First of all, we walk there. From our house along the boardwalk across the Pfluger pedestrian bridge then that odd wooden extension, then on broad pathways to the door. None of this was there when we chose Austin. Then the smokestacks, now architecturally interesting, and the grid works, and the sleek new buildings. It’s a plaza, of sorts. It’s Austin, and it isn’t. This is how it will be from now on. No returning to scruffy, no matter how you long for it. We sat at the bar of a downtown restaurant and ate sauteed squid. We wandered back out. Here the site of the future tallest building in town. There another glossy bar where the polished and well-coifed drink cocktails. Then through the lobby of the new J.W. Marriott. A little L.A., a little Las Vegas. Standing there I realized] what it really is, all this nattering about the Austin that once was. It a grief. Grief and–eyes agape–a bit of wonder.
May 6, 2015