Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thoughts From Austin

My dad's been down in Austin for a while so we figured it was time for me to visit him.
These are some things I've noticed about Austin or experienced or not.

1. No one is actually from Austin and very few are actually Texans! In conversations I have witih strangers on the bus or blues dancing or at a concert (well, that didn't count as it was a Seattle series) no one seems to actually be from Austin. I've met folks from Montana, Mississippi, Colorado, Washington, and Michigan. Have I met any actually Texans - a few, very few though. It's like Austin is a city of expats.

2. People from Texas are tall.

3. The bike culture is very alive here. Not sure if it's because of SXSW - but it's so vivid. I wish Seattle had the weather and topography to accompany encourage such bikes to soar through the streets in packs. Seattle isn't too bad, I see handfuls of folks on bikes, but they tend to be a select crew. Here, everyone, everyone is on a bike. Fleets of pedi-cabs cruise down the street and are an common form of transportation.

4. I know nothing of Texan food. Nothing. All I've eaten is what I would normally eat in Seattle. A quick run to Whole Foods stocked me up with quinoa, almond butter, beans, whole wheat bread, carrots, nut and raisen mix, spinach, and carrots. I pack my lunch and dinner each day so I don't experience actual street food, which I've heard is amazing. It has a lot to do with my fear of investing in food and places that I don't know are actually good. Maybe I'll find an Austintonian and ask them to suggest something. Everyone seems like tacos... I can't remember the last time I had a taco. I think my friend Steven might give me an introduction to Texan food this evening.

5. Austin is flat and small and short. You can get from point A to point B in under 15 minute walk almost always without ever seeing elevation change. Makes it easy for me to get around. The size could be a misunderstanding on my part because I haven't had a reason to explore all regions of the city.

6. Warm. It's only a little bit warmer than perfect for me. This is one thing that gets me. I've gone from hailing/raining Seattle to this pleasent warmth all day long. It still surprises me each time I step outside.

7. Wind. This is the only weather gitch the glitches me. I would take rain over wind any day. There's a lot of wind. Sorry to sound like I'm complaining - Austin is wonderful, I swear it is.

8. Warmer people? I still can't figure this one out, but I do, in fact, think these people are a whole lot warmer than the folks in Seattle (Seattle chill anyone?). But it's not overwhelming. I'm not sure because at a time like this, SXSW, it's hard to know who is from where. There was that guy who offered to buy me lunch... that doesn't happen often in Seattle.

9. Accents. Faint. Nearly non-existant. The guy from Montana had a stronger accent.

10. Smile is an invitation to a conversation.

11. The most common phrase I hear is, "I 'ppreciate cha!" I paid my bus fare and, according to the bus man, he appreciated me. I appreciate him to.

Beautiful city. Still observing, enjoying, adapting, and absorbing.


  1. Kinda jealous. I've been hearing about Austin for several years now. Haven't made it down there yet, although I got close last year going to San Antonio over Spring Break. I don't know if you're catching any of SXSW while you're down there, but if you happen to see Boy & Bear or the Bridges, you'll be seeing some of my friends in concert. :)

  2. There better be a part two to this blog!


Your words make me grin.

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