This Austin Life

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We’ll be moving on from Austin eventually, maybe a week from now or maybe we’ll stay another month, I can’t be sure, but the week and a half we’ve been here already feels like a significantly longer time. For example, we’ve already ridden our bikes over 50 miles, spent a few days walk-touring the city and even happened across Maker Faire. Though we haven’t had a chance to catch any live music for ourselves, this city certainly lives up to it’s reputation as being the Live Music Capital of the World: coffee shops and bars everywhere routinely have live performances every night of the week, I’ve seen more buskers (street musicians) here than any US city I’ve ever visited, and it’s not uncommon to see a DJ playing in a park pavilion or a makeshift band jamming on a wooded trail. We even met a busking drummer one day as we were walking around town, and he let Tristan play his street drums (a bucket) and touted the boy to be a young natural.

Moreover than the neverending bike trails and musical performances, however, has thus far been the open spirit of nearly everyone whom we’ve met in Austin. Our neighbors here at the Pecan Grove RV Park have been nothing but friendly, inviting us over for cook outs and their children and Tristan having a blast together. Smiling faces make up somewhere between 30 – 50% of the people you pass on the street, and it’s rare to pass someone and not have them acknowledge your presence: something all too lacking from modern American urban life.

This city’s residents have done so much to make their Texas home a haven, both from the oft-rugged and off-putting personalities many a Texan (or Southerner in general) can have with regards to outsiders, particularly of the liberal northern persuasion, but from the general atmosphere of city’s in general. Where your typical urban setting is filled to the brim with people who all too often ignore one another, Austin seems to have realized that the best part of living in these teeming cities is the very fact that there are so many of us to enjoy.

I can’t say if we’ll return to Austin for sure, once we leave, though attending next year’s SXSW (a music festival with plenty of affection for the Web designing geek which just so happens to be in March next year) would be a great birthday event for me, and there’ve been rumors in the camp about us one day possibly calling this our home, I can say that if you ever have the chance to visit this city, try and give yourself some time to enjoy it, and if it’s ever a coin toss, you might want to flip again if heads doesn’t come up in Austin’s favor. As with all places, you never know how long it will be before a city’s atmosphere changes, they always do. Austin is growing incredibly fast, reshaping it’s demographics and skyline alike, and so what’s here today very well may be gone tomorrow, and I for one am glad to have experienced it as it is in the current.