Bouldin Creek Austin Neighborhood
One of our favorite stories about Bouldin Creek involves David Ansel, the Baltimore native who moved to Austin to follow his soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, found himself in a hi-tech box and quit it all to become The Soup Peddler.
Ansel was following a tried and true Austin entrepreneurial model -- he went to Mexico, got inspiration and came back to Austin to start his own business. He began making soup and then delivered it door-to-door using his bike and three-wheeled cooler chest, accompanied by his dog. He became a legend in his Bouldin Creek neighborhood, was written up in national newspapers and now has a catering business. These days, trucks deliver his soup and he has a nationally published cookbook and he still lives in the neighborhood.
It is a neighborhood where those kind of Austin stories happen. Small Bouldin Creek apartments and homes fill this neighborhood where the local coffee shop is definitely not part of a chain. The mission of the Bouldin Creek Coffee Shop, its owners say, is to inspire "community action, intellectual foment and people-watching." They also provide water bowls for dogs on the small, funky patio on South First Street.
Given its proximity to downtown and hip, nearby SoCo, parts of Bouldin Creek have become gentrified, but it maintains an eccentric air, helped partly by its varied history. Tucked away in the neighborhood of unassuming small homes is Green Pastures restaurant, a small family mansion on West Live Oak that has been a classy Bouldin Creek dining spot for more than 50 years. The mansion was the childhood home of the late writer and radio humorist John Henry Faulk, one of Bouldin Creek's first free thinkers who was blacklisted during the McCarthy witch hunt era in the 1950s.
South Congress Avenue borders the Bouldin Creek neighborhood in the East and its Western edge is marked by Bouldin Creek. Running through the heart of the neighborhood is South First, a street that reflects the melting pot flavor of the neighborhood. With its Mexican bakeries, independent "revolutionary" bookstores, tattoo parlors, an art gallery or two, and various cafes South First gives Bouldin Creek a flavor all its own.
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