As I type this post I’m sitting in Thunderbird Cafe & Tap Room and it feels as if I might as well be sitting somewhere off in Brooklyn, NY. The vibe here is very “Ft. Greene” in both looks and energy. Everyone seems to be in their late 20s to mid 30s, slightly polished and not as hipster as peeps off Cesar Chavez.
There’s a phrase here that’s been mentioned to me on a number of occasions since moving here: “Keep Austin Weird.”
While I don’t think Thunderbird cafe is at all weird, I do think it shares some ownership in making East Austin gentrified. Whether this is good or bad is up to locals to decide and I’ve just moved here 5 days ago so no comment.
Back to the point of this post…when you move to Austin you should:
1. Salsa Aerobics!
When in Austin, Texas, Salsa! And, get an even greater body workout by taking a salsa aerobics class at Esquina Tango. Our Instructor was Stephanie K. was incredible! Just watching her made me sweat and by the end of our class, which was filled with moves I never thought my body could make, I felt alive 🙂 Sure, my coordination was way off and when we were directed to move right, I moved left. But even during these moments of absolute awkwardness I never once felts out of place. I just bounced back to rhythm or literally bounced in place till I felt I could rejoin our groove. Everyone was super encouraging and said “come back baby!” That alone sealed the deal that I’m moving forward in leaving my “Seinfeld Elaine” days behind. You know that scene when she dances. Yeah, that was me up until yesterday.
2. Ride the Bus
The Austin bus system, Capital Metro, is no NYC MTA but it works! At $2.50 per ride it’s just as expensive as other major U.S transit systems but absolutely worth it because ATX traffic is out of control. Picture L.A on the 10 but way worse. With 150+ people moving here daily, traffic hysteria is out of control making it that much harder to zip around—or find parking. Bypass all that nonsense with a $41 monthly CM card. You’d be surprised at to how far and fast you can travel. Up to today, I’ve personally used Capital Metrol at least 3 times per day and make the most of it by reading while I commute. PS. Be smart and bring wipes when you travel. Enough said.
3. Ride Your Bike
I’d forgotten that Austin is Lance Armstrong country and that it’s actually bicycle friendly. There are many trails in Zilker Park that I plan to explore but for now, I’ve been bopping around UT to get a feel of the hills. That’s right folks, Austin has hidden hills that will make you dismount from your bicycle and walk. I have no shame in doing this and because I’m all about preserving what I got
Above is a picture from Flat Trak Coffee + Bicycle Shop. I highly recommend!
PS. I plan to keep this topic rolling as I experience Austin and have a bit more local living under my belt.