In a big sea of red exists a pool of blue called Austin. Their motto is "Keep Austin Weird." Folks, they hit that one right out of the park. On our last day in the Republic, we wanted to get a small taste of this so-called weirdness. Little did I know, Austin is strangely like being in the TV show Portlandia.
We made our first stop on the Austin tour to the Hope Outdoor Gallery.
I have to hand it to Austinese for turning wasted lots into art spaces. They take great pride in having art everywhere. It does not matter whether the art is good or bad...as long as it is everywhere.
I generally do not care for graffiti art, but there were some very interesting areas occupied on the wall.
Some observations of Austinians: They do not have public bathrooms anywhere. No place you go has public bathrooms. You must buy something, anything, no matter where you go, to use their bathrooms. I would think such a forward-thinking, progressive, alternative place where recycling bins are everywhere would do something to provide some kind of public bathrooms, so people would not be forced to urinate in every dark corner or back alley.
Austinites like to eat, they do not stay hungry. They might stay foolish, I do not know. They love to wait in lines for their food. Many of the lines have doormen and red ropes holding back the eager diners. I could never be that eager.
Many Austinios try very hard to be noticed. This is counter to most of the rest of the Texans who tend to keep a very low profile.
They love to eat out of shiny things. We saw numerous hash shacks serving up something besides a place to live. I am not a fan of these conversions of such unique trailers. I suspect I am a minority in this view.
Thai crepes from a '74 Tradewind. They seem irresistible to me. Not.
Even the animal rescue people have gotten in on the act. I was looking at a 1954 Cruiser just the other day thinking how it would make the perfect mobile animal shelter. Again, not.
There is a good amount of neon in Austin. I dig it too!
I think Baltimore has a Continental Club. I wonder if the one in Austin is a strip club, too.
There was no line at Allen's Boots to get in.
I saw a pair that was $1400 in my size. I passed.
Even cowboys wear scarlet begonias tucked into their hair. There were some beautiful shirts for sale at Allen's. I bought a cowboy shirt. It is more western than cowboy. I kind of like mother of pearl snaps instead of buttons. I had to wait in a line to pay for my purchase, which rivaled the taco line next door.
It is a little know fact that the Austin denizens learned how to make fish tacos from the Mesopotamians. A few years later the Austonians taught the folks down in Baja Mexico how to make fish tacos and they spread all over the USA like wildfire.
I strongly suspect we just got a glimpse of Austin and its weirdness.
It is always nice to come home, however, to where the water tastes familiar and the air smells like home.