Nilda and I enjoyed a walking tour of Austin, Texas yesterday. It was a very pleasant day for a stroll around town. A map of our tour route is available here. I have also posted a few pictures from our walk here, they are best viewed as a slide show. The walk really drove home the importance of good urbanism. Austin has its good points and bad as well but it sure was a refreshing change from the drive everywhere requirements of suburbia.
We started out our tour with lunch on 6th Street and later had dinner near the finish of our hike. At the mid-point of our walk we stopped and sampled a couple of house beers at the Draught House Pub & Brewery. This was a nice little neighborhood pub and fit well with Ray Oldenburg's definition of a great "third place". It also compared favorably with our benchmark microbrewery of The Lucky Labrador up in Portland, Oregon.
One of my goals is "to not have to drive" after the age of sixty (preferably even earlier). Not that we necessarily will not drive, but I really would like to live in a place that allows for reasonable alternatives such as walking, bus, or light rail. Along these lines Nilda and I discussed how much preferable it would have been if we could have taken a rail ride to Austin instead of having to drive the interstate to get there. Of course living in great urbanism in the first place instead of having to travel to it would be even better.