The Red River, that is...
I've spent the past few days under a foreign flag, down in Austin, Texas, feeling much like I'd left my homeland behind. The purpose for the trip was a little family research, which was completely fruitless. But I also turned it into a bit of a mini-vacation; anything that takes me away from traveling Interstate-35 to the north is, indeed, a vacation for me.
I was able to spend some quality time with a friend, enjoying dinner and a bit of sight-seeing with an Austin insider. It was great fun -- very relaxing, enjoying some Texas barbecue and the real deal, Austin music.
So here are some of the sights from the past few days in Austin, where the temperatures reached above 100. Heat index on Friday was 107, so let's all say "Thank YOU!" for air conditioning!!
In the capital of a strange land, looking at a strange flag flying over a strange Capitol. I felt like I should have had my passport in hand. They speak a whole other language there too. Fortunately, I've known enough natives that I could make out enough of the local speak to get by.
I will admit that the street signs were difficult to decipher, however. Is that a noun or a verb? And why, exactly, should we slow down for THAT? Interesting. Interesting, indeed.
Ah, Sixth Street. Walking the sidewalks in the morning reminds me of visiting New York City. I love the smell of urine in the morning... (blech!) Sixth Street is home to many, many drinking establishments, live music, tattoo parlors and historic buildings.
Here's an Irish pub on Sixth Street. As early as this was in the morning, I have to assume the person knocking at the door is an employee, not a patron. But then again, I didn't ask.
It's also the location of the Driskill Hotel, where presidents and all sorts of other famous folk have spent the night. Lovely building.
A quick peak down an alley reveals a gargoyle -- wish I could tell you more about its history and the back story. I just thought it was cool.
One of the newest additions to Austin's skyline is the Frost Bank. It's beautiful when lit at night. Apparently there's been some discord about the building, because it stands taller than the Texas State Capitol. And that seems to upset people. I think they finally decided that the glass at the top was permissible as a decorative element rather than as usable space.
This is the Austin Motel, which has been in business on Congress Street since 1936. I didn't stay here -- I shot the photo because a married couple I used to work with had stayed there. Several years ago I went to a National Writers' Workshop with the wife (that's the female member of the married couple, Mark) and we walked down Congress to see it.
There's more to come, but I'll admit it now. This trip was more of an experience than a photo-taking opportunity. Kind of a nice change. Stay tuned for more "artistic" type photos, next time.