Torchy’s Tacos in South Congress Ave. | Austin, Texas

Torchy’s Tacos in South Congress Ave. The latest new development of the popular franchise.

Who says you need a business plan to start a taco joint? With a head full of ideas and a slight ache from partying all summer, Michael Rypka left his fancy executive chef job to chase his dreams. He soon found them in Austin with a newly acquired food trailer and a red Vespa scooter. A house was mortgaged. Credit cards were maxed out. And in 2006, Torchy’s Tacos opened on Bouldin Creek at South 1st.

Watching cars drive by, Mike realized he had bet his life savings on green chili pork and fajitas mixed with his own desire for some great street food. With no customers in sight, Mike hopped on his scooter and handed out free chips and his award-winning salsa to personally invite everyone to stop by the trailer for some tacos. It worked.

The first menu was filled more with experiments than meals. So whenever Mike heard his customers holler “damn these tacos are good!” they were added to the menu. Soon “Damn Good” became a rally cry at the trailer. The Taco Dream grew and took on a life of its own with long lines and happy customers.

Today Torchy’s Tacos operate over 30 stores and a trailer park.

Rest is history! 

I just found out that there is another Torchy’s Tacos in Colorado! I was surprised to learn that when my friend, Ralena, posted a few of this restaurant yesterday.
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The entrance.
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The beautiful front.
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I’m glad the restaurant is giving their respects for Fran’s Hamburgers, the popular landmark for so many years. Fran’s Hamburgers gave up their lease about two years ago. We miss them.
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The sideways.
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The Yarn Bomb!

I took a hike at the Cooperfield Nature Trail that led me into the street. I went down on the street and saw the crochet-covered tree. It was awesome to see the art in front of me. I couldn’t resist getting close and took a look on the front yard. No one saw me. At least I didn’t knock down any flower pot. 😁

It’s not too far from Dessau Lane and Braker Lane.

12017 Rotherham Drive
Austin, Texas

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Curious Wanderer at Laguna Gloria

Among the most celebrated recent works by Friedman under this umbrella are the artist’s crushed aluminum foil roasting-pan figures, through a process of molding and lost wax casting, the figures are eventually converted into stainless steel while retaining the detail and imprint of the baking tins. Towering nearly thirty-three feet high, Looking Up, 2015, is among the largest and most spectacular of these works, a major new acquisition by The Contemporary Austin for the grounds of the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.

Laguna Gloria
3809 W. 35th Street
Austin, Texas

 

 

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The Baseball Freak on the Neighborhood

It must be a Bucs baseball fan somewhere in Austin. I don’t know if it is a professional baseball team or just a league team.
 
6104 Club Terrace
Austin, Texas

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Round Rock Veterans Park

The Round Rock Veterans Monument was built by the City of Round as a place of honor and remembrances for all that are serving or have served to protect and defend our American heritage.

I just learned that the park was open not long ago. It was dedicated on May 25, 2015 on Memorial Day. It was a refurbished park, formerly Chicano Park, with a lovely pavilion overlooking Brushy Creek, covered basketball court, and a small playscape.

221 E Main Street
Round Rock, TX 78664

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There’s not much to look at but I went over the end to take a look of the small dam, looking like a water fall just before sunset. I saw the heron hovering and waiting for some fish to swim through and eat it. It looked like that the heron had no luck.

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A surprising discovery that I never knew about!

After refreshing up from work, I decided “why not, I’m going to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to check out on a new bridge if it was completed yet”.  It was indeed! This project is building a new trail portion on the Walnut Creek Greenbelt.  The trail will span from Mopac south to Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, the northern end point of the Phase 2 trail project. It will have 9 creek crossings and 4 trail heads.  It’s still under the construction that begun 2 years ago.  It was not far from where I lived and it was in Gracyswood Park connecting to Walnut Creek Park.  I am excited for the progress and to see it to be finished.  I couldn’t wait to ride my bike through the Walnut Creek Greenbelt!

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My shadow selfie on the new bridge 9 that was completed a few weeks before

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I took a hike that I never took this trail before. Until I spotted something on the left side of the trail.  I went over the little creek to take a look, my jaw suddenly dropped open wide.  I was thrilled for my discovery.  See the map above.  The little creek is shown as blue line and the trail is a brown line.   The arrow was where I was where I found this abandoned station wagon.  As you know me, I’m a daredevil and I would do anything to get there with the determination.  I had to cross the creek so I had to pass over the black wall border (that prevented us to go there…), leaped over the creek (my flip flops got wet when I landed on the end of the creek, slipped down a little, splashed some -ugh), and waltzed through the fence.

