We’ve been in the Austin, TX area for just shy of a week and we’re really full of it.
Well, OK…really that’s the current status of our holding tanks because all this time we’ve been at a state park without a sewer hookup. That’s pretty good considering there’s four of us here and this trailer of ours isn’t equipped with huge holding capacities in an effort to be “half-ton towable”. Instead we get curtains rather than doors, floors that could double as trampolines and a roof constructed largely of styrofoam (we are ever on the lookout for random Acetone showers!)
We’ve been to Austin before, but it’s been years and we largely enjoyed the downtown area around the SXSW event we attended. So this time around we wanted to branch out a bit and experience more of Austin.
Now, Austin has this reputation for being weird. We wanted to see what that was all about. This is our first foray into the weirdness -starting with two attractions that also appear on RoadsideAmerica (a guide we use to find weirdness wherever we go).
Cathedral of Junk
I first saw this, I think, on the Technomadia site years ago, but you can’t search around for ‘Weird Austin” without coming across the Cathedral of Junk. The cathedral is privately owned and located in a nondescript Austin neighborhood. We called ahead to ensure it would be open - and the owner Vince answered with a simple ‘Hello?”. We made our visit the next day - adding our 4 to the 10,000 people a year that come pay homage to this shrine of capitalism. This is a place you could visit for hours and still not see everything that makes up this artwork.
We wandered around for the better part of an hour and talked with Vince a bit. He’s had a bit of a scrape with the City of Austin over zoning. They wanted to shut him down but the community came to his side, they cleaned up part of the Cathedral, and he now has a “working relationship” with the city.
My only note of caution is to pay attention to the notes from others mentioning the mosquitos. I read them but didn’t plan well and we all left with several bites.
We actually didn’t plan this one. I had contacted the Austin-area ExpressionEngine users in hopes of a meetup and they suggested this place. I was just happy to hear about tacos (being a huge fabn of Tex-Mex food). We only discovered it was another Roadside America spot when we got there and saw the giant sculpture.
The best part was the food! The menu was staggering - I’d guess they have about 75 different offerings, many of them in the $2.50 range. We choose to sample their fish tacos - a first time for our kids. They were excellent, as was the company of the other EE users that came out. Funny thing, none of them had been to the Cathedral.
We’re scoping out some other weirdness in the Austin area - more to come!