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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On the Street

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Friday Night Lights

The weekend was filled with fantasmal cycle activities. Another tree fallen in the San Antonio woods? Or a new beginning? Luckily, a camera was present to capture... something.

Downtown Highlife rode again. The first commandment being 'every ride is a new route' was somehow faithfully held, even if by default, neglect, and parliamentary procedure.

Having run out of ideas of where to go, I've resorted to google maps to try and plot last second twists and turns. The benevolent dictatorship period perhaps has come to an end. Collaboration, of the good kind, is needed.

After my route ended, group dynamics took over and we moved forward to the surprise of no one. At 10:30 we ended at Ghetto Good Cafe. Slab Cinema had set up a screen and we watched a documentary about a drug-addled weirdie who jousted atop double (tall) bikes.

This seemed to be a winning combination between Ghetto Good lending their outdoor space, Slab Cinema lending their cinematic passion, and Downtown Highlife lending their drunken, energetic bodies. Hopefully this cross-pollination will happen again.


Saturday night many of the Downtown Highlifers took off to Austin on a chartered bus to join in the 25th Austin Harvest Moon/Moonlight Cruise. We met at Bluestar at 10:30 pm and left an hour later. The ride in Austin began at 2:00am. To clarify, that isn't an early time, especially when driving from out of town.

The bus and the horse trailer and the foolish fotographer, circa 10:47pm.

Somehow everything almost fit, circa 11:05pm.

At 12:45 pm we pulled into Buda or Kyle and found an HEB. The bus pulled right up to the front door and all 23 of us jumped out to find a bathroom and make a last second beer/wine run.

Flash forward to Austin and a different grocery store and the first stop of the 25 mile cruise race. There were probably 400 people, though this foto doesn't quite relay that information. I was doing good at this point. Though someone had slipped me another mickey, I was able to race to the front of the pack to arrive in this parking lot in 3rd place. That was the last sniff I would get of the front of the pack, circa 2:51am.

Nerdcore? This dood rode a Gilligan's Island-esque bike generator he used to power his amp and stereo so he could spit Sugarhill Gang styled raps. Goofy. Real goofy. But a crucial aspect to the total experience, circa 4:01am.

Somewhere in the top left corner is the apparition of the state capital. We ended atop a parking garage and looked across the overcast skies. East, west, north, south all blurred. I noticed the Dobie Mall in the distance and knew to go the other way, circa 5:05am.

We made it back to the parking lot where the bus was stashed. On the way I stopped by a Taco Cabana on Riverside and S. Lamar and tried a pupusa, which I didn't know was on the menu. The manager bragged of its Buffalo chicken sauce. Was this fusion cuisine or a loss in translation? Or something worse?

We boarded the bus at 6am and made the long journey home. While a small minority blasted the boombox and danced in the aisles, the rest of us leaned our heads against the window, watched the sun begin to rise and slowly slipped into unconsciousness. Something extraordinary had happened.

As I approached sleep, I felt how great it was to be alive. The night had taken me to this one fleeting moment. But before I could fully appreciate its importance, I was gone...

And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio (and beyond.) As always, to be continued...

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