SOCO neighborhood–it’s the frosting on our Austin cake.
Originally uploaded by thenelsonproject
[Contributed by our favorite south Austin correspondent, Patti P.]
Despite record breaking high temps last week, SOCO–the funky neighborhood & quirky/artsy shopping district south of the Congress Street bridge in Austin, TX stayed oh so cool. Even the campy cupcake vendor operating out of a vintage silver airstream “Hey Cupcake” managed to keep the icing on her cakes and into the hands of hoards of sugar seekers.
Saturday was the last day of the SXSW music festival here in Austin and as is tradition, free music shows packed cool visitors (you could tell by their shades) & cool Austinites (you could tell by their pink hightops) into every alley up & down SOCO…all you had to do was follow the beat with your hatted head.
Which my husband & I did from Guero’s live oak courtyard to Homeslice Pizza’s back lot and finally found ourselves nose to fiddle bow in a tented alley with the entertaining Sadie’s (popular Toronto Canadian band (Rock/Psychedelic/Country band fresh back from Europe and on their way to Scandanavia). Totally satisfied with their revved up version of a favorite Bob Wills tune “stay all night, stay a little longer”– ever rebellious, we opted instead to weave our way through the alley crowd to continue our SOCO hop.
If you missed SXSW, first, there’s always next year and second, you can always get a mini taste (a morsel but enough to leave you sated) the First Thursday of each month as SOCO businesses leave their doors open late into the evening and live music beckons around every corner.
And don’t sweat it if you miss a Thursday visit. SOCO is cool every day/night of the week.
OK-what NOT to miss when visiting (or coming to live) in the SOCO area:
Jo’s coffee–tres popular open-air coffee shop which keeps java hounds happy year-round sipping, surfing and cool people watching.
San Jose Hotel–sister business to Jo’s (literally). Private ivy covered courtyards right off the busy SOCO path. Reportedly Julia Roberts and Gwenyth Paltrow’s favorite digs while in town so I give these diva mamas two cool thumbs up for their taste.
The Continental Club–opened in 1957 with Glenn Miller & Tommy Dorsey…rocked out with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joe Ely in the 70’s and is now packed with awesome authentic swinging atmosphere with the best rockabilly, swing & country anywhere. I think it’s pleasantly haunted with some really great souls.
Hill Country Weavers–should be dubbed Hill Country Knitters as the shop has doubled in size and great fiber selections since knitting fever hit around 2001. They taught me to knit–I’m forever grateful.
Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds–oh the photo opportunities! Fantastic costume shop–if you’ve never had a chance to wear layers of crinoline, you have to go into this SOCO shop just to feel the puffy dresses and fuzzy gorillas reaching out to tickle as you make your way through the packed maze of costumes.
Allen’s Boots–this anchoring corner shop will remind you that you’re in Texas. Booted & hatted cowboys/girls guide you through the impressive isles of boots (I have my eyes on a pair of turquoise beauties)…
And that’s just a taste of SOCO. You have to come visit. Stay if you promise to be cool.
© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.