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?
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: