Friday, September 11, 2009

Keep Portland and Austin Wierd!

I'm back in Texas for a few days and this time I flew into Austin. I was able to spend some time with Anne Olson, one of my best friends from high school. The first thing we did when I got in town was to eat at a yummy Mexican restaurant - duh! We had a delicious meal at Z'Tejas on 6th Street. During my short stay in the city capitol of Texas, I realized how similar Portland and Austin are. Besides the famous city slogans of "Keep Austin Wierd" and "Keep Portland Wierd", here are some more similarities:

- great outdoor activities: My favorite park in Austin is Zilker Park, a 351 acre park located on Barton Springs Road. Portland is home to Forest Park, which at 5,100 acres is one of the largest urban forest reserves in the country.

- local venues: I love all of the great local coffee shops and restaurants and how much the locals support them. There aren't many places in either city that I've visited multiple times because there are so many different options!

- tattoos and piercings: Both cities are inhabited by lots of unique characters. Each has its fill of hippies and free spirits, but what I love is that everyone seems to accept everyone else. There aren't many judgemental in either place - just lots of peace and love!

- modes of transportation: Traveling by bicycle and public transportation is more common in each of the cities than in other places I've been. Both cities are very environmentally concious.

- great music: Portland and Austin are both home to some wonderful musicians. They are both seem to draw in very artsy folks. You might find a little more country music in Austin, though!

- delicious Mexican food: okay, that's just a flatout lie. The "Muchas Gracias" fast food chain around the corner from my house just doesn't match up to Ninfa's or Javier's :(

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