David Bowie Street

Austin's David Bowie Street makes waves, proving we're still the coolest

Austin's David Bowie Street makes waves and proves we're still cool

David Bowie Street downtown Austin name change January 2015
A Bowie Street sign in downtown Austin mysteriously changed to David Bowie Street overnight. Photo by Kelly Erickson

Since David Bowie's unexpected passing on Sunday, impromptu tributes, sing-alongs, and monuments to the influential music star have popped up all over the world. A tribute in the heart of Austin — at the intersection of West Fifth and Bowie streets — takes things in a new direction.

Everyone from MSNBC to Consequence of Sound is talking about the street sign in downtown Austin that went from Bowie Street to David Bowie Street overnight. Originally thought to be an act by the city government, the new sign is a guerilla monument put in place by an unknown Austinite. Despite the ch-ch-change technically being an act of vandalism, the city's transportation department will leave it up as a temporary memorial.

"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," reads the statement.

Petitions to make the change permanent are circulating, but for now, you have less than one week to get in some dancing in the street. Austin's original Bowie Street, however, is still a fitting tribute to the British star. Word on the street is that the road was named for famous Texan James Bowie, and David Bowie (born David Jones) chose his now iconic name in homage to the Lone Star legend.

For now, the sign and the decision to leave it in tact are garnering national attention for the Capital City.

"Austin is as awesome a city as you've heard it is," declares Consequence of Sound. And the popular WCBS radio station in New York City confirms that our "weird" ways are "exactly David Bowie's style."