Friday, March 12, 2010

The Many Sunglasses of Elton John


EltonJohnAndGlasses-1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This week, last night to be specific, I had a hankering to go out and do some night shooting a bit so I rounded up a few friends from the Austin Night Photography group and headed over to a place in Austin we call "The Triangle." The Triangle is an odd place. It didn't get its name because it's gay, or because somebody liked odd names, no the Triangle is, well, physically shaped quite like one. The intersection of Guadalupe, Lamar, and several blocks surrounding the area around 46th Street in Austin looks very much like, well, a triangle if you look at it from above, which, of course, nobody ever does, but, hey, what's in a name anyway, right?

Years ago, when I first moved to Austin, the place was a field. I mean, quite literally, a field. Open grass growing, nothing there, a few office buildings in the distance, you get the idea. A few years and many more people from California later and what do you have? The City needs more room. Urban areas have to expand. Parks must go, apartments must be built, and so on. The Triangle was a controversial development to say the least. Some people, many people native to Austin or long time residents, in fact, *hated* the idea of developing this pristine land. They wanted to keep the field, the park, the open grass. The fights and legal battles erupted. Of course, you can probably guess how this played out. Eventually, progress and society took over the once grassland and now, well, we have this place.

Maybe because of the back story, maybe because I'm just a bit too lazy, or maybe for reasons unknown, I had never really visited the Triangle. Sure, I drove past, on my way down Lamar, but I never really went in, never really stopped the car to have a closer look. A few folks from the night group wanted to shoot there, it's convenient, so I though, hey, why not, right? I'm always open to photographic suggestions and I love shooting little areas of the City at night so, I thought, why not?

We had a small group but it was fantastic. It really was a great place to visit, a great place to eat, and an even better place to shoot. It might be one of my favorite places to shoot now in Austin, it was that much fun. Last night was very nice for shooting-perfect weather, some clouds, not too windy, didn't even need a jacket, and just enough people to do sort of "blurry people" without everybody tripping over the tripods and such. Excellent.

We wandered down the shopping and restaurant areas of the Triangle, past the Mexican place, met at the coffee shop, found a few abandoned stores (shot those, of course) ran into a lone bicycle or two, and drooled over the parking garages. There was a store on the corner of Lamar called SoLa....excellent shooting there. They had white couches, round chairs, all sorts of mannequins, and the like. Totally my kind of place. Also, the Galaxy Cafe had these wonderful red plastic chairs....I didn't quite know what to do with them, but wow! What a photographic find.

The architecture there is interesting, because you can shoot up at the tops of the buildings and there are people living in the lofts above, so you can mix houses with street scenes. I only did a little of that, but I so want to go back and do more.

The place was so fantastic and the night so pleasant that, if the weather holds, I might go back there again next week. We'll have to see how it goes. This weekend is daylight savings time, so the sunset time and twilight hours are going to shift drastically and Monday is a new moon. Of course, all of this means we might be able to start at the same time and shoot around civil twilight which might be kind of fun at a place like this. I'd guess that civil twilight there would be an interesting shoot, since there's some neon and some "twinkly" type lights around the restaurant patios.

The restaurants were very crowded but there are many of them and the food was fantastic. I had Italian food at a place called Mandola's Italian Market-the pasta was fresh and homemade-to die for! Yum.

It's a great little spot in town for some happening nightlife and a fun place to grab a bite to eat, have some coffee, or just hang out and people watch. I can't wait to get back there to shoot again. No, after all is said and done, I'd have to say that the Triangle now sits quite well with me.

Until next time...

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