Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Don't Get Me Wrong - Austin Still Exists If You Pay Attention

I've been doggin' on the new Austin, Indeed, it's not the same. But last Sunday, Tammy, Elizabeth and I headed over to Zavala Elementary School with our lawn chairs, scouted out a spot on Second Street next to a couple of lazy dogs behind a fence, and watched a parade!

Not just any kind of a parade, but an awesome, disorganized, and what would seem weird to the Governor of Indiana kind of parade. It was the HonkTX parade. A lazy, ambling, colorful, mixed up and underachieving marching band parade.

I love this because literally all walks of life were there. A nice older couple stood by me. Nothing weird about them at all. There were parents and children who arrived in luxury cars. There were Mexicans still carrying their palms from the neighborhood Catholic Church's Palm Sunday Service. There were gay men and some motorcycle cops who looked too fat to ride bikes. There were girls with dogs, and babies in strollers, and little kids running right down the middle of the parade. And there were crazy colorful bands and dancers and jugglers and roller derby girls handing out kazoos.

And there were floats!!  I especially loved this float, made on top of a flatbed trailer. It was very small town of them. The only difference is a group of people pushed it along rather than a pick-up pulling it along. If you look closely, you'll see a dad, carrying a tiny baby, pushing the float.

It was Austin being Austin. I'm sorry more of you newcomers didn't make it out for the parade. Ironically, a girl from Minneapolis told me about it. She gets immediate Austin cred for that. 

Tammy and I are band nerds. We both excelled in our high school bands. I played the clarinet and oboe, and she played the trumpet. This was our kind of Sunday; even if the bands didn't march in time, or really care that their uniforms weren't pressed and neat. In fact, let's ditch that uniform word and just give these crazy street musicians props for some awesome costumes.  Also, there's no age discrimination in these bands. Old and young mix it up in East Austin!

Check it.

If it weren't for Sundays like this and crazy festivals like HonkTX, I would ditch Austin altogether and just move to the country permanently. It's these little slices of communal fun that make this city special. All walks of life show up to celebrate, and as the bands march away, the crowd steps in behind them and follows the joy. 

You should check out HonkTX next year. It's not quite as weird as Eeyore's Birthday Party or QueerBomb, so nobody's going to get offended, and if you do, you need to go away right now. Everyone else, follow the band...

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