Happened upon

When Oat Willie’s was in a house north of the Capitol and west of it, it used to be just one of dozens of little places to be explored during the noon hour (including the antiques and second-hand places on Red River, Rio Grande, and West; Folk Toy; bookstores Grok Books, which evolved into Book People, Garner & Smith, UT Co-op, and Half Price in its original Austin location; plus many, many little shops in old houses). I still have clothes that smell like incense.

But until the most recent Pecan Street Festival, I had never been inside Gas Pipe Emporium. I was looking for non-filter cigarettes. Old-time short Camels were first on the list, but any of the non-filter brands from the U.K. would have done. There were no non-filter cigarettes in stock. I was amazed. The other surprise was the great array of darts-related equipment and paraphernalia on display. I would never have guessed. Otherwise, all was more or less basic head-shop stuff. Short Camels were found at a tiny convenience store called Jordania, on Neches. I didn’t smoke any that day, but I wanted some in case I wanted some. The big sellers in that little emporium seemed to be cold drinks and frozen treats.

My post office of choice has always been downtown, now in location number three, with the second-choice post office being the South Austin branch, not the same since the move way south to near Ben White. Saturday stamp-buying is an iffy thing these days, with some branches not open at all and others open for ever-changing short hours only. Just as I hit every Austin branch library on a never-ending round, I also like to check out branches of the post office. I don’t like the stamps from the machines; I want to select from the current issues, and some branches stock more of them than others do. Before this weekend, I had never been to the Tarrytown branch. It’s wonderful to learn that it’s open on Saturdays from 9 am until 1 pm, and I didn’t have to request a glassine envelope for all the stamps that I bought.

And right next door to it is the Tarrytown Pharmacy, also new to me. There, I fell into temptation, succumbing to the allure of the excellent selection of Crane’s stationery (greater than at Book People, but without the engraving order department at Northwest Hills Pharmacy). The sales slip says “65 years of service.” Along with a fine selection of greeting cards, plus shelves of magazines and paperbacks, the pharmacy also has a rack of comic books, not always to be found these days. After so many years of heading that way, usually with Kash-Karry / FreshPlus and the Howson branch as chief destinations, it was fun to find places entirely new to me.

2 Comments so far

  1. CarterB (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 9:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing old Austin memories as well as new places, M.J.L.

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

    You’re welcome, and thanks for the thanks. I do remember the old, even though I enjoy most of the new. I only went to another Kash-Karry after my regular one became that big Schlotsky’s and I only checked out Howson as a good place to exchange magazines after the old main library became the history center. The old library used to have a coupon exchange not just a magazine exchange. I think it’s funny that the aura of sandalwood incense just doesn’t launder out of those kurtas and drawstring trousers and skirts. There also used to be a lot of Austin-designed and -sewn clothes sold out of some of those old houses west of Congress and west of the Drag.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.