ON A WALK: Crestview in Austin

While getting my hair done last week, I got into a conversation with the salon receptionist.  When I told her where I lived, she said: “Have you ever been to that little 1950′s shopping center there in your neighborhood?”  No.  No I had not.

Actually, that is a lie.  I’ve driven by Crestview Shopping Center before, always intrigued, but never hopping out to explore.  The shops face inward into a small parking lot, so if you were just zipping by, you might not notice anything except a brick wall enclosure.  But step inside, and my receptionist is right: It’s totally a little time warp into 1950′s Austin, complete with barber shop, deli, pharmacy,  beauty parlor.  I was a little enchanted.  And suddenly seized with the urge to get a manicure.

There’s also a tile mural that wraps around the shopping center, one that illustrates the changes of the neighborhood.  People have written messages on the tiles recording their memories.  Some of them are quite startling, but some of them are funny too, like a message from someone who said he “always wanted to go to the Poodle Dog as a kid to see the puppies.”  The Poodle Dog is a bar on Burnet Road that has existed since the dawn of time, with pictures of Marilyn Monroe taped all around the ceiling.  It has a giant poodle painted on the outside, and I giggled because that’s the kind of assumption I would have made as a little kid.

Speaking of which, there were all these kids and families eating at the deli that day, and I really wanted to take pictures of them because they were so darn adorable. But when I raised my camera to my face, I saw a mother looking suspiciously back at me through my lens, and that’s when I realized that perhaps it’s creepy to snap photos of other people’s children.  So you’ll just have to imagine them.

  • http://alwaysneverageappropriate.blogspot.com/ Sondra Primeaux

    That’s my hood. It is lovely, isn’t it? Even with its hyper-aware parents *ahem*.

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      HA – yes, yes Sondra.  It’s so lovely!  I think I’m finally getting over my ex (Hyde Park) and embracing Crestview/Allandale/North Shoal Creek.  

      Have you ever gone shopping at the Crestview Grocery?  Is it good?

      • http://alwaysneverageappropriate.blogspot.com/ Sondra Primeaux

        Probably hit the Minimax about five times a week? What you don’t find, the owner Ronnie will gladly take suggestions for. The beer cooler is hands-down the best place to be in July/Aug. And you can run across the parking lot with your alcoholic purchases and enjoy them with your Little Deli pizza! 

  • Marisol

    That deli USED to have the best vegetarian sandwich I’ve ever had! But ever since the deli got a new owner it hasn’t been the same. It makes me so sad. I miss that sandwich.

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

       Mmm … describe it for me anyway, Marisol.  Tease me if you must!  Maybe we can recreate it at home.  And if so, I’ll name that sandwich after you.

      • Marisol

        They start with a poppy seed roll toasted with 3 types of cheese, then they add olive relish (like they have on a mufaleta) to one side, top it with avocado, merinated artichoke hearts, merinated eggplant, lettuce, tomato and onion.
        It’s the best thing ever!
        They have changed it by taking off the eggplant and adding mushrooms (which I hate). Why does all vegetarian food have to have mushrooms on it??? So annoying!

  • Artie Gold

    So, having lived in a 20s suburb (configured when cars were the exception, the streetcar ruled and there was often a cow tied up in the side yard) and now a 50s suburb (configured when “the family car” was standard — one of them), I guess the next move will be to 80s suburbia, Stripmallia, where anything “commercial” has been assiduously separated from anything “residential”…

  • Artie Gold

    Well, nah. Don’t do that. Go full circle. Wait until you can go to a 2020s suburb, where being near to a public transportation hub will be where it’s at. (And what my old urban neighborhood in a place far away was ninety years ago…)

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      OR we could go retrograde, Artie – head backwards from the 20s to the 1890′s?  What with all all the hip kids are raising their own chickens these days?

  • Jennifer R

    The Little Deli has EXCELLENT pizza!  So nice to bring your own bottle of wine and sit outside, for an easy dinner in the neighbourhood.  Warning: Lots of family with kids eating pizza EARLY in the evening….but they’re gone by 8 or so. 
    Another Fun Fact: The Crestview Grocery storefront was featured in the Friday Night Lights episode where Riggins is living with the Taylors, and Rigs protects Julie from a sudden tornado when they go grocery shopping – at the Crestview!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7935636 Michelle Filips

    I love Little Deli! We always arrive by bicycle. 

  • alisaanne

    Crestview is my hood. Love it!