If I had to identify the first thing that struck me in exploring Austin it would be the food cart culture. Sometimes it seems as though there are more food trailers than brick-and-mortar eateries. I’ve heard estimates of 1,000+ carts, and they aren’t your typical “Halal Gyros Stand” in New York City.
Most of Austin’s carts have permanent residence in “food trailer parks” throughout the city, and many of the carts aren’t exactly orderable on Amazon. Alongside the traditional-style food carts there are plenty of converted school buses, Airstream trailers, and other creative adaptations of space. The culture of two-wheeled transport is also apparent. Bicycles, scooters and pedicabs are all over the place, and it sometimes seems as though drivers view themselves as being in the way of cyclists rather than the reverse. Coming from New York City, that’s crazy talk.
There’s a whole lot of quirk around, but on the more mainstream side of things the flagship Whole Foods store is in Austin. It’s MASSIVE, boasting a full wine bar, multiple restaurants with menus, and a complex that you could easily get lost in. (Maybe that’s the point?)
Finally, a bit unrelated, we got together with a Jewish group in South Austin for a Purim party. It was pretty non-traditional, including a participatory improv reenactment of the Purim story. It wasn’t necessarily our crowd, but was a fun time nonetheless.
posted by yair