Tag Archives: Localities

Out in Luckenbach, Texas there ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain

ADSCF3657.JPGIn 1977 in the midst of the glory days of bands like Supertramp, Kansas, Eagles, Rush, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, and Santana and Pink Floyd, a catchy song started being played everywhere that served as a countrified counterpoint.  Waylon Jennings rendition of Luckenbach, Texas was that song.

I remember it grabbed my interest and introduced me to the concept of “outlaw country” music — artists like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jessi Colter, Merle Haggard,  Emmylou Harris, and Hank Williams, Jr.  I never had much interest in the country genre before that, but the music being produced by these outlaws blended right into what I liked somehow.

BDSCF3660.JPGOut of that experience, I have maintained a curiosity about the namesake of the song, and what goes on there.  After a fun weekend spent in nearby Fredericksburg (read the story), we decided to go have a look.   Luckenbach’s heritage goes back to the 1840’s when a trading post was established at the place.  Settlers and Commanche’s traded here.  Eventually, a post office and community was established and the population grew as high as 500 people, but it gradually died out and became what might be called a ghost town.  In the 1960’s the town was purchased in its entirety for $30,000 by a guy named Hondo Crouch who fostered the activities that take place there now.

Following are images from an afternoon and evening at Luckenbach.  Captions, when provided, appear before the related image(s).

CDSCF3663.JPG

Nowdays, Luckenbach is a picturesque collection of weathered, wooden structures (a souvenir shop, a dancehall, and a bar) set in a grove of old shade trees.  Chickens peck and scratch their way around the yard free range style.  Beer and barbeque are on sale and are a fine complement to hanging out.

CDSCF3663.JPGEDSCF3669.JPG

People were cruising into Luckenbach by a variety of modes — from European sports cars to …

… this guy who came galloping down the road on his bull …

GDSCF3672.JPG

I thought myself fortunate to arrive one a Sunday afternoon where following a couple free performances at the small bandstand the Sunday afternoon pickers circle convened.  I was originally just going to stop for a beer and to look the place over, but I discovered a campground within earshot just across the creek so I ended up staying overnight.

JDSCF3670.JPGJDSCF3680.JPGKDSCF3677.JPGLDSCF3713.JPG

It looks like there were at least eleven pickers in the circle along with assorted harp players and singers …

MDSCF3694.JPGNDSCF3696.JPGoDSCF3714.JPGPDSCF3683.JPGQDSCF3681.JPGRDSCF3682.JPG

The chickens started heading up into the trees around dusk …

SDSCF37081.JPGTDSCF3687.JPGUDSCF3686.JPGV1DSCF3685.JPGv2DSCF3716.JPGv3DSCF3717.JPGWDSCF3698.JPGXDSCF3697.JPGYDSCF3691.JPGz1DSCF3699.JPGz2DSCF3740.JPG

The old bar is a collecting place for all kinds of odd stuff …

z3DSCF3695.JPGz4DSCF3711.JPG

Luckenbach is situated on South Grape Creek …

IMG_4493.JPG

Introduced as the poet laureate of Luckenbach, Walt Perryman recited a couple of his poems during a break in the music …

z5DSCF3744.JPG

LUCKENBACH TEXAS by Walt Perryman

Luckenbach is not just a bar, it is a lot more than that

It is a place to get married, go to Church, or buy a hat.

When they have a Picker’s Circle, it does not take long

Before someone is singing a good old Gospel song.

We have had many funerals out here, too.

Mike Baudat, Hondo and Marge to name a few.

Some people say it’s haunted out here and that may be,

But all of the ghosts I have met have been friendly to me.

I have heard some people say it is like magic out here,

I have heard others say it is just the cold beer.

The Picker’s Circle singing gospel songs under the tree,

may not be heaven but it is the next thing to me.

Check out more about Walt at his Facebook page

z6DSCF3741.JPG

Dusk faded to dark as the music kept going into the night …

z7DSCF3755.JPG

z8DSCF3758.JPG

Luckenbach mood music ….

 

Advertisements

German tradition in the Lone Star State

 

Madrid Impressions

a1DSCF0144.JPGBig city sophistication, churches, palaces, & museums, elegant boulevards, lively plazas & pedestrian ways, vibrant cafe & night life, colorful & interesting street art, expansive, manicured parks, a plethora of public and private universities and the youth and diversity that they attract … Madrid has all of this and more.

With a city population of more than three million and more than six million in the metro area, Madrid is Spain’s largest urban area.  The other European cities that are as big as this are London and Paris. Situated along the Manzanares River, Madrid dates to the times B.C. and was a walled city into the 15th century.  Now it is the capital of Spain and is home to Spain’s royal family.

