This Must Be The Place (Not a Naive Melody)

With the new year pending, you’re probably thinking, “January 1st will be a good time to abandon the wife and child in the night and start a new life somewhere else”.

Well don’t come to Austin, TX.

Especially if you’re from L.A.

I was the last person they let in from California here in Texas. The gates are locked and they don’t want anyone else, you hear?

I’m sorry California didn’t give you your tax return this year but go to South Dakota or Idaho. The unemployment rate is ridiculously low there right now. Let me tell you, animal husbandry will be ten times more rewarding than being a corporate drone.


Austin is too good for me. I don’t deserve her.
She took me in with open arms after I tore away from the suffocating hands of Los Angeles. No questions asked. Just picked me up, brushed me off, and rocked me to sleep.
She’s still rocking me.

When people ask me, “So, how is living in Texas?” with that little grin suggesting what they’re really asking is, “So, what on Earth possessed you to move to a southern red state that consists of 24 million cowboys and rednecks and George Bush?”, I just shake my head and sing, “Home is where I want to be but I guess I’m already there”.

What I really want to tell them is this:

Imagine that you just unearthed America. After years of digging and the dirt just getting thrown back into the hole, you finally break through and see her shining like a gleaming Atlantis at the bottom of a dark Ocean.
You walk down her Main Street. The sun is shining. Families going to brunch and artists sitting in cafes.
You pass a Policeman who tips his hat to you. A stranger that says your smile just made his day.
Music floats by, intertwined in every molecule of the wind.
You almost wonder if you’re in an episode of “The Twilight Zone”, the cheery facade will suddenly break away to a more apocalyptic scene, something that you’re more used to.

It doesn’t and it never will.

Imagine that part of you that you thought died before if ever really lived, the part that inflates your heart at tiny moments throughout the day, the part that makes you stop and see everything clearly for the first time, the part that inspires you to do and create and sing and dance. Remember that part of you?

Imagine all those things.
That is Austin.


Let me rephrase what I said earlier.
Austin welcomes you with open arms.
Just maybe instead of trying to change her, let her change you.

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  • Reply paintnpencil December 20, 2009 at 1:45 am

    What an absolutely beautiful post, your writing skills are perfect I can almost picture clearly what you are writing about. To be able to show what you are writing about is quite a talent. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply dusty davenport December 20, 2009 at 1:49 am

    wow that was really great your blog is awsome.

  • Reply M. Berman December 20, 2009 at 1:51 am

    just found your blog and i love it

  • Reply Hipstercrite December 20, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Paintnpencil, Dusty, and M. Berman- thank you so much for your wonderful comments. It made my weekend! 😀

  • Reply Sophie December 20, 2009 at 2:39 am

    This is really a beautiful post, eventough I had to read it three time to get to understand it. Sorry for my English.
    Have a nice weekend.

  • Reply Steph December 20, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Oh, why must you be so good!

  • Reply Wendybob December 20, 2009 at 3:20 am

    love love love your blog. And Austin rocks. If I ever were to leave my little corner of middle-of-nowhere West Texas and become a city girl, Austin's where I'd go. I'd drown myself in music…

  • Reply Eric Shonkwiler December 20, 2009 at 3:29 am

    I am deeply envious of your city. I'm in need of a place with soul, wish I could pay Austin a visit.

  • Reply joel December 20, 2009 at 4:09 am

    this is great: )
    i love the way you write.

  • Reply Jet December 20, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Your blog is very nice .I really like it !
    Merry Xmas !

    Welcome to my website : . This
    is a website where have a lot of beautiful wallpapers .Especially ,
    all free !!!!

  • Reply wadethetides December 20, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Reading things like this and knowing how rooted I am in my job bum me out. I like Austin a lot. Would truthfully pack up and move there if possible. Enjoy your freedom!

  • Reply killredrocketrecords December 20, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I hate people from California who have an uppity attitude and try to change my city. You have the perfect attitude toward the city. Welcome. You can stay here. Tell most of the other assholes from Cali to go back before they screw up everything here too.


