Sunday, February 25, 2007

slice of life

i think i am officially spoiled by the austin weather. i hear that it snowed another five inches in DC today... and while i admit i kind of miss the cozy sweaters, the steaming hot chocolate (with a healthy splash of kahlua or bailey's, of course) and my favorite puffy down jacket, i'm also kind of okay with the fact that it's not quite march and there are people laying out by the pool. i'm okay with the fact that i need to wear long sleeves at night but can definitely get away with flip flops during the day. the weather was gorgeous this weekend, sunny and warm and breezy, the kind of weather that makes you want to take a thick blanket and a good book and spend the afternoon just reading in a park.

i went for a run along town lake, and although everyone argues that barton springs is the soul of austin, i have to wonder if that's really the case. of course, barton springs has more historical relevance, it has its own breed of salamander, it's a naturally spring-fed pool, etc etc etc... but i feel like town lake -- by nature of being free and open to anyone and everyone -- has a more diverse following. there's something about it that seems to represent everything that i've come to appreciate about this town. there's the dog park, with millions of different breeds running around, sniffing each other's butts and splashing into the water to chase a tennis ball. there's the water area, where a local running store sets up free containers of water and dispensers with little cone-shaped paper cups. everyone throws their trash away neatly and is willing to tip the jug for you so you can get out the last few drops, and of course, there's even little dishes of water for the dogs. i mean come on. you know that shit would get stolen in DC in one second.

and then there's the people. during today's run i saw such a cast of characters i almost wish i had brought a pad of paper with me to take notes. little kids on bikes with helmets and mommy or daddy riding behind, one guy with so many tattooes up and down his arms that it looked like he was wearing a very colorful shirt, a bunch of UT sorostitutes with short shorts and t-shirts that read "UT chi-o" or "go kappa," frumpy middle-aged women wearing workout clothes that had probably been purchased in 1974, an older couple in polyester pants and nicely pressed shirts that looked like they had just come from church, a guy with impressive man-boobs, even more impressive nipple rings and a considerable gut that was jogging along in tight biker shorts, completely comfortable with himself, a really hot guy in under armour who looked like an NBA basketball player (umm... i may have given him a slightly longer glance than everyone else), lots of 20/30-somethings like me, jogging along with ipod earbuds in their ears, latina girls with dyed hair and short shirts walking hand-in-hand with their wife-beater-wearing boyfriends, rastafarian-looking white dudes riding beat-up bikes and looking like they hadn't eaten a proper meal in months...

it was all just so entertaining. everyone hanging out, doing their own thing, walking, running, jogging, huffing and puffing along, biking, strolling, soaking in the warm sun and admiring the sparkling water. it's a really odd thing to feel like you live in this happy little bubble where people leave water dishes out for the dogs and the sun shines in march and not everyone on the jogging trail is some fit 20-something hardbody but normal-looking people who care about their health.

(contented sigh)



At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

loved reading this post -- you've captured Austin pretty well in your writing =)

But too bad the good weather will be short lived before the nasty heat and humidity sets back in =)

- Richard

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AH Jen.. you're really making me question my move to Toronto.. Your post captures everything I love about the town lake trail and Austin in general.

- Paula

At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is this reader from albuquerque? i just had to look up how to spell that town. wouldn't want to misspell on the spelling queen's blog!!! i'm crossing fingers for mcdreamy, just so you know.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it was actually originally spelled Alburquerque, but someone decided to drop the first R.

- Albuquerque reader


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