November 07, 2022
I think about leaving Austin a lot lately; I've been here 29 years and I'm just kind of tired of the place. The summers are getting hotter, and they were already plenty hot. The politics are terrible. The allergies sap my energy, and the roaches disgust me. Growing anything besides prickly pear and yucca is an endless meditation on toil, luck, and loss. Traffic is lousy and so are some of the people, nowadays.
But then I have a weekend like this last one--and it's true I'm more forgiving of my city when the temperature dips below 90, but still--I had drinks with an old friend; toured the new(ish) arts wing of ACC Highland (whoever thought to turn that albatross of a mall into a state-of-the-art community college campus is a genius); went to a block party with all our neighbors, got the city to let us close the street to traffic and everything; rode bikes through the most charming neighborhood in town with another old friend; and closed out the weekend at an event watching 10 local percussionists drum on a pair of fog-spewing dumpsters with sledgehammers and other implements. And it was great, it was all great; these were all things I really wanted to be doing.
I'm sure there are other places where I could do these kinds of things, even several of them in one weekend, but it would be a hell of a lot harder to find. And I could probably make friends elsewhere, but how do you recreate networks and friendships that are decades in the making? You can't, not like that. So I'm definitely weighing the value of that against the value of novelty, better weather, a new start. And in Austin's favor--inertia is very much on its side.