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February 6th, 2014

The Changing face of Austin, TX

When I first came to Austin Texas, I fell to it's magic and lure.  Austin had a homey retro feel to it.
Driving around and about, I could see why it was a city in a park.  So much to see and do during
our first visit that I couldn't help myself but to take as many photos as I could.

ENAustinKiteDay_IMG_1574

We went to the SoCo area spent the day walking and window shopping while working our way
towards the Congress Bridge for a perfect ending of a beautiful sunset followed by millions of bats.
That's when I knew someday this would be our home.

                            RENAustinCarsOnSoCo_IMG_2915

Sure enough that someday did happen and we've been here shy of a decade and even within
such a short time, this town/city has had a dramatic change.  Don't know whether it's good or bad
since change is for me is almost always a good thing.

In observation, I've noticed that the very thing that made this town so unique and charming are the
small business.  Gradually I'm seeing less and less of those iconic business.  The charm that caught
people attention are disappearing -- either their doors are closed for ever or they're moving away.

I wonder how long before this lovely town/city will just be another major metropolis with no defining
characteristics.

Why such a post you may wonder because recently I learned that yet another small business is
being force out of their location... Here's the story: The Omelettry eyes move to new location

These are recent trends.  Gradually each of these small business are forced out and in it's
place comes either a VMU or Corporate Office buildings or High Rises.  In either case, most are an eye
sore to the community.  Not everyone agrees with such a growth especially when the infrastructure
can't even support the current volume of traffic on such a limited number of roads.  Imagine when
the demand of these new tenants adds to the our community -- crowded area, more traffic, economic
disparity, and many more unforeseen consequences.  Oddly enough, such an impact is happening.

Already there are signs of such negativity being displayed proudly be those "marking up"
buildings, posts, lots, bridges, utility panels and whatever else within their reach.  Something
as simple as stopping the increase of such graffiti has not happened, even though, the neighbors
living in the area can do only so much.  Now imagine as this town/city expands how much more of
such activities will increase.   Is this town prepared?  Can this town handle it? I wonder indeed.
I hope that it's not the case because change is supposed to be good and for the better.

Can Austin Texas continue to maintain it's charm, it's weirdness, it's magic and it's uniqueness?
I do hope so.

I was very much sadden by the news of the Omelettry since not long ago I was there enjoying
their excellent food with my friend.   It was a perfect way to start our day of adventures. Now
there's gonna be a void.. the Omelettry brought the community closer, and it still does, it's a
landmark.  I do hope that they are able to find an other location and continue to do their magic.

But just in case the Omelettry fades away (as some of the other small business have), a neighbor found
this wonder recipe of their famous Gingerbread Pancakes.  So here it is for you to make and enjoy.

Gingerbread Pancakes as printed in the Austin American Statesman
Cream together:
 3 eggs
 1/4 cup brown sugar
Add:
 1/2 cup buttermilk
 1/2 cup water or milk
 1/4 cup brewed coffee
Sift together:
 2 1/2 cups white unbleached flour
 1/2 tsp salt
 1 tsp baking powder
 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
 1 tsp ground cloves
 1 Tblspn cinnamon
 1 Tblspn ground ginger
 1 Tblspn nutmeg
Combine ingredients and add:
 4 Tblspns melted butter or margarine
This makes about 3 1/2 cups of batter or 8 to 10 (large) pancakes.  Cook on a griddle as you would any other pancake.  Serve with maple syrup, honey or molasses.
Enjoy!
     
         
         (c) 2006-Current -All context and photos by Sybarite13

    

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