Since I had never been to Austin before, I had no idea what to expect when I moved here.. (other than country music and cowboy hats)… boy, was I wrong. There is certainly both hat and boots about town, but there is so much more to Austin than what one might think.
Austin is of course famous for its LIVE music scene, where you can find live music just about any time of the day, which is so rad, but it’s not really myscene. I’m totally down though if someone pays the cover
Then there is the food, which is sooo me. Most carts use only fresh produce from local farmers, hell ya! Austin has the largest food cart scene in the U.S. which amazed me coming from another food cart loving town… Portland, Oregon.
( which I miss dearly)
Right before I moved here, my good friend Tatiana took me to the Oregon Coast.
She told me I shoud see the ocean one last time before I get “land locked”. WHAT?! This statement scared the crap out of me. I’ve lived on the west coast my whole life, now I was going to be somewhere with no water! WHAT!!!?? I was used to the Willamette River being three blocks away from my apartment.
I kinda freaked out, but thankfully to my relief Lady Bird Lake is a only mile from my house… phew! Thank goodness for Lady Bird Lake, with its endless runners and winding trails and spectacular views of downtown.
There are so many similarities between Austin and Portland. Both cities are cyclist friendly, the food carts are bomb, the people are hella cool, the restaurants are award winning, the breweries and beer scene is just as popular and your local bar is the coolest place to hang and of course the ladies are lovely to look at.
Sister cities through and through.
The only thing that really seems different to me is the weather and the public transportation. PDX has better public transportation hands down, no arguments here. I miss the sound of the MAX as it pulls up to Pioneer Square and the rocking of the street car as it turns onto Lovejoy.
People always ask me how I dealt with the weather in Portland and honestly the weather in PDX was sometimes a bit much with its gray skies and constant rain, but when sun finally came out and the clouds would part.. Holy Shitake Mushrooms Batman! Its was effing GORGEOUS! The fresh air, the breathtaking views of Mt. hood and the aroma of the Rose Gardens wafting over the West Hills made those winter months completely worth it!
Portland will forever be in my heart as well as all the friends I made in the short time I lived there. I love that Portlanders will stop in the middle of the street and feel the warmth of the sun on their face.. (when it decides to make an appearance)
Austinite’s love the sun just as much and take full advantage of Barton Springs and it’s refreshing waters on a summers day at Zilker park.
I’m so lucky to be able to say that I have lived in both places. The sounds of the city, the views of the vistas are just a few things that inspire me everyday. Even the plant life here shows it’s beauty to me and the graffiti is inspiring and uplifting.
All of this make up the uniqueness which is Austin. I especially admire all the dreamers and lovers of music that go out every day and do what they love. Dedication and appreciation is what makes Austin so special to me.
It makes me truly happy when people in Austin smile and say hello as you pass, that the men tip their hat to you as you walk by, that the people that you’ve just met at the bar have a smile and a story and leave as your new friend.
If you really love music then SXSW is gonna rock your world. It is so overwhelming with all venues, the parties, the shows, more parties- happening all over the city at the same time. You can feel the pulse of Austin in the air, the energy is thick and the streets are crowded with tourists and locals waiting to hear the latest and greatest. Even the eccentric play for all who will listen.
Portland has been on my brain lately, obviously. I’ve been watching GRIMM (and saying -I know where that is!) and missing those delicious crepes from Le Happy.
Needless to say I awoke today with a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for all the lovely people I have met over the last seventeen months and an ache for the city I left two years ago. Even though I miss and think of my Portlandia and Cali family every day, I am blessed to be where I am. I am grateful for the people that surround me with love and for the city that is always Keeping it Weird.
(PDX’s motto tool) *anyone know who had it first? Would love to know that tidbit of useless information.
I hope my pictures and words give you a feel for both cities that I love and adore. Feel free to visit ya’ll! Yes, I said Ya’ll.