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South Austin is a quirky part of town, sort of Austin's answer to New York's Greenwich Village or the Left Bank in Paris. Big business and government stay on the far side of Lady Bird Lake. There may be glittering vistas across to the Texas capitol, but the main goal over here seems to be to "keep Austin weird." With nearly 45,000 people living in South Austin's nine square miles, its time for a book like this to help folks fi gure out what's going on. It guides you to vacant lots sprouting gourmet kitchens in Airstream trailers, picnic tables at the ready-and to nearby chic restaurants and honky-tonks nestled beside funky shops that still glory in the 1960s. There are sections on South Austin's music scene, on individual neighborhoods and one with historical background as well.
Diane Barnet, a resident of South Austin for 15 years, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the New York Times, Backpacker and elsewhere.