Ambling through Austin: Day 1

On the LEAP Ambassadors’ first day (or actually, evening!) touring downtown Austin, we walked through lively streets filled with loud music and a diverse array of people. For many of us, it was the first time to sixth street, which we traveled on simply to get to our restaurant. The travel was a bit slow going, owing to the maskless throngs (from which we took wide berth) and aggressive requests for money.

For dinner, we stopped at the Mediterranean restaurant CAVA.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Austin TX, CAVA

The appetizing assortment of options ranged from lamb to falafel, which were topped with a variety of savory and sweet sauces, as well as other toppings.  Although we had all had Mediterranean food previously, we did try new food items, whether it was falafel or tzatziki sauce, and we were very pleased!

After wrapping up dinner, we walked up Congress Avenue, stopping near the statue of Angelina Eberly. Ms. Eberly was well connected, having hosted both Presidents Lamar and Houston in her home, but that did not impress her much. In fact, in 1842, when President Houston sent emissaries to remove the state archives from Austin and relocate them, Ms. Eberly greeted his officials’ with a cannon, thus repelling efforts to relocate the archives and capital. This “archives war” is preserved in Pat Oliphant’s statue prominently featured on Congress.

As we made our way further up Congress Ave, we took a moment to observe the Texas Capitol. Unfortunately, the gates to the Capitol were closed, and we had to view–and photograph–it from afar.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Austin TX, Capitol Building

Across the street is Governor’s Mansion, where the LEAP Ambassadors were surprised (and excited) to encounter Governor Greg Abbott’s two golden retrievers. We weren’t positive of their identities, but Blake Roach, who works for the Governor, provided us with the dogs’ names (peaches and pancake) and a bit about their personalities!

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Austin TX, Governor's Mansion

Thus armed with knowledge, we posed with Peaches and Pancake and provided us with a very satisfying beginning to our trip.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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