I went down to Home Slice Pizza the other day because I needed to reconnect with my city and I knew they'd have the cure for what ails me. South Congress has a really interesting thing going on that's hard for me to define. To be fair this isn't a new phenomenon. It's been going on for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure if anyone is completely aware of this vibe, but they all innately are aware of it at least. I know this is true because "they" (You know. Them) all know when a non 78704 steps into their world. You can try to blend by wearing completely mismatched clothing and not bathing or combing your hair. Or maybe combing it, but in such a way as to not look like you did. But it won't help. They know that you are a normal trying to creep into their non-normal turf. The entire time I was at Home Slice I kept getting stared at like I had a squid stuck to the side of my face. (I hope I didn't have a squid stuck to the side of my face. I dunno. It would at least explain a few things) But I think the weirdness is actually true weirdness and not manufactured weirdness. So I can respect it as coming from an honest place. Austin wants desperately to be seen as "keeping it weird!" South Congress is achieving this goal effortlessly.
But the South Congress Weirdness is certainly organic. Many places/people *try* to act weird, and thus they fail and look like people at an Alamo Drafthouse Grease quote-along dressed up like Kenickie. You're either a T-Bird or you're not. Standing outside next to the Continental Club I certainly didn’t feel like I was surrounded by posers. Everything and everybody just seemed like they were doing what they do and would just as soon you try not to take their picture while they’re doing it. (Hmmm… Maybe pointing a Nikon at them explains the stares.)
There's something really nostalgic and relaxing about eating a slice with a cold beer while sitting on the curb and watching all the folks stroll about down on South Congress. There's something very real and very authentic in the air down there.
A lot of people live in the Austin area and never really take the time to experience what Austin is about. There’s SO MUCH to do and all you have to do is – do it.
If you haven't seen a show at the Moody Theater - Do it.
If you haven't watched the Bats scream out from under the Congress bridge - Do it.
If you haven't ridden a bike around the Hyde Park neighborhood - Get Busy.
If you haven't played Ultimate at Zilker Park on a Sunday evening - Do it.
If you haven't swam in Barton Springs - What are you waiting for?!
If you haven't parked your car and walked around 6th street or the warehouse district trying new foods and hoisting an ice cold beverage - Get up, Stop reading this AND DO IT!
This town really is special. The people are easy and relatively friendly. There are unique experiences on every corner. Why did you move to this town if you aren't going to drink it all in?
Somebody, at some point thought it would sound cool to say "Keep Austin Weird!", but I doubt it was Roy Spence. Austin isn't weird. It's just young and full of energy and that gets interpreted as weird. So many times in life we only realize we were in the middle of something special way after it's already past us by. Austin is in a really cool place right now. Don't waste this opportunity to experience it.
That would really be weird.