Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keep Austin Weird

There are so many things to love about Austin. In fact, the entertainment options can be downright overwhelming sometimes. Here are some of our tried and true faves:

1) Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - it's like "duh", why hasn't this caught on in more cities? Eat good food, drink good beer (or soda, or whatever), watch a great movie. Genius! An added bonus is that they are super-serious about people being considerate moviegoers. If someone is talking and disturbing those around them, they get a warning; if they continue to be annoying, they're outta there. This is made clear before the movie begins. Again, genius. I've never seen anyone get kicked out - people go to the Drafthouse because they want to watch the movie, not talk and goof off. Plus, you have to be 18 or older to go (anyone under 18 has to be accompanied by a parent or guardian). It's hard for us to see movies anywhere else. In addition to regular movies, they also do special stuff like: Sing-A-Longs (Grease, Ladies of the '80s, etc.); Feasts (the menu is specifically designed to correlate with the movie); Master Pancake (comedians John Erler and Joe Parsons sit on the front row and make fun of movies, very similar to Mystery Science Theater 3000) and dozens of other cool, different things. They also do Baby Days where people can bring their little ones and not get the stink-eye if said little ones get fussy or cranky. AND you always want to get there as early as possible because they show the funniest, most random stuff before the movie starts. Like if you go see Ironman, they'll show old Ironman cartoons and clips of Robert Downey, Jr. interviews and footage from his early days as an actor - stuff like that. I could go on and on. The place is just THE BEST. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT.

2) Did you know that Austin is home to North America's largest urban bat colony? Over 1 million Mexican Freetail bats live under the Congress Avenue bridge, and every night between March and November you can gather at the bridge to watch them fly out to spend the evening eating bugs. It's usually quite spectacular (sometimes, though, they come out so late that it's too dark to really see them - a definite bummer).

3) I've talked about BookPeople before, but it's worth mentioning again. It is simply one of the best book stores ever. The employees really know their stuff and they're friendly. The store is laid out in such a way that you will find what you're looking for and also stuff you didn't even know you were looking for. There are lots of comfy, out-of-the-way places to sit and chill and it's also an awesome place to people-watch.

I haven't even touched on the subject of fantastic eateries and music venues - they are legion. My suggestion - come check out Austin for yourself!

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