Friday, December 21, 2007

Six Degrees of Austin

This is why I love living in a small(ish) city.

In the past week alone, I have discovered that:

A) Buffy, my hair stylist, is an old buddy of my editor Sean O' Neal at The Onion, and

B) Dillon McKinsey, a producer at KOOP-FM's "Writing on the Air" show who I met with for coffee today, is pals with Oliver Rajamani, a rad local musician who my husband used to play gigs with.

If you are at all connected to the arts community in Austin, it is downright BIZARRE how small a close-knit family it is. As such, I get to learn new facts about people and the city all the time - a little dirt here and there, but mostly trivia. For example: the other day, I was interviewing the folks over at Tequila Mockingbird for a story, and learned that supposedly there is a secret tunnel that leads from that building up into the Clay Pit - this Westernized, insanely delicious Indian restaurant that we hit up whenever we're feeling especially carnivorous.

Now maybe that seems insignificant. But secret tunnels are there for a reason. These same buildings were also the headquarters for the McGovern campaign in the 70's, as well as a "gentleman's bathhouse" during roughly the same period. Let your imagination run wild with that last little fact. Said "gentleman" needs mid-afternoon bathhouse fix, must do so discreetly, heads to "McGovern headquarters" for "poll updates" and slips next door through secret tunnel for...voter registration? I don't think so.

Anyway, I totally wish there was a tunnel leading from my workplace, or home residence, into the Clay Pit. How fun would that be? I would pop in, surprise Chef Maqbool Ahmed in the kitchen, and sweet talk him into handing over that chicken korma he's making for some poor customer. Or, just poke around for naan bread when I need a mid-afternoon snack! When it's all said and done, I would simply steal away through my tunnel. I wonder if this is how the employees of Tequila Mockingbird treat it. This thing really does have unlimited potential.

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