Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Farmer’s Market

Chronologically speaking, this post should be about how I’m settling in, my first week on the job, signing my lease, ect. But that’s just going to have to wait. I’m having a beautiful Saturday and I’d rather talk about that. Maybe I’ll feel more reflective tomorrow. We’ll see.

So, since I only have a few friends in Austin and they are all out of town this weekend, I had a quiet Friday night and I ended up getting up pretty early this AM (7) and I was able to go for my first outside run here in Austin. 78 degrees at 7:15am is something I will have to get used to, but all in all it was a good run – super pretty along Town/Lady Bird Lake (aka, a damned off section of the Colorado River, we can discuss how it bothers me that it’s a river, but it gets called a lake another time).

I had intended on following my run up with breakfast and then heading straight down to the pool to layout before the triple digit temps rolled in come afternoon. But, while I was drinking my coffee I looked out my windows and noticed this:

Window View

 Obviously, I wanted to know what was going on with all the tents, so naturally I pulled out my iPhone. First I Google Mapped since I hadn’t the foggiest what the name of the green square was.

Google Maps

Turns out it is called Republic Square Park. If you’d like to be a nerd like me you can click on the hyper-link and read all about it, cliff notes, it might be a little square of mostly dead grass, but it’s been there a long time and is kinda a thing.

From there I googled “Republic Square Park August 31st” and came to learn that what I was gazing upon from my bougie temporary home was none other than the set up of a Farmer’s Market that runs 9am-Noon every Saturday. Let’s start with how it’s a year-round Farmer’s Market. I get it, I’m in Texas and it is warm here, but my poor New England self thinks of a Farmer’s Market as a May-Oct phenomenon. It’s not as shocking to me that it’s warm enough here year round to grow things, it’s the idea that it’s warm enough year round to shop for them outside.

It gets better, this particular Farmer’s Market is one of four that happen in Austin each week organized by the Sustainable Food Center. Definitely click on that link. If you know me you know that essentially as soon as that page loaded I was going down to that market. The pool could wait.

Saturday morning Farmer’s Markets already give me the warm fuzzies because I have such fond memories of going to them with my Mom growing up and picking out things for us to have that weekend and upcoming week. We always grabbed a basil plant at the start of the season…and usually another one in the middle since green thumbs don’t really run in our family (yes, my Mother and I are capable of killing a small potted herb in less than a couple months…it’s not our fault). In fact, while I was at this Farmer’s Market, I texted my Mom and she was at ours back home at the same time!

The next thing I loved about this is that it is solidly organized. It has to be at least 51% farmers (not that I don’t love the baked goods and jams and organic soaps…). If you forget cash, the info tent is equipped with an ATM. I almost never have cash but the other day at Whole Foods I happened to get $20 cash back. It was like divine intervention or something. What really impressed me was this statement though:

Sustainable Food Center cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. SFC envisions a food secure community where all children and adults grow, share and prepare healthy, local food.

If you’re on EBT or WIC you can use that to buy produce. I’m sorry but that’s cool. My Dad informed me that our Farmer’s Market at home is the same way, so maybe this is common. But if it is I think it should be more widely talked about. I’m not gonna go all out on this, but everybody know the packaged crap that you’re not supposed to eat is the cheapest. So I’m super on board with supporting an organization that is trying to help people make the right food choices regardless of their finances.

Farmer's Market

I’m totally a sucker for all things local. I blame my tenure in Somerville and Jamaica Plain. I totally drank the local kool-aid, but it’s fine, becuase everyone in Austin drank it too so I fit right in. I gave the whole market a walk around and decided that I wanted to make sure I bought things from several different vendors. I wish I remembered which ones so I could give them probs. But I totally didn’t write them down. whomp. whomp.

I think I did pretty well. for $12 I got everything you see below:

Veggies

That one bushel of kale alone comes out to more than a gallon sized ziplock’s worth of greens. I though that was a pretty good deal. I certainly would not have been able to get all that for $12 at Whole Foods. (Not to rag on Whole Foods, because I love it there and I went there later today and got the rest of things I need to whip up some really yummy stuff this week.)

Since I had done so well I decided I could afford 2 Migas Breakfast tacos from the Tacodeli tent! ($4.50)

Breakfast Tacos

I’m totally on board with the Breakfast Taco thing. I don’t understand why I haven’t been eating tacos at breakfast all along!

I’m planning on making this Farmer’s Market a serious staple in my Austin life. I’ve already decided I’m going to need to get a bike to allow me to explore things in a wider radius and more easily do grocery shopping. Now I can add this to the list of reasons I really need one sooner rather than later.

Right now I’m really looking forward to the squash I got. I’ve never had summer squash that was yellow and green! Winter squash was already out, there were the cutest little butternut squashes. I’m already pinning some hearty soup recipes to take advantage of those if it ever gets cooler here.

What are your favorite Farmer’s Market Finds?

