February 17, 2005

ninja roadtrip

what better excuse to break in the new car (a diesel volkswagen golf) than a roadtrip to surprise and freak the crap out of your friend whose two bands are playing together in austin?

those two bands were american analog set and paul newman. you should buy their stuff. you should also go see them when they play in your town.

on the way down, we stopped off in st. louis to see tadao ando's pulitzer foundation for the arts, in memphis for some damn fine barbecue at rendezvous, and in little rock to see the clinton presidential library.

once in austin, we discovered that the sixth street district is a tiny slice of hell, and that it's a hard city to get around. one way streets, twisty, turny streets, and 60mph streets with stoplights give you the feeling that you can see your destination, but you can't get to it! on the bright side, it's a hilly, beautiful city full of spectacular homes.

in austin, we visited the lbj presidential library, which is a fine example of oppressive modernist architecture. the museum also sports a creepy life-size lbj automaton that tells jokes.

we also toured the capital building, where we learned that texas is very, very proud of how big everything is in texas - really proud. at one point the tour guide told us, "our capital building is the second tallest in the nation, but it has the most square feet of any capital complex - and that's all that really matters." i guess that attitude helps to explain the big cars, wide roads, and insanely tall exit ramps in texas. make no small plans! go big or go home!

on the way home, we stopped at yet another tadao ando museum - this time , the modern in fort worth. then, it was on to norman, oklahoma for dinner, and an overnight just outside of tulsa. the one thing i regret missing on this trip were the world's largest praying hands! bummer. i'll be sure to catch them the next time i'm passing through tulsa. actually, being the world's biggest, it's surprising they're not somewhere in texas.

all in all, we put 2500 miles on the car in 5 days. our calculations tell us we got about 45mpg of diesel. hot damn.

you can peruse the pictures and movies here.

Posted by donna at February 17, 2005 05:21 PM

I like your phrase, "fine example of oppressive modernist architecture." We had one of those at my college, Illinois Wesleyan University. I think they may have torn it down since I was last there. And then a mile north, Illinois State University has an eve more oppressive modern building. It's a HUGE concrete cantilevered box.

Posted by: spudart at March 18, 2005 05:01 PM