Today, I spent a bit of time doing something I haven’t done in years – wander around downtown taking pictures.
This one of the Frost Tower is my favorite from today. I spent a good amount of time trying to find an interesting shot, when I got the idea to go inside and see if there is an observation deck in this newest of Austin’s buildings.
I walked into a mostly deserted lobby and the security guy behind the desk jumped, half-shouting across the cavernous space, “Can I help you?”
“I was wondering if there’s an observation level here.”
“No sir. This is a private executive office building and closed to the public.”
I marveled at his ability to italicize so many words in one sentence, but I took the hint and read enough of his mind to make out, “…hit your ass on the way…,” and so off I went.
After crossing the street, I noticed this shot. I had to wait for a red so as not to get run over, and I had some help from a fellow photographer who was scouting places to shoot a parade next month. He shaded my lens for me and watched for oncoming cars while I took the picture.
Walking along I couldn’t help but marvel. Most people you see walking along the street on an ordinary day remain a mystery, but in the space of five minutes, unnecessary hostility had been erased by simple kindness.
Looking back at the Frost Tower, I thought about the way old gothic buildings were decorated with angels and devils, but today we build them steely clean with lines like highways to the heavens. Meanwhile, plenty of angels and devils can be found at street level.