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Love Thy Neighbor | Battle Bend Springs

No Skirmishes Here

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You’ve likely never heard of Battle Bend Springs. A vestige of some obscure Civil War skirmish? A reference to a poorly-timed elbow thrown at a party around a kegger? Let’s go with a well-kept secret of a South Austin neighborhood dotted with homes built in the 70s. Battle Bend Springs is located off way South Congress Avenue, just below Ben White Boulevard, sandwiched between Congress to the west and I-35 to the east. The neighborhood used to be one big farm and the original farmhouse is still there, occupied.

Sara Hussey, who owns her own PR agency, lives there with her husband Trevor, a software salesman. “When we started looking for a house two years ago, we wanted something close to South Congress and downtown, but couldn’t afford the 78704 pricing,” Hussey said. “When you go south of Ben White, home prices drop dramatically. We feel like we got a great deal.”

The young couple is on a first name basis with most of their neighbors, a mixture of young couples, families and empty nesters. Sara describes her home base as a small, friendly, quaint neighborhood with quirky charm. “If it was a dog, it would be a pit bull: A little scrappy, maybe scary at first, but so sweet when you get to know it.”

There are the neighbors down the street with three African pygmy goats and some chickens, Greg and Sarah Mast. Next door to the Husseys are David Williamson and his wife Leslie. David has a taxidermy business and there are usually a variety of animal hides hanging outside of his studio. He’s milked Greg’s goats for fresh milk a time or two. (Note: Greg didn’t seem apprehensive about a taxidermist getting that close to his goats). There’s another neighbor who is continually building structures out of recycled materials in his front yard. “For awhile there was a giant dragon and now it looks like he is building some kind of Greek god out of papier mâché,” Sarah said. As well as being resourcefully artistic, this guy is the neighbor who personifies the word. “He’s the one always helping the neighbors, pulling in their garbage cans or with some project in their front yard.”

Change is coming to their neck o’ the woods. The St. Elmo Public Market development will soon reinvigorate an existing defunct industrial complex and bring new eating, shopping and music venues to the area—like Austin icon Saxon Pub, which will be relocating to the area. “My husband and I are excited to have restaurants and music within walking distance,” said Hussey.

CREDITS

Photographs by Dagny Piasecki

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