The wife and I just got home from 4 days in my favorite city (Since New Orleans got doused), Austin, TX! I'll post a more detailed trip review when I get settled. I even took A picture. Yeah, A picture. That's good for me, I usually forget I have a camera. Anyway. I thought I'd share
"Don's Top 10 Things About Austin." Volume I, 10/23/05.
10. Flipping on the radio or walking into a sports bar and hearing Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider. Jack Ingram, Rodney Crowell and Wilco fricking rules. Glad some state has good taste in music.
9. Queso is delicious...but only in Texas. Here, it's too salty.
8. The Ironworks is my favorite restraunt. I ate three meals in a row there at last years SXSW but only one this time...and it was yummy. Brisket and pork rib combo platter. We landed in Houston, drove to Austin, went to Ironworks...one, two, three. Perfect way to start a perfect trip.
7. Whataburger is AWESOME at 3 a.m. when you stumble in for a double chesseburger and fries. However, it's not nearly as good when you're sober.
6. "Bike people" are annoying. Today is the annual Lance Armstrong sponsored "Ride for Roses" bicycle race. All the bike people were staying in the same hotel as us. Now, I'm all for healthy behavior and having a hobby and Lord knows it's for a great cause BUT....do you people really need to wear the bike shorts 24/7?? Case in point:
I mean, come on! Wear some sweats or pants....save the twig and 2 berries for your fellow cycling enthusiasts. Ugh, it was annoying! We get it...you ride a bike. Now quit posturing all over the hotel.
5. My friend Dan is a supercool guy. He took us to a kick-ass restraunt that had the best tacos ever and then he gave us a mini-tour of some neighborhoods in Austin. Thanks, Dan!
4. Pickles and pickled jalapeno's are not enough "vegetables" for 4+ days. Especially after you've read #'s 7 and 8 above. I did have a serving of sauteed okra (which is good, apparently sauteeing cooks the snot out. Who knew?) but it didn't help "things." As a sub-top ten addition, I'd like to also add that it's not good to eat meat for every meal. Unless it's bacon.
3. Lonestar Beer is awesome..and really cheap. You can get a 16 oz. Lonestar at concerts in Austin for a mere $3.00! I also like Lonestar Light but it was conspicuously absent from town. Maybe they never restocked from when I was there for SXSW?
2. My friend Pete and his wife and kid are supercool people. Pete and I have known each other for a while via Sundance and SXSW via Film Threat, but we've never had the chance to hang out under normal (read; mostly sober, not rushing to see films and/or fighting off hangovers) circumstances. He welcomed us into his house and even took us to a killer Mexican restraunt. Thanks for the hospitality Pete and fam!
1. Austin is everything Northern California wishes it was. Culturally sound and diverse, friendly, fun, honest, passionate. Yeah, it is in Texas and yeah, that is kind of scary. But I even like Texas. At least the state is honest and proud about itself. Here, all people care about is how things seem. "If I have a Kerry/Edwards" bumpersticker on my car, I must be a liberal. And I must be a liberal because it's the 'cool' thing to be here." Meanwhile these people are driving fucking SUV's and buying houses for $600,000. Meanwhile bills get passed through VOTING to cut art and education and to treat "illegal" minorities unfairly. It all sounds pretty phony to me.
Anyway, I'll quit ranting and just say Austin is a wonderful city and I hope to live there someday soon. Great music, great food, great film events and a great sense of pride. Plus, you can get a house there that you won't be paying for until you're 70. If you get a chance, GO THERE. I'll be back in March.