The Lone Star state – the truth about Juan Pelota – monochrome diary #SXSW

9 Mar


A black and white take on my trip round Austin yesterday. Under the bright harsh Texan sunshine I ran like a gecko between the buildings, bars and coffee shops. Everywhere there are five pointed stars. The Converse All Star, The San Pellegrino Star, The Red Star – everywhere – until of course I realised this is the lone star state. The symbol of its independence before it joined the union. So everywhere…


Even at Mellow Johnny’s – The famous bike shop owned by Lance Armstrong. Headed here to pick some things up for Sarah back in the Pilot office. Some new Livestrong bands and a water bottle. And even a T-shirt with a star symbol on from here…And of course a look around – The place has a fabulous coffee shop too. And well worth a visit. It is called ‘Juan Pelota’ and serves a range of coffees and great organic local food. I had a a brown cow smothie and a espresso doppio. At the branded table (literally branded…) which is of course where this comes from and again I hadn’t joined up those dots until I landed here in the branding centre of the world…


The truth about the name? Juan Pelota – This is Lance Armstrong’s place right? The Lance Armstrong Foundation ring any bells? Not even a single one? Pelota is Spanish for ball…Juan Pelota…Geddit Y’all?


Heading back out towards the music and venue strip on 6th Avenue – as Austin is the live Music Capital of the world –  I came across some great shots – look out for the ‘spear ghost sign and the new skyscraper’ are in terms of here ‘a keeper’


6th Avnue and up to Congress are the main areas for the SXSW festival. This is just to the east of the colossal Austin Convention Centre that hosts the talks and trade exhibitions. But up here on 6th has an older and more retro feel. And the great thing about this town is that everwhere has a free wifi connection. All the bars, shops, cafes, streets, all have their own open networks. For free. To use. With no log in and payments. Which means that it is so easy to sit with a coffee and check up on the latest info about the festival. Where you can use the online app schedule. Where you can get updates and invitations. It just works. Seamlessly. I like it. It is my kind of town for that.


A journey back to the hotel which is down a 6 lane highway takes in some interesting views and great images too


But not quite as good as the hotel pool. No diving it says. So you look up. You can’t miss it. The six lane highway is now a twelve lane junction. You hear it. It is not very far away. You don’t dive in. You dip your feet in carefully here


Til later – as it is Mardi Gras and people are walking by with beads and balloon hats…




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