I have officially been in Austin for 4 hours.
4 hours is all its taken for me to be head over heels for a city such as this.
I am currently tucked away in Rio Rita's on E 6th St sipping a TopoChico, observing Austinites in their natural environment and quietly hoping that someone will ask me to play a board game with them.
The are a few tables in the middle of the room with mismatched retro chairs. The walls are lined with couches no doubt donated or found at various thrift stores. The paint on the walls is vibrant...teal and yellow...but peeling. The art of locals is hung everywhere. There is a back room which is darkly lit with colored lights. The air conditioner is on, but its not quite cool enough to forget that you're in the middle of Austin in the summer.
The man on the couch next to me is knitting a sweater. Perhaps he assumes that by the time he finishes, it will be cold enough to merit a sweater...then again, this is Texas...so maybe not.
This town is full to the brim with hipsters and I want to meet every single one of them.
The men sitting at the table next to the sweater clad wooden pillar seem out of place. They're older and wearing business casual attire. It seems strange that they would come to a hole-in-the wall place like this one.
I desperately miss living in a town that has dark hideaways and a downtown that's alive. This city in spilling over with art and artists and people that want nothing more than to create.
I love the run down buildings. I love the people that smile and say hi when they walk by. I love that the cafe Anslee and I had lunch at had long community tables and people weren't uncomfortable sitting next to strangers. I love the juke box in Rio Rita's that is filling the space with everything from rap to trip hop to jazz.
Austin is alive and breathing.
It is an entity all its own, pulsating with a creative energy that can't be ignored.
My soul feels at home here.
It seems so familiar a place even though I've never been here.
I am not afraid of being alone in this city.
I could spend the next few days completely by myself and never feel alone.
This city itself is a friend. I can share with it my fears and hopes and dreams, my heartbreaks and dark secrets and be assured that it will never judge me nor betray me.
I'm so filled with excitement, joy, and energy that it almost brings me to tears.
I'm kicking myself for leaving my 35 mm at home. What kind of a fool does that?
In just a few minutes, I'll finish my water and run away to South Congress Avenue for some wandering and time passing.