The beloved scruffy building that housed downtown Austin’s Las Manitas Mexican restaurant is gone–razed Monday by the property owner. Ironically, plans are on hold for constructing a giant Marriott Hotel on the site. Of course, the demolition changes nothing. Las Manitas was doomed anyway and the building’s removal was only a matter of time. But symbolically, for the property owner Tim Finley to proceed right before Christmas, is just another example of the finger-in-the-eye-of-Austin attitude of this whole sorry mess. Read a short but good report at