After the passing of singer, songwriter, and actor David Bowie, Austin-area fans of the late pop star vandalized a sign on “Bowie St.” to read “David Bowie St.” The best part? The city seems totally cool with leaving it as is… at least for a while longer.
— KVUE News (@KVUE) January 13, 2016
Once the city found out about the tribute, they responded with a surprisingly supportive message:
“The Austin Transportation Department has been notified that someone got creative with the street sign at Bowie and 5th Streets, changing the sign to read “David Bowie” in memory of the musician and pop-culture icon. We appreciate Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World and recognize David Bowie for all he did for the music industry and more. To this end, we will leave the sign up until Tuesday, January 19, so our community can enjoy the makeshift memorial a few days longer. At that time we will have to replace it with the real street name sign.”
As some on social media have pointed out, the tribute may indirectly be disrespectful to James Bowie, the legendary folk hero who perished at the Battle of the Alamo.
Austin 360 says:
“As for the street’s proper name, it’s safe to assume Bowie Street was named for James Bowie, the 19th Century Kentucky-born pioneer who played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution and died at the Battle of the Alamo. But an initial search of Austin History Center records turned up records only dating back to 1905, none of which explicitly mention for whom the street is named, community archivist Amanda Jasso said.”
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