It's always cool to hear native Austinites' stories of growing up here. This is the lot where the sno-cone trailer used to be.
I used to live in that neighborhood behind it; Gracy Woods. As you can see, that lot is some industrial building now. I'm sure this area of town seems ridiculously far north to you.
Actually, before he went downtown, Leslie Cochran was on that corner, Braker and North Lamar, which was, at the time, either an Albertson's or a Tom Thumb. I think the site of him was probably too disturbing to all the suburbanites around there, so he moved downtown. But he was there for a long time; pushing around his little cart/home. Many scenes in Office Space
were also filmed around this area.
I think multiple things got me into architecture and urban planning; loving my cozy neighborhood growing up (when I was born, that was just about the furthest extent of Austin's suburban sprawl), and wondering why the hell it was so inconvenient; i.e. why weren't there any stores in my neighborhood? Then I read Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream
by Duany and Zyberk, and that cemented it.
So, I'm just kind of obsessed with this idea of allowing for stores to be built inside of
neighborhoods. It shouldn't be big stores; maybe just food trucks. Who wouldn't love that?
But it all comes down to zoning laws. And we're going to be hashing these things out ad nauseum over the next few years. So I hope y'all are ready. It's going to be very educational for a lot of people. What matters to me is just mixed-use. Mixed-use, mixed-use, mixed-use. And that doesn't mean all in the same building. It just means zoning for different types of uses. So... for example, food trucks in your neighborhood. Miami (where Andres Duany happens to be from) has already undergone this kind of extreme zoning makeover, so it can
be done. But it was ugly there, too.