Tag Archives: KUT

Richmond: First Impressions

1. It rains in Richmond! Quite a bit actually. It’s interfering with some soccer and tennis matches as of late, but we are forever grateful, having moved from a city whose water resources are severely strained to say the least. Richmond is a very green place, and we are still getting used to the leaves, the soft grass…the luxuries of nature.

2. People dress appropriate to the weather. We’re hard-pressed to find a hipster outside of the VCU campus, and he or she would never be caught dead in their skin-tight jeans in the summer time (because that’s just ridiculous Austin.)

An obnoxious Austin hipster

3. It’s even more southern than in Texas. One of my tennis team members actually asked me if we were “going to be back from our away match in time for the Cotillion party.” What’s more, Christian and I will be attending our first gala this Friday. I bought a long dress; he rented a tux. I’m hoping they don’t expect me to have a “hair-do,” because I’ll be coming straight from a tennis meet and it’s supposed to be as humid as a swamp in Georgia.

4) Starbucks is in hog heaven…and we are not. We miss local coffee shops! There’s nothing wrong with Starbucks. The staff is nice. They are quite successful at what they do. But I’m a strong coffee drinker, and my husband is a French press fiend, and Starbucks doesn’t do either of those. Also, it frustrates me that I can’t order a “small” coffee at Starbucks. Every time I ask for a small, they correct me and say “tall.” Huh? No comprendo.

6. Public radio might as well go off the air. No amount of pledge drives will save these people. All they talk about is politics (Washington, not local), and there isn’t decent music. Perhaps KUT should come out and hold a workshop on how to be a more global and more hip. I never thought I’d say it, but I miss John Aielli. Gasp!

7. Mexican food is only attainable if we’re willing to work for it. I love to cook, and I do make some mean migas. But there’s something special about rolling out of bed on a Saturday morning and being able to ask my husband about where to go get breakfast tacos. Needless to say, we’ve already planned our culinary itinerary for when we return to Texas for Thanksgiving. I think we can squeeze in at least two Mexican brunches and  one happy hour.

Thank the Lord on High for Curra's Mole

8. People are really nice here. In Richmond, even your boss invites you over for breakfast, and the Brooks Brothers sales rep writes you a thank you note. I missed an orientation meeting with the Assistant Director of the Middle School, and I asked to set a meeting to get caught up to speed. Instead of having me to her office, she invited me to her house for breakfast (my favorite meal of the day!). She actually made eggs (with all the fixin’s), coffee, fresh fruit, and bagels. I never knew work could be so scrumptious. About the Brooks Brothers bit…No joke. My husband really did receive a thank you letter from our sales rep after we bought him a new shirt and some ties for his teaching job. I know this guy just wants our business, but that’s still really nice.

9. Cab drivers double as tour guides. My brother-in-law Robert and his girlfriend Jane came to visit us recently. We took a cab downtown to the Capital Ale House for some brews and burgers. Little did we know that the real fun of the evening would not be had at the bar, but rather, on the cab ride downtown. Our driver apparently considered himself an amateur tour guide. He informed us that we lived on the “John Smith Trail” (true) and that Mr. Smith was a famous Civil War Captain (not true). Also, the Malvern Manor apartments – where Christian and I once applied to live, with other young folk – was apparently a retirement home for “old, rich doctors and lawyers” (not true). Last but not least, he had some particularly slandering things to say about the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Ave and what “it had done to our Confederate history.” That was the last time we called for a cab in Richmond.

The Arthur Ashe Statue on Monument Ave in Richmond, VA

10. We managed to slip under the radar and gain access to the “Beverly Hills” of Richmond without having to undergo genetic testing or show proof of income. We live in the most gorgeous neighborhood right along the James River bank, which is lined with impressive homes. We happen to rent and are blessed with a little yard, a fire pit, two bedrooms and two baths! Our neighborhood has tall trees that are very green. Quite a change from Austin. We are so happy here!

