Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Once in Dallas I stayed for a while with friends and enjoying the city that used to be my home. Eventually I headed down to Austin, the city that I wish had been my home, and then off to New Orleans (a city far too crazy to be a home to me).

Immediately after graduating college -- like three days after I walked off the stage -- I was in Dallas starting a new job. By and large, I really like Dallas. It's a great city full of lots of fantastic restuarants and wonderful people. I have many very, vey good memories from that city, and have met many friends that I intend to keep for a long time. Revisting Dallas and the people there was a lot of fun, as well as exploring the new nooks of Dallas that appeared since my last visit.
The drive away from Dallas is as about as uneventful as any I've seen. It's flat and boring, but unlike the majestic scenes of the Southwest, its dotted with boxy houses and billboards. However, South of Waco (of Branch Davidian fame), the terrain gets some shape and the vegetation sprouts around, eventually dropping into Austin, the oasis of Texas.

Austin is the very much like the best elements of the San Francisco Bay Area condensed into one mid-Texan town. On top of the already hoppin' nightlife and huge selection of bars and nightclubs, South by Southwest was in town magnifying the chaos. I'm told that no less than seven hundred live-music performances took place in a matter of five days, in addition to a indie film festival and wacky interactive events.

New Orleans is quite unlike any city I've ever seen. After a long day of driving, I arrived around 2am -- about the time I'm expecting everything to close up for the night. To my surprise and glee, I found that this was anything but the case and that the party stayed strong for four more hours! Ever since that radioactive-bat bite in my youth I've been a naturally nocturnal person, so this sat with me very well.

First stop, of course, is Bourbon Street. I imagine the bourbon was flowing freely somewhere, but all I saw was horrendously over-priced beer and margarita stands. Regardless, the crowds seemed to lap it up -- literally -- and there was no dearth of drunken debauchery. Walking down Bourbon Street is walking through some modern-day Moulin Rouge where beads take the place of diamonds, and "can cans" aren't a dance. If you get my drift.

After an hour or two I wandering in and out of bars and shops, I directed my oggling to the gorgeous architecture and artwork just ... [more]

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