Monday, March 23, 2009
SXSW Part 1 - Austin, TX
Sorry, but I don't know what unenviable list you have to find yourself on in order to be considered for state capital. As someone who spent four years at college in Albany, NY, I can attest to the fact that being named the center of your state's government has nothing to do with the overall appeal of your city. To be more frank, Austin is a dump. I can't think of a single compelling reason why any human being would purposely go there during the 11 months when South by Southwest is NOT in session. Old, run down buildings, walking blocks and blocks before you can find something decent to eat and overall dreariness contribute to a rather depressing landscape. Not to mention the fact that, down by the lake or river or whatever it was, there is a sign extolling the virtues of Austin's ginormous bat community. Yes, apparently, under the bridge past which I had just walked prior to discovering this sign, resides a gathering (a flock? a herd?) of approximately 750,000 of your favorite winged rodents. No, I didn't type too many zeroes. That's seven hundred and fifty THOUSAND bats. I don't know if there are even 750,000 PEOPLE in Austin. In any case, it was approaching dusk, and I decided not to stick around for the nightly viewing of the bats emerging from their resting place. Folks, when this is your city's claim to fame, it's time to move. Austin, you clearly have a problem. Sorry.