This past November, my husband (Sean) and I visited Austin, Texas for the first time. One evening during the summer, Sean said to me, “I think I want to move to Austin.” I laughed. Both of us are from the Northeast, born and raised. The last place I could have imagined us settling down was Texas- the South is one thing, but Texas is a whole other world!
I decided to do a little research on Austin, as did Sean, and the more we both read, the more we fell in love with Austin. So, the inevitable next step? We started making plans to visit there. We had already planned a small trip to New Orleans and decided to make Austin our first stop. Here we are now, two months later, doing our best to relocate to Austin.
What do I have to say about Austin? Well, first of all, it is weird- there is no escaping that! Their slogan is “Keep Austin Weird” and wherever we went, we could sense the unique nature of the city. Music is an essence of the city- with numerous venues and colorfully decorated guitar sculptures in the airport (see above photo collage), one can sense that wherever they go. Austin is also the capital of Texas and as such, may boast a beautiful and proud capital building (again, see above photo collage). One of our favorite visions to behold each and every evening was the Austin City Power Plant. Around 5 p.m. each day, the red letters of the plant facility would illuminate the City perimeter and shine for everyone to see! If you stroll the streets of SOCO- South of Congress Street- there are numerous thrift boutiques to behold with their fun window displays and mannequins. South Congress street is also home of the famous “Continental Club”, a hoppin’ music club featuring music of the 1950’s to the present (http://www.continentalclub.com/Austin.html). Airstreams stream the City Limits as little snack shacks and offices; one may purchase a cupcake or a crepe from an Airstream, as well as visit a local real estate group or an Austin Pet Rescue center.
For the artists out there, I highly recommend visiting Laguna Gloria- Austin Museum of Art’s original location. It is slightly outside of downtown on the lake and has beautiful grounds, statues, original art, as well as the AMOA’s art school (see photo of the student below and interior shot of the house at Laguna Gloria above). Laguna Gloria is a wonderful daytime visit of peaceful surroundings, stellar Austin History and the work of local artists.
Last, but not least, a few fun and intriguing things to keep in mind. This may come as a shock to many, but Austin is home of the largest Urban bat population- that’s right bats! If you visit Austin during the summer months, it may be very worthwhile to head down to the Riverwalk at the Congress Street Bridge intersection and bring your umbrella (if you know what I mean)- at dusk, approximately 1.5 million bats leave the shelter of the bridge and take flight! You will likely join the company of other visitors and bat enthusiasts in doing so, waiting to see this spectacular sight! Sean and I visited Austin in November, so we missed the prime season by a few weeks; however, we were fortunate enough to see hundreds and thousands of birds gathering every afternoon around 4:30 p.m. within the City limits- it was quite fascinating (see photo of birds below)!
Our final impression of Austin was that it is a city of pure wonder! Currently, Austin is ranked as being one of the greenest cities in the country, as well as one of the prime places to relocate to. As home of the University of Texas, the possibilities are almost endless. There is a wonderful culture, heritage, Mexican and artistic influence, and the people are just plain stellar! You can find great art, music, and Mexican food- an average meal is around $12 each- as well as numerous job possibilities. It’s no wonder that we want to relocate to such an incredible city as Austin!