Saturday, August 06, 2011

Hello New House

Last week we moved into the new place.  It's about 1000 square feet smaller than the old house, so it is snug.  I have to say that I do miss the huge closets, large kitchen, and the playroom at the top of the stairs the most.  On the other hand it was time that we downsized some of the stuff that we really don't need/use.  The move provided the perfect opportunity to chuck or give away things.  After the move, there are still some more things that ought to go.

Austin: First Impressions

We've met a few of the neighbors, and they seem quite nice.  The neighborhood itself is an eclectic mix.  Just by looking at the yards you can tell there is a variety of personalities and lifestyles.  The neighbor to the left's yard is all astroturf in the front and backyard.  Two houses down on the right and the yard looks like something out of better homes and gardens with perfectly manicured bushes.  I'm guessing that yard was probably the yard that Andrea saw the homeowners out with a ruler and scissors trimming wayward grass.  The house directly across the street has solar panels on the roof.  Their yard is a designated a "wildlife preserve."  They have native grasses and cacti growing.  Other neighbors have reported that they do indeed get critters living in the yard from time to time.  Two houses from that yard is a desert motif complete with 3 large wooden wheels.   There is a homeowner's association, but from what I can tell, their primary function seems to be upkeep of the community pool, playground, and informational newsletter rather than forcing draconian rules to make the neighborhood a cookie-cutter suburban "utopia."  I'm on board with that!

Demographically our street has older empty-nesters, young families, and childless couples.  There are two boys Matthew's age on the street, but they've been out of town, unfortunately.  Regrettably there aren't any girls Melissa's age nearby.

This part of Austin is heavily populated by Asians.  The school the kids will be attending is highly ranked, and also nearly a quarter Asian.  Gastronomically, Jonathan and I are both quite pleased about this.  In the last week we've had Thai, the best Chinese food either of us has ever had, and to top it off, there's a delicious Filipino place a half mile away from the house.  Jonathan likes to practice his Tagolog whenever he gets a chance and the owners were quite happy to oblige.  When we went to the Chinese place, we were probably one of two tables that had European ancestry, the rest were Chinese. 

There are parks, playgrounds, and even splash pads all over the place.  We've only been to a few so far, but have plans to go out as often as possible since our yard is so tiny. 

Traffic is indeed as bad as everyone says, but not too bad if you don't venture far from home.  Jonathan times his commute downtown to avoid the worst of rush hour.

The best part of the move?  We are about 12 minutes from Andrea, Jeremy, and my darling niece Gwendolyn.  Hooray!

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