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Some streets lead to wherever you go. Some lead to surprises both good and bad. Some streets are destinations in themselves, parts of the track where the journey itself is what matters.

South First Street, between Riverside and San Telmo is one of these streets, one of the last in Austin, where block after block, the old magic of the city that some once attracted musicians, artists and other creative spirits act and settle here, is still palpable, still crackling in the air.

South of Riverside, the pass stores and shops on the right, and converted from private homes in 1930, at clothing stores and artistic import. They sit in front of the campus of great Green, of the Texas State School for the Deaf. Further south, the Bouldin Creek Coffee House serves his state of health of the eclectic hip food and beverage customers neo-bohemian. In addition, Jovita, one of the most venerable concert halls in the city, but less known, invited the eye with Joyce Dibona is colorful, artwork decorating theme Aztec exterior walls.

As you drive further south will pass through the colorful buildings and businesses who clog the street to four lanes. Some are well established and flourishing, some seem almost abandoned, even decrepit. All are obviously small operations, like resistance Bookstore. In the corner of Oltorf and South First, one of the most striking commercial houses can now Austin, ideal for the time, Baby Green, a fast food health joint.

Then you pass one of the least attractive buildings Visually, however, what happens to the house of Sam Hall, a settlement area old to drink through the street credibility to burn. Shoe repair shops, bookstores, bike shops, art galleries and a nursery in a house converted private along the street as it moves toward the intersection of Ben White. Before arriving here, see the May coffee house Summermoon on the east side of the Street, a commercial area more inviting and intimate of coffee in town. The area around Barton Hills and Travis Heights are populated by people who have unswerving devotion to their locally owned neighborhood businesses.

In addition, SHAC The Self Help and Advocacy Center, which is managed by the consumer Austin Area Mental Health, an organization of people with mental illness. This community center offers services and information for people with mental illness and the wider community. Most volunteers employed here have helped many people find housing, jobs and renewed hope to re-integrate into society.

Of course, on the road, had a liturgy colorful Mexican restaurants: Aranda, Powder, Little Mexico, Mexicana panderi, Botanitas Evita. Even San Antonio would be easy to a street with many institutions and promising in a delightfully colorful section so few miles.

And all along this road that has escaped from a so clear style of development that brings villas and super-centers and a network locked motion, there is still the green hills of Austin. In a long stretch of the street if you go north, you can see the towers of downtown floating in the distance blurred. In fact, Austin is architecture, not cookie cutter in the United States. It is a local, content and color, a true reflection of creativity and productivity of people who live here.

It may not be a matter of time before this beautiful old street yields to the pressure of development and large sums of money, like much of the rest of the city did. But for now, remains how to Austin time, or almost ready for a journey with no clear destination when the journey itself was what mattered.

Demolition starts at Assembly Square: Sept. 19, 2008

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