Monday, July 16, 2007

Dispatch from Austin

The Oracle is in Austin, Texas this week on business. Though it is the capitol of the state, Austin is not at all a typical Texas city. The enormous state university located here and a large arts community help to make this city much more liberal than the rest of the state. However, for someone fortunate enough to have a local guide, there are an uncountable number of dives with great food and atmosphere.

I have become aware of a couple of other Austin quirks during my visit here. As dusk approaches, a large number of people regularly gather on a bridge near downtown over the Colorado River. Thousands of bats live on the under side of the bridge, and promptly at sundown, in tandem they swoop out from under the bridge and give the appearance of a large dark cloud heading out for the east. The sight is impressive enough to draw a cloud nightly.

Then there's Leslie.

Leslie is a homeless man who hangs out near the corner of Congress and 6th Street, only a few blocks from the state capitol and has become locally famous for his high heels and fishnet stockings. In 2000, he ran for mayor and finished second.

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