I woke up and fixed myself breakfast. I proudly separated the trash from the to-be- recycled and headed outside to recycle. A man with a rather long beard stood towards the other end of the duplex. He didn’t startle me and it really did not occur to me to ask him what he was doing in front of the landlord’s door. I want to stress that I have poor vision and that’s the reason why my judgment was impaired. Not really though, I could have cared less if a thousand men with long beads stood outside my doors.
My silence startled him so he asked me if he was in the right place because he was looking for a community garden and all I could think about was why I wasn’t invited to this Friday morning south austenite ritual happening right outside my doors.
Written Feb 22, around 10 am.
So let’s go back to the beginning, I rented a place in Austin, TX. The whole month of February 2013 is being spent here. It’s a great beginning to a new year and I hope to gain some perspective and naturally accumulate a hoard of life experiences that will be passed down to my children, blah blah blah. You get the idea and yes I do hoard experiences and I love every second of it.
It’s unfortunate that I have to get out of Atlanta to get some perspective but it’s the truth. Every few months, I die a slow death at my job and an itch forms to leave for an extended period of time i.e. last summer in NYC (see blog entry, Manhattanize).
My “cottage” here on Burleson is quite the place with its wrap-around windows in my bedroom that insure I will wake up with a smile on my face as the morning light seeps through the blinds illuminating everything (and everything is illuminated!). The small kitchen is absolutely perfect for a rudimentary cook such as myself and I have all the tools I need to make tasty meals not to mention all the mason jars one would need during the course of a lifetime. I’ve gone on a juicing fad, exploring all the juice bars in the city that sell some combination of vegetables. Anything except ginger, don’t ask what happened, is ginger even a vegetable?
I discovered that the Whole Foods on lamar (between 5th and 6th) does juice which is convenient if I need juice after the juice specific places have closed. In this Whole Foods a chef entertains and cooks in a corner of the store while people are seated at a wraparound bar. This place is what I would imagine it would be like working for Google. In another corner, the bakery boasts its assortment of desserts, each in its place creating a flurry of color and artisanship unseen. Somewhere in the center, there lays a walk-in cooler with a short aisle packed full of beers, imported and domestic alike. Within minutes of walking in, I was prepared to go find an REI and buy out their camping equipment so I could pitch a tent in the middle of this store.
Austin is a microcosm of my beliefs. The city is so healthy, booming with life, active life that is, walking, jogging, speed walking, running, cycling, dog-walking. Health food stores are almost on every corner with their vegan and vegetarian options lining the aisles, its patrons thin and gorgeous. Every day is like a marathon and there are people on the river in kayaks and rowboats and regular boats fishing, with their coolers full of cold beer. I learned that Austiners like to do most everything with a beer in one hand- I can see that tradition is not an undermined value here. On the other side of the river, away from downtown, there is a large grassy field where dogs and their owners play, totally unbound by leashes (something highly lacking in Atlanta). Although it is winter, the temperature in Austin remains that of a cool summer with a welcomed wind on the better days.
I love the attitude here.
I really haven’t experienced any nonsense unless you call the “homeless” people standing at every major intersection nonsense. I put homeless in quotation marks because you really don’t know, they could be balling in reality. Back to the no nonsense mentality, here you won’t drive around town and see a bojangles and wonder what the fuck is that but more importantly why the fuck did they call it that.
Apparently no one is from Austin but they all migrate here after word gets out that this is a pretty awesome place, as they rightfully should.
Becoming an Austenite (I hope I’m spelling that right).
In a true south Austin fashion I began drinking my organic loose leaf sencha tea from mason jars. I didn’t just do this at home, I went out in the city and walked around with my tea so that everyone could see how cool I was.
I began to ask questions about local eats such as P Terry’s, a nice looking drive through burger joint that actually turns out to be organic. Hoorah, for a drive through with somewhat healthy burgers (where has this place been all my life?). I began to wonder how I lived in Atlanta for so long when there was a whole world in Austin that would cater to my very needs.
In another true Austin fashion, I began trash talking other Texan cities. Take Houston for example with its relentless traffic at every darn hour of the day, I wouldn’t mind if the place was blown off the map. I also wasn’t a big fan of San Antonio because it just plainly did not seem like a pretty place to me. When it was mentioned to me that Dallas was a concrete jungle I couldn’t have agreed more even though I did like Dallas but for other reasons. But I think Austin is the gem of Texas. I mean really. I hope you know that Austin is the reason Texas is called the Lone Star State.