Blocking the Bridge … Again

Protest-a-comin'On evenings when the Congress Avenue bridge isn’t blockaded for a bat-themed Pecan St. Festival knock-off, it is simply one of Austin’s better-known tourist destinations. Last night’s visitors were treated to a bat feeding exodus under a full moon, delightfully recreating the opening splash for the old Scooby-Doo cartoon.

Technically last night’s lunar event was the Corn Moon, which sounds much less appealing than the traditional September Harvest Moon, but nonetheless seemed appropriate to host wierdness along the bridge. After a short bat-free lull, APD closed the bridge for the immigration rights demonstration making its way from the Capitol. The presence of a couple hundred chanting Latinos came as quite a shock to some, not least the Ohio State fans who could only interpret this as a rogue UT plot to toss their Buckeye asses over the rails. A few wayward SoCo revelers got caught up in the mix, and appeared surprised that nobody was offering them a margarita. The parade demonstration ultimately steered West down Barton Springs, relieving the pent-up traffic along Congress and depriving observers of a full-on First Thursday juxtaposition.

The hubbub quickly died down and the bridge returned to what passes for normal on a First Thursday. The Mexican Freetail Bats went about their business, unfazed by tourists and protests. It makes you wonder how such hardy creatures would ever need saving, unless they’re particularly sensitive to a proliferation of gratuitous shindigs thrown in their honor.

1 Comment so far

  1. Rantor (unregistered) on September 8th, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    Yesterday’s bridge congestion was relatively brief, wasn’t for profit, didn’t exact tolls on pedestrians, and didn’t cause much trouble for bus-riders. I think that bat-watching is sort of like what the Statue of Liberty is said to be for native New Yorkers: it’s something that pretty much only the tourists do, but it shouldn’t be that way.

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