Wednesday is the first official day of SXSW and I’m already tired. :-) Luckily, I wasn’t planning on getting up early, so after sleeping in I grabbed a shuttle to downtown (they run throughout the conference week). The shuttle drops you off on the East side and I was heading to Waterloo on the west side (about a mile and a quarter). As I walked down 6th Street, memories of my first visit to Austin 10 years ago started rushing back to me. 6th Street, which is closed, is filled with people young and old (mainly 20 somethings) and there is music coming from every direction. At about Guadalupe Street I realized that I would rather be walking across downtown during SXSW then across Zilker Park during ACL. The list of why I already love SXSW over ACL is growing by the hour.
It was now late afternoon and I had a few hours to kill. I found a bar that served food and waited patiently while Shurman, an Austin band, played. By the end of their set, a waitress had not even considered talking to me, so I wandered around downtown, and found a restaurant that I had walked quickly past earlier. Exene had been playing on their porch at the time and it was packed. Now it was fairly open so I grabbed a quick burger and continued on.
After the show, I walked back to the convention center and caught a shuttle back to the hotel. It seems that everyone in Austin has two jobs (Deborah told me she thought that the second job for most seemed to be a masseuse) and our shuttle driver was an urban farmer who teaches others how to set up farm coops. No, this isn’t Texas, it’s Austin.