Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Austin, Texas

The picture above should give you an idea of the traffic in Austin.  And to handle that traffic Austin has developed a very complex web of highways.   Forget GPS, the instructions for highway exits and lane changes came up so fast from that lady that I literally gave up!  We did a lot of wandering and u-turns, eventually getting to where we wanted to go.  Also, traffic is bad 24/7.  Well, maybe the week-end was a bit unusual- when we made our hotel reservations many places were already filled.
Our first morning was a rainy one in Austin, a type of morning only good for museums and art galleries.  After meeting up with our niece Katie and her friend Larnell, we drove to the Art on 5th Gallery.  One of our tour brochures noted that right now is a exhibit there titled "Home of the Secret Art of Dr. Seuss".  It seemed strange to me to think of him more of an artist than a writer of children's books!  He also created  17 sculptures during the 1930s.  They are called "unorthodox taxidermy".
A staff member of the gallery explained that the above artwork was created using horns, antlers and beaks of dead animals.  Seuss's father was superintendent of parks (including a zoo) in Springfield Ma. and he would send his son the animal parts.  In the lower left-hand corner is a Turtle-necked Sea Turtle, next to him is the Two-Horned Drouberhanni the ram is a Goo-Goo-Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast, above him is the Sea-Going Dilemma Fish,  the bird is Kangaroo Bird and the last one is the Blue-Green Abelard. 
Speaking of unconventional, Sunday found us wandering along Congress Ave. with Katie.  Picture above is the store Lucy in Disguises, a costume store.  Maybe that gives you an appreciation for that shopping district.  From a food truck I purchased what I thought was a gyro.  Next time I will read the fine print, which describes the sandwich as having lamb with tomatoes and a tangy sauce and a "few french fries". What an absolute travesty of the gyro as I know it!  I picked out the few fries, ate a small portion of the gyro and threw the rest away.  The fries and lamb were good!  But I sure missed the tzatziki sauce!
From the ridiculous to the sublime...We attended church Sunday morning at Gethsemane Lutheran Church.  I have not seen that much stained glass since our trip to Rome!  The window rises 36 feet behind the altar.  It is called "Heritage of Faith" and is the story of redemption through Jesus Christ.  Additional stained glass windows continue on both sides of the altar reaching to the ceiling.  The artist is Gabriel Loire of France.  He used 150 shades of "Chartres Blue" and other colors for highlight effect. The masterpiece was completed in 1969.  Gethsemane calls itself the "Mother of Lutheranism in Austin", the congregation was formed in the late 1800s.  This is the second location for the church.

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