Hello, Austin. Let’s Do This Thing.

Guys, it’s a real scorcher in Austin today.  89 degrees, but it feels hotter and there’s no wind to speak of.  Of course, the real news from that first sentence: “Blah, blah blah blah AUSTIN blah.”  Yup: I’m in Austin!

I arrived almost two weeks ago, just in time for SXSW (or “South by” as the natives call it) and Spring Break (when all of the natives flee town to avoid “South by”).  I’m bunking at my friend Cee’s place in the same neighborhood I lived in last summer, which means that my favorite post office is just a walk away (I wandered over there a little while ago) and the familiarity of the streets and the various landmarks is making me feel at home again in record time.

On the South by front, I managed to catch up with New York friends and volunteer for my favorite Austin radio station and even hear some great live music, all while avoiding the worst of the festival fray.  Breakfast tacos, coffee, and Billy Bragg singing protest songs at 8:30am?  Only here, folks.  Only here.

On the temporary home front, the word is “Blissful.”  That’s the best way to describe this corner of Hyde Park that Cee and her girls inhabit, and it’s a blissful blessing for me to be able to share their space even if just for a little while.  You’ll be hearing more about Cee in the future – along with her girls (Kay and Eee) and the family dog, Daisy (there’s no end to the charming information I could share with you about Daisy, my foster child for the week that her mom and pups were away) — but for now I’ll just say this:  I am constantly amazed and delighted by the new souls who’ve crossed my meandering path this year.  No, not just crossed my path, but have actually fallen into step beside me and struck up a lovely and lasting conversation.  To be able to meet people – still, at the ripe old age of (almost 40) – who I feel certain will be lifelong friends the way I do about Cee (real certain, certain in my bones, dedicated readers).  Well, let’s just say I’m lucky and I know it.

There you have it.  My first two weeks in a nutshell: South by and Hyde Park.  And that wonderful feeling that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Hello, Austin.  Let’s do this thing.  (For reals this time.)

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