On Saturday we drove out to The Domain to meet my folks and do a little shopping. We used a gift certificate that we had gotten as a wedding present (thanks, Magsigs!) to get some serving dishes, and then we walked around a bit and had lunch. Then I bought a hat.
|(this will make a great "Have you seen these men?" pic|
after Dad and I have to go on the lam)
The Domain (a big ol' mixed use, residential outdoor shopping mall in North Austin) is interesting. Part of me found it soothing and fun and relaxing- exactly the way it was designed to be. Sculptures, landscaping, outdoor fireplaces, and energetic, nonthreatening music piped in through unobtrusive speaker systems along the walkways. Another part of my brain was sort of wary of the fact that an entire small village had been artificially constructed with pretty much the sole purpose of making a person want to buy things. Shopping malls are nothing new, I know, but something about the whole experience still seemed a little off. Maybe it's the fact that with condos and apartments located in the Domain, the designers are trying to pretend that this is something other than a big ol' monument to commercialism. I know I'm probably over analyzing things, but there's just something discomforting about the notion that people are being squeezed into the shopping experience instead of stores springing up in an area in order to meet the actual needs of residents. In The Domain, the residents seem to be present in order to accommodate the needs of the retail environment (i.e., presenting the impression to shoppers that they're buying in a small community instead of in a more traditional shopping mall). I didn't see a lot of post offices, grocery stores, and pharmacies. Instead I saw high end art galleries, expensive clothing, and gadget shops. Most of the stores in the Domain must not actually fit the day to day needs of the people living close by. So maybe I'm more comfortable when things work the other way around. The Domain holds itself out to be some sort of pre-planned retail/residential utopia, but it's surrounded by parking lots and concrete, with large paved areas creating separation between The Domain itself and the surrounding neighborhoods. I didn't see a lot of sports fields for kids to play on, and the parking lots and narrow streets between the shops didn't leave much room to ride a bike.
Anyway, our shopping trip was good! I had a really fun time hanging out with my parents and Amy. It was fun to window shop and watch people at The Domain. The place just feels a little like a retail amusement park- which is fine! But it seems like The Domain takes itself a lot more seriously than that.
Saturday afternoon I went for a nice bike ride in the cool, cloudy weather while Amy worked out. Saturday night we watched Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. Because my wife is cool.
Sunday we went to Juan in a Million for breakfast. It had been a long time. Still good.
We went grocery shopping and did some chores. It rained a lot on Sunday. Well, we didn't get a ton of water, but it rained lightly for much of the day. Late in the afternoon I went to band practice over at Reed's place. We had a good Mono rehearsal.
Sunday night Amy made a good dish with mushrooms, pasta, and wine sauce. It was tasty.
It was a nice weekend. Kinda quiet, but nice.
Hope everyone is doing okay!