the billboard highway:

words, pictures and food from the open road.

Austin, TX



Welcome to Austin. Thanks. I needed a break. Things have been rather lopsided and I desperately needed to get away from everything for a while and let go. I decided that Austin was a city I had to see due to my love of music and things off the beaten path. There was a BBQ being held for Android devs/enthusiasts and I decided to head down to Texas to meet some of my friends from the Android world while also exploring this great city.

Sometimes you just have to get away. Things reach a boiling point inside. I brought my new camera out with me on the trip to capture some things I found interesting along the way. It was mid-day Friday that I landed in Austin. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed towards my hotel.

The view from my balcony
The first night was an awkward social experiment it seemed, people who have interacted for years with each other online finally meeting in person had some predictable results. We set out to find some beer to unwind and socialize a bit. I met up with my friends Bruce and Nathan at the hotel and we decided to check out this bar downtown Austin that a vendor had an open tab at while we waited for our friend Adam and his girlfriend Jess to arrive. The bar started out rather lame but as time went on and more people started arriving it became quite a great experience. It’s rare that I get to talk Android with anyone in my daily life.

Food truck outside the convention
View from the patio
Members of CyanogenMod
Bruce, Adam and Jess
CyanogenMod Panel
I always talk so much shit about these ‘family stick figure’ stickers that have for some reason become trendy. I found this one however to be pretty good.
We decided most of the panels were marketing fluff and/or otherwise uninteresting so we decided to hit Austin for some lunch. Jess was an Austin native so she graciously acted as our tour guide, putting up with car rides full of technical jargon carting a group of nerds around. She recommended this great taco truck called Torchy’s and we hit the road.

Lines are always a good thing
The wide array of options available
I ended up going with a Mr. Pink and the Migas tacos. Both were fantastic. Everyone seemed quiet satisfied but in desperate need of a good drink. Jess and Adam recommended we hit up the Spider House back patio. The climate here was very cool, very laid back and friendly.

The patio at Spider House
More Spider House patrons
Parking lot. Heh
 We decided to venture out in search of cigars and a place to watch ‘the game*’ and continue drinking. *The game refers to whatever sporting event everyone was interested in watching. We found this strange hybrid of a bar, salsa dancing school and cigar shop that had some cool tables made from local, recycled ingredients:


This place runs on AMD
Cigars consumed, we grabbed this photo of an Austin sunset before heading back to the rest of the conference for a local bar crawl on 6th street. This quickly turned into a trainwreck but lots of fun was had nonetheless.

Tim, Bruce, Adam and me.
The next morning before the actual BBQ began, we headed out in search of a gluttonous local treat known as Gourdough’s Big Fat Donuts. The guy running it gave off the appearance of not having the ability to give a shit about anything but he cooks a crazy good doughnut so such things can be overlooked.

Nom nom nom…
24 delicious ways to die young
We set out to check out more local sites. Here is some random found art along the way in this beautiful city.

3 legends.
Fear samurai panda.
That sign reads ‘I Luv Bacon’
These awful puns needed to be documented
Cool local graffiti
Don’t hate
Remember the east side
These dogs were pissed off at us walking by. They barked quite a bit
Pray for rain
Welcome to the Jesus Deaf Church
The rest of the BBQ on Sunday, complete with vendor stands full of gadgets

Those are both my beverages, thanks for the counter space
Team Douche
Sunday night after the BBQ and collecting a ton of Android swag, we headed out to a local metal bar for some burgers and conversation. I met a lot of really great people during my trip in Austin, this evening was my favorite conversation and company.

I decided to postpone my flight until Monday evening instead of Sunday evening because I was having such a great time away from everything here. I decided to try and capture more of Austin Monday before I had to go to the airport. Here are some more local sights… including my hilariously childish inclusion of the hotel sink.

I love you too, Austin. Coffee shop with great pastries
Towers of Austin
That guy seems like an extreme spokesman for fire safety
Reflection. This woman was very frightened of dogs but painted a lovely picture
I flew home listening to Jeff Buckley’s “Lover You Should’ve Come Over” largely on repeat while I read a book. I learned a lot of important things on this trip, none of them having to do with the reasons I went. Lots of lasting friendships were started and interesting discussions had. Lots of delicious local food and art consumed, and a renewed faith in just happening to be at the right place at the right time.

Leave a Reply