My heart pounded when I got close to “scan” the station wagon.  I couldn’t believe my eyes that it was really antique!  All rusted and broke.  Glass shattered in pieces, stuff all over.  Wow.  I took some pictures taken from my iPhone. I would definitely come back with my beloved Canon Rebel soon for the sunset setting!

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See the heart shaped tree limbs.  I didn’t notice it when I snapped a few photos of the abandoned car until I edited them at “home”.  It was amazing to see the “heart”. There was not just the station wagon, but the chicken coop, water tank, a house and the whatnots.  I will show you those pictures next time I write about this land on the next page.

IMG_7352-Edit IMG_7354I have to be honest with you –  I was very, very tempted to get inside of the house but I decided against it.  I couldn’t hear anything there and it might be some homeless people staying there, probably sleeping,  hiding, or smokin’ crack.  I was just being alone taking a look at the land. I didn’t want the risk of trespassing the house.  I will come back next time with SOMEONE who would be happy to be nosey around.

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The water tank stood next to the house.  I guess that might be in the early 20’s looking from the designs of the house.  I need more time to investigate the land where some abandoned houses, automobiles and whatnots scattered everywhere untouched.

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I went back to the trail where I left off, continuing my hike, through the brick “bridge” over the creek, stayed on the trail to the brick overpass where the creek runs through under.  I continued my hike to see how the cliffs looked like.  It has not been changed since the October 31, 2014 flooding.  The rocks were falling and crashing on the ground from the above when the water were rushing through the creek.

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“And did those feet in ancient times ache upon Walnut Creek’s long trails”

See you next time, with my Canon Rebel loaded!

 

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Roaming Balconies District Park with my flip flops

Balcones District Park offers an interesting hike because of the diverse habitats in the short length it covers – because, of the beautiful marriage of nature and suburbia. The trail is very rocky in spots so be sure and wear ankle supporting shoes and watch out for the poison ivy!

Well I didn’t wear my jeans…LOL  So please don’t take me as the good influence.  I get a warning but I didn’t heed.

The beginning of the entrance to the Balconies District Park.  It led me to this…..

IMG_6293IMG_6292-2IMG_6298….awesome graffiti on the abandoned tanks.  I’m not sure what they were used for…but I know for sure they are….dead.

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The “one-eyed” tank on the right says “I’m sorry to inform you – but – your membership has been denied. 1984.”

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This is really-almost- impossible for me to ride my mountain bike through this damn f**king stones on this path.  I gave up, hopped out of my seat, walked through this trail with my poor bike.   Just be prepared or just be pumped for the rough ride.

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Ah, the damaged dam….as abandoned as well.  Neglected. Graffiti-marked. Sorry-ass but intriguing.  I wish there is a story behind this dam.  Look around, the trees are not trimmed, water greeny,  trash strewn all over the creek.

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The cart was left underwater.  I don’t have any idea how the cart ended up there.  The grocery stores are pretty FAR, yes, FAR from here.  Apparently dropped out of the dogs-and-cats- carts storm.

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Leaving the dam, this is leading me into Barton Creek Greenbelt.  This is a new jog and bike trail that hasn’t been completed yet. The Shoal Creek/Lance Armstrong Bikeway has been closed on and off for various utility upgrade projects that would make use of the trail too dangerous during construction on the Mopac.

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Walking through the Mopac overpass – I see the alien is watching me.

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That’s where the Metro Rail is running through rails.  It’s also making a face.

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“Meteor Shall Fall Sept. 24, (10 crossed off), 2015”

Ok, I’m still here, thank you.

IMG_6319I used to walk or ride my bike on the new concrete path.. IMG_6320

But, that just added the extension path I never went before – it was just dirt last August. IMG_6321A new bridge 3 just almost completed

IMG_6324A snail staying still.  Thank you for your pose. 

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I went back to the Mopac overpass, there is a new addition towards Duval Road for the bicycle enthusiasts.  You can stop by and grab some water at Speedy Stop gas station on the right.

Wait, I’m not finished…I continued to walk on Duval Road. I know there are a lot of graffiti on the overpass.  See the arrow.

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I checked them out.  Yes, its still there but there are some changes just like Hope Outdoor Gallery at 1101 Baylor Street.  Hope Outdoor Gallery is still the best city attraction.  It’s just an overpass wall but its cool to see our local artists do that once in a while. IMG_6331 IMG_6332 IMG_6334 IMG_6335

“Show me what you got!!!”IMG_6348

What I got ….this! I walked with my flip flops. 😉

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