Monday, June 30, 2008

Marcia Ball speaks for me

Here's your soundtrack for this post:

Marcia Ball[News link] [forum feedback]
Marcia Ball played at Blues on the Green last week, a free show in front of as many as 6,000 people, and told them she was boycotting Austin Java because of owner Rick Engel's tearing down of trees. He's one of the developers of Barton Springs Place -- a condo project that is being built in the old location of the Pecan Grove RV park -- one of those places they are getting rid of to make more room for people who want to live closer to places like that except that they won't exist anymore.

Well, you go, Marcia Ball!!! We've been boycotting that place for a very long time, ever since Austin Java moved in a took away my favorite pizza place, Pizza Nizza, the funky pizzaria with a huge tree growing inside the place and out through the roof. Then we found out about their plans to put in the high end condos, and haven't gone there since.

FYI, the same guy owns Uncle Billy's Brews and Qs down the street, so that is now part of our boycott, unfortunately, because it's a microbrewery and now I won't get to taste their beer (but there's plenty more beer out there, no worries).

Engel has defended himself, saying that he had permission to take out all the trees, and a couple of them were taken down by a storm instead of by him -- but here's the thing... just because you have the permits, and you're legal, and everything is signed on the line, it doesn't mean you're doing the right thing. Marcia's awareness-raising at the event hurt their business for a few days, but you know what? These damned developers are hurting things too. They are not just cutting down a lot of big trees, they are changing the neighborhoods. They are bringing in a pricey, high-end yuppie clientele and running off the folks who used to be able to afford to live there.

At least they are not calling the new development "Pecan Grove Place." I hate it when they destroy something and then name the replacement after it.

This is a sign on the fence of one of the old Barton Strings Road trailer residences. It speaks volumes.

(Yes, I know, I've been focused on this topic lately. It's just really bugging me.)

Tags: - - -


Ingrid said...

My daughter goes to Parkside (next to Casa De Luz) and all of the sudden..poof. Of course, you figure the trees would have to go if you're planning on building a huge condo there..I also noticed that they are building, seemingly, condos on top of that ugly garage thing across of the Schlotzky's, well, on the same side of Lamar.. the other one on the other side of Lamar, next to the train tracks which were supposedly sold out, doesn't seem to be inhabited yet.. who buys these condos? who can afford them? How's is the high density helping traffic is you still need to get your groceries?
It sucks doesn't it..

Th' Rev said...

This city is going down the toilet,having been here since 1968,I've watched it's slow demise.
It breaks my heart.The short drive from Barton springs and lamar to riverside is testament to the destruction.Heartbreaking it is...

Blueberry said...

I can't imagine who is going to live in all those, unless they bring the costs way down. They will probably be mostly empty.

I look for Daily Juice to go away. Hopefully Flipnotics won't, but it won't fit in anymore. So. First, Lamar and Congress will soon be unrecognizable.

If you go to Google maps and look at the Street Views, you can look back in time a little.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I love Marcia Ball.

DrDon said...

You'd think the developers would care if they could sell/rent the places but it seems like they don't. Or they're gambling that the market will pick back up. The construction firms don't care because they get paid even if the place sits empty but I do wonder who buys all these places. Just like the suburban McMansions. The median salary in the U.S. is still in the mid or upper 40's so even if you have two people working and they're both making this income, I can't see how they afford these places that are so expensive. Then again, I guess that's why we're in the mess we're currently in. People actually can't afford it.

Ellie said...

What, the Pecan Grove is disappearing??????? No