Keep Austin Weird.

by Jamila Pierre

It all started with two tickets to Austin, Texas.

The plane going was quite spacious and sturdy feeling, this helped alleviate my fear of flying ever so slightly. The only thing that was a little suspect was that there were these vents just above the windows that were spewing some odorless vapors....and being the conspiracy theorist that I am....I wasn't very pleased with that. I even went so far as to ask the flight attendant what it was (though I knew they wouldn't tell me the truth even if it was harmful, or some government experiment...I just wanted her to know that I know, and that I now know that she knows that I know).

The plane took one million years to finally take off and the pilot made sure to play with everyone's emotions for a good half hour by moving the plane ever so slightly, every five minutes or so...but only two inches at a time. And when it was finally our turn to be on the section of the tarmac for take off, I finally looked out the window and saw at least thirteen planes in line, waiting to take off just like us. Never thought I'd be in an airplane traffic jam.

When we arrive at 11:30 pm (12:30 am NY time), the first thing we were greeted by was a Benefit Cosmetics vending machine of sorts....#SWAG, we were also greeted by a desolate airport and heavy bladders. 


Our gracious hosts for our trip picked us up and they took us straight to Austins night life, they wasted no time. Besides, we landed on a Saturday and it was the last night of the week when everything would be poppin', apparently Texas closes down at 2AM. 

We went right to 6th street and Red River which is the equivalent of the village in Manhattan, more so the west village mixed with touches of the east village. 

We had a photo op with the local PO PO in their daisy dukes, there was a bloody Carrie just wide-eyed on a street corner, a topless woman (not pictured here) just sittin' chillin' havin' a convo with some random dude, and the streets were literally packed with all walks of life. Stimulation kind of place

We ended up at this cool low-key spot that was basically a hipster cafeteria, but what it lacked in non-pretentiousness, it made up for in cheap strong drinks. The drinks were crazy strong, most times when I ask for a Cranberry-Vodka I have to specify light on the this place I was lucky to get enough cranberry to tint the vodka pink let alone red. My kind of place. And the drinks were like (drum roll please) $3...WHAT?!!

We ended up at another bar where the music was thumping the loudest, we immediately let the beat consume us...well at least I did, and I commenced to pop my ass all over the place. 

You may not know this, but I relish the opportunity to shake my ass because I love to dance. Now a days nobody dances anymore, so I was thrilled to see a dance-floor full of people getting it in. 

I was treated to a round of drinks, by now I was feeling the liquor finally coursing through my veins, and low and behold there was a super-sized Jenga on some janky ass table that was calling my name (Little known fact: Jenga is one of my all time favorite games). Before we left, Angelica and I had to go a couple rounds on some " Time Crisis" type of arcade game.

It was getting late, and as I stated before Texas closes shop at 2AM, so we had to choose just one more spot to hit up. Angelica AKA Vangic (let's just refer to her as Vangic from now on shall we...) and I decided to go into a bar that had a mechanical bull, this was def on a "goals while in Texas list", so obviously it was a must. I wanted to do it but the way my spine situation is set up...

So she ended up being the one to bite the bullet. She got on, she lasted a minute tops, and was flung off the bull/under it. The bull ride chin-checked her, scraped her face, and ripped her ring off of her finger. You may read that and see defeat, I read it and say BOSS. At least she did it, and it was hardcore however short lived.


From there we headed to this awesome diner and chowed down.

Ask me if I know what exactly they had....go ahead...ask me....I DON'T REMEMBER! All I know is that I had a delicious, much needed, much anticipated, Bison Burger with home-fries...YES!

And that concludes our first night in Austin.


Sunday morning...

We woke up, made a few pitstops for some outdoor water facility essentials, and made our way from the city life to the country. The drive was amazing, everything was reminiscent of some 1970's desert film or coffee table book. It was serene, and for a moment all of my troubles just flew out of the car window as the wind disheveled my freshly twisted locks. 


This was us in Walgreens straight stuntin' #BeenTrill.

When we arrived at this Natural Water Spring, I was just stunned at how gorgious this place was (with the exception of the death stairs coming down into the place, and the stubbing my toe on slippery wet rocks).

We found a nice spot full of shade, set up shop, and cracked open a couple Dos Equis, this place was phenomenal!

And it wouldn't have been complete if Vangic AKA Vangiculor (let's just call her Vangiculor from now on) didn't have a mini photo op.

We spent most of the day at there.


True Story Sunday:

So Vangiculor decided it would be a stellar idea to be one with nature and have a mini photo shoot amongst the cacti.....she sat far enough from the cacti as to not get pricked....or so she thought. 

When it was finally all said and done, and we made our way out of the Spring and into the car, she noticed the prickly pain in the tips of her fingers and all on her ass.....

