Friday, August 31, 2012

Austin, Texas

Before leaving the Austin, Texas area, we decided to tackle the traffic and highway interchanges outside downtown Austin, to tour the city.  Austin is a relatively small city, with a 2011 population of 820,611.  It is a mix of old architecture and new.  Once we were in the downtown, maneuvering the streets was very easy.  Austin had the feel of a lifestyle, rather than tourism.  It's a college town and bicyclists were prevalent on the streets bike paths.  Scooters intermingled with traffic.  The bars and restaurants didn't have a tourist curb appeal, but seemed to be places locals would know to be great gathering places for the food or ambiance.
The music scene in Austin takes place downtown on 6th Street for the 20-30 year olds, and on 5th Street for the 40 plus group. Being newcomers to the city, we felt compelled to lock our vehicle doors while in the downtown and some outlying business areas. After about 3 hours in Austin, we began to get into the groove of the city There is a theme in Austin that has existed for years, and can be found on tee shirts and other items. The slogan says, "Keep Austin Weird." The Internet states that this slogan refers to the proudly eclectic and liberal lifestyles of many Austin residents. Austin's official slogan is "The Live Music Capital of the World." We didn't stay for the evening's entertainment. When I commented to Roy how I was starting to understand the lifestyle of the city, he replied that maybe we should move the camper there and stay awhile.  Although we opted not to, I found it interesting that with our new mobile lifestyle, we could just that quickly be calling Austin home!