It is, some say, Austin's most prestigious address and it certainly is where many of the city's movers and shakers live. Austin's Tarrytown is usually defined as the area bounded by 35th Street in the North, Enfield in the South, MoPac in the East and Lake Austin on the West. This is a mostly an area of gracious houses, many small but with hefty price tags. But there are also many Tarrytown apartments, small condo and apartment conversions, and duplexes for rent.
For our purposes, we have expanded the neighborhood boundaries just a little further South to include Lake Austin Boulevard, an area that includes many businesses serving Tarrytown. Running through the middle of Tarrytown is Exposition Boulevard where some of the small businesses serving this Austin neighborhood are located, including a large Randall's grocery store -- there is a second Randall's at the Southern end of Exposition where it meets Lake Austin Boulevard.
Tarrytown is not a headline-grabbing sort of place, so it was big news a few years ago when Jeanne Daniels, a Houston Texas resident and animal rights activist, inherited the Tarrytown Shopping Center and suggested she did not want businesses in place that served meat or sold leather. The New York Times even picked up on the story and Tarrytown residents soon found some of their favorite places were either moving on or going out of business. For decades, Tarrytown matrons had lunched at Holiday House, but no longer. These days, the menu is all vegetarian at the Nu Age Cafe in the center.
Tarrytown meat lovers can head South to Zoot on Hearn Street, just North of Lake Austin Boulevard where the five-star restaurant in a converted bungalow gets high marks for seasonal menus. Other area restaurants are the raucous Hula Hut on the water on Lake Austin Boulevard, or the longtime Austin Texas institution, Magnolia Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard, open 24 hours a day and serving sandwiches and breakfast all day. Another popular hangout is Mozart's Coffee Roasters, also on Lake Austin Boulevard, where customers can enjoy coffee and pastries on the large lakeside deck.
While there are not an abundant number of businesses in Tarrytown, the neighborhood has easy access to downtown and other central districts via Enfield and 35th Street. This is a neighborhood of gracious homes, old churches and quiet parks. On the Western edge, on the banks of Lake Austin, is Mayfield Preserve, a 22 acre, turn-of-the-century park in Austin that is part nature preserve and part formal park with lily ponds, tame deer and even peacocks. The park is adjacent to Laguna Gloria, a Mediterranean mansion built in 1915 that is now part of the Austin Museum of Art -- classes and exhibits are held there and on the grounds.
Reed Park, in the heart of Tarrytown, is where area residents go to swim, hike and bike, relax and picnic. It is a wonderful, quiet oasis. On the Southern edge of the neighborhood is the Lions Municipal, one of Austin's excellent municipal golf courses where Austinite Ben Crenshaw occasionally drops by for a sentimental game since he played here as a young man. Another popular nearby outdoor site South of Lake Austin Boulevard is Deep Eddy Pool in Eilers Park. The swimming pool is a neighborhood gathering point for swimmers from February to October and in summertime Austin locals gather for picnics during movie nights, an activity that seems to match the mood of this Central Austin neighborhood.