Day 295

Ok… so last week, I tried my best to describe Austin’s culture. Well, I’m now ready to state—without a shadow of a doubt—that Austin is the party school equivalent of a city. Why? It could be the plethora of bars and liquor stores that encompass the area. Or perhaps it’s the ever-present food trucks and BBQ joints that scream ‘hangover food’. It just seems like everyone here is having a party and someone forgot to write in a closing time. Then again, I also think it says something about the type of people that live here. Austin is a young city filled with a vibrant culture and a colorful cast of characters.

Perhaps that’s why this place is known for its countless music venues and hundreds of great local acts. Everyone here seems to have a simple goal in mind: work hard and party hard. The people here just want to enjoy the city, while preserving the small, the local and the unique. It all seems rather wonderful to me and I'm certainly not the only one. I mean, given that close to 100 people are moving here every day, I’d have to assume they’re doing something right, after all.

But there’s something that interests me even more about Austin. It doesn’t really have a downtown area—at least not like those I’ve come across in other cities. Take a quick glance at the skyline and you’ll see that many of their skyscrapers are spread out from one another. Of course, based on the number of construction sites, I’d assume that’s going to change within the next few years. But for now, it's a string of small shops, eateries and parking lots that connect these more visible spaces.

In a way, it all harkens back to that 'party school' attitude. Locals just prefer small and casual over big and sterile. You won’t see many chains around the city and don’t even think about asking where the nearest Walmart is. Instead, you can’t help but take in the wares of resident artisans; dine amongst chefs who’ve spent decades perfecting their crafts; and move your feet to the sounds of Austin’s incredible indie bands. It’s all a big ol’ party indeed.

Yes, there truly is something awe-inspiring about this city. It changes you. It invites you in and with a southern drawl says, “Stay as long as you like.” There’s always something going on somewhere and even the most public of events will make you feel as if you’re ‘in the know’. I guess that’s what some people find so charming about Austin. It’s fun here and you’ll never hear a single soul try to make excuses for it.

-Steve-