If you think roads are bad where you live, take a gander at this highway in Russia.

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At least once a year, the local newspaper runs a story on Pecan Grove RV Park in Austin — where we’ve lived off and on since 2003 — but I can’t help but chuckle at how many papers around the nation, from as far away as Seattle and Portland, carried this story by the Associated Press: RV ‘Village’ Stands Out in Tony Austin

What I want to know is, where is “tony Austin?” Or, maybe more appropriately, who is Tony Austin? Sounds like a character from a cheesy novel.

Armadillo Bazaar – Day 18

December 26, 2006

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Just kidding about the Day 18 thing. Yes, today is the 18th day since the Bazaar opened, but it closed at 11 PM two evenings ago (on Christmas Eve). Mimi and I arrived home a few minutes past 2:30 on Christmas morning, after wearily packing up my artwork, tearing down the booth walls, lights, and displays, and loading everything in the van. As has become our post-Armadillo Christmas Day tradition, we slept in and spent the day lounging around watching Christmas movies and doing a bit of cooking and baking.

I’m happy with the way the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar went for me this year. My sales were down a bit from my previous 4-year average, but I have some strong leads on follow-up sales and commissions.  Plus, I really had a nice time at the Bazaar this year. It’s always a pleasure to visit with friends and patrons, and each year I feel more a part of the Armadillo “family” that has been growing since the event’s inception 31 years ago. Shoot, I’m happy for simply having gotten through the 16-day show without getting sick! The Austin Music Hall is not what you’d call a healthy place to spend 12 hours a day. Typically many of the artists and booth-sitters get sick sometime during the Bazaar, but illness didn’t seem to be such a problem this year. Future shows may prove to be healthier for us, as the Austin Music Hall is due to be remodeled starting any day now. The new structure is slated be a sleek, modern structure with a restaurant, a second level for seating and exhibits, and hopefully new, clean, allergen-free ductwork! Construction is due for completion in June, so even if it finishes behind schedule, next December’s Bazaar should be held in a newly remodeled space.

I took a straw poll of vendors’ sales at the Bazaar and got widely scattered results, from record-breaking highs to well below-average sales. The responses varied randomly between craft and fine art, so there were no noticeable patterns. Attendance was down early in the show, but it increased as the show progressed.  In the end, overall Bazaar attendance was down only 4% or so from 2005 (a record-breaking high attendance year). This is a pretty impressive turn-out, considering the parking challenges faced by Bazaar-goers this year. So, during teardown at midnight on Sunday, the Hall was filled with a fairly jovial bunch of vendors.

Armadillo Bazaar – Day 6

December 14, 2006

A few minutes ago, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar opened it’s doors for Day 6 of this year’s 16-day event. Attendance of the event seems a little slow this year, and that feeling has been corroborated by the hourly ticket sales figures which are tracking behind previous years. The obvious culprit is the parking and traffic issues caused by construction of the new 360 Tower and the Ballet Austin building right next door. But the Armadillo devotees who come here every year — many of them several times a year — are not daunted by a few cranes and guys in hardhats, and most artists and artisans at the Bazaar are having strong sales despite the droop in door figures.

For my part, I’m happy to have already sold my featured Austin piece, Live Music Capitol of the World, which I showed in-progress in a previous post. I didn’t even get a chance to post it to my web gallery before it was picked up by an enthusiastic Austin couple. There are still ten shopping days until Christmas, so if you haven’t come by to say hello, yet, be sure to put us on your list of holiday stops.

Incidentally, Todd Van Duren — a talented Austin-based ceramicist — is sharing my booth again this year. We’re splitting the 12-hour work days so that neither of us is there all the time. If you want to visit my booth while I’m there, here’s my tentative schedule:

Thu 12/14 — 6-11 PM
Fri 12/15 — 2-8 PM
Sat 12/16 — 11-8 PM
Sun 12/17 — 11-3 PM, 6-11 PM
Mon 12/18 — 11-2, 6-11 PM
Tue 12/19 — 11-2, 6-11 PM
Wed 12/20 — 11-2, 6-11 PM
Thu 12/21 — 11-2, 6-11 PM
Fri 12/22 — 11-8 PM
Sat 12/23 — All Day (subject to physical endurance)
Sun 12/24 — All Day (subject to physical endurance)

Hope you can make it out!  If not, have a great holiday season!

Pecan Grove RV Park blog

December 14, 2006

I started a blog for Pecan Grove residents a few days before that last entry in my personal blog. It seemed like a fun toy, more than anything, and a way for people to communicate informally — an option to augment the bulletin board in the laundry room. As it turns out, with all the communication needed to work with the Zilker Neighborhood Association regarding zoning variance issues and such, that blog may prove to be a good way for park residents to stay in touch and rally against The Man. I may have accidentally done a good thing! Check it out at http://pecangrove.wordpress.com/

I live in Pecan Grove RV Park, right next to Shady Grove. So this does not bode well for me or my neighbors…

Condos planned to replace Shady Grove RV Park

I hate to be cynical, but doesn’t it sometimes seem like shoppers are this selfish at this time of year?