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Richmond

10 Reasons to Love Austin, TX

Everyone has their reasons for loving Austin, TX. There are the usual suspects, such as live music and Barton Springs Pool, but we’d like to share our own list of favorites. Anyone who’s ever lived on a small budget knows that you’ve got to create your own fun, and our list reflects the lifestyle of two graduate students trying to make it in a big city. The beauty of Austin is that if each resident wrote a list of why they loved the city, we’d end up with hundreds of thousands of different lists. That’s how much Austin has to offer. So if you see something missing from our list, add it in the comments section, or better yet…send us a copy of your own list, and we’ll put it on our blog!

1. Town Lake Trail – We’re blessed to live in Central Austin, just a short walk from the Mopac bridge entrance to Town Lake Trail. As a Minnesota native, Sarah maintains that the body of water encompassed by the trail is not a lake, but she still enjoys running around it each morning. Who needs a gym membership when you can hike, bike, run, and canoe right outside your front door?

Turf n Surf Po Boy (2nd Street & Congress Ave)

2. Food Trucks – What could be better-suited for a graduate student budget than dinner from a food truck? Much more glamorous than they sound, there are literally thousands of food trailers dotting the Austin landscape, serving up every kind of cuisine from breakfast tacos to duck confit. Here are a few of our favorites: The Mighty Cone, The Peached Tortilla, G’Raj Mahal, Turf n Surf Po Boy, and La Golondrina (corner of Airport Blvd and 51st Street).

Max is available for adoption from APA!

3. Doggies! – This one goes hand-in-hand with Town Lake Trail. We’re never bored running around the “lake” because we get to look at all the amazing dogs go by. Austinites love their canines, and they’re out in full force at Town Lake on Saturday mornings. We sometimes volunteer to run with dogs hanging out at the Austin Pets Alive! adoption table. Another great thing about Austin and dogs…you can bring your pets nearly everywhere. Dogs are welcome on most patios, and even inside some stores. It’s fun to meet so many furry friends when we’re out on the town.

Foodie heaven

4. Whole Foods Market – WFM is like Disney World for foodies, and its flagship store and corporate headquarters are located right here in ATX, just a few blocks from our home. We can’t afford to shop there with any degree of regularity, but just being in their space is like entering a world of food zen. Oh, and did we mention the “wow” policy? Anything we want to sample…free of charge. Now that’s customer service!

5. Alamo Drafthouse – We love this place so much that when faced with having to see a movie elsewhere, we usually pass. Where else can you get waited on by professional staff, served food prepared by a certified chef, and watch some badass films? And their pre-show programming is hilarious. We’ll take soundbites of Mark E Mark and old episodes of Julia Child over relentless advertising any day.

Happiness on a bun

6. P. Terry’s Burger Stand – California-style burgers, hand-cut fries, and chocolate shakes always put smiles on our faces. To the tune of less than $10 for two people…that’s enough to make us want to jump for joy.

7. KUT – We are so lucky to live in a town that has such amazing and varied radio programming. They play over 40,000 songs each year. Over 40,000! Sometimes we’re hard-pressed to hear the same song more than once a year, let alone once a day. We have eclectic tastes, and it’s great to have local DJs that can channel our same vibe. Hayes Carll? The Black Keys? The Texas Tornados? How about all three?

8. Thundercloud Subs – To quote the master sandwich-makers themselves, “Straight up genius on a bun.” That about sums it up. If they ask you, “do you want Thunder Sauce on that?” say yes.

IMG_1773

"The best part of waking up!" (and walking two blocks and paying $2.50)

9. Local coffee shops – Yea, we have Starbucks in every major neighborhood, but we also have Caffé Medici, Houndstooth, Mozart’s, Flight Path, Thunderbird, Cafe Caffeine, Lola Savannah, Dolce Vita, Little City, Halcyon, Juan Pelota, Pacha, Epoch, and about a dozen others to boot. And they all serve delicious brew.

10. Biking – Austin has miles of trails and bike routes that are mapped out for the cyclist’s convenience. If you wanted to, you could avoid traffic altogether, but most Austinites are acutely aware of cyclists, and they respect them on the road. Some residents spend more money on a bike than they do on a car. Crazy? Perhaps. Cool? Definitely. Tree-hugging granola heads? You bet.

2 Comments

Filed under Austin