Hemingway spent alot of time in Madrid and considered it “the most Spanish of all cities.”  I frequently encountered Hemingway lore — the most memorable were the frequent refrains that “Hemingway ate here ..” or “Hemingway drank here …”  —  I got a good laugh out of the “Hemingway never drank here …” posting at a place that was looking for a way to declare itself different from the crowd.  I particularly enjoyed the Atocha neighborhood where I stayed and the adjacent Lavapiés neighborhood … there was a real Bohemian feel to these areas and I could imagine them being the kind of areas that Hemingway would hang out in if he were still around today.

Following are images from my wanderings around Madrid.  Captions, when provided, appear above the related image(s) …

The symbols of Madrid are the strawberry Tree and the bear, as depicted in this statue at Puerto del Sol …a2DSCF0130.JPG

There are alot of people in Madrid …

a3DSCF8967.JPGa4DSCF8971.JPGa5DSCF8975.JPGa6DSCF0308.JPG

Dramatic statuary atop a government building …

a8DSCF0174.JPG

Santa María la Real de La Almudena is the Madrid’s cathedral.  It seems a bit plain to me compared to the design and adornment of cathedrals in other Spanish cities, but it is also relatively modern having been built from 1883-1993.

b1DSCF0117.JPG

The grand palace Palacio Real or royal palace is much more beautiful by comparison …

b2DSCF0116.JPGb3DSCF0118.JPGb4DSCF0300.JPG

The portico-lined Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol are two of the main plazas in the center of Madrid.  Just a few blocks apart, they are major gathering places.  Plaza Major figured heavily into the gory history of the Spanish Inquisition but is now ringed by cafes and shops.  Puerta del Sol is a much busier place as buses and subway lines converge here and shopping boulevards radiate from here.  Both areas are prime places in Madrid for watching the many creative buskers who ply their trade in the city …

c1DSCF9020.JPGc2DSCF8949.JPGc3DSCF8951.JPGc4DSCF8953.JPGc6DSCF8980.JPGc7DSCF9006.JPG

San Miguel Market near the Plaza Major is a beautiful structure filled with market stalls and eating places … you can read my article about Spanish food and markets here …

d1DSCF9002.JPG

Cafe life is everywhere on the picturesque streets and plazas of Madrid.  A particular favorite area of mine is the Plaza de Santa Ana where one of the city’s craft breweries is located.  You can read my story about Spanish beer here …

d2DSCF0358.JPGd3DSCF0359.JPGd4DSCF0371.JPGd5DSCF8943.JPG

All manner of foreign and ethnic places can be found …

d6DSCF8989.JPGd7DSCF8968.JPGd8DSCF8963.JPGd9IMG_3416.JPG

Interesting street art and street activities are around every corner …

e3DSCF0306.JPGe1DSCF8984.JPGe2DSCF9016.JPGe31DSCF0151.JPGe32DSCF0149.JPGe33DSCF0186.JPG

Madrid is the center of Spain’s bullfighting culture and history.  The venue of Las Ventas hosts bullfighting events on Sundays and holidays from March to October and daily during the Festival of San Isidro. e34DSCF0187.JPG

From my window five flights above the street …

e4DSCF0321.JPGe5DSCF0312.JPGe6.JPGe7DSCF0297.JPGe8DSCF0299.JPGe9DSCF0362.JPGe99DSCF0360.JPGe999DSCF0163.JPG

Big babies at Atocha station …

e9999DSCF0202.JPGe999999DSCF0203.JPG

Madrid has more trees and green space per inhabitant of any city in Europe, and maybe in the world.  The parks are well kept and just plain beautiful.  I spent most of a day in the Buen Retiro Park and the nearby Royal Botanical Gardens.  These are both near the Prado Museum.  Retiro is a huge park with shady walkways, quiet natural alcoves, relaxing cafes, and even a big lake …

f1DSCF0210.JPGf2DSCF0217.JPGf3DSCF0214.JPGf4DSCF0233.JPGf5DSCF0231.JPGf6DSCF0236.JPGf7DSCF0223.JPGf8DSCF0215.JPGf9DSCF0253.JPGg1DSCF0224.JPGg2DSCF0259.JPGg3DSCF0261.JPGg4DSCF0262.JPGg5DSCF0266.JPGg6DSCF0263.JPGg7DSCF0230.JPGg7DSCF0272.JPGg9DSCF0289.JPGg99DSCF0293.JPGg999DSCF0282.JPGg9999DSCF0290.JPGg99999DSCF0285.JPGh2DSCF0274.JPGh3DSCF0269.JPGh4DSCF0277.JPGh5.JPGh6DSCF0278.JPGh7DSCF0295.JPG

