Before I left my hostel in the morning, I did a quick tour of the collection of firefighting memorabilia. Overall, it’s an interesting set of artifacts and photos. It’s still a little weird to eat your cereal next to photos of 9/11 and elementary school’s that burned down. On the plus side, it puts our more minor daily problems into perspective.
For lunch, I headed down to Gus’s Fried Chicken. I had planned to try out the one in Austin this past visit but the timing didn’t work out. I’m glad I was able to finally try it today. My usual dose of hot sauce proved uneccessary as the meat was moist and flavorful enough on its own.
Practically next door to the hostel is Arkansas Arts Center. After stopping by the hostel to work for a bit, I headed over to check out the museum’s collection. There was a wide variety of styles despite the relatively small size of the gallery area.
While I enjoyed the artwork, it was a pretty awkward experience. I’d asked for permission to take photos and received it early on yet the staff kept following me. Then randomly 3/4 through my visit, they asked that I check my bag at the counter which I did (I’ve worn bags so much this past year that I often forget that it’s unusual to have them in certain places). Even after doing so, the staff continued to keep an eye on me.
To be honest, given the neighborhood and the fact that admission is free I don’t really blame them. Also maybe I have shifty eyes.
Before heading home, I walked around the surrounding MacArthur Park for a bit.
There are a number of odd looking ducks (I now know them to be Muscovy ducks). I’d seen a couple when I first moved to Austin in 2012, but they still struck me as strange.
To round out the night after some more work, I headed to Stone’s Throw Brewing for a light dinner of parmesan fries and a couple of beers. I tried their Ripple Effect Rye (similar to a hefeweizen but brewed with rye instead of wheat) and a Kentucky Waterfall (a pre-prohibition style Kentucky common which is a type of beer I’ve never tried before). Both were excellent.
The taproom itself was fairly small and seemed to have a pool of regulars that would float it combined for an relax & intimate atmosphere. I’m always tempted to take pictures of the restaurants themselves but I feel awkward enough just being the guy taking photos of food (esp. fries).
One thing I haven’t really mentioned is the beggars here. There’s quite a few of them near the park (and thus my hostel as well) so it’s become a regular occurrence. I encountered this often growing up so I’m used to dealing with it. But their methods here are unusual.
A good example came at the end of the night as I stopped at a convenience store. In the parking lot, there was a guy wearing a reflective safety vest who I assumed was working there. When I was in the checkout line, the guy had come inside the store and was standing by the door asking each customer for change as they left. Normally, I’d expect the staff to tell him to leave, but instead the clerk seemed oblivious. I don’t know if it’s more accepted/tolerated here or if this is a specific case and the staff have given up on trying to get rid of him.
Not sure what my point was in bringing that up but I thought I should mention it at some point. Kind of a weird note to end on…