Dillos, tin shacks and hats...

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, January 12, 2008

It was rather chilly this morning when we woke, the kind of chilly that makes you want to stay under the covers, a bit of a shock after the last month. However the bright sunshine beckoned and with the prospect of returning to the city we fell in love with last time round, we were on our way fairly early. Alas the free parking we used before isn't free anymore but a daily charge of $5 isn't going to break the bank. It's been a perfect day for photos, no don't groan, you'll enjoy them! We didn't return to the capitol building, though we may well do so before we go. In the warm sunshine we ambled along 6th Street which is the historic district, here new meets old and gives the city the kind of hotchpotch appearance that makes it quite unique. 
The high rise and it is HIGH, is not overpowering, wide streets and a mix of architecture give it a pleasantly open feeling. 6th St is now home to many bars, clubs and restaurants, it boldly displays its individuality.

 The city's unofficial slogan is 'Keep Austin weird' it prides itself on its diversity. It is also the Music Capitol - home to over 1900 groups, anything from Jazz to Country and everything in between. More than 200 venues have live performances every night. We took a ride on the 'Dillo' (Armadillo) there are several of these covering 4 routes round downtown, all free! Hop on and off as you please.We did the route up around the Uni, there are over 50,000 students here so it's a fairly major player in the local economy. Since Austin is also the State capitol, government departments make up a large part of the employment map. We lunched in a tin shack that we had wandered past and what a gem it turned out to be! The BBQ brisket melted in our mouths and the décor kept us entertained. It's a great place with a great story www.ironworksbbq.com/about-us.asp  do look if you have time. The map pin for this entry is "on the roof"

You may not be aware but Malc has a thing about hats...not many of you will have seen him wear many its true, but he does love buying them! So it was with a little trepidation that I persuaded him to step inside the 'Hat Box' a shop that looked too interesting to pass by. 

Again a veritable gem, small but so interesting. They too have a web site  this quote from it kind of says it all about Austin...
"Austin is: conservative. Liberal. Old fashioned. Modern. Good ol' boys and hip young things. Rock and Roll. Rockabilly. Honky-tonk. Austin is the Live Music Capitol of the World. Austin is limestone and redbrick. Austin is the neon lights of Sixth Street. Austin is Texas. Austin is more than Texas. Austin is a bustling city. Austin is the rolling hill country. Austin is all things to all people. No matter who you are and no matter what Austin is to you, we've got your hat. We're Austin, we're Hatbox and we've got you covered."
Maybe we like it because it's such a medley - rather like our lives I suppose.
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