DAY 29: Austin, Texas
Miles traveled: 4,160
States visited: 15
Weather: 93, sultry
The good times we’ve had in Austin have been tempered by the fact that the heat is absolutely unbearable. It’s been in the 90s everyday and the humidity is oppressive. After walking around downtown for 15 minutes, we were totally beat and exhausted. The locals talk about how great the air conditioning is in every restaurant and store. But who wants to stay inside all day?
We checked out the state capitol building here and the architecture (and air conditioning) were quite impressive.
Jason has arrived from L.A. He’s been taking lots of pictures. Hopefully some of them will make it into the next blog post.
At night my local friends Dan and Andy took us downtown. Sixth Street is a lot like Carson Street in Pittsburgh. The bars are everywhere and they even block off the road to make it pedestrian-only on weekends. But there are no coffee shops or CD stores on the street, so during the day there’s nothing going on here.
The drinks in Austin are cheaper than anywhere I’ve ever been. There is fierce competition – people try to recruit us as we walk down the street – ‘Hey guys, one dollar well drinks, one dollar beers!’ Many of the bars have a patio for smoking and people watching.
Very few bars in Austin charge covers. We went to a dance club that stayed open until 3. In L.A. there would’ve been a $25 cover for this place, but here admission was free.
On Friday we ended up at bars that mostly catered to the college crowd, but on Saturday we found some more interesting places. Jackalope had an alternative crowd that felt similar to Dee’s in Pittsburgh. They show B-movies on their TV screens and the one they were showing on this day brought back flashbacks. It was Invaders from Mars, from 1986. I remember seeing this film as a kid and being freaked out by the scene where this kid follows his teacher into a cave and then aliens slither out of her neck and she spots the kid and he has to run away. I was mentally scarred by that movie and completely forgot it existed until seeing it in this bar. Thanks, Jackalope.