Three years? We must be having fun then, because that time has flown by. As we approach the third anniversary of our move to Austin, on Thanksgiving weekend 2010, it seems like a good time to reflect on all of the things about our hometown that I am thankful for.
First of all, thanks Austin for sunny 80 degree days in November. It's because of days like this that I can overlook the streaks of triple-digit brain-melting Summer days. Summer can be pretty tough, but the swing months make it all worthwhile.
Thanks for weathering the economic recession as well as anyplace. Leading in job growth during the last few years is something to be proud of. Consistent strong rankings in measures of economic health are reflective of the forward, green-friendly thinking and entrepreneurial spirit that keep Austin a top destination for the aspiring young and upwardly mobile. Spend time here and you won't find it surprising that Austin ends up at the top of the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities index, on Forbes' most affordable cities and best cities for young professionals lists, Kiplinger's list of best cities for the next decade, etc.
Thanks for the great social atmosphere. No matter how fringe or obscure your interest might be, if there's another person in Austin who shares it, chances are there's some sort of club, meetup, or Yelp group catering to your needs. Not to mention an annual festival celebrating it. So keep your eyes open for the next meeting of the Austin Left-Handed Ventriloquist Coonhound Owners' Meetup coming to a park near you.
Thanks for making sure I'm never more than a few steps from a great, authentic, inexpensive taco. Not to mention being located in the middle of the "BBQ Triangle." Having Louie Mueller nearby makes me not mind working out in Taylor so much. And thanks for having a million excellent indie burger places and coffee joints. Who needs Starbucks (overrated, bitter, chalky coffee) and McDonalds? Head to Thunderbird, Flight Path, Epoch, Mozart's or Juan Pelota for a cuppa, or go get your beef patty on at Billy's, Black Sheep, Counter Cafe -- or if you really need it thin-style, P. Terry's, Hill-Bert's or Top Notch. Oh, and thanks for accommodating an incredibly vibrant mobile food cart scene. Shout out to Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, La Boite Cafe, Franklin Barbecue, G'Raj Mahal and Kebabilicious, 'cuz you are all too delicious.
Thanks for Independence Bootlegger Brown, (512) IPA, Live Oak HefeWeizen, Real Ale Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, and all the great places to drink these and other great local brews.
Thanks for the green space. Maybe Austin isn't the prettiest, but those parks are something. Zilker and Barton Springs are just the tip of the iceberg. Greenbelts are everywhere you look. Go get outside.
Thanks for the music scene. Local bands with a variety of styles and talents, record stores like they used to make them, a few good radio stations, and great clubs and festivals. Just this year, Rachel and I have seen The Cribs, Adam Green, Yo La Tengo, Times New Viking (twice), Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Screaming Females, Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves, Vampire Weekend, Abe Vigoda, Islands, Active Child, Steel Phantoms, New Pornographers, Ben Kweller, Pixies, Pavement, Guided By Voices, Vonegutt, Those Darlins, The Mountain Goats, Girls, The Black Keys, Spoon, The Strokes, The xx, LCD Soundsystem, The Morning Benders, Yeasayer, Martin Sexton, Sonic Youth, Warpaint and Sufjan Stevens. At least that's what I can remember.
Thanks for being welcoming. Maybe it comes from being a college town where students want to stay after they graduate? Who knows? But as all of my visitors can attest to, the factor that really makes this place great is the people here. All of the aforementioned gives Austinites many reasons to smile, kick back and relax. That makes it an easy city to be yourself in. Just ask Leslie or Thong Man