more like Au-some! everything about this town is rad. it's a city made of things i like, and they're all readily available in multiple forms in every neighbourhood, often 24 hours a day. like portland, austin knows how hip it is, and the "keep austin weird" front is very dedicated to ensuring it stays that way. heat notwithstanding, this is the coolest city in america.
burrito the tenth:
props to the freebirds dude who hates cilantro for making a delicious veggie burrito that made me break a sweat! the spicy, meatless, cilantro-free trifecta is a difficult combination, but i found it here.
detour: texas chainsaw massacre
the house from the movie was uprooted from its original location just outside of austin and moved to the middle of nowhere, where it operates as a the junction house restaurant. we happily make the drive, and are pleased to discover that though the main floor's victorian rail station theme appeals to the old people who eat there, the second floor has a shrine to its less palatable history. the current owners are big nerds, and have dedicated the upper rooms to various movie paraphernalia. they also named their son anakin. en route we stop at the bagdad cemetary, site of the graveyard scenes from the film, and the gas station, which is now the abandoned "bilbo's texas landmark." so creepy.
and not only is austin the heart of chainsaw country, it's in the middle of bat country too! we set out just before dusk to watch the world's largest bat colony come out to play for the night. over a million little happy flappies emerged from the crevices under the bridge to consume over 3000 lbs of insects. tried to see a midnight screening of shoot, a 1970s screwball film from canada, but though we arrived a full hour early, it was already sold out! we were disappointed obvs, but you gotta respect a town that can sell out a midnight showing of a canucksploitation film on a wednesday. we console ourselves with the midnight premiere of x-men instead. the drafthouse serves booze and a full menu of delicious food, making it the best theatre ever. we also had pre-film beers at the ridiculous hi-ball bar, which featured gold lamé chairs, red velvet curtains, a country cover band, karaoke rooms, and several bowling lanes.
burrito the eleventh:
turns out freebirds is a chain, but so is everything else in and around houston so i happily return for a quick lunch on the road to new orleans.