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Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

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oklahoma
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Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

Hi! In about 3 weeks my husband is taking a class in Austin and we were thinking of joining him. We as me, my 7 yr old ds, and 4 yr old ds. both kiddos spunky! So I would have the 2 boys to entertain all day.

What is there to do? Special things going on at that time?

Appreciate any ideas! Thanks!

San Antonio, TX
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31. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

At the BNs in San Antonio you find lots people spread out on a table studying. It looks more like a library, than a book store. I wonder how many actually buy books and how much that contributed to their closing.

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32. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

Good point, Octoboy. Seems like most places have a tough time staying open on the Drag. From what I understand the rents are quite high.

Austin
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33. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

I'm curious what the Drag looked like to everyone here who was going to UT, when they were going. I moved here in 1983. At that time, the clothing store that became the Gap was a Reynolds Penland! The bookstores were the Co-op, directly across the street from the plaza south of the Union; Wallace's, a smaller competitor; and Bevo's. The Co-op had an outstanding selection of chocolates, among other things. The location that eventually became the CVS drugstore was still an adult theater; fifteen years earlier, I think it was a mainstream movie house, as was the Varsity at 24th and Guadalupe (when I got here in 1983 the Varsity was an arthouse theater). Other than that I can't remember a lot (I did most of my shopping at the Co-op East).

I went to that Reynolds Penland once, looking for knit ties. The clerk said "I'm sorry, sir, we don't carry knit ties. The closest thing we have to knit ties are real ties." I didn't shop at RP again until 1992, when they went under and their suits were 60% off. Funny thing is now I never wear knit ties anymore.

Back to the drag: the Vietnamese egg-roll stands were still there, with their cheap and good lemonade, and I think the video arcade was already in the Scientology building.

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34. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

Hmm, RP I don't remember. I was here when the Scientologists were, though, and they gave me some literature when I went to the arcade. Toy Joy was not on the corner, Wendy's wasn't there, Dobie had the McDonalds (is that gone?), and Steve's had the ice cream to beat. I was a regular customer at the Co-op and Les Amis (yep, bad service but great patio) and Mad Dog and Beans.

I also remember lots of teen runaways acting obnoxious on the street. Seems like they're not around as much these days.

Austin
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35. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

I remember the McDonald's at Dobie Mall! That was the first ever McDonald's I saw close.

How about all the restaurants that tried to make it at 20th and Guadalupe (where Schlotzky's is now)? Sombrero Rosa spent a million bucks buidling a store with a big red hat (get it?) and didn't last a year. Then there was that Miami subs, which I really liked, but it couldn't hang on. How come such a good restaurant can't make a living when Mr. Gatti's has been across the street forever?

Arlington, Texas
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36. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

I LOVE you guys! What a great conversation.

I was in Austin 83-89, and on the drag at MLK was Gattis and JackBrown Cleaners (with that smoking billboard where the woman looked like a donkey..painted by some art student); GM Steakhouse and a New York sub place with a yogurt place behind it. There was that guys dorm (Wooten?) who always threw things at the UT parades. Then a crystal shop next to Quackenbushes.

There was also WAllace's, Co-op, Bevo's, a kitchen store (Cadeau?), also a costume store where the drama folks bought their theatre makeup. There was an Alvin Ords, a Penguin yoghurt place (on the corner across from the church) and the Scientologists were still there, with the arcade downstairs. Reynolds and Penland were there, but I never saw a live soul in it. At one period of time, there was an Udder Delight next to Conan's pizza (with the tower that you kicked and it made this uneartly sound). Back by the Varsity (which showed x-rated movies), was Mad Dogs and across the street was HaagenDazs, then became Paradigm notes.

Dobie had a theatre (with a column blocking the view of the only availabe seat)., a MC D's, and an italian place.

