It is a really good thing to take a few days off from everything. From work stress, even playing music. A little time off can go a long way. Quiet is good. Clear air too. And big sky vistas. A few months ago my cousin & life-long buddy Adam Hart called me from New York to see if I might want to go on a hiking trip. “Yeah, that sounds great, where do you want to go?" Took a while but we landed on Taos New Mexico. At first we discussed backpacking & camping. Well, hmmm, a shower & a bed sure would be nice. So where do we end up? Ojo Caliente, a beautiful mineral spring in the high desert of northern New Mexico that first opened in 1868. We hiked all day, soaked our bones at night, bull-shitted, reminisced, laughed & laughed some more. We hiked from around 7000 up to 8300 feet on La Vista Verde Trail. Climbing Mt Everest it wasn’t, but it was exhilarating. Another memorable hike was at Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted. The Chimney Rock trail turned out to be a meditation of sorts. We traversed deep multicolored canyons with distant views of plains & grassland streams. The light reflected off rocks containing 130 million years of geological history. What intrigued me most was what I saw in the shapes, colors & shadows falling on the cliffs. The way we see constellations in the night sky, I saw eagles, faces and guardians in the rocks. I felt energy that may have inspired Native Americans to dance and Georgia O’Keefe to paint. That was a damn good four days off.
The curtains are open on my stylin’ new site, AustinMusicRealty. This is not your average real estate website (well, judge for yourselves)! Designed by resident Creative Genius Kate Longacre Harvey along with Stanberry Marketing team’s Mike Heaviland, it tells about each of our agents, features ‘digs’ (listings) & ‘gigs,’ ‘buzz’ (places to go/things to do), a blog about everything from high-rises to the meaning of life, as well as truly useful info for anyone interested in buying or selling a home in & around Austin. It has a direct link to the SIMS Foundation, which I founded in 1995.
Which brings us to our next BIG THING: Austin Music Realty presents "ROCK the FOUNDATION!” benefiting the SIMS Foundation. It features Austin Music Realty’s PATRICIA VONNE plus me & my ensemble A is RED. Patricia Vonne’s band features Rick Del Castillo, Robert LaRoche, Scott Garber, and Hector Munoz. A is RED is Don Harvey, Naga Valli, Sarah Brown, Stefano Intelisano, Chris Downey and Kevin Flatt. ROCK the FOUNDATION is sponsored by Stanberry & Associates Realtors and Independence Title co. An evening of great music for a great cause. Doors open at 6pm, June 3rd at One-2-One Bar. Please come on down & support SIMS! Please read all about SIMS here: http://simsfoundation.org
Most Realtors wouldn’t touch this subject with a ten-foot pole; the challenge locals are coping with in a growing city which include rising property taxes, traffic issues, the cost of living and the sensation we’re feeling that we’re living in an alternate reality, working ever harder just to stay here. A conversation late last night with my bro-in-law James sparked broaching a topic The Austin Business Journal interviewed me about recently. James wanted to know how I felt as a real estate agent, in no small way contributing to the situation.
I write this at some new fangled fancy chain cafe on South Congress looking around at tourists from ‘round the globe visiting a scene that could just as well be Seattle, Portlandia, Berkley or Brooklyn. Is Austin still weird, or, is it just getting weirder everywhere? I’m going with the latter. It’s a love hate thing. It comes down to this: would I rather go back to 1989 when I moved here and there were nothing but hookers & a porno theater on South Congress (oh yes, and the Continental Club)? I’ll take this bustling, lively city on the rise, where the Continental Club still stands proud, any day. Yes, the way I make a living is part of the change machine, but the only thing we can always depend on in this life is … change.
As I write this, I’m listening to Frank Zappa’s “Overnight Sensation,” a record I’ve not heard since high school. Something came over me when I looked into a box of records I’d saved for 40 years. Flooded with memories, I knew I had to have a record player. So on Valentines Day, Kate, love of my life (and my “ secret weapon” real estate assistant), gives me an awesome Teac turntable. Now what? I’m assembling a collection of records from my youth. I call the playlist “66 Denton Avenue,” for the house I was raised in. Buffalo Springfield, Cream, Traffic, Procol Harum, Bowie, the Stones, The Who, Mahavishnu Orchestra & on & on. I was listening to some great shit back then. There are so many phases & stages listening to & making music over the years, so it is incredible hearing records from 40 years ago with my current ear for music--as well as the fresh ears of a kid. It even inspired me to reconnect with high school pal Robert Carroll--the music and adventures we shared all blend together now. What a blast. Might just inspire me to make a new record.
What a great couple weeks for music and real estate.
Digs … I’m working exciting new listings from Bouldin Creek to Hyde Park to South and Southwest Austin--helping clients price properties competitively, market aggressively and negotiate judiciously.
Gigs … my ensemble, A iS RED played The Townsend downtown last week to a capacity crowd. It’s an exceptional listening room with an elegant bar and a fine & welcoming proprietor--who happens to be a real estate client.
Upcoming shows: The One-2-One Bar on Wednesday the Feb 17 (with my fave jazz trio, Black Red Black), The Austin Instrumental Music Festival (AIM Fest) on Saturday Feb 27, then we’re back to One-2-One on Friday June 3rd with my rock ‘n roll & Austin Music Realty pal Patricia Vonne!
I am thankful for the work and the music!