Hope your weekend was a quality weekend.
Saturday was supposed to be a two-party Saturday. We were to meet some friends in N. Austin for Letty's 30th birthday, and then head into town to hit another friend's party. Unfortunately, the first party was at a wine bar and Juan D. and I split a couple bottles of wine, and...
The wine bar itself was nice. I was a bit more confused by my first trip to Austin's "The Domain", a high end shopping center/ residence that's oddly like Main Street USA at Disneyland, right down to the music blasting over the PA as you're wandering around. I guess the major difference is that The Domain is for people looking to buy status symbols instead of overpriced Disney tsotchkes and lemon freezes.
I wouldn't be bugged by the place so much, but its a reminder of the ever growing change in Austin culture as people move here claiming to love Austin, but do everything they can to make it more like Dallas or the suburbs outside of Houston. Also, there was some odd real estate deal when they decided to put in the domain. Despite the fact its basically a mall for over-priced, chain stores selling needless luxury items, (there's a Tiffany's, for example) the developers brokered some major deal on what taxes they do and do not pay. It's kind of a big "screw you" to the rest of Austin, and especially local retailers of all stripes who pay those taxes without complaint while struggling to make it.
That's one of those things, though. I swore I'd never spend money at The Domain, but then your good pals announce that's where they're hosting their party, and I'm kind of past the point in my life where I would have skipped out on the party for some abstract principle or just been a jerk about it (and there was a period). But, honestly, the place was pretty nice and the service was very good.
Needless to say, the wine had taken its hold, and I felt either Jamie or myself driving would be an issue, so I decided not to try to make the second party.
Rather, folks started talking about going to grab a bite to eat. In order to wash the taste out, I talked everyone into going to Jim's, up off McNeil and 183. And if you want to find a place that's the antithesis of everything that The Domain stands for, it is the Jim's chain of family restaurants. This particular location is up near where I grew up in N. Austin, and I don't think they've changed, literally, anything, since the last time I was there, which would have been the spring of 1994.
And they make a surprisingly good cup of coffee and tortilla soup.
Had breakfast this morning with our good pal Heather W. Then I rearranged my office. Not a terribly exciting day, but it was great to see Heather for a bit (she lives in Lubbock at the moment for grad school).