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So Long for Now Boston: A Photo Essay

This post is long overdue. Two weeks ago I said so long to Boston, packed all my belongings save for two suitcases into a  U-box pod and drove home to CT to spend 5 days with my family. In the midst of all my packing and organizing and panicking I made sure to take a moment to reflect and soak in some of the things I know I’m going to miss.

Monday morning before my move I got up and went to Bar Method. There is Bar Method in Austin but I know it won’t be the same. I love bar and it was a great way to start the day especially since the “Moving Diet” was not all that figure friendly.

I'm gonna miss Sara, Amanda, Tiffany, Adrian, and McKenzie!

I’m gonna miss Sara, Amanda, Tiffany, Adrian, Melanie and McKenzie!

After bar I walked from Newbury St to the North End through the Public Gardens and the Common. My destination was Mike’s Pastry. In college my best friend and I would go there at off times to avoid all the tourists. It’s a whole different experience.

The Swan Boats! I never actually rode them, but they are pretty to look at.

The Swan Boats! I never actually rode them, but they are pretty to look at.

Bridge in the Public Gardens

Public Garden

Fountain in the Common

Tri Delta was founded in front of Park Street Church. Being an Alpha Chapter member was a huge part of my life at BU and in Boston. I had to stop by.

Tri Delta was founded in front of Park Street Church. Being an Alpha Chapter member was a huge part of my life at BU and in Boston. I had to stop by.

This is one of my favorite views of the city.

This is one of my favorite views of the city.

I am going to miss those Lobster Tails.

I am going to miss those Lobster Tails.

Lobster Tail and cannoli in hand I got on the Orange Line back to Jamaica Plain to finish packing up my things and dismantling my furniture. I had only left myself a couple of days to pack but I’m so glad I took that morning to take in Boston. Boston will always have a special place in my heart, and as excited as I am to be in Austin, I know I will miss it.

But in the wise words of Christina Aguilera “If you love somethin’, let it go. If it comes back, it’s yours and that’s how you know.” It was time for Boston to let me go. We’ll see what happens down the line. Right now I’m ready to start my love affair with Austin.

Flash Post: Arrived

I have quite a bit of blogging to be catching up on. Including but not limited to my last day in Boston and the joys of moving. But I thought it could be neat to do a flash post from Austin’s airport.

I’m sitting here at pick- up area H since I lied to my friend and told her my flight got in at a completely pretend time. But it’s not like I’m in a rush. Because guess what? I live here now!

Yeah, it’s crazy, but I’m kinda like a Texas resident as of 5 minutes ago. That is solidly still blowing my mind. I boarded a one-way flight this morning. I’ve only ever done that once and that was to study abroad. This feels kinda similar. Texas is kinda like a foreign land. But the terms are much different. This is not a 4 month vaca punctuated with the occasional class/internship.

This is real life! I live in Austin! Holy smokes. That is weird to type. But it’s also super exciting. I’m so scared to be so far from my family, especially my mother, but I’m also so exited to start this chapter. I have faith this is the right path.

Here goes nothing….

My First Last Day

I think I am currently experiencing some type of shock. I’m sitting here writing this at 10am on a Friday and it feels like maybe I just have the day of the week wrong, or I’m on vacation, but I’m not. I’m not on vacation. I don’t work at Hill Holliday anymore.

I can’t explain it but that sentence actually makes me choke up. I don’t work there. And I get that I made that choice. And I’m super excited that on the 26th of this month I can write a post that says “I work at GSD&M” but that doesn’t change the knot in my stomach when I think about how I’m not going to walk into 53 State St Monday morning.

There are literally dozens of people that I’m accustomed to seeing everyday that I will not see. I won’t say I won’t see them ever again, because I solidly hope that is not true, but I certainly won’t see them for a long time in comparison to the frequency I’ve been used to. And that makes me tear up. Because they are amazing people. And some of them are truly very important to me. And some of them I care alot about. And I’m not going to see them.

And I’m not going to see this:

Exchange Place

This view also makes me tear up. Because I remember walking up to Exchange Place from Court st on the first day of my Internship at Hill in September 2010 and thinking…”This is what I’ve been waiting for.” And I remember walking this way with a DD Iced Coffee in hand that first summer in 2011 and thinking “I have arrived. I work in that blue tower at one of the top advertising agencies in the country, and this is where I’m meant to be. ”

And I’ve always loved this view. How cool is it that on our way into a skyscraper, to an office that is sleek and modern, at a job where we are 100% focused on what is coming next, that we pass a building that was constructed 300 hundred years ago. I know I’m a nerd but it just gets me.

And that view and that building have been my home for 3 years. And I have felt a full range of emotions inside of it’s walls. I have felt Complete Acceptance. Overwhelming pride. Bitter defeat. Deserving accomplishment. Stinging loss. And the people in that building have built me up to be the person I am, and I like to think that I have laid a stone or two in the building up of others. And that’s a big deal, and that’s a lot to leave.

