Monday, October 13, 2014

Things That Suck About Living in Austin, Texas

When you first move somewhere, everything is new and exciting.  Everything is shiny.  Everything is BETTER.  If you've ever traveled to, or lived in Europe, you will basically have that feeling about everything when you return to the U.S.  But we're not talking about that right now...we're talking about Texas.  Austin, Texas.  The "Live Music Capital of the World". 

We moved here almost eight months ago now.  Things are definitely still exciting.  One nice (and sometimes overwhelming thing) about Austin is that there is SO MUCH to do.  There is music everywhere.  Farmer's and flea markets almost daily (which I love).  The restaurant and food truck scene is huge.  It is warm.  There is tons of green space with lots of trails for hiking and biking.  There are a few other major cities within three hours.  There are outlet malls and In-N-Out Burger. 

Everything to keep you happy, right?

I love it here, and it's definitely still exciting, but it's only fair to share the not-so-shiny things as well. 

So, here we go...  The things that suck about living in Austin.
  • TRAFFIC.  First and foremost.  Austin is in the top ten in the nation for the worst traffic.  Top five, actually, right up there with LA and New York.  THAT IS RIDICULOUS.  It's basically rush hour all the time, the stoplights are excessively long, and you have to add about 10-15 minutes to what Google Maps tells you for anywhere you go.  And this is just on a normal day, when there is not HUGE events like SXSW, Formula 1 Racing, or ACL Festival going on.  It sucks.  Pretty much all the time.
  • School Zones.  Dreaded devils.  They have school zones EVERYWHERE here.  They are 20 miles per hour and usually are right before a stoplight, which backs up traffic  Not to mention some of them start at like 7:00 am!  Pretty sure that's unnecessary...  And some of the schools are tiny and there are clearly no kids walking there.  If you can't teach them to use the crosswalks, then you should probably be escorting them to school. 
  • There are no professional sports teams.  Since Texas has so many metro areas, the pro teams reside in other cities, which means you really have to make a mini-vacay out of it to go see some professional basketball, football, etc. 
  • There are a ton of people wanting to do the same fun things as you.  Since there are so many people moving here (anywhere from 60-110 per day), Austin is "shiny" for most people who are out and about.  You can find some obscure little event to go to, and end up waiting in line for an hour to hit the doors. 
  • The craft beer scene is sub-par.  Coming from Minneapolis, where the taproom scene is completely blowing up (for a few years now), the few breweries here who do have an open taproom have funky hours, and annoying rules for how they can sell their beer.  We still indulge, but it's not the same feel as easily traveling around Northeast Minneapolis and hitting up five taprooms along the way. 
  • It's hot, a lot.  We have been lucky with a super mild summer since we moved here.  Yes, it was very nice coming in February to 70s and lots of sunshine.  But right now, I'm ready for 70s once again.  When it is so hot that you sweat from breathing, you get cooped up inside with the AC blasting.  Which leads to ridiculous bills, and drying skin and hair.  Ick.
  • Burn Bans.  Since it is hot as heck most of the time, and it pretty much never rains, there is almost always a burn ban.  The rules are different everywhere, but sometimes you can't even use the grills in public parks.  And there's surely no bonfires the size that I'm used to.  I miss my bonfires. 
  • Fall isn't the same.  Fall is my favorite season.  And I'm getting really jealous of everyone's pretty tree pictures while wearing scarves and boots.  It's been in the low 90s for the past few days.  The leaves on the trees just turn brown and crunchy.  And the crisp smell of fall that I love is currently laden with humidity.  Enjoy your fall for me, friends!
  • Everyone has a dog, or three.  The dog culture here is huge.  Everyone has a dog.  You can bring them in to a lot of bars and restaurants and events.  I love animals!  The problem with everyone having a dog is that it means that stupid people have dogs, too.  Stupid people who don't train or control their dogs.  Who let them bark at four in the morning.  Who let them jump on little kids at the park.  I am a huge animal lover and love that I can get my puppy fix anywhere, but when I have to listen to the idiot doxie next door bark when I turn on the bathroom light, I'm ready to sacrifice that thing to the weiner-dog-gods. 
  • Creepy Crawly Critters.  Winter is good for one thing, killing bugs!  There are so many freaking bugs here.  And they have scorpions and snakes and cockroaches.  No one should have to deal with that.  EW. 
  • Austin is too cool.  Austin is quickly becoming one of those places that is "too cool for itself".  I love the variety of fun things to do here, but people, don't take yourselves so seriously.  Let's all just have a good time!
  • ALLERGIES.  I have never had allergies in my life.  Mike has never been bothered either.  After less than a year here, we both have allergies.  Austin is in sort of a "bowl" and it is known as a haven for all-things-bad-allergies.  It is very common to never have experience allergies before, and suffer from severe allergies here.  Mike was recently tested, and the nurse said she felt sorry for him.  He's pretty much allergic to everything in the air and on the ground here.  LOVELY.  I almost never wear contacts anymore because my eyes are so itchy.  Yuck!
Austin is a great place to live.  There is so much to do and the people are freakishly nice.  I don't know that we would fit in any other metro in Texas.  I love that we can grab amazing tacos at pretty much any time and that you always have a cute place to grab coffee and a pastry.  We are having a great time here!  I just had to give a real look at what life is like in Austin.  If you have questions about Austin, feel free to ask!

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