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Austin Part Deux

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

My next few days in Austin were fulfilled exploring the city with my unofficial tour guide Natalie. Natalie is lovely, in ever way - kind, gentle, soft-spoken, patient, and always smiling.

Natalie is a student at UT Austin who lives in a coop shared by my local contact - a friend from Brazil. She is also an avid cyclist which meant that we would see a little bit of the city in the best way possible – on two wheels. And Austin is a very bike friendly city, aside from its pretty bad rush-hour traffic. So Natalie took me to Zilker Park and Barton Springs which is a central icon of the city and a place where hoards come out to play on the hot summer days. There I also had the chance to reunite with Ali, an old friend that shared my Munich experience some three years ago. After the park, we had some very good Mexican food, here referred to as Tex-Mex. The place is called Chipala, located on Cesar Chavez street and I highly recommend a visit. The food is good, plentiful and inexpensive and you will also get a chance to practice your Spanish.

That evening Natalie and her friends decided to introduce me to the art of “Two Step”, a very Texan style of dance. We went to the oldest dance hall in Austin, "The Broken Spoke", whose floors are marked by the boots of none other than Willie Nelson himself along with scores of other country music legends. That night was great. The men would come over in their heeled leather boots and large hats and ask the girls to dance. A song is only but a few minutes long so partners change often and the dance floors empties immediately after a song finishes to allow for this switch. Two step itself is not very difficult, one step to the right and two to the left, allowing for full freedom for the man to lead as he pleases, and the lady to twirl her self as her heart desires.

So Chipala and The Broken Spoke would be my recommendations for Austin although Barton Springs should be avoided on Thursdays because they close it down for cleaning. Thanks to lovely Natalie for the wonderful introduction to her awesome city.
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