Well... if Austin were not in Texas, it would be the perfect place for you! Could you handle the heat, do you think?
It's actually cooler there than it is here in Dallas, because there's less of a "heat island" effect down there -- people in Austin actually like grass and trees better than concrete (
), so they don't build over every last square inch of land.
It's definitely artsy and eccentric -- lots of arts festivals, some great museums (including Laguna Gloria, where there's a fabulous three-day arts festival every year on the lake), and just a general sense of style about the place.
And there's no place like Austin for live music! It's brimming over with wonderful musicians, and there's always something fun to do in the evenings. You can even go shopping at the downtown Whole Foods, eat at one of five little restaurants inside the store, and listen to live music the whole time you're there!
Geographically, Austin sits right at the middle of a wonderful mix of landscapes -- there are big wooded hills, gentle rolling prairies, lakes and more lakes and rivers and streams and some more lakes, everywhere you look... there's a fabulous rocky spring right next to downtown, and an exquisite Japanese garden (built for the city by a grateful Japanese immigrant back in the '40s, I think it was) that's part of Zilker Park, a huge sweeping green meadow ringed with forest, with the downtown skyline rising beyond the trees. And just to the southeast is a tall pine forest that's called the Lost Pines, because it's out here so far west of the nearest other
such forest, over in the Deep South. Walking into that forest is like suddenly beaming over to a whole different part of the planet!
Austin is not as politically liberal as it once was, but it's still an openminded place where you can be who you are
without feeling scrutinized. And in Austin, you're more likely to be accosted by a Buddhist monk than a Jehovah's witness!
(That reminds me of a line I once heard... somebody said, "I used to be a Jehovah's Witness, but I prefer not to get involved. So now I'm a Jehovah's Bystander."
Anyway... Austin is a wonderful town. It does have seasons, it does get snow now and then, it's very beautiful (especially in the older parts and out toward the lakes), and it's a very friendly place, too.
Now I miss