Austin Adventures, Part 1

I've been in Austin for the past three weeks as part of the Residency portion of the Code for America fellowship.  While wandering to the coffee shop today, I fortunately found the HOPE Farmers Market.  The thriving, communal atmosphere, along with a few familiar faces, made Austin feel like home for the first time today.  I'm not sure I'm ready to move here but it's nice to feel connected in a non-digital way.  We're all enjoying the three-day weekend in honor of Presidents' Day after three weeks of meetings, interviews, meetups, happy hours, presentations, special events... you get the idea.  I'm not complaining, of course.  The place we're staying does have a hot tub!

My market visit started with a few songs from Whiskey Shivers, a country/folk/bluegrass four piece band.  After seeing Redd Volkaert at the Continental Club yesterday too, now it's starting to feel like I'm in Texas.  The copious amounts of tasty BBQ also help.  Still, Austin is sort of a progressive melting pot in the middle of the state, and no one would want it any other way.  The "Keep Austin Weird" motto works for me.  It is, however, a city in transition.  The market is set up along a service road next to a sprawling semi-abandoned railyard with the downtown high-rises in the background about a mile away.  The growth and change are on display everywhere.


I enjoyed a polenta cake covered with a poached egg, kale pesto and goat cheese from the Seedling Truck while watching an African band I really enjoyed.  Food trucks are another hugely popular feature of Austin, although it did feel a bit strange the other day when I said, "Let's go to the food trailer park."  After buying some fresh produce and lamb from a local farm, I headed to my temporary home to enjoy an afternoon of cooking and catching up on pleasure reading.  The place we're staying has a well-curated cabinet of books about theater, religion, spirituality, alternative medicine, classic literature and Texas history.  It's been a great visit so far but there's a lot left to see...  More blogging and pics coming soon.  If you're that curious, here's a post I recently wrote on the Code for America blog.

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