As home to the state capitol, a flagship university and natural treasures like Barton Springs, Austin isn’t hurting for landmarks. But there’s also an underground placemaking collection: the city's street art.
There’s the “Greetings From Austin” mural on South First Street, movie stills on the old Varsity Theatre building across from campus, even the “I Love You So Much” scrawled on the side of Jo’s Coffee on South Congress Avenue.
There’s also “Jeremiah the Innocent,” more commonly known as the “Hi, How Are You?” frog. Painted by songwriter Daniel Johnston, the design was famously worn by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
This week, the frog was defaced by taggers. And while it’s not the first time that’s happened, it raises an interesting question: What happens when unofficial landmarks like Johnston’s frog – which, with its charmingly crude design could itself be mistaken for graffiti – get tagged?