What Willie Wouldn't Do

I’m not really a Willie fanatic – another case of taking for granted what I grew up seeing driving down the highway Texas, up there with squished armadillos and peach stands – but I think I know enough about the red-headed stranger to know that, of all the streets in Austin he wouldn’t be caught dead puffing on his peace pipe, 2nd Street would be it.

The 2nd Street renovations were, at first blush, a pleasant surprise, proving that if you put enough twinkling lights on evergreen trees rooted in chic, metal planters, anything can look charming. But after a few years of condo-dweller assimilation and the openings and closings of overpriced boutiques selling gilded sparrows and breezy, patterned frocks, the 2nd Street District has become the sorority house of Austin, a pay-to-play zone that will soon be home to the W Hotel where people will shell out to have their Starbucks brought to them every morning and their Beagles walked in the evenings. Personally, I’ve avoided 2nd Street since La Taverna stopped offering $1 bottomless mimosas on Sundays. I mean, what else am I going to do down there? Buy a snowboard? For all that snow we’ve had lately?

While we’re on the subject, can we pause and reflect on the absurdity of Austin, Texas having a store that sells primarily ski and snowboarding supplies?

…okay. Thanks.

Anyway, you could have pulled off my pig tails today when I heard that the Austin City Council voted to commemorate Willie Nelson by re-naming part of 2nd Street the “Willie Nelson Boulevard.” The new Austin City Limits studio will reside on the boulevard and have out front a statue of everyone’s favorite Austinite (who actually lives in Spicewood, last time I checked). To me, this seems like a ploy on behalf of Austin City Limits to Willie-fy their new swanky digs, a mile away and a world apart from their old home off of Guadalupe. Who wouldn’t want to have Willie’s blessing on their valet-studded street corner?

Ultimately, what would Willie do? Not much, aside from light another one up. He can't very well reject the honor. But I think the notion that the old Willie and the new 2nd Street are at all synonymous can be summed up in one word that Willie himself once used in a song:

Crazy.
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6 Response to "What Willie Wouldn't Do"

  • Karl-Thomas Musselman Says:

    Agreed! I'm glad to see I'm not alone in being confused by this one.


  • Paul Toohey Says:

    Regarding the ski shop. I often had similar thoughts about the Surfboard shop that was near the corner of 45th and Guadalupe...I think they were only in business for about 6 months.


  • D'Ann Says:

    I agree with you on the Willie not quite fitting 2nd Street thing (and anyway...why do we need to keep renaming things around here? Only the newbies call them new names anyway..Lady Bird Lake anyone?!).

    However, I'll have to respectfully disagree on the ski/snowboard shop. I'm VERY glad to hear that such a place exists in Austin. There is a big group of wakeboarders/skaters here and most of us head out west in the winter to ride at least once or twice. I own my gear and I was grateful when I lived in DC to be able to go to a local shop and find knowledgeable people rather than having to order online or pay resort prices for gear in Vail.


  • Logan Says:

    You are free to open any kind of shop you want to as long as you're not in san antonio and your shop includes women exposing their nipples. Texans love to go skiing! If you want to see winter you have to leave the state.


  • LonestarJR Says:

    I personally believe Austin should rename that portion of Congress Avenue from Cesar Chavez to MLK "Willie Way," in honor of the greatest figure in Country Music's storied history. Failing that, anything is better than nothing.
    As for 2nd Street, you have hit upon the perfect solution: If you don't like it, don't go there. For example, I eschew going to movie theaters that charge $29/ticket, but if they can get people to pay $29, good for them. Society will survive that. The BP spill is another matter. I wish we could boycott that.


  • ckf Says:

    Oh, my gosh, my dear niece, don't you know every good republican with a fat wallet NEEDS a place in 100 degree central Texas to go shopping for skiing gear! My goodness-it's hot down here-do you really expect them to buy flipflops?-Mr. Republican says who cares about the expense-bring in the artificial snow whereever I go! Make sure its the finest snow to be bought! I'm hot darn it!!! -and I have a full wallet!Doesn't matter the expense, as long as I'm happy.
    PS-Mr. Republican's postcard from his vacation skiing in May --I've done my part, somebody else can buy the fans for the poor. That's why we created the middle class anyway- to care of those little things.