Austin has sorely changed and I don't think it's for the better (I suspect many long time Austin residents would agree with me!). Drove up last Friday for the Friends of the Library Monster Book Sale, one of the highlights of the Booksale circuit. It's well laid out, nice wide aisles, good venue with good light and lots of space, reasonable prices and excellent selection. Oddly, it doesn't attract the usual crowd of dealers we manage to trip over at every other sale. Austin is strong in Children's books and we always do very well.
I drove up after work, got snarled in construction in Bastrop, traffic going into Austin and then eaten alive by the spaghetti bowls in South Austin. Arrived almost an hour late, meet up with my E-Bay buddy, who had of course scooped up most of the good stuff! Did find enough gems to make it worth my while.
Leaving, we were to head up to E-Bay buddies daughter, only we got snarled in the freeways. It was late at night, we were hungry and tired and my windshield was covered with mushed love bugs. Not exactly ideal driving conditions. The first hour was grim, the second which involved nachos and maragritas at El Mercado was much better.
I lived in Austin from 1974-1976 and have fond, fond memories of the city. Then it had one freeway, I-35 which went through the center of town in a north / south route. Now it has many more than encircle and surround the city- to the point of strangling it. I-35 is a double Decker nightmare. The construction rivals that of Houston. Throw in the fact that the Colorado River, the hills and the creeks made it impossible to lay the city out on a grid and you have a logistical nightmare. Especially when having to peer through a bug smeared windshield!
All's well that ends well but I'm glad to be home!