South Congress strolling


By Editor Terry Hagerty

A stroll down Austin’s South Congress Avenue is an entertaining activity while dropping some calories. SoCo used to be an escape hatch from the mob scene along Sixth Street and environs. No longer. But it’s definitely people-watching territory. Be polite and ask, before snapping up-close pix of people.

My fave Google search popped up this advice from trip “Book your tickets online for South Congress Avenue, Austin!” Really, tickets? I pictured a kiddie train.  But that is actually a lead-in for a Capitol (sic) of Texas Segway Tour. There’s free musical entertainment along South Congress. “I’ve been busking in Austin for 20 years and playing South Congress for 15 years,” James Anthony Johnson said proudly after singing and playing his weathered Martin six-string. Just a few yards away a lady and her friend were celebrating the first woman’s recent engagement with a fine meal of cheeseburgers, fries and lasagna, accompanied by a bottle of  wine on the sidewalk patio of a café. When I explained I was on a picture-taking journey and gave them my business card, they enthusiastically said, “Go ahead!” The supporting friend had a great tattoo.

After working up a bit of hunger, I stopped by the popular Home Slice Pizza (1415 South Congress) for the first time. Evah! Luckily it was Monday afternoon. Previously, there were so many people about the place – good for business! – that I would bypass it. But several counter stools inside were vacant this day, so I went on in and enjoyed an eggplant parmesan sandwich. Very good and the staff was super-friendly and were fine with me snapping a pix of their cooking station. The ‘home slices’ were viewable inside a glass display case: $3.50 for a cheese slice, $3.75 for pepperoni. Tap beers include Fireman’s 4, Zilker Parks & Rec (great name!), Brooklyn East IPA and Lone Star. (I believe a sample of Lone Star was launched into Outer Space years ago, alongside that Chuck Berry song.) And there it is, as we used to say in the U.S. Army. Definitely not the grand tour of South Congress, but perhaps a slice. Stay tuned. I’m hoping Doctors’ Mob is playing ‘real good, for free’ soon, along the ave. (All photos are: Copyright 2017 by Terry Hagerty)