OCT. 30-, 2007
Admit it. Sixth Street is one of the reasons you came to Austin. Sure, you can blow a bunch of smoke about getting a degree or taking advantage of that exciting high tech job opportunity, but in your heart of hearts you know you fantasized about spending your nights on Sixth Street sucking down Jell-O shots and hitting on college hotties. Of course, once reality set in and you discovered that the college hotties were actually high school hotties with fake IDs and the Jell-O shots had a tendency to stain your carpet when they came up the next morning, you started talking about the Greenbelt, the hike and bike trail, and Austin’s eclectic culture. In other words, you got all stuck up. Maybe it’s time you loosened up and celebrated the fact that Austin has one of the finest alcoholic theme parks in middle America. That big-ass convention center isn’t there because of art galleries and shopping. Those fat conventioneers didn’t fly in to ride the choo-choo at Zilker. Those high-rise condos aren’t being overbuilt to house pasty-faced state workers. No, this city was built on booze – sort of like Vegas, only without all the classy neon. You may not find it on a bumper sticker anytime soon, but Austin is the Sodom of the Southwest. We are currently overstocked with hedonists, weirdos, and freaks and more keep moving here every day. Why? You can chicken-or-egg it all you want, but Sixth Street is a central component – as are the Warehouse District, Red River, and South Congress. Austin’s geography and climate aren’t all that spectacular, our traffic sucks, and we dress like we just rolled out of bed, but we have a really super personality … or maybe just a superslutty one. Nowhere else in Texas can you find such a concentration of unbridled hedonism (Spring Break at South Padre excluded), and people literally come from miles around to revel in it. Love it or hate it, Sixth Street is as precious a resource to Austin as Barton Springs, the Hill Country, the Capitol, or the university. Don’t deny it, hate on it, or try to pretend it doesn’t exist like your meth dealing uncle who’s in prison in Arkansas. Celebrate it, and yes, occasionally (without bitching about the parking, the smell of dried urine and vomit, or the Dawn of the Dead panhandlers) revel in it. If you have always wanted to support Sixth Street but don’t want to risk getting roofied by one too many sexes on the beach and making an inadvertent amateur porn in a hotel stairwell, now is your chance. Alamo Drafthouse has finally opened their Ritz location. Now you can finally drink beer on Sixth Street without wondering whether someone is going try to snap a cell phone picture of your cooter or pick a fight with you because they don’t like the look on your face. Ironically enough, this Friday at the Alamo at the Ritz, Master Pancake Theater is spoofing Roadhouse, the classic Eighties bouncer movie starring Patrick Swayze. A screening of a movie about bouncers … on Sixth Street? That may just be a little too cerebral. Don’t worry. Alamo will find its groove.