A Very Austin Autumn

My two-month anniversary of moving to Austin is quickly approaching and, let me be honest, I really want to celebrate. Since relocating from Brooklyn, I’ve been as happy as a clam in high tide. I mean, seriously, what could possibly make a girl smile more than watching average high temperature forecasts drop in her old town as she continues to sport flip flops and shorts in her new, consistently warm and sunny summer-like city? Not much. Not much at all. Some ex-Northeasterners down here claim to miss the crisp autumn air, colorful foliage, and changing seasons. I think they’re nuts.

Believe it or not, Austin celebrates seasons just like anywhere else, regardless of the weather. Texans know how to carve pumpkins, build scarecrows, and make apple cider too, guys. To think that autumn doesn’t exist in the south is just one of many misconceptions (and trust me, I’m well-versed in misconception: I’m from New Jersey). Just as New Jersey is misperceived as the “dirty,” Italian-American, “cawfee”-tawlking, fist-pumping and GTL-ing capital of the world, Texas is a hot, barren desert populated by conservative, tobacco-chewing, gun-slinging, lasso-throwing cowboys. I admit it — that’s totally what I imagined Texas was going to be like.

Okay, okay, so maybe I knew that Austin wasn’t exactly going to resemble some John Wayne movie, but there are plenty of other things that I didn’t know — first of which is that Austin is not in the middle of a desert. It rains here, people. Maybe not a lot, but enough to keep the grass and the trees green, the rivers running, and lakes full (most of the time). Lastly, most people here don’t have strong southern accents. Nor do they wear cowboy hats.

Have I destroyed everything you thought you knew about Austin yet? Good.

Since moving, I’ve also been forced to reconsider the validity of a few things I thought I knew about NYC. First of all, I can no longer trust any place that claims or anyone who says there’s good Mexican food to be found. They’re lying. Barbeque? Fuhgedaboudit — not possible. I love you, New York, for embracing the fact that you’re a jerk, for your inimitable bagels, and for your superior pizza: they will always reign supreme in my heart. But please, leave the BBQ and tacos where they belong.

Maybe I won’t ever miss the cold weather (I’m already dreading going back home for the holidays in December), but if I do, I have everything I need right here in Austin to put myself in a festive, seasonal mood. With a jack-o-lantern pumpkin for carving and a cold pumpkin ale for drinking, I’m going to celebrate my 2-month moving anniversary. And then there will be pie — a super homemade pumpkin pie prepared with Baked’s home-baked pumpkin puree. Nope, I won’t miss the itchy wool hats, bulky scarves, jackets, boots, doubled-up pairs of socks and mittens. Not this year.