Sunday, August 21, 2011

The City Comes Back to Life

 Nick and I spent the afternoon giving our new washer and dryer a piggy back ride up the two flights of stairs to our apartment. The burning pavement cooked the bottoms of my feet through my flats. Although the deed was difficult and the sun was harsh, my discomfort was momentarily forgotten when I started thinking about how grateful I was that I only had to unload the trailer this one time.

I miss touring, but there are times when I'm glad I'm not spending every day loading and unloading musical equipment in extreme weather conditions, whether they are boiling asphalt in the south or below-zero blizzards in Canada.

Later on in the evening I glanced at my computer. The time in the upper right corner read 11:02 p.m. My chest was having muscle spasms from the heavy lifting, and I seriously was drooling over my soft honey-yellow bedsheets, my vintage, second-hand lamp, and a delicious stack of books on my bedside table. Tonight though, I had made a commitment to make an appearance on Red River Street downtown, to sing a song or two with a very talented front man in a band called "The American Spirit". (I'll let you listen to their track I sang on as soon as the record is ready to go)

I curled my unruly hair, smeared some plum lipstick on, and dressed comfortable yet also like I gave a damn. I knew my choice in wardrobe wouldn't quite measure up to my chic Austinite girlfriends who would be wearing the trendy waist hugger mini shorts with L.A. tall high heels, but like you are probably beginning to notice, I am a creature of comfort.

I usually don't have much trouble driving downtown, but due to the influx of recently returning college students, I was lucky if my car inched forward a few inches in ten minutes! Almost overnight, it felt as though another city of people had been stuffed in with the people who were already living in Austin. Pedestrians paid no attention to crosswalks, and stumbled with dumb grins on their faces in between slow-moving cars. Pedi-cabs joined the debacle, huffing and puffing up and down the roads, looking over to make small talk with their drunken passengers in hopes of a large tip. Pedi-cabs are like modern, mini horse-drawn carriages pulled by bikers rather than horses. 

I lucked out when it came to parking. I finally found Nick and the rest of The American Spirit gang inside of the packed bar. We made our way to the top of the building where we caught a pretty good view of the band that was playing. They were fabulous by the way. I wish I would have learned who they were. They were an eight-piece musical outfit, complete with three horn players, and an occasional over-excited audience member who would vivaciously grab a percussion instrument on stage and begin flailing away. 

The band had such a happy and raw rock sound, three part harmony, an old timey organ. The most impressive thing about these guys though, was how much fun they were having. They weren't nervous. They weren't tired (If they were, you couldn't tell). And maybe it was the booze jamming up their on that stage, but I doubt it. They looked like they were having the time of their lives, and the audience just ate it up, and so did I!

Tonight there was music pouring out from every bar and venue, competing with each other, drummers competing with guitarists, competing with singers, competing with crowds, seeming to shout, "Here! Come here. Tonight, THIS is the place to be!" 

There you are again Austin. There you are.


  1. I'm seriously considering moving to Austin when I graduate. This didn't help me change my mind.

  2. Piggy back?! hah! Two flights of stairs sounds backbreaking for the limited muscle power between you and your roommates. It makes me wonder how my family got our washer and dryer to the second floor. All I can recall about the start of my house is a bunch of heavy weight lifting, shoveling,and building of the backyard from scratch. It was literally all dirt. Now that I think about it, the delivery people probably hauled the machines up stairs.

    The Austin night life seems like an awesome place to be. If you want to have some fun it's right around the corner for you and if you're in the mood to be a couch potato you can easily lounge at home. I never considered leaving California for any particular location, but Austin seems like a nice place to keep in mind.

    Why does your blog have a huge ad area on the top left? That's not cool. Google is being mean to you! >=/

  3. Ha ha. Emily, Austin is fantastic! But, there are also great places in Canada too. Carlo swoons at the word "Montreal". Also, before you decide on Austin, you must check out New York and Seattle too.

    Well, Kenny, we actually did use a dolly too, so it wasn't just Nick and I technically, but it was still REALLY hard. ha ha. I would love to build a back yard. I've always wanted to have a little garden, but my thumb is so far away from green, it's practically purple, but hey I can still dream right?

  4. Whoa a washer AND a dryer?? Looks like your living the good life! I just love your writing style by the way, the passage pertaining to the traffic mess was able to put such a hectic but wonderful picture in my head, the mixture of angry drivers and lackadaisical pedestrians is a pretty funny though. Austin just seems like a great town to visit one day, i'd always love places that are a little bit weird and it sounds like it kind of has a New York vibe, without the "large amounts of people in a small amount of space" situation. Being from New York, it can get very tiring to be stuck in such a confined space. Montreal is another great place, its honestly one of the best looking cities i'd ever been to, you got brick paved roads lined with little modern boutique shops and these really old buildings with such pronounced architecture. It's the Paris of the America's.

  5. My friend has also been trying to get me to move to Austin... but my heart belongs in So Cal :)

    Austin sounds fantastic and full of interesting things to do and see... guess you won't be moving anytime soon?

  6. Sooozle,

    As much as I love Austin and will always love Austin, I'm not sure my heart is ready to settle here. Like Eric was saying Montreal is beautiful as well (love the description Eric!) but there are still so many places I would like to try out. Who knows? I guess we shall see:)

  7. Ahhhhh I can't wait to get out and explore. Graduation can't come fast enough.

  8. Little gardens are nice, but having a big backyard full of plants and weeds are a pain. I'd know; I just got in from cleaning up broken tree branches, fallen apples, weeds, and other things. However if you have the time to maintain the yard it'll all work out. You'll have what you seek someday Meg. All in due time ;)

    Here's a picture I forgot to show you with my last post. It is my backyard. We have a giant Viking grill to the far left (not pictured). All over there place is lots of brick, tile, and concrete work. To the right there is a koi pond and a walkable bride as well as a gazebo. There are several trees and plants back there too, but I am not sure what they are. Lastly, on the left hand side in the washed out sunlight is my neighbor's gazebo who decided to copy us several weeks later (lots of the surrounding houses paid people and copied our ideas -__-) Yep, that's my backyard. Planned and built by my gramps along with the help of additional family members. Word has it that he help build a giant ship to help himself, his family, and plenty of other to travel over to the United States from Vietnam.

  9. I'm envious of those who can just explore and live in different places! I mean, I could do the same, but it's pretty scary and I can't imagine myself living anywhere else. Just the thought of having to find a new job and everything is enough to stress me out to not even think about it. I guess it's easier to just go to those places to visit and come back to the same, familiar place. Boring, I know :)

    So Meg, guess you WON'T be settling anytime soon then? haha. Sounds like you still got a lot of places to experience. Who knows, maybe in the future or near future, you'll be able to have the flexibility of having multiple locations to call home :)

    In the meantime, I'll just live vicariously through your blog and everyone else's comments about these beautiful places!