Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year in Austin

This past weekend was a very exciting one, for many reasons. Obviously it meant the end of 2011 and the dawning of what the Mayan’s are calling our last year on earth…but more importantly I finally got to visit one of the coolest cities ever. You may have heard of the place they call the capital of Texas, the land of the hipsters, the 3rd fastest growing city in America, the Seattle of Texas, the live music capital of the world, the New Jerusalem and as of 3 days ago; the place where I want to grow old with my partner in crime and raise our hipster babies. Yes, I am speaking of the one and only, Austin. Ever since I crossed the Texas border last July people have done nothing but talk up this place. They told me I would love it and that I probably wouldn’t want to leave once i bathed in its glory. I was a little concerned that it had all been so built up in my mind that it would lead to nothing but disappointment. Turns out there was no need to fret. It was all that jazz and more. It’s probably a good thing I put off visiting this long because had this happened before getting my current job, I probably would have sneaked out of my apartment in the dead of  night before the next month's rent was due and never looked back. Sorry, Robbie. Too put it in simple terms, if Seattle and Portland ever hooked up and made a baby, it would be Austin.  After five months of living in Dallas with no water, mountains, or trees in sight, it was quite the sight for sore eyes to see a large river running through the middle of downtown and rolling green hills off in the distance. It brought a tear to these brown eyes. Who woulda thought this place would exist in Texas of all places!? It all made me feel right at home, especially the fact that the place is swarming with hipsters whom by now have gone nearly extinct in Dallas. Not that I am a hipster by any means. For one thing i don't chain smoke, I shower at least once a day, I haven't composted in years, and I've never bought anything from Whole Foods aside from a giftcard. Not to say we hipsters have nothing in common. I do love me some cutoffs on a summer day, rockin' the vintage T and Ray-Banz with Fleet Foxes playing gently in the background. More than anything, a hipster sighting leaves me feeling that I'm not so far away from my beloved Pacific Northwest. I'm sure Tamara was probably a little sick of me shrieking and pointing whenever a  hipster on a bike, with a beard, an ugly sweater, a PBR, or a cuorderoy pair of TOMS passed by, but I just couldn't help it! What can I say? It's like comin home.

Me and my Tamara loaded up the Mustang and left for Dallas on Friday after work and headed south to join up with some of her old El Paso friends. From that moment on the good times just kept on a rollin like the nearby Colorado River. Our first order of business was to head to Hotel Vegas because our friend had seen a poster that advertised "Free Beer" for the night. They had me at the word free and it almost was to good to be true! This must be the promised land! Come to find out this so called "Free Beer" was the name of the band performing that night. Sneaky bastards. I'll give them this; an A plus for their marketing strategy. After getting over the false advertisement, we went around taking in the local nightlife which was loads of fun. It involved a lot of dancing and bar hopping and at one point we ended up at a place where the dance floor was on top of an aquarium that used to have live sharks swimming around. Sadly some snitch from PETA found a dead shark in the back dumpster and shut down that operation real quickly. They can be so dramatic sometimes.

Morning soon came and the best part of waking up was the local Austin delicacy known as gingerbread pancakes which were hands down the best pancakes I've ever put in my mouth....and that's sayin' something. They were prepared by our generous hostess Natalie who also makes a mean mole' and who's apartment I now refer to as my timeshare, because God as my witness, I'll be back. The rest of the day was spent doing the things that  real Austinites do such as: browsing the shelves of vintage clothing shops, soaking up the 70 degree weather, dining on organic foods, making a quick stop at American Apparell, and applying an instagram filter to every picture on my camera roll. By the 30th instagram photo upload my fingers and legs were exhausted so we decided nap time was necessary if we wanted to stay awake late enough for the countdown of the ball dropping.

After getting ourselves all dolled up in our New Year's Eve attire and bougin' it up on public transportation, we made our grand entrance to a bar called Shangri-La via a high-speed pedicab ride. The pedicab ride alone was quite an adventure in and of itself and we were happy to be alive after being completely rear-ended by the pedicab that was following us with two of our other friends. Luckily no one, including the driver was injured although I have a feeling there were some choice words between the two drivers after we exited the vehicle because the guy totally dented the back of our pedicab and left it with some strange new squeaky noises. The theme at the bar for the night was sock hop which was really fun and different and let's just say my purely coincidental outfit choice of a clip on bow-tie and suspenders fit right in. Midnight came and went and my new year was ushered in by the sound of the 50's, surrounded by friends both old and new and I even managed to nab a New Year's kiss and possibly the tastiest quesadilla I'd ever tasted. Who could ask for more?

In an effort to prove to me that there are musical options I would enjoy that aren't found on VH1 Top 20 countdown, the 3 hour drive to and from Austin was spent expanding my current itunes library. Here are a few of the songs that are by no means new to the scene, but they are new to me and I hope they bring as much joy to your ears as they did mine. Happy New Year everyone :)


  1. i just shed a tear reading this. Seriously, that was epic and I am so glad i was able to provide such a wonderful first time.

    love, t.

    1. That was such a delightful surpise of a New Years Eve. Loved every minute of it!