Watchin’ the Neighborhood

Went to the Burleson/Parker Neighborhood watch meeting last night with Julie. It’s always interesting.

For instance we learned how to identify prostitutes. They are the women in our neighborhood carrying white styrofoam cups. Which they tip over to show they’re empty to say – open for business. So be careful about wandering around highway access roads with empty styrofoam cups, ladies.

We also learned that the Timberridge HOA had torpedoed a condo project where one of the hotels is currently on the I-35 northbound access road before Oltorf. It was apparently a 30 unit project that was going to sell for about $500k each. They thought that no one would pay those prices and they’d end up having to sell them out to the city as low-income housing. So now they’re going to get another cheap hotel. And more prostitutes. Hopefully this isn’t going to happen with the Riverside condo projects.

I don’t understand the mentality to keep competition away from your property at all costs. A $100k condo sitting next to a bunch of hotels is going to stay a $100k condo. A $100k condo down the street from a $500k condo might become a $200k condo. Although, I do feel for Timberridge. My friend Erin has lived there for 9 years now, and they have consistently stayed one of the nicest condo neighborhoods in Austin. I’m sure there’s a lot of stubbornness involved in thinking that you can have a fantastic community when bordered by rental slums, low-income housing, hotels and gas stations.

Many of you may have noticed that there’s some sort of amazing lot with a big house on the South-East corner of Riverside and IH-35. 1317 E. Riverside Drive. I think it’s been a day-spa and a bed-and-breakfast. According to the Timberridge inhabitants, it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright that’s going to be destroyed for condos. From looking at a list of Wright houses, he never built any in Austin, so it’s probably one of his students. Anyone know anything about it other than it was built around 1947?

Apparently one of the houses on Manlove street got the condo developer to change the buildings so that they would still have their view. Which is awesome. Although the views from those condos are going to be spectacular.

The final thing we talked about was panhandling. Which is such a weird issue. On the one hand I feel like people who are really destitute should be able to ask for help from their fellow man without going to jail. On the other hand, I know from taking the bus that most of the panhandlers in Austin are not homeless. They’re not rich people, but they’re not homeless. Our Neighborhood Association(NA) is going to join with a bunch of other NAs when the new city council is elected to do a letter writing campaign to try to crack down on panhandling. I don’t think it’s the solution to the problem, but we’ll see.

I also pulled up some poison ivy for my mom after the meeting was over, and I’m happy to report that I still seem to be unaffected by poison ivy. It’s fun monkeying with it for me. Because every time I psych myself into thinking, “maybe this is the time that I’ll be affected”. Then for about 2-3 hours afterwards I’m scratching constantly. But always in places that could not possibly be affected (like the back of my head). Then I wake up the next day, happy that it was all just in my head. Of course, writing about it, I’m feeling itchy again. scratch