Early morning rains and high winds dropped temperatures into the 40s on Saturday afternoon but music fans still made their way to the historic Red’s Scoot Inn, an official SXSW Music Venue. The East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood hosted at least two major SXSW venues this year, the monster Levi’s + Fader Fort event at the historic warehouses at the corner of E. 5th and Waller Streets (also new home of the Sundays-only HOPE Farmers Market and Cafe Mundi), and at Scoot Inn. Both of these historic properties are adjacent to the Saltillo MetroRail Station. The bike, pedestrian, and car traffic and the spillover parking jams caused major problems for nearby residents and businesses near the rail corridor, especially the small businesses who rely on truck deliveries for their daily operations. All the streets from E. 6th to E. 4th, from I-35 to Comal were reduced to one lane with Waller Street totally blocked by barricades between E. 4th and E. 5th Streets. SXSW traffic is seen by some as a blessing and others as a curse.
If you’re in the restaurant or bar business, you probably made a killing, if you live near a SXSW venue you’re probably tired of guarding your parking spot and wearing ear plugs to sleep. Neighbors found all kinds of creative ways to make a few bucks off the visitors. Today, we spotted a resident selling used blankets and sleeping bags from a street corner packed with shivering pedestrians. By the time we fought traffic to turn around to get a photo, he was sold out and heading home. Smiling.