Austin Living 2

Hello fellow readers. It’s been a while since I’ve written to you. OK, so right now, at this very moment, I’m really distracted by this skinny girl with a huge butt who just walked into Einstein Bagels. Her butt is perky, round and really stands out in her black leggings and hot pink sweatshirt. Yes, I’m totally jealous because I’ve a theory that big butt girls have more fun.

Clearly my ability to easily get distracted has been an issue. Big butt girl has left now, so I can focus again.

Austin random

So let me share what living in Austin has been like. I know Austin has been a big buzz word for a while and shows-up on several lists like fastest growing cities, best places to live and hipster cities. Austin has become a Noah’s Ark, taking in folks who want refuge from their current lifestyle.

Although most people move here for the tech jobs, we moved here for the low cost of living due to our free agent lifestyle at the time. On average 110 people move to Austin daily and the city’s current population of 2 million is predicted to explode over the coming years. Already traffic is a constant nightmare and housing is very tight. Homes five miles or less from downtown Austin can expect multiple offers on the first day of listing—regardless of the house’s condition.

Maybe I’m just a hater, but I wasn’t mesmerized by Austin.

On my first week here, as I was walking to the DMV, I was stopped by a lady in the PARKING LOT who wanted me to convert to Christianity and save my soul. I’m perfectly happy being a non-practicing Muslim who does everything she is not supposed to.  No thank you Christian lady—I’m willing to take my chances with hell.

You have to buy boots if you live in Austin. Mandatory.

You have to buy boots if you live in Austin. Mandatory.

Then one day we went into Kerby Lane Cafe while we waited for AAA to fix our flat tire. We ordered two herbal teas and, upon learning about our car situation, the waiter and the manager both offered us free meals while we waited and wouldn’t let us pay for our teas. We were taken aback by the kindness, generosity and customer service. A part of me fell in love with Austin that day. We continued to experience that level of sweetness by locals and it made me second guess the quality of life in New York.

Austin touts itself for being weird and locals are annoyed by the influx of people changing the culture. Other than the fact that Austin is ranked as the 6th most heavily tattooed city in America  and that people here are über friendly, I’m not sure what makes it weird exactly. All major cities have hipsters and an underground art and music scene. Perhaps we arrived too late to the party and what made Austin once really “weird”, hip and cool is evaporating due to the herds of people moving in. Whenever we met someone new, they often asked us if we’re from California or New York and that turned me off even though I was directly contributing to the un-cool factor—ironic.

Austin's most famous local ice cream-- Amy's Ice Cream. If you want interesting flavors and even better ice cream, go to Lick Ice Cream

Austin’s most famous local ice cream– Amy’s Ice Cream. If you want interesting flavors and even better ice cream, go to Lick Ice Cream

That being said, I’ve fallen in love with certain places and people, like the singer Ben Balmer ; I first heard him at Strange Brew (an awesome local coffee shop) and have been following him ever since. Although he’s from Detroit, his music style and voice make me feel right at home. Other things that I love about the city are the great tasting local beers (Shiner Bock), Torchy’s Tacos, Rainey Street, and South Congress.

Austin is awesome, but I’m not in love with it. Does that make sense? It’s like dating that really nice, smart and good looking guy that everyone thinks is perfect for you but you’re having a hard time clicking with him.

Fireball drinks at a bar on Dirty 6th Street

Fireball drinks at a bar on Dirty 6th Street

Maybe it’s me and not Austin. Maybe I’ll come to my senses once I live somewhere else. Maybe I just haven’t made enough friends here to make it feel like home. Whatever the case, I am still open-minded about dating Austin.

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2 thoughts on “Austin Living

  • Kristin Steinke

    Nice post. After “dating Austin” for about 15 months now, I feel you. It’s a great city but the only weirdness I see is the level of acceptance that I’ve seen (aside from the crazy lady trying to convert you–every city has them). People here seem to embrace the whole “live and let live” concept and I dig that. Everyone is unique and proud of it. In other cities (I’ve lived in many) people tend to conform more, especially women–to a certain hair color or style, a fashion sense, even a type of house or automobile. There are few place in America who are urban centrals that truly embrace uniqueness. That’s my take. I dig it. I am NOT digging the allergies and looking forward to leaving for that reason; however, the people have been exceptionally kind to me and for that, I heart Austin.

  • Tracy

    So nice to see a post from you! I’ve missed your writing.

    I would very much like to visit you before you stop dating Austin. I’m thinking the dead of Wisconsin winter, when I’m at my most bitter and so is the cold here 🙂

    Miss you!