Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Austin...my new boyfriend

I am a proud Northern Indiana born, Chicago raised & grown, snow shoveling, El riding, Midwestern hot dog eating Yankee chick. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be living in Austin Texas and absolutely loving it. I don't do well in the heat, I get a little stabby when it's over 85 degrees. But so far so good...no casualties yet. Austin seems to be the love child (and yes, spirit animal) of Chicago and Bloomington, Indiana. Neighborhoody but a mini metropolis. 4,000 plus bars and restaurants that are scattered all over this city. A dizzying array of architecture in the neighborhoods and downtown. It's a big, crunchy, hippie, arty, hipster, punky, blue collar, techie Eden. I was a little apprehensive and skeptical, who wouldn't be...it's Texas for God's sake! I am happy to announce that it is everything I thought it wouldn't be and showing me it's true self. It's easy. I've been here a month so far, probably have met over one hundred people and almost every single one of them used the word "Welcome!" "Welcome to Austin!" or "Welcome to Texas!" are two of the other phrases used. One of my newly made friends even went so far as to add "We're glad you're here." I couldn't believe how genuine everyone is. People in Chicago don't say "Welcome". They say things like "Hey Jagoff! Stay in your own lane!" or "Excuse you." It's nice. It's all new to me. It feels good to relax a little. I think I'm gonna dig it here.

There's so many iconic and culturally cheeky stores, boutiques, galleries and bars. The murals on the sides of buildings has it's own category of graffiti. Perfect backdrops for selfies and group pics. The design and architectural elements to this town are amazing. Not narrow or pigeon holed at all.

Self-deprecating humor! (So far the map seems to be holding true)

The town is awash in modern, midcentury modern and contemporary homes.

But there are plenty of turn of the century beauties. I wouldn't believe this photo is in Texas, so green and lush.

My favorite store! Antiques, taxidermy, Victorian madness, old jewelry, mid century objects...hours of fun!

I also now understand why Austinites are always muttering "glad you enjoyed your visit, now go home" under their breath (with a smile) when they meet a visitor who is so enamored with this town that they want to move to this incredible place. I get it. Too much growth too fast. I'll just keep apologizing to them for moving here. But I'm not sorry.