posted: 17/4/23 | April 17, 2023
After eight years in Austin, I'm leaving and coming back to NYC full time.
I first visited Austin in 2013, was hooked, and started coming back so much that I decided to move here in 2015. I was only semi-here my first few years. I split my time in NYC briefly, traveling a lot, and living in Paris briefly.
But, in 2019, this has become my only home.
However, over the past year, it has become clear that the city and I have grown apart. The quaint little town that drew me here as a respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC is no longer small town freak, it's a big city devoid of big city infrastructure. The traffic is bad, my food truck parking space is gone, it's more expensive, and quirky Rainey Street is now all high-rises and hotels. The character of the city has recently changed a lot because Austin has become “the right place”.
Now, I'm not trying to be one of those “off my page” people. I'm sure people regret that people like me came and changed their city. Just like those before them and those before them.
Change is a constant in life and trying to stop change is like trying to resist the flow. Austin can change all he wants. Not all change is bad. There's more to do in the city, there's more jazz and comedy, the food is better, and the airport has more direct flights now.
But if Austin wants to be a city – and its local leaders seem to want it even as they bemoan rising housing costs – then it must be a city. Give us better infrastructure, more housing, bike lanes and public transport. Austin has become a city but without any of the benefits that come with a city.
Last year, traveling from NYC to Paris to Berlin to London, I started to notice that the things I loved about big cities weren't in Austin. I miss traveling everywhere, museums, jazz clubs, public transportation, the abundance of art museums, and the diversity of people, ideas, and food. I miss the hustle and bustle that comes with places like NYC, Boston, London, and other big cities.
I spent much of the last year in Austin and, starting in October because of my allergy shots, I didn't go for 6 months. During that time, I dated, joined social clubs, and built a life there.
But my heart keeps whispering, “This is not the place.”
Austin no longer feels like home. NYC has always had a part of my heart. I want to go back and see how it goes. Am I going to spend 8 years there? I don't know. At that time, I will be fifty!
But, right now, I'm ready to say goodbye to Austin. After eight years, this chapter is over.
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