A Day of Contrasts

Reflections, Malvern Books - Austin, Texas

Reflections, Malvern Books – Austin, Texas

Yesterday was an odd Saturday. Or at least a day of contrasts.

I was over in Lakeway, dropping off my son for a birthday party. On the way home, I stopped by a Lexus dealer. I wasn’t interested in the cars, rather it was the dealership that piqued my curiosity. Lakeway, an affluent community west of Austin, actually on a lake, has their own Lexus dealership, and it’s supposed to be spectacular. And it is.

More like a resort that happens to sell cars, it features soaring ceilings and a tasteful, non-objectionable, high-end interior. The waiting area looks like a first-class airline lounge that they feature in YouTube videos of Dubai. Sprawled over two levels, everything about the operation exuded luxury. The staff was very friendly, though I had the self-imposed feeling of not really belonging there.

I sipped on a Coke and leafed through a Lexus design magazine and was struck by photos of the just announced, gorgeous LC500. Nope, I have no intentions of buying a $100,000+ car, but the photography and the design made me happy just looking at it — that and sitting in a Dubai inspired first class lounge look-alike.

• • •

In the evening, I was on the University of Texas campus, at the 3rd anniversary party for Malvern Books. I met my friend, Tony, who was doing a poetry reading. Yes, it’s that kind of bookstore — not your run-of-the-mill chain Barnes & Nobles. I have to admit, that I’ve never been to a place like this, even during college. But the poetry and contemplative fiction, transported me back to the days of serious study. Ironically, with this blog, I’m doing more writing now than I ever have.

It’s not that the books are inaccessible. It’s just that I didn’t know where to start. Plus, I tend to be a non-fiction guy. The people were friendly, clapping for a drumming performance — though not exactly hippie — was on the opposite scale from the Lexus dealer. I also felt like I didn’t belong there.

The area which surrounded the bookstore was well-worn and eclectic. Compared to an affluent suburb, it gave a vague feeling of insecurity. It’s a neighborhood that would support all forms of businesses and people of any background — perfect for urban photography.

• • •

I experienced two extremes yesterday. And at the risk of generalization, I’m sure they are on opposite sides of the economic and political spectrum. I guess, I belong to the vast and wide middle, not feeling completely at home in either place. It made for a wonderful study in contrasts.

Shot with the Ricoh GR and posted as part of my Daily Life Collection. I’ve been shooting the GR again recently and starting to feel comfortable with it. There are more limitations with it than I like, but I’m making satisfactory images. It sometimes takes me a while to figure out a camera and to see how it fits within my image creation toolbox.

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5 thoughts on “A Day of Contrasts

  1. I really do know how you feel. It’s interesting — enlightening — being in places which aren’t your natural habitat. You learn a lot about yourself and others. That’s why travel can be mind expanding.

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