I admit I am tempted to cheat. When we show homes in Pflugerville, Round Rock and Cedar Park, I feel the need to have 2500+ square feet and a bathroom for each member of my family. The seduction of all that space and a kitchen that is 4 times the size of the one I have plus HUGE closets in every room, I could cheat. Dreams of the entertaining I could do and the meals I could make carry me away.
In my haze of huge home land, I realize we are in the car with heavy traffic sounding us. A wave washes over me, I can’t see Austin. Panic sets in and I’m gripping the arm rest. The feeling I get once we come over the hill and I see Downtown has no words. My body starts to relax once we take the 45th street exit. Once we cross Lamar a strange sense of calm overtakes me, once across Guadalupe, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.
People like big homes and big yards. The seclusion of the burbs is their dream. There is nothing wrong with desiring a sense of calm and peacefulness after a long day at work. Free of noise, hundreds of people and crazy traffic is very alluring, especially sitting in front of your fireplace, over looking your very own backyard pool, built-in.
Not everyone enjoys the sounds of screaming sirens all times of the day and night, the chop, chop chop of helicopters overhead rushing a person to the hospital or searching for some criminal, much less the random live wailing of the punk band practicing next door. I personally can’t imagine my life without it.
I have lived in Central Austin most of my adult life, I’ve seen the expansion of Mopac so far North that I didn’t know that far North existed, the warehouse district become the high-rise district, the corner indie movie theater on Guadalupe turn to a $ theater, Tower Records, Intellectual Property, to a noodle house. Austin has grown, changed and expanded in ways I would have never envisioned.
Ultimately what keeps me here are the things you can’t get anywhere else. A swim in Shipe Park pool, a long run around Town Lake, snow cones at Casey’s, super cheap tacos from the Tamale House, businesses that are owned by a person, not a corporation, and most importantly, the overwhelming sense of belonging.
Austin has seen me through the best of times and the worst of times, it’s not just the town I live in, it’s a true love affair with a beautiful city.