Beating the meter: How to get downtown without paying a dime
Well, it happened: the city of Austin started charging for parking in the evening. I know, because I’ve already gotten two tickets, and who can afford that? It’s time to beat the meter by ditching your car and trying out an alternative method of transportation. We all know that biking is an option, but here are a few other ways to get downtown you might not have thought of yet.
Pilot a Helicopter
No more circling for hours only to have to park ten blocks away. You can park right on top of your destination when you pilot your own helicopter! You'll never be late to a movie at The Ritz again. It also makes venue hopping a breeze. It’s always important to be eco-friendly, so buy a four-seater so you can carpool.
Pretend Downtown Doesn't Exist
Why not join the masses and pretend downtown doesn't even exist? Our city has such an unquenchable thirst for East Austin bars that you can enjoy a new one every night and never have to go to one twice, ever. Emo's now has a location on Riverside and soon Beauty Bar will be joining them. From food truck to fine dining, there's plenty of great food in North and South Austin. I’m already forgetting what that cluster of tall buildings is!
Take an Inflatable Sphere
Turn your trip downtown in pure joy with an inflatable sphere ride. It's an easy way to show a first date you're a “fun” person that doesn't take life too seriously. You'll both be screaming "Weeee!" and "Oh my God we're going to die in this dumb sphere!" as you bounce over traffic right to your destination. The best part of sphering is that it’s completely portable: just deflate the sphere and fold it up. You’ll never forget where you parked when your ride is in in your pocket.
Just Move Downtown
Eliminate parking forever. We all sometimes forget you can live, work, and play downtown, so why not consider renting at the W Residences on Lavaca? I’ve found two bedroom listings for as low as $5,500 a month. Live with such kick-ass amenities as a gym, free valet parking and a spa. Work by hopping downstairs to valet park cars. Play by standing a floor above Austin City Limit studios trying to catch garbled audio of your favorite band. If $5,500 is a too little pricey for you, look into alternative downtowns; New Braunfels, Fredericksburg and Corpus Christi all have downtown housing waiting for you.
Use a Handcar
Luckily, before they started charging for parking downtown, they gave us a convenient train. Of course, the train doesn't run when the majority of the city would want to go downtown. Why waste good train tracks? Invest in a handcar. Watch your biceps grow when you choose this healthy alternative to sitting behind the wheel. It’s certainly the coolest way to get around, too; it’s even more hipster than a velocipede.The train tracks conveniently run up the East Side, so pick up a hottie at The Grackle and whisk them away to their East Austin airstream in no time.
Meter-free, you'll now have more money to spend on overpriced drinks. Remember, however you travel, have fun and be safe. If you are too drunk to pilot your helicopter/sphere/handcar call a friend, cab or teleportation company.