Being The Bat City

There is a bridge in Austin that is home to hundreds of thousands of bats, which roost in the rafters of the underpass. During certain times of year, at sunset, the bats emerge as a huge group, execute a kind of collective swirl maneuver, and fly off into the sunset, heading down the Colorado River. The bats then return to their home sometime before sunrise.

It is apparently quite a sight, and large crowds gather to watch the bats take off. (We haven’t witnessed it yet, but we’ll catch the Bat Emergence on a future trip to Austin.) For this reason, Austin is also known as the Bat City, and it has embraced that moniker and become . . . well, a bit batty about it. You see paintings of bats on walls, Bat City t-shirts, bat graffiti, and other bat-related items everywhere around the city. It’s fair to say that Batman would feel right at home in Austin.

My favorite bat-themed feature is these bat-shaped bicycle racks on a downtown street.