Sixth Street Mural
Mural near Sixth Street

Texas Capitol We went to Austin for the Film Festival and found a city with its heart in the past and its eye to the future.

The Driskill Hotel

Driskill Facade Driskill lobby Steer head in Driskill lobby Statue in Driskill lounge We stayed at the lovely Driskill Hotel, and it's just the place to experience genuine (and luxurious) Texas nostalgia.  But be sure and bring a sweater - the Driskill and other hotels and restaurants we were in were freezing cold.  When we asked at one place if they could make it warmer, they said "But this is Texas!"

Sixth Street

Historic Sixth Street Building Historic Sixth Street Signs Buffalo Billards Sign Midnight Cowboy Modeling Sign
The Driskill is on historic Sixth Street, and we enjoyed walking around and taking photos.  But watch out for hostile homeless - one old lady pushed Candice off the curb after she declined to give her money!


Driskill Hotel Grill and Bar in Austin We had an enjoyable meal at the Driskill's elegant Grill restaurant.  The rack of lamb was just so-so, but the veal tenderloin was especially delicious.
Logo of the Roaring Fork Restaurant in Austin Located in the Stephen F. Austin Hotel Inter-Continental, this is a new outpost of chef Robert McGrath's popular restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz., and we were impressed.  The atmosphere is upscale rustic, and the food we had was very good indeed, particularly the duck salad at lunch and the Green Chile Pork Stew we had at dinner.
Logo of the Eastside Cafe in Austin We had a bowl of delicious carrot soup and a just okay fresh grilled tuna sandwich at this organic restaurant surrounded by its own garden.

Modern Austin

Modern Austin Building Modern Austin Building Modern Austin Building Modern Austin Building

The Austin Film Festival

Neil Young at the Austin Film Festival This is a Film Festival and Writers Conference.  Cast and crew for some of the films are always in attendance, and Neil Young was there when we went.  Although the festival runs for a week, from Thursday to Thursday, what their web site doesn't tell you is that the writer's conference is over on Sunday and almost everyone leaves then.  There's nothing going on the rest of the week but some films in the suburbs.

The best part of this festival is the number and variety of films that they offer.   Unfortunately, nearly half of them are a $20 cab ride away, way out in the suburbs.   You can get there by the public bus service in an hour, but this is slow at best, and you may not want to do it for the late night showings.  And we found out the hard way that the bus back waits for 30 minutes (right after you get on) before heading back to the city!