After years of avoiding Austin during SXSW - getting caught up in the grouchy zeitgeist of locals who can barely stand the traffic and crowds on a regular day I guess - in 2018 I decided to not let that stop me. It was St Patrick’s Day, it was Spring Break, and I wanted to soak it all up. The day I had, in the sun, surrounded by happy people, makes me regret avoiding the St Patrick’s Day parade during the years I spent in New York.
I suppose it goes against the usual ethos of a street photographer to not want to put themselves into the fray for the sake of photos, but life’s all about ebb and flow. It had been some months since my last trip to South Congress, and recently I was shocked to realize that I hadn’t been there since the March 17th I’m sharing with you today. It had almost been a calendar year!
It was lively, crowded. Music was everywhere, thanks to SXSW. . . . .
Not everyone was smiling and jolly. . . . . not at the time I photographed them, anyway. Life metaphors!
Riding, walking, rolling, hanging out: it was all happening on South Congress Avenue on St Patrick’s Day last year!
South Congress is fun to photograph. It’s fun to just be there - wandering, shopping, eating, drinking, hanging out. Austin has a lot of hearts (downtown and Zilker Park are two others) and this is one of them that for me never gets old. I’m thankful that so far the changes happening there haven’t altered the character of the place too much. (Long time residents would probably disagree with me; I can only compare it with how it was 8 years or so ago.) I hope the city will keep that in mind as time (and development) races on.
Where am I this year for St Pat’s? I’m writing this a few days in advance, so I really don’t know. I might be out photographing. I might be at home in my PJs. Wherever I am, I’m definitely wearing at least a little bit of green. And wherever you are, I hope your day is full of happy, and, as the Irish saying goes “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face.” And all that good stuff.
All photographs Hasselblad 500 cm and Kodak Tri-x.