Now that we've been out of New York for nearly 3 weeks, it's time to put down some observations I've been making about living in Austin.
- The weather: Okay, so obviously I knew it was going to be hot, but it's really not that bad! (I mean, it's pretty bad, but not if you don't spend all afternoon outside!) In NYC summers I was sweating constantly, and rarely got relief because--no swimming and no A/C plus walking everywhere. I would arrive off my subway commute to work already in a bad mood (especially if it was an un-air-conditioned car). In Texas I drive everywhere and have been blasting the A/C (along with country music radio)! Plus there has been lots of swimming, including a trip to the Greenbelt.
- The people: I never thought New Yorkers were "mean" as a lot of people warned me before we moved there. In fact, I thought everyone was pretty nice--they were just impatient during rush hours. In Austin though, strangers have been so friendly and easy-going. It's a nice change of pace! People have gone way out of the way to hold the door open, and I just have had generally friendlier interactions at the grocery store, etc. I won't say they are friendly driving here though in Austin traffic!
- The food: I've been missing walking a dozen blocks or so on the Upper West Side or in the East Village and passing a million different restaurants of various ethnic foods. It was one of my favorite things about NYC--the abundance of restaurants on every street corner, and the ability to walk to them. But! Austin's food scene is very impressive! Yes, I do have to drive to them, but there are plenty of little strips that contain a vast array of different ethnic foods. Plus, there is really good Tex-Mex and BBQ here obviously, which kind of ranks higher than other foods on my list. : )
- The space: There was something romantic and fun and edgy about living in a crammed city in a tiny closet apartment on top of a bunch of other people. Well, let's just say it was fun for awhile. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the space is something I hadn't realized I missed! I mean in the end, space is just space, but it is nice to not feel so crowded all the time with people and that the living space doesn't come with the concerns of what thing we should get rid of next. While we still don't have our own place yet, it has been refreshing just being able to have more breathing room.
- The parking: Free parking! almost everywhere! And no back-alley, parallel-parking, nonsense, with alternate sides parking!
- The quiet and calmness and peace of mind: In NYC I felt like I had to always be going somewhere, doing something, and I lived off of a never-ending adrenaline high to constantly be busy. It was exciting, I'm not going to lie. But, it is nice to relax a bit, and enjoy a slower-pace of life (although I know Austin is much more fast-paced than other parts of Texas)! This could also be a result of still being (F)unemployed, but I still know that there is an overall better peace of mind for both of us since living here! [And yes, I am applying to jobs, not a total deadbeat over here...]
I'm not going to act like I don't miss NYC, or the many friends we made there! Because I do. But, I am definitely glad we decided to be back in Texas, because Texas is simply home.
I've heard of poke bowls before and cannot rave enough about them. They are DELICIOUS. This version is inspired by Alana's version on Fix Feast Flair. It reminds me of a deconstructed sushi roll. It is perfect for this hot summer weather because it is all mostly chilled ingredients. Kyle (and my entire family) highly approved!
Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls (serves 2)
adapted from Fix Feast Flair
- 1/2 lb. fresh ahi (sashimi grade)
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/4 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. chili red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. toasted macadamia nuts, diced
- 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup cooked white rice
- 1/2 large cucumber, diced
- 1 small avocado, cut up into cubes
Directions: Using a very sharp knife, dice ahi into even-sized cubes. Set aside in a small bowl.
Combine the sesame oil, chopped onions, sea salt, chili flakes, macadamia nuts, and sesame seeds into the ahi bowl. Toss together with chopsticks, until evenly coated. Season with more sesame oil/sea salt to your liking.
In a small bowl, scoop 1-2 spoonfuls of steamed white rice. Top with cucumber, avocado, and seasoned ahi. Eat immediately!