I wasn't so sure about it the night that I pulled into town, but the more I live here from day to day, I feel Austin is perfect in a lot of ways.
At first I thought it was way too big for my current tastes. Take that with a grain of salt because I used to live in New York City and at times it felt awfully small.
But I'm really learning to enjoy the juxtaposition of a medium-sized city against quiet, residential neighborhoods that begin as soon as you turn off the main thoroughfares.
I also seem to fit right into the vibe here which is something I woefully miss about living in NYC. Already I've met a bunch of people, mostly chicas. There's pretty Lon from the Chinese Supermarket who helped me with her name (you know, like loaning money, she said). Sharon from in front of the local barber shop the other night. Sam (that would be short for Samantha) from the local sandwich place who is totally into The Doors and wanted to hear all about my visit to Morrison's grave in Paris while building me a colossal club sandwich that was shear joy to eat.
I've got great neighbors, too. David and Natalie next door. Mike with all his tattoos and his hi-tech racing bicycles.
Even the guys down the street at the local garage where great. I was desperate to find a place that could attend to my dying air conditioner which has been making life in 93° heat almost unbearable, and noticed they offered an air conditioner check for $29.95. Best money I've ever spent.
Out in Arizona while getting my air conditioner recharged over a year ago, the manager told me it had a leak that they had verified by applying an ultraviolet compound, and then conveniently presented me with an all-filled-out work order for $825.00 should I want to replace it right then and there.
I never buy anything on the spot, especially this sort of thing.
Glad I walked, because the guys here in Austin told me they could find no evidence of any UV compound ever having been applied, no evidence of a compressor leak, just a loose fitting. They recharged it with coolant, found & removed & fixed a small nail in my tire that had miraculously not yet caused any trouble, and I gladly paid just over $100. I even got a free oil change.
But the best part was how they treated me. I told them that I was living in the area for a bit, and the manager said "Well sir, we're gonna take care of you and your car so you can enjoy your time here in Austin and make it home safely. We're glad you're in our neighborhood."
I was blown away. Thank you, guys. Thank you, Austin.