She spent the entire ride home (about an hour/ an hour and a half) trying to pick these microscopic needles out of her fingertips  and with her pants pulled down, her ass suspended off the seat because of the pain, as not to lodge the needles any further....

All for the sake of ART! LOL!

When we got back to our hosts abode, she took a shower, and I had to remove these tiny needles from her literal asscrack in poor lighting with tweezers. If this isn't friendship...I don't know what is.

We then got ready for some good old fashion BBQ at Rudy's.

This place was fuckin'....just....the TURKEY was just....and the potato salad...? JUST!


Monday Afternoon...

We went to Congress where this remarkable establishment was located. HOLY SMOKES, this place was spectacular!

I immediately asked the store clerk if I could take a picture and he responded with a " We typically have a no photos policy, but since you asked politely, you can take like two or three...", to which I said OK, and ended up taking one million. (Who's gon stop me boo?)

Every section of this store was filled with odd, found little trinkets, creepy antique dolls, rusted furniture, and taxidermy galore. (Side note: I'm not into taxidermy like that but I would be lying if it wasn't interesante)


From there we went to a few little shops with cute things that were hella over priced but cute none the less.


We then came upon this mecca of costumes. It had pretty much everything you could think of to fulfill your every costume desire.


And while I was more focused on the AC that was pumping that succulent freezing air, Vangiculor was off trying to find a costume to traipse around in.

When I saw her in it, I had to snap a photo, and then subsequently do the same. I mean come on, it's a bear....


We also stopped at this place called Torchy's. I ended up getting the Mr. Pink, which was some salmon jump off, and a Mr. Orange, which was a seared tuna. I ask the person at the register if it was spicy and he informed me that he wasn't super sure, but what would be spicy would be a sauce that comes on the side....he lied. I ate the whole salmon one before I realized that my life was coming to an end. The fire that was a blaze in my mouth and esophagus tho...

I ended up guzzling three large cups of Prickly Pear Soda, which made maters a bit worse, and I asked them to just exchange my seared tuna with a breakfast taco. 


Showdown in Texas....

Later that day we went to the super market called H.E.B, and we stocked up on BBQ essentials for dinner. 

Once that was handled we went back to the abode cracked open some beer and commenced to BBQ under the communal pergola. 

After filling our bellies, we took the party inside and began to play, what is now a must have game, Apples to Apples. I hear there's another game that's more R rated called....damn escapes my memory... Oh that's right, Crimes Of Humanity. But in the mean time and between time, get yourself this game please, do yourself the favor, it can also be easily turned into a drinking game.


Tuesday afternoon.....


We decided to venture out on our own...we didn't have much of a choice because though it was our vacation, our hosts still had to make that paper.

We walked in the heat and humidity for what seemed like miles.

First stop: Ross...HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! (I purchased one thing because I refused to have walk there and leave with nothing.)

Second stop: Precision Photo...Succulent AC, but pricey as hell.

Third stop: Walmart...I tried to find a bathing suit...I failed.

Fourth stop: Dos Batos Tacos... Their steak tacos were just what the doctor ordered, their wall art was interesting, and their AC and free refills were much appreciated.


On our way back to to the housing complex we came across this bull. We said, "Hello Bull." He asked, "Do you guys wanna take photos with me?" We responded, "FUCK YEAH..."

Later that night, after dealing with 101 degree weather on Monday, followed by humid degree weather on Tuesday (this day), we got into our swimming gear and "broke into" the housing complex's swimming pool and spent a good two hours just enjoying the cleansing properties of chlorine. I went in with shorts and a T-Shirt...don't judge me.


Wednesday Evening...

This was our last night in Austin, Texas.

I gotta be honest, I'm pretty old and dusty, so by this point I was ready to have a nice long sleep before having to wake up in the AM to take my ass to the Airport the following afternoon.

However, Vangiculor insisted that we go out on our last night, which makes sense, but damn it I was tired. 

We ended up going out anyway, and thankfully we did

Our last night there it rained but not before we got to the most fantastical place on the planet, The Spider House Ballroom. This place is a collection of eateries, tattoo shops, open stages, bars, food truck vendors, etc..., in an open space...essentially what dreams are made of. And as I wandered away from the group to snap some photos of the place, it began to rain while simultaneously every song you could imagine with rain as a topic began to play, starting with Missy Elliot's- I can't stand the rain.


We ended up having to move our seats from the open space to a slightly more sheltered part of the place. And as I sat there, in this magical place adorned with every Christmas light you could ever find, with the rain gently hitting my back to the song, (at this point) Soul For Real's- Candy Rain, and eating a healthy pile of Tortilla chips... I couldn't help but think to myself... What a perfect way to top off our stay in Austin, Texas.