‘If we don’t change direction, we’ll end up where we’re going.’ – Chinese proverb
Left base: Runway 4L, Little Rock, AR. Southwest Flight 1567
We had finally made it to Austin and settled in downtown at our hotel and decided it was time for a decompression drink. Right next door is Cedar Door, one of our favorite watering holes. The core of the bar is a structure that has moved multiple times before ending up in its current location and undergoing a tripling in size. We sat under the sunny sky and enjoyed the ambience. Beth had her standard Mexican Martini and I had a nice dark local brew. I wish I could remember what beer it was as it was tasty and something I hadn’t had before. We finished things off with a crispy plate of nachos.
Our plans for the evening were thwarted by a general lack of healthfulness on Beth’s part. We were thinking of going to see The Scabs at Antone’s, but she wanted to get some sleep and try and heal up for new years eve. We stopped at the corner shop, got some beer and hunkered down in our suite relaxing the rest of the evening.
The next day we needed something to do in the afternoon. The local IMAX was showing Tron: Legacy about two hilly miles away, so we started walking. Between the hotel and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum where the IMAX is located lies the state capital building. It is an Italian Renaissance Revival building made of pink granite. It makes for a great combination of classic lines with a different color than most people are used to seeing.
Legacy tries to take the core of the original Tron, make it current and turn it into a senpai/kōhai zen education story not dissimilar to the original star wars. This was stretched to include a clumsy digital version of the jedi mind trick.
Missing were any real grounding in computers or electronics, which made the original more notable than just a science fiction tale. Also missing was any sense of strategy for the light cycle game. Without any way for the viewer to internalize what is happening in the game, it fails to engage. It becomes just a series of special effects.
For the evening we hoped to go to our favorite sushi place. Unfortunately we didn’t come up with this plan until it was far too late to get a reservation. After looking around for a bit we decided to make things easy and just go across the street to PF Changs. I’m not a huge fan. It seems expensive for what you get. That said, it was convenient and we could get a table. Important qualities on one of the busiest dining nights of the year.
I had Dali Chicken. This is a nice spicy chicken in a chili sauce. We also have a few veggie gyoza and some seared tuna.
We had a few extra minutes so we stopped by our favorite Irish bar, B.D. Riley’s. We ran into one of our friends who is a partner in the bar and had a double Irish whiskey to pregame for the Bob Schneider show at the Paramount Theater.
Finally, it was off to see Bob.
We had never been to the Paramount and didn’t really know what to expect. It is gorgeous. Built in 1915 it was designed in a classic revival style. After many years of neglect and lack of maintenance it underwent a major restoration in the 80′s and has been a venue for a wide variety of acts ever since.
The show itself was great. Bob was in good voice and they added horn and string sections to fill out the sound for the larger venue. The show did lose a lot of the intimacy of Saxon Pub or even Antone’s though. People mostly sat in their seats for the first half, even during some of the more popular songs like 40 Dogs. Eventually Bob got everyone up and dancing. For sure we had fun, but I don’t think we’ll pay those kinds of prices for that sort of venue again. We’re just big fans of the smaller places.
The next morning we were entertained to get a cab at 8:30 and have the driver tell us that we were his first fare of the day that wasn’t drunk. Apparently we’re lightweights for being back to the hotel by 1:30 or so!