  • Reply Sofie Neutron December 20, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Wow, I really wanna visit Austin now!
    And I agree your blog is amazing!

  • Reply Maya December 20, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Wonderful post. I know those places that make you feel that way. Sometimes my city is the same, but only when she is feeling well, which is mostly around christmas and in the spring and summertime. Then she is at her loveliest and all you want to be, is around her. I am glad someone else found home too.

  • Reply sarah toa December 20, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Beautiful, (from someone who lives in the dry bones of the country, West Ozz). I get that. Sarah

  • Reply Hater Von G December 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I love this post. Awesome. I came here to New Orleans from New York, and I feel the same about it as you do Austin.

  • Reply That Chelsea Girl™ December 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I'm glad you love it here 🙂
    The other thing is that Austin is not at all like Texas. I get that "so what's that like?" question a lot too, haha.

  • Reply farhad December 20, 2009 at 7:38 pm


  • Reply Profösör December 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    I am a carikatürist and designers in Türkey. Hello from in Istanbul.

  • Reply mysterg December 21, 2009 at 12:12 am

    If ever there was a love letter to a city, this is it.

    I just may have to come and visit.

  • Reply Austin Eavesdropper December 21, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Ahhhh I adored this little love letter to our city immensely. Aren't we fiendishly lucky? I have ALWAYS felt like I didn't quite deserve Austin, either. Maybe no one does. And maybe it's that humility – mixed with creativity, Southern comfort, and a fun-loving counter-cultural spirit – that makes it so lovable.

    I'm glad you're here.

  • Reply Summer Spell December 21, 2009 at 1:04 am

    loving this blog i am too a hipster

  • Reply Allie December 21, 2009 at 1:19 am

    wow, this was so well written! you make austin sound like the most amazing place in the world- i can literally see why you love it through your writing. i know austin doesnt want any more californians, but how do you think they would feel about new yorkers?

  • Reply Julie December 21, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Great post! I'm a fellow Austinite, and have had the exact same experience. I love this city. Hope you keep on enjoying it!

  • Reply Penelope Snow December 21, 2009 at 5:15 am

    this post kind of made me want to cry! You write really beautifully 🙂

  • Reply Hipstercrite December 21, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Sophie- You already know more languages than I, so props to you!

    Steph and Wendybob- Thank you so so much!

    Eric- You should visit here as soon as you are able!

    Joel and Jet- Thank you very much!

    Wadethetides- You can change anything if you really want to. I left my job, my life, and my belongings. I'm lucky that I don't have a spouse or child though.

    Killred- Thanks for letting me stay! 😀

    Sofie and Sarah- Thank you!

    Maya- What city do you live in?

    Hater- I CAN'T WAIT to visit New Orleans. What should I see when I'm there?

    Chelsea and Eavesdropper- So glad to be here and hopefully will meet you ladies sometime soon!

    Mysterg- Have you ever been to the States?

    Summer, Allie, Julie, and Penelope- Thanks for stopping by ladies! Much appreciated!

  • Reply thetroublewithlisa December 21, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    as an LA transplant myself, i must say that i understand, i love your thoughts and i do hope to meet you somewhere on the streets or in some random cafe in *our* fair city in 2010, hip-ster-krit.



  • Reply mysterg December 21, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    @Lauren – I've been to New York before for about ten days a couple of years back but that's been it for me so far…

  • Reply seriouslysoap December 22, 2009 at 2:50 am

    (1) Your blog is awesome.

    (2) I'm so glad you see the real Texas and not cowboy Texas, especially since you're not a native Texan. I hate that look that outsiders have when they talk about Texas. Keep spreading the news that we drive cars, not horses (for the most part).

  • Reply ash.lin. December 22, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    ive never ever have felt so compelled to moved to texas…your writing is so incredibly beautiful

  • Reply thatgalkiki December 23, 2009 at 1:13 am

    My niece is a Soph at UT (full-ride volleyball scholorship!) and I have been longing to visit Austin.

    You just gave me MORE reasons to visit!

    Thank you!!!

  • Reply Linda January 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    as for a fellow austinite, thanks for writing this 🙂

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