Road trip. Day 4. Austin, TX

2 09 2011

Motto for this road trip: “I’m up for anything”

Austin never ceases to amaze me. After our cup of coffee in the 100 degree weather, we took a leisurely stroll down South Congress to check out some local shops. One in particular was a vontage shop called Leighlani’s (I think that’s how it’s spelled) we met a friendly young lady named Emily who was in the back of the store behind a sewing machine stitching some clothes to put back on the store floor.

Brett did a profile interview on the blonde with dreadlocks and she was pretty excited to talk to us and give us some local recommendations. We told her we were going to check out Barton Springs, natural springs near downtown that costs $3 to go and swim in like a natural public pool. Booze isn’t allowed in the springs, so she recommended we check out a dog park a little further along the springs which some of the locals called “Barkin’ Springs.” it’s on the other side of the fence of Barton Springs but it was filled with dogs fetching tennis balls, beautiful girls and trees to hide behind and drink our tall cans of Lonestar.

The water is 68 degrees year round, so it was perfect to kick it in the water. Especially since it was about 107 degrees all day long! After about an hour or so, we made our way over to Mondo Tees’s only store to check out their screen printing collection. I was able to score 2 posters that I wasn’t able to get online so I was pretty happy.

While browsing the little shop of heaven, I saw my buddy Jason Edmiston’s commissioned Planet of the Apes painting. It was pretty gorgeous. I took a pic and sent it to him cause I was so stoked and I wasn’t sure if he’d seen it on the wall there. So as I was geeking out on the store and the art and toys, I saw dude walk in with a shirt that my other buddy, Scott Derby had designed, so yes, I took another picture and sent it to Scott. As you can tell I was excited to see artists I know and respect have their work in a store that I’ve wanted to go to for a long time at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Not even minutes later, a guy walked in who happened to be filming an event that was taking place at the Alamo. His name was Rod, and he was from Los Angeles! We got chatting and found out that he films a wrestling show for television at a theatre down the street from my apartment on La Brea! He invited us to a party/filming of the showy Esau we get back home! Guess how we end our road trip???

Also, while in the store, a dude asked me if we were with expresso beans.com, an online community for screen print art collectors. I told him I was a member of the community and have a couple pieces on there. Turns out that since the Mondo Mystery Movie was the following day and since people were flying in from across the country to be part of it, there was an expressobeans.com meet up here in austin! He gave me the address to the party and extended the invite to myself and anyone else I had with me. After parting ways, we headed over to the Highball bowling alley (theCOOLEST bowling alley i’ve ever been to) to grab afternoon drink. There was a gentleman sitting next to us who had a friendly face and an exciting and positive energy. We exchanged a few words and found out he was there for a fundraiser for his show called “been there yet?” his name was Lance and he’d only been living there for a 3 months. I think he figured out that we were kinda nerdy folk and recommended we go out to grab a drink at a barcade called Kung Fu Saloon. He was excited to hear about our adventure and all the people we had met and where we were off to next. He was definitely good people and had great stories of drunken VIP parties with will.I.am and a random encounter rev. Jesse Jackson in the streets of New York.

We bid adieu and went back to the hotel to get ready for a night on the town with my friend Sara. I’ve known of Sara since elementary school but never actually talked or hung out with her. We have mutual, like minded friends, so I knew we would get along great. and we did, at least I think we did. She could totally hate me for all I know. 😉

First stop of the night was a place called Frank. Sara had played a couple shows there in the past and loved it. It was great, I have a bacon wrapped hot dog with sauerkraut and chili cheese waffle fries. Brett had the veggie dog and stuffed jalapeños.

Second stop of the night was Kung Fu Saloon which Lance had recommended earlier. It was such a nerdy hip barcade. It was great! Free skee-ball and 80s and 90s video games. Out on the back patio, we found giant Jenga blocks that built a tower about 3 feet high. We had to play it. It was probably the most stressed I had felt in a long time. With every brick I pulled and gust of wind that swept across, my heart was beating 100 mph. Brett had to stand on the brick stoop to place the last piece before it toppled and disrupted every conversation outside. It was an epic battle and an epic kickoff to the night of bar hopping.

Stop number 3 was the Violet Crown over on East 6th to meet up with Sara’s buddy Jay who is a graphic designer and an Austin transplant from San Diego. The bar was a dive, but it was great. ghostbusters was on the flatscreen and 4 shots of Bulleit bourbon to kick off the drinking for the night.

Stop number 4 was a really really great bar called the Eastside Showroom. There was a trio of musicians on stage which Sara described as “gypsy jazz” I asked the bar tender to make me her favorite gin drink and she made me a creation of one of the bartenders there called “something waltz”. It was delicious. I was stoked to be able to get a sneak peek of a drink that won’t even make it onto the menu till next month. Reading the cocktail menu at this place was like reading another language. Maybe because the sprites were hand picked and imported from all over the world. I loved this place. The bartender really took her time crafting my drink and I tasted it. I’d never had a drink like that before and I’m curious now to start trying drinks other than whiskey ginger and gin and tonics.

Stop number 5 was Volstead lounge. We walked in and it was empty. We were thinking if we should stay or go to a different bar when we scanned the room and saw they had Jenga there! They instantly got our business as we began round 2 of our epic Jenga challenge, we even adjusted the 3rd round to a more extreme Jenga challenge.

Stop number 6 was at Jay’s place. We just hung out in his backyard and talked shop for an hour or so. It was a great way to end our night in Austin. I will miss this place, but I know I’ll be back again. Next stop, Houston for a couple days and the off to NEW ORLEANS!!

Jason

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