Archive for Texas
Near San Antonio, Texas. For years I have driven by the billboards, but really didn’t take any notice to the signs. If anything, I thought it was for kids, and/or a “cavern” the size of my living room.
Boy was I wrong. The caverns are HUGE and very cool. I would highly recommend going if you are in the area.
I was recently in New Braunfels Texas, where New Braunfels High holds the distinction of being the only public high school in the US which has a unicorn as their mascot.
Yes, a unicorn. Their motto is: Unicorn Pride is Justified.
What does that mean?
I’ve been searching for the official mascot photo and have found several. I’m gonna go with the one with the Texas flag…this is Texas after all [part of their Texan pride is that they’ve got to put their flag everywhere to remind people where they are].
And what does the football entry tunnel look like?
# of bands: 12
cds bought: 0 [will buy David Olney’s cd when it comes out in a couple months]
Mexican food meals: 1 [dinner at Guero’s]
Highlights: James McMurtry, Jon Dee Graham, David Olney, Raul Malo
We had our traditional pre-sxsw meal at Katz’s Deli [Katz’s Never Klozes]. This time it was bfast, instead of lunch. Then we were off to listen to music starting at 11 am.
The 11 am first day gig is a tough one, but David Olney was playing, and he’s one of my favorites. there was a bigger than expected crowd there…around 50 people.
The guy next to me was from Newcastle, England and saw him in a pub with 4 other people. He couldn’t believe that David isn’t playing for 10,000 people. For me, when David is “on”, he gets maniacal. He got a bit maniacal in his short 30 set. It was great!
Since I’ve been coming here every year for probably 13 years, I tend to see the same people year after year…and all week long, Since we like the same music. I immediately saw the 2 guys from Norway. I went up to say hi, and they acted like they didn’t know who I was. every year, they act like they don’t know who I am…and I will see them every day. Later in the day I saw the 2 guys from Omaha, who told us to go see Phil Lee [good tip]. Then we saw the 3 guys from somewhere in CA.
This is the biggest crowd this early in the fest. However, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, so people tend to come out for that. There also seemed to be more people/accents from places outside of states than usual, so that is good and fun.
We ended the nite seeing Raul Malo [ex Mavericks] for free. I’m the only one who felt devious [in a good way] they we sneaked in. How can you sneak into a free event? There was a line…and we hopped a fence. THEN we managed to get right in front of the stage.
** Photos to be added next week **
I’m on my way to Austin for sxsw, a music festival. Sxsw [south by southwest] originally started as a way for unsigned bands to get a contract. Now it has grown and branched out. It used to just be official sxsw nite time showcases, now there are thousands of artists/bands and unofficial day and night time activities, a lot of them are free.
EVERYTHING becomes a venue. The parking lot of a coffee shoppe. In fact any parking lot. Move some furniture aside in an antique store…now it’s a venue!
For me, free music starts tomorrow/Wednesday at 11 am!
May 30, 2008
I am leaving Houston and will be making my way to Baltimore. I plan on exploring Louisiana and Mississippi on the way. My only constraint is that I need to be in Baltimore by June 11th, so I can fly out of BWI on June 12th to go to my niece’s wedding celebration.
I started off later than expected yesterday, and planned on spending the nite in Port Arthur, home of Janis Joplin. With apologies to anyone with family and friends in Port Arthur, but ahhh, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. You know how there is a section of town that you don’t want to stop in? Well, the whole town seemed like that.
Pretty much, the downtown area is abandoned, except for gov’t buildings, which seemed new or newly refurbished. It was 5.30 and not a car in sight. I could have stopped in the middle of the street and left my car to look around.
They have received money somehow since there seems to be a new performing arts center, a new multi purpose building, and as I mentioned above, the gov’t/city buildings look new.
I needed directions and decided on a certain gas station to ask. Inside there was an older woman, younger woman and an older man scratching off Lotto tickets. I asked how to get to 82 and there was a conference amongst them and the younger woman started rattling off directions a mile a minute…talking so fast and with an accent, I couldn’t understand a word she said except Valero this and Valero that. And then there was more discussion between them cuz they decided that I would get lost that way. I did manage to understand and they actually got me where I needed to go. I am going along hiway 82 which hugs the coast/Gulf of Mexico.
Port Arthur goes on my worst cities list, right next to Manchester, NH.
So….being in the oil and gas business, especially production offshore [Gulf of Mexico], I have heard for years of various places where the gas/oil hit the beach. So, I drove along this 2 lane road near the coast and went by places like Johnson’s Bayou, Sabine Pass, Holly Beach… and saw all these plants, compressor stations…that I have heard of for years. I had a nerdy blast!
It seemed the only people on this road was myself and guys in big white trucks [going to/from work]. There are just 2 lanes coming up out of the bayou/water. There is NOTHING along this highway. Nothing, besides oil/gas infrastructure. No gas stations, no bait and tackle, no 7/11’s, no grocery stores…nothing. Now and again there would be housing, which means it was either trailers/trailer park or these really expensive, huge houses built up on 15’+ stilts. Johnson’s Bayou had a school, and a health clinic. That’s it. Nothing was at Holly Beach. I was so glad that I stopped to get gas before Port Arthur, cuz without a doubt, I would have run out of gas. I drove for 2 hours in this area, which they call Cameron. I would have kept thinking there has got to be a gas station sooner or later. Yes…in Lake Charles! I didn’t see anyone on any of the beaches, no one anywhere [except the white trucks]. Pretty much deserted.
The area smelled like how a new shower curtain smells.
In the middle of all these plants/refineries….is a pelican sanctuary.
At times I thought it was raining, but it was really just bugs splatting on my windshield.
I saw a sign that mentioned “ferry”, I turned the bend…and the road stops. So, the ferry took me over to Cameron. The ferry lady told me…duh…that hurricane Rita took out everything. That is why there are no stores/businesses. She said it was pretty dumpy before Rita, so it was nice that Rita came and wiped everything out, but now they are rebuilding with expensive homes…which is quite the opposite of what was there before…so the whole feel of the place is slowly changing.
I then headed to Lake Charles to spend the nite. It was much later than I had planned…I checked into a hotel and it was 9.30 and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet.