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Hope Outdoor Gallery

Austin paint park – the Hope Outdoor Gallery

Hope Outdoor GalleyOur son turned us on to this massive, ever-changing paint park at 11th and Baylor near downtown Austin, Texas called the Hope Outdoor Gallery (website). Their website says this started in March 2011. There’s something new to see on every visit, since artists (and kids who want to be artists) are always painting over the old art – just watch where you step or you might get wet paint on the bottom of your shoe like my daughter did. Their Facebook page has a good collection of some of the major works through time.

We visited just before Christmas. There were several painters, lots of paint cans and kids running around writing their names with spray cans. And there were some impressive images. Supposedly you need a permit and need to submit a sketch, but I doubt most of the young kids running loose with spray cans had gone through this process (just a guess).

The castle behind it is called…wait for it…The Castle, owned by Castle Hill Partners because it is on Castle Hill. On the grounds there are several cannons, assumably to ward of any attempt by painters to breach the walls.

The video below shows the size of the gallery, and a few people painting (and filming the artist painting while I’m filing them, how meta!).

A few photos of images below (and yes, that is my lovely wife and daughter in the photos):

Hope Outdoor Gallery

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The artists climb into every hole, nook and cranny…and even paint on the bordering fences and the bushes.

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Austin fireworks downtown – New Year’s Eve 2017

Snow Austin New Year's EveThe Austin fireworks downtown launched from Auditorium Shores off Lady Bird Lake  started early, around 10pm, perhaps because the front was coming in and it was getting below freezing quickly…and it was snowing and/or sleeting a bit. Some of it stuck a little on the balcony furniture (photographic evidence to the right), and made it slippery to be out there (what a way that would have been to start the New Year: hey, I learned to fly, but not for very long!).

The fireworks went for about 15 minutes. The photos and videos below are looking up towards the Congress Street bridge. It appeared that they were either launching the fireworks from boats or from that small island just beyond the 1st street bridge – hard to tell in the dark.

Below are videos from the beginning, a couple near the end, and some photos from in between.

Here’s a segment of seven minutes at the beginning…then I wimped out and went inside.

Some photos:

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Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Then here are two videos of the grand finale – two because I stopped recording during a pause, and then they started shooting away again.

Great Austin fireworks downtown! Wishing everyone a happy and safe New Year.

 

Hidden codes in the Mona Lisa

We always new it was true…or at least wanted it to be.

From the Dec. 12 UK Telegraph:

“To the naked eye the symbols are not visible but with a magnifying glass they can clearly be seen,” said Silvano Vinceti, president of the Committee.

In the right eye appear to be the letters LV which could well stand for his name Leonardo Da Vinci while in the left eye there are also symbols but they are not as defined.

He said: “It is very difficult to make them out clearly but they appear to be the letters CE or it could be the letter B – you have to remember the picture is almost 500 years old so it is not as sharp and clear as when first painted.

“While in the arch of the bridge in the background the number 72 can be seen, or it could be an L and the number 2.”

Or maybe he was just doodling. Or maybe these (except for the LV,  which seems obvious) are just cracks in the centuries old paint the look like symbols but are actually gibberish.

While most people are so focused on the short term, it is nice to find that somebody planted something they hoped for people to find hundreds of years later. It is always more difficult to take the long view. I am currently reading Jack of Ravens by Mark Chadbourn, in which the protagonist takes a very long view of time, leaving clues along the way. Enjoyable read, great history…I’ll post a review here or at SFSignal soon.

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