SXSW: advice for daytime

Many will never see the light of day while here in Austin, but here’s good counsel for anyone new to town who straggles out after dawn or before sunset.

–Wear comfortable footgear; it’s hillier here than it looks.
–To make this even clearer, do not try to break in those boots you bought at Allens Boots on South Congress.
–Do not dress in black, even if that’s all you brought to wear.
–Buy a new wardrobe in lighter colors if necessary.
–Comfort is everything.
–Wear sunscreen even if it’s overcast unless you want your skin to burn.
–Wear sunglasses, and good ones, unless you want your poor eyes to feel raspy.
–If you don’t have a proper hat already when you arrive, buy yourself some headgear with a bill or a brim.
–Whether or not you have private transportation, if your info packet does not include a map of Austin, acquire one at the Visitor Center or pick up a Capital Metro book of bus schedules at the library or elsewhere around town; there’s quite a good map that can be torn from the centerfold.
–Learn to love iced tea; just asking for “tea” will get you some; if you want the other stuff, ask for “hot tea.”
Jo’s Hot Coffee on South Congress is a great place to recaffeinate while watching people and their dogs.
–If it ever does rain while you’re here, don’t burden yourself with an umbrella; chances are good that the rain won’t amount to enough to bother or, if it does, it’ll come in sideways and probably torrentially, so that an umbrella will either blow inside out or won’t keep you dry even if it doesn’t; resign yourself to wearing a giant-sized plastic trash bag or becoming drenched.
–We don’t have our own branch of the National Weather Service here these days, and the radio and television prognosticators never seem to agree, but the weather is often variable this time of year, so it doesn’t hurt to check the on-line NWS forecast for this area.

Austin by day is very different from Austin by night, and a lot of the difference really does have to do with the difference between the sun and the moon. The above is for those who’ve never been here before and may suffer for the remainder of their stay because of what they do and don’t do the very first day. Year-round Austinites and SXSWers who’ve been here before no doubt have additional advice for daytime. I just hate to see people looking sweaty, fried, and lame when they don’t need to.

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