During our three year leave New Jersey plan, we have visited many places in search of a new home. With a big list of criteria from being green to weather, Austin, Texas seemed to fit the bill. Everyone loves Austin. So, off we headed to Texas sans our cowboy boots and hats. Listed below are my pros and cons of Austin. Weigh in with your thoughts as well.
What I Love About Austin:
There is lots to love in this town:
- +3000 food trucks! No lie. (Well, that is what I was told.) Those trucks are everywhere. Hubbs and I ate at Schmaltz, a vegetarian Jewish style food cart. (See sign above.) Hubs ordered the vegetarian Ruben seitan sandwich, which was to die for. Heck, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, this place has some great “eats.”
- The Whole Foods in Austin is such a trip. (Okay, down right amazing.) There were so many bins. My local Whole Foods store has very little bins. I felt like a kid in a candy store. They even offer a bean, grains, and greens counter. Yep. Pretty awesome.
- Home town of in.gredients, which is an all bin store! No plastic waste! (See picture below of their liquid laundry detergent container.)
- People were so outdoorsy. On the weekend we visited Town Lake, where people canoe and paddle board. Also, everyone was running or walking around the lake. Exercise must be mandatory to live in Austin.
- Very dog friendly.
- Recreationally Friendly
- Music oriented. A concert was going on the same time we there. In fact, the hotel we stayed at had live music as well.
- Has that hip mentality. Some people would call it grunge or alternative lifestyle. (Woodstockish, etc.)
- Love South Congress cool hip stores. Amy’s ice cream was amazing.
- University of Texas! You know I want live in a college town.
- I could garden in the fall all the way until the beginning of December. In NJ, my frost date is October 15.
- People were openly friendly. Seriously.
What I didn’t like about Austin:
- I would die in the summer. It gets very hot there.
- Can’t grow much in the summer. The heat would kill my plants unless I watered them all the time. Now, just as an aside, I didn’t look into heat tolerant plants for the summer.
- Traffic! (Lots of traffic.)
- I am a four seasons girl so I was looking for greenery. Due to the climate, there just didn’t seems to be much landscaping. The locals told me they don’t plant since everything dies due to the heat. (I am sorry, Austin. Gardening is in my soul.)
- Drought issues. Honestly, I worry about water wars in the west. According to Pacific Standard Magazine, seven states share the Colorado River. Since 1920 until 2000, population in those states have increased from 5.7 million to almost 50 million. It is predicted by 2030, 23 million more people will be moving to the 7 state area. Texas is already in a drought situation.
- Real estate taxes are higher than New Jersey but they don’t have a state income tax. In addition, their sales tax is 8 1/4 %.
We haven’t taken Austin off the list but the heat and water issues are a little disconcerting. However, I know we would have fun there! Yep, I would be bin shopping and eating lots of vegan food from the food trucks.
So for all you in favor of Austin, convince me!
Join the Conversation:
- Have you visited Austin? If so, what are your thoughts?
- Do you live in Austin? If so, how do you deal with the heat?
- What do you love most about Austin?
- Don’t forget to weigh in on where I should move. Comment here.
P.S. I re-read this post and it looks like all I like to do is eat….(and garden….)