I cannot begin to describe how strange I  felt yesterday the moment I walked out of that building . I felt like a weight was being lifted but at the same time like a piece of me was taken with it. But deep down I feel like I am making a change that I desperately need. And I know that my next adventure will be great, as great as the one I’ve just completed.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I’ve always really enjoyed that song by the Beatles. I mean I really enjoy most songs by the Beatles, ya know, because I have ears and a soul. But I digress. I’ve always loved that song but recently it has become my anthem.

I solidly would not be making it through this move without them. My friend in Austin is so amazing she’s looking at apartments for me. Come on, who does that? Amazing friends that’s who.

My bestie in Cali, who is going through her own move, regularly talks me off of cliffs and commiserates with me on just how freakin’ difficult being a grown-up is. I know. I know. We made this choice to move. But you don’t make it based on how much fun it is to hire movers to carry all the boxes that are full of reminders of your rampant consumerism. (Seriously, packing makes me give serious thought to that whole “give up all worldly possessions” and join a convent thing. And by serious thought I mean, I get as far as “I look great in black.”) I text in what is definitely the middle of the night and typically call during meal times, but she’s always there to respond and remind me that I’m not gonna live in a box or go to debters prison. And then she sends me amazing BuzzFeeds that make me smile to boot.

My friends here on this coast are doing everything they can to make my last days in Boston amazing. Like driving up from NJ and CT to relive college and take weird selfies in front of our old apartment with me.

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Or there’s my friend who is amazing just for sitting on the beach with me and letting me vent about trying to find an apartment and not wanting to be poor. Despite the fact I know she’s sad to see me go she says all the things I need to hear and reassures me I’m making the right choice and that I’m going to be fine, better than fine. And somehow she managed to keep a straight face while I got sentimental over a seashell because I’m scared of being so far away from the ocean.

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From letting me get way too drunk on champagne to not judging me for my behavior late night at dirty college bars to throwing away the pencil and inking me in to their calendar, I have amazing, amazing friends. I don’t know what I did to deserve them but if the powers that be meant them to be for someone else I hope they don’t realize their mistake.

My Quarter-Life Crisis, aka That Time I Quit My Job and Moved to Texas

So being in your 20s is hard. Go ahead, laugh it up. But I’m serious.  It’s really hard. Mostly because you lived your whole life with goals and challenges  (survive high school, get the hell out of your hometown, get in to a good college, graduate, get a job) that exist on a relatively structured timeline. But by the time you hit 23, if you’ve done it all correctly, you pretty much come to the end of the nice little road somebody plopped you on when they dropped you off at kindergarten and now you’re basically staring at a barren gravely wasteland with absolutely no mile markers.

Ok, barren gravely wasteland might have been over dramatic but the no mile makers part is a solid analogy. There are no chapters, and at first it’s fine because you’re all like “Whatever, I’m paving my own way.” But then you’re like “Wait a second, none of my shit is together, am I supposed to have my shit together?” And then you watch Girls with an HBO log-in that’s not even yours and you realize, you definitely don’t need to have your shit together, that part is totally fine, but without the mile markers it’s really hard to figure out if you’re even moving you’re non-together shit any place, or if you’re kinda just sitting there with it all scattered about.

Alright, so maybe it is just me, and just my 20s are hard because I’m anal retentive and I love linear things and clear measures of progress. It might just be me who hit 24 and had a total quarter-life crisis and got really scared that I wasn’t growing as a person or worse that I was so lame I wasn’t even going to try and do anything about it.

So what’s a girl to do? Move to Texas, obviously.

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After living 24 years in New England, 6 of them in Boston, I’m flying to Austin TX on the 25th to make it my new home. Bam, mile marker! Boston chapter ends here Austin chapter starts here. Done.

Am I scared? Fuck yeah, you’re talking to a pro-choice, marriage equality obsessed, gun-loathing, middle class, born-n-raised Democrat who has already been informed that she’s crazy for thinking corn bread is served with BBQ. I know I will stick out like a sore thumb in my Sperry’s and my Anchor print capris. I know I’m going to hyper-ventilate each time I realize I’m so far inland I can’t drive to the beach and back in a day. I know I’m probably going to stick my foot in my mouth daily if not hourly. But I am still super pumped.

So yeah, this week I quit my job. I thought I was going to throw-up, but I didn’t. And in 2 weeks it will be my last day at the company that taught me everything I know about my career of choice. (Fuck, I’m def going to cry.)

You’re 20s are hard man. And I don’t know if change, on this scale is what everyone needs to start planting their own mile markers in that wasteland, but it’s working for me so far. I’ll let you know easily the next couple markers go in. Maybe I’ll hit oil …(get it, because I’m moving to Texas?  Buler? Anyone? …Come on that was clever)