Impressions of Palma

ramblaDSCF9877.JPGThe shady, tree-lined boulevard La Rambla will stay etched in my mind as the epitome of the graceful city of Palma.  Flower sellers line the center walkway between the traffic lanes and the frequently placed cafes hint at a city with a slow, civilized pace.  Less visited, the more everyday neighborhoods that radiate from the core echo these traits but with a more utilitarian look and feel.

yacht.jpgPalma is a port city of about 400,000 people — about half the population of the island of Mallorca, Spain.  The island’s location in the center of the western Mediterranean gave rise to its history as a maritime hub from the time of the Phoenicians.  The Romans, the Byzantine empire, Christian Spain, the Moors, Christian Spain again … they all are important to the history here.  Overlay the presence of various pirates and you have a complex and interesting mix.

DSCF9723.JPGIf I were a “beach” person, the waterfront is probably all I would need to have a great time here.  The Bay of Palma with its enticing miles of beach front and palm-lined promenade with views of the cathedral and city is gorgeous. shipIMG_1580.JPGWith it’s large marina, Palma is the starting point for boat trips and yacht charters.  In fact, one of the other lodger’s where I was staying was a trained ship’s mate looking to find a job with one of the many yachts and cruise ships that pass through.  I saw dozens of cruise ships that had chugged in during the week I was there.

But Palma is an intriguing place even with no interest in the beach or sea.  It is a festive place of lively sidewalk cafes, bustling markets, and buzzing street life.  It is also an exceedingly picturesque place of interesting architecture and a maze of winding pedestrian streets & alleys.  The food and drink can be excellent and inexpensive.  Read about Spanish food in my post “Spanish Bites” and about the Palma Beer Festival in my post “C(be)erveza“.

Following are images of Palma.  Captions (when provided) appear before the photo(s) that they apply to …

bDSCF9770.JPGcDSCF9772.JPG

Palma’s majestic cathedral La Seu, is a vast structure that was originally built on the site where there was once a mosque.  This structure seems to me to be in a class with any other European cathedral that I have visited.

e1DSCF9722.JPGe2DSCF9830.JPGe3DSCF9842.JPGe4DSCF9867.JPGe5DSCF9868.JPGe6DSCF9814.JPGe7DSCF9815.JPGe8DSCF9888.JPGe9.JPGe99DSCF9835.JPGe11DSCF9709.JPGe12IMG_1606.JPGe13.JPGe14IMG_1608.JPGe15IMG_1610.JPG

Some windmills still exist in the area … these are in a working class neighborhood.

street1DSCF9034.JPGstreet2DSCF9040.JPG

The Old City (in the southeast area of Palma behind the cathedral) is a maze of streets and alleys …

street3DSCF9706.JPG

street4DSCF9741.JPGrambla2IMG_1595.JPGstreet5DSCF9715.JPGstreet6DSCF9753.JPGstreet7DSCF9784.JPGstreet8DSCF9796.JPGstreet9DSCF9805.JPGstreet99DSCF9811.JPGstreet999IMG_1598.JPG

The Plaza Major is one of the important market and meeting places in the city.  There is an assortment of buskers who work the plaza …

plaza1DSCF9695.JPGplaza2DSCF9746.JPGplaza3DSCF9747.JPGplaza4DSCF9774.JPGplaza5IMG_1588.JPGplaza6IMG_1589.JPG

Palma has a great cafe life — inviting cafes are everywhere …

cafe1DSCF9705.JPGcafe2DSCF9700.JPG

How’s that for a big wine bottle?

cafe3DSCF9783.JPG

There is quite alot of public art … both modern and historic …

art1DSCF9042.JPGart2DSCF9047.JPGart3DSCF9714.JPGart4DSCF9749.JPGart4DSCF9875.JPGart5DSCF9777.JPGart5DSCF9963.JPGart6DSCF9809.JPG

I saw these tiny vehicles in use for delivery here in Palma as well as elsewhere in Spain …

q1DSCF9043.JPGcourtyardIMG_1583.JPG

Some quirky sights along the way …

q3.JPGq4DSCF9897.JPGq5DSCF9902.JPGq55DSCF9965.JPGq6.JPGq7.JPGq999IMG_1586.JPGq99.JPG

Hannibal Lector?

q9DSCF9964.JPG