Ahhhh-Austin – a rainy day at SXSW

First things first – last night my friend Lloyd drove me to both SXSW registration and to Zliker Park to see the Moontower Lights. If you ever saw “Dazed and Confused” you might recognize these lights. Matthew McConaughey spread the word “party at the moon tower.” in the 1993 movie. They were a popular lighting option in the late 19th century, and Austin erected these towers in response to an unknown serial killer known as the “Servant Girl Annihilator.” Today they are an official Texas landmark and this particular one is found in Zilker Park. Austin is the only city left using in this dramatic method of lighting.

For something a little more geeky…SXSW interactive 2012…the reason for the road trip. Let’s suffice it to say that the weather (much needed torrential downpours) changed the vibe of the conference – instead of folk dispersing to various venues to enlighten themselves – everyone seemed to stay at the convention center, squeezing in to the larger rooms for panel discussions.

My colleague, Cam, battled a wicked cold – sitting impervious to the the teeming masses as they bumped past him – while we waited for the seminars to start. And exactly what did I take away from today’s events? Still percolating, but I was very intrigued by one panelist’s new product – the Lytro camera. This tiny camera allows in all of the light that we see with our eye – and you can refocus the photos AFTER you shoot it. Still wrapping my head around this one.

“Lytro will introduce the first light field camera that allows consumers to instantly capture interactive, living pictures and then focus them AFTER they are taken.” (http://www.lytro.com/)

And despite being such a “fangirl” of Apple – I have to admit that the Microsoft phone interface is pretty darn cool. And traditionally, I hate all things Microsoft. I concede this one. (but will anyone really create apps for this platform? Are they too late to the party? We’ll see.)

After the day’s events – we splashed down the street to Iron Bar BBQ for truly the best smoked sausage I have ever had. The sauce is smokey sweet. This joint is the real deal, and sits just behind the convention center on Red River Rd. Grab your beer out of the cooler on your way to the register. (OK – I was eating off of Cam’s plate, since I knew I was meeting another good friend for dinner.)

Was I done with my culinary tour? Nooooo. Leslie and I met at Clay Pit, a very cool Indian restaurant on Guadaloupe. We were lead to the low ceiling basement for some great samosas, tandoori bites and pakoras. (oh, and a wee bit of wine…)