For five years, we’ve been watching a crew of under-paid Mexicans construct an enormous row of condominiums just up the hill from our apartment complex here in south Austin. Decked out in garish dark green and sickly oatmeal, they announce their ownership by revving up the machinery growling night and day. Our lives have been shattered by a constant barrage of table saws and menacing crane booms dangling above us. At dawn, a rumbling garbage truck snatches up a dumpster and flings its contents atop a festering pile of empty beer bottles and rotting fruit. It seems as though we’ve become prisoners, and I’m surprised that the new condominium owners haven’t simply hired security and run us out of the neighborhood so wealthy hipsters can pretend that they invented the city they’re trying to re-imagine as an adult playground.
Trolling the complex late one night, I looked up at the partially built condominiums and saw that the owners had already erected stout steel fencing along the entire length of the property. You’re not getting into this place, whispered the fence, don’t even think about it. Take a close look at the attached image. It’s all you need to know.