I was just there a few months ago and was shocked at how much it had changed. I couldn't find Chez-Fred on Hwy 2222 (my favorite drag strip). And you couldn't drive across the dam anymore, but you can walk. I found Trudy's Texas Star on Lamar, but the other ones apparently closed. The Drag looked very institutionalized and Six street no longer had it's fondly seedy look. And I couldn't find Kerby Lane on Kerby lane (but I was going by memory and not directions)

But, Swedish hill bakery is still there, Katz is still there, Wild About Music (my favorite store) is still there on Congress. The little eggroll stand still yells "hoppy hour" and sells its 2 for 1 fajitas at 5pm, and best of all, the O'Henry Pun-Off still takes place every year (in May?). Zilker Park still celebrates Eeyore's birthday, but now they also have a very fun frisbee golf course,, and the SCA'ers are still banging duct taped swords at each other.

I am obviously in the "Keep Austin Weird" crowd, but noticed that not many of the present-day college students seemed to not notice/appreciate the difference in Austin versus other soulless Texas cities. Hopefully it will keep metamorphisizing itself right out of institutionalization and back into avant-guard.

If anyone knows of any old haunts, or new haunts to visit, let me know. I get down there lots now.

Austin
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37. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

Hey boiling! Gatti's and Jack Brown are still there. Now there's a McDonald's across the street and a Taco Cabana. Any real old Austinites can remember when Dan Junk's (of Dan's and Fran's) first restaurant was on the Mr. Gatti's site. Goodall Wooten is still around and the barbers are still there.

Trudy's is doing pretty well, actually -- 30th Street, Burnet Road, Brodie Lane, maybe a fourth one. The Varsity probably showed an occasional X-rated film (maybe Devil in the Flesh) but was mostly an arthouse -- you may be thinking of the Texas, further south, which is now a CVS drug store. The Dobie added a second chair to its theater, but then it added another column in front of that one. Closest you can come to Chez Fred is Chez Z, in an old location of Chez Fred on Koenig right before it turns into 2222 (just west of Mopac). I remember Cadeau and had forgotten that Alvin Ord's (think Schlotzky's but better) was on the Drag back then.

Actually Eeyore's Birthday has been at Pease Park (not Zilker) for some time. Sweetish Hill is still there on Sixth, but it's moved a bit east of its original location. The "haunted mansion" just north of Sixth on Blanco fell to what is widely believed to be a "friction fire" (caused by rubbing a mortgage and insurance policy together).

With regard to UT: I think many students today aren't as laid back as we were in school because getting in to UT, which has never been easy, is even more competitive now. Also, keep in mind that college students usually concentrate on the parts of town near their school. With that in mind, even Texas Tech and Baylor grads can appreciate some of the finer points of Lubbock and Waco. (Of course, I draw the line at College Station -- I've just seen too many Aggies in Austin on the weekends.) But I do see your point about that particular neighborhood. If you were here in 1983, you were around when there were still a good many older homes in West Campus -- ceiling fans, hardwood floors, 1940s-50s construction -- before they got wiped out by the condos. The area behind the Varsity/Tower building in particular isn't nearly weird enough anymore. Starbucks, I knew Mad Dog and Beans, I was served at Mad Dog and Beans, Mad Dog and Beans was a friend of mine. Starbucks, you're no Mad Dog and Beans.

Arlington, Texas
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38. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

tt,

LOL!! You crack me up. I can't believe Swedish Hill moved. I'll have to get back down there and check them out. And you're right, it was Pease park for Eeyore's birthday. (not remembering the park may have something to do with the state I was in after the parties).

Thanks for the updates. I'll check out Chez-Z next time I am in town.

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39. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

Southern Living has a big article on Chez Zee this month. You should check it out. I've always liked that place. It's got to be the Christmas lights strung everywhere.

Man, I forgot all about the Cadeau. It moved to North Lamar by the Central Market up there, but I'm not sure if it's still in business. I used to love to stop in there and look at all the stuff I couldn't afford.

40. Re: Should I accompany my husband to austin with kiddos?

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