a native Austinite, I brace for the annual descent of SXSW madness upon
my hometown with a bizarre combination of excitement and horror. When
100,000 people pour into the hippest streets of your city, stumbling
around all the bars, venues, and restaurants you've loved since high school, the
feeling it induces is a lot like bringing your favorite toy to school
for show and tell, then having to watch while all your friends play
with it at recess. It's like, fuck, man, you don't know that
Green Power Ranger action figure like I know it.
Luckily, because now I am
a mature and empathetic adult, I find myself able to squash those feelings of petty jealousy -- I've learned how to share. In that spirit, I've thrown together a
by-no-means-comprehensive list of some of my favorite local spots for
all you out-of-towners making this year's SXSW pilgrimage. Spending 17
hours a day getting your eardrums blown to oblivion is great and everything,
but sometimes we all need a little reprieve from the music and heat and
tattooed seas of pedestrians.
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of heat: it is going to be fucking hot. Low 80s and the equatorial
Austin humidity means noticeable sweat stains on your clothes for most
of the day. Just roll with it -- the beauty of Texas is that everyone
gets really sweaty from March until October and no one gives a shit.
There will be many budding entrepreneurs cruising downtown on bikes and
hawking bottles of Aquafina for $5 a piece, but if you're trying to
avoid spending as much money on water as you did on accommodations,
don't forget to pack that Nalgene.