees, and a host of other animals hanging around. The family invited me to a 4th of July “anti-party” in East Austin – a part of town not usually frequented by tourists. I arrived at the bar about an hour early and took a stroll around, pleased to find an abundance of street art. Here’s a sampling.

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San Antonio and the Missions

An angel fixture at Mission San Jose in San Antonio

An angel fixture at Mission San Jose in San Antonio

For 4th of July weekend this year I took a road trip to San Antonio and Austin. The weather was incredible and I had a lot of fun driving through the Texan farmland. I went to San Antonio first and visited the Alamo and other missions, all of which encompass a UNESCO world heritage site. The architecture is incredible and entrance is free to all the sites.

In addition to the Missions, San Antonio has amazing Mexican food and crafts centers. It was definitely worth the detour on my way to Austin to spend an afternoon there.

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Houston Street Art

A mural at Kingspoint, a street art mecca in Houston.

A mural at Kingspoint, a street art mecca in Houston.

Of course in Houston I hunted out some street art. I took a side trip to Kingspoint on my way down to Galveston, but unfortunately there wasn’t much going on there and most of it was blocked off. What I did see were enormous, beautiful murals and lots of tags. It would have been great to go when artists were there working.

There was also quite a bit of cool stuff around the Montrose neighborhood. I honestly can’t remember where I took a lot of these pictures, but I believe most were either Kingspoint or Montrose.

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Sightseeing in Houston

The infamous Beer Can House in Houston, TX

The infamous Beer Can House in Houston, TX

It’s long overdue for me to post photos from my four weeks in Houston earlier this summer. I was there for a work stint but managed to do quite a bit of sightseeing. A major highlight was the Beer Can House which was one man’s project taken delightfully too far. The entire outside of the house is covered in beer cans, including wind chimes that shield the whole front entrance. The chimes can be heard from blocks away! It was worth the small entrance fee to see the inside of the house and take a guided tour, as the John Milkovisch – the man responsible – is as interesting as his creation.

I also took a side trip to Galveston which was a pleasant day. The beach wasn’t terribly impressive and the water didn’t look too appealing, but I had an amazing po’boy and enjoyed learning the history behind the island.

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Pilsen Street Art

The Chicago city flag represented on a mural in Pilsen

The Chicago city flag represented on a mural in Pilsen

When my friend Jackie came to Chicago for a few weeks I knew a street art hunt was in order. We headed to the Mexican neighborhood of Pilsen, which is home to a massive stretch of murals along 16th Street. There were some great local pieces as well as some by world renowned artists like Reyes and ROA. It was a great day capped off with a couple of Modelo Negros at DeCOLORES.

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Bondi Beach Murals

A mural at Bondi Beach, Sydney

A mural at Bondi Beach, Sydney

This is my last post for Australia. Truth be told I’m more than a bit behind on this posting – I actually came back to the United States a couple of weeks ago and am now living in Chicago. I suppose I’ve been dragging out this final photo gallery because I’m in some denial that my year in Australia is not only over but was cut short by two months. But I have an amazing work opportunity here in Illinois and I’m excited to explore the midwest – a region I’ve never spent time in before.

Anyway, these photos were taken at the infamous Bondi Beach in Sydney, where there is a long seawall that is publicly sanctioned for murals. There are a handful of incredibly intricate works, and I love that most of them reflect the beach community.

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Scuba Diving in Manly

Anemones at Shelly Beach in Manly

Anemones at Shelly Beach in Manly

I didn’t get a chance to go scuba diving in Tasmania, so I wanted to make sure I went in Sydney before leaving Australia to get one last day in. I was referred to Dive Centre Manly, who do regular shore dives from Shelly Beach. The dive site is well sheltered with good visibility, and rather shallow at a max depth of about 10 meters.

The site has several friendly blue gropers as well as cuttlefish, octopuses, wobbegong sharks, sweepers, cockatoo fish, and huge schools of barracuda and others. Unfortunately the rare weedy seadragon is no longer at the site, as the colony that had been there died off a few years ago and they never repopulated.

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