Walking in Texas

So my question was walking, and my answer is… walking.
Steve Paxton

For a while now I’ve been exploring different practices of walking; through their historical, poetic, political and choreographic dimensions. From the peripatetic to flânerie and on to the pedestrian, the simple action of placing one foot in front of another maps a cartography of casual strolls, meditations, protest marches, artistic actions and, sometimes, dance choreographies.

So, a month ago, I left my driver’s licence back home and came to Texas and Austin’s incredible Museum of Human Achievement intent on getting everywhere on foot (or using public transport).

And Texas is a big place, Austin a fair-sized city. And they sure love their big trucks here.

Walking allowed me to explore the more pedestrian side of the city…

But also its more untypical itineraries, where I frequently found myself all alone.

But as the days passed walking meant meeting people in the most unusual places, having the most unexpected conversations, many of which challenged me to expand on my own ideas on urban growth, gentrification, access to culture and immigration. Texans are very eager to engage in conversation, they make the time to do so.

So, conversations with bat watchers, bus catchers, exchange students, yoga fans (Austin is the home of the soothing Yoga With Adriene), nurses who are homeless, cooks who walk dogs, musicians who are healthcare activists, library users, Tejano veterans, taco connoisseurs (soooo many breakfast taco recommendations!)… and, unavoidably, football fans.

And when I return to Austin (and I will!), I don’t doubt the only ride I’ll need beside my own two feet will be on CapMetro.

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