Austin has been invaded by Formula 1 and it’s obvious no matter where I go in the city. From the banners hanging from the bright street lights to clever advertisements written on barroom chalkboard, F1 has taken over.
The first thing I did after leaving the airport was to check-in to my hotel. And to no one’s surprise, I was greeted by the following projection:
Once I checked-in and posted my previous journal entry, it was off to downtown to find lunch.
I have a long-standing rule for when I'm on the road to always seek out a local pizzeria -- this one I chose in Austin was called Roppolo's. Their signature dish -- the Papa’s Calzone was the best I’ve had in a long time. I also got a little bit of work done at Roppolo’s asking the manager if he expected the Formula 1 race to increase business for local establishments. His response was somewhat hopeful.
"We’re not entirely sure yet," he said. "But we hope so. This is a different kind of crowd than what big events typically bring. We hope it will help us and the fact that you’re here is probably a good sign."
It was a good point, I thought. The pizza was good enough to bring me back should the race continue beyond this year.
After dinner, I walked down the world famous Sixth St. -- the Austin equivalent to New Orleans' Bourbon St. The presence of Formula 1 was felt here too, alongside the bars, nightclubs and restaurants. I found this sign particularly amusing:
Next up: Dinner with Infiniti executives where they will explain what they hope to accomplish in the American market via the United States Grand Prix and Team Red Bull.