November 8-16, 2003: Our Fall Trip to Florida
October 29, 2003: Dinner at Fred's House
Return to Index for 2003

October 29, 2003
A Visit with Greg in Austin


I had to be down in Austin for Pervasive for a day or two this week, staying with Greg. At lunchtime one day, he asked me to go with him and another Pervasive friend of his to look at a house he was considering buying over on 33rd Street in downtown Austin. He is living on Spicewood Springs in what I think is a very nice house, but now that he does not need to be so near work, he is considering the importunings of some of his friends to move closer in. (I should point out that I thought that Greg was still considering the house; little did I know that he had already put a contract on it. But that's the way Greg is- he goes quickly after something that he wants and worries about the details later.)

As you can see from the maps, the house Greg wanted to go see is south of where the old offices for Data Junction used to be, and much closer in to downtown Austin. The house is on the north side of 33rd Street; for comparison, Darrell has been living on 12th Street all the time he has been in Austin.

Getting to this house from anywhere in downtown Austin is very easy, and people coming from a long distance have only to come down Mopac (which is Texas Highway 1, and named for the Missouri-Pacific right-of-way on which it was built when the railroad allowed the city to use the land) and get off at 35th Street.

Getting to this house is easier for all his friends at the Zen Center and at the theater center where he is getting back into amateur acting; Spicewood Springs was twenty-five minutes away. This is why many of these people were suggesting to Greg that he move closer-in.

The house is in an older neighborhood, and is the first house on the street to be totally redone. It is an expensive house for the neighborhood (about $600,000, Greg tells me), and it is being sold by the builder, but it is certainly nice outside and inside, as the upcoming movies will attest.

The exterior of the house is nicely-done, with lots of earthtones and river rock- like the rock pillars around the front porch and door. The driveway goes along the side of the house, through a security-gate (movie below), and then arround to a nice little back yard and a detached, two-car garage and parking apron.

The Security Gate

Inside, as you will see, it is modern to the max, with widespread use of bamboo flooring, artistic touches everywhere, really great lighting and an ultra-modern kitchen.

Without trying to describe the house in words, I think the best thing to do is to let Greg give us a tour. First off, the front door faces the driveway, not the street, and the porch and facade of the house are done in river rock. To begin the tour, Greg took us in the front door (movie at left)

As soon as we entered, we found ourselves in a very nice entry (movie at right), that was complete with a little built-in seat for removing shoes when necessary, flanked by two narrow closets and a window on the front of the house to your right.

Coming in from the entry, you are at one end of the living room as Greg explains some of the architectural details (movie at left)

First, we proceed down the hallway towards the back of the house, and the first door on our right is the guest bedroom (movie at right). The room has a vanity inside the room, which can be convenient since the guest bathroom (movie below)...

...connects back with another, smaller room which can either be a bedroom or an office. This smaller room (movie at left) does not have the in-room vanity, but it does have its own door into the hallway and a door into the connecting bath.

Right across the hallway from the second, small bedroom (as we work our way to the back of the house) is the media room (movie at right)- a room which is also just behind the stairway in the living room, and which can also be reached directly from the living room via a second entrance. The media room is also open to the loft above on the second floor.

Continuing down the hall towards the back of the house, the laundry room (movie at left) and water heater room are right behind the media room.

At the back of the house, the hallway opens into the great room (movie below).

This large room contains the ultra-modern kitchen (movie at right) which is on the wall behind the laundry room area.

In the back right corner of the house is the master bedroom (movie at left). It can be reached directly from the back living area and also from a door that leads out to the back terrace that runs along the outside of the back living area. The master also has windows out to the backyard.

From the master bedroom, you can walk down a short hall (movie at right) that has a large closet on your left and the commode area on your right. There are pocket doors between the commode and the hallway, and a doorway from the commode to the back living area, so, because a small sink has also been put in this small room, it doubles as the powder room.

If you continue into the master bath, you are facing the jacuzzi tub against a beautiful stone wall. There are double sinks, one on each side as you enter (movie at left).

The bathroom has an amazing walk-through-and-behind shower (movie at right), and the entire master bathroom was just incredible- not because it was so large but because of all the design features.

Next, we walked back down the hallway towards the front of the house, looking at all the art wall niches that have been provided (movie at left).

Then we went up the stairs to the second floor.

At the top of the stairway, we find a wonderful sitting/reading area (movie at left) that is, essentially, on a platform over the top of the media room downstairs. Down the second floor hallway (which is directly over the first-floor hallway), is a long line of bookshelves that give quite the "library" feel.

This area is really nice, and provides a cozy curl-up space in a house that is otherwise modern and open. Just down the hall are the computer room and the hall ends at a balcony (seen here from below) that looks out over the great room (movie at right). This is a very nice touch and adds to the openness of the house.

We returned to the front of the second floor and descended the stairs (movie at left) to the end of our tour.

As Greg closed the front door and posed for a picture, I got the distinct impression that he was a little too taken with the house for this to be just a "borrow the key from the Realtor and go take a look" type of tour, and, of course, it turned out that I was right.

Although his house is a little modern for my taste, I like it a lot. It's a great house for entertaining (one of the things I suspect Greg will want to do more of now that he will have much more free time). Everything is bright, open and airy; it is not a house one could ever get melancholy in, it would seem. I hope very much that Greg finds it exactly to his liking.

November 8-16, 2003: Our Fall Trip to Florida
October 29, 2003: Dinner at Fred's House
Return to Index for 2003