You Fancy huh?

Something really embarrassing happened to me last week. I became the Mayor of Jeffrey’s. Yes, I Amanda, use Swarm (formerly Foursquare) to check in places. I know that is “like so 2010” but I like to do it. I like to know where I’ve been. I like to look and see if it feels like 100 years since I’ve had a really awesome coffee at an independent coffee shop or if it actually has been.

Now if you’re not from Austin and you’ve just read my affirmation of my love of Swarm, you are probably thinking: “So what.” Fair point. I’ll get there. If you are from Austin, there are a couple things you could be thinking. So I’ll start to clear that up. No, I’m not a waitress there.  No, I’m not a middle-aged business man who needs to cut down on his red meat consumption. No, I’m not independently wealthy.

I’m a media supervisor at an ad agency and as part of my job I build relationships with sales reps from digital, television, and print publications. Sometimes that relationship building takes place over dinner. Sometimes that dinner is at a swanky steakhouse that is an Austin institution with steaks that start at $55.

Courtesy of travelsquire.com

Jeffrey’s Facade – Courtesy of travelsquire.com

Now, I’m not going to lie and tell you that it’s not a damn good steak. It is. If you have an anniversary, or any particularly important celebration coming up, go to Jeffrey’s. Get one of their yummy cocktails, sample the cheese cart, talk to the sommelier and get a great bottle of wine, throw caution and the World Health Organization to the wind an indulge in some delicious red meat. Do it. You will have celebrated well.

What I am going to say, that being the Mayor of this fine institution is embarrassing. I hold no other mayorships. Zero. So for this to be the only one, just makes me feel weird. I have been there a total of 4 times, and each time I have felt extremely spoiled to be eating so well…and like an imposter. This is a fancy people place. I am a fancy lady…but not that fancy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I typically am fine with self-identifying as a Swarm user. I still am. But I was really taken back by how much of a fraud being the mayor of Jeffrey’s would make me feel. If at all possible I’d like to abdicate the thrown. The Major of Jeffrey’s should not be me, it really has to be the guy with the killer mustache who does both the cocktail and the cheese cart. Am I right?

What I Learned on My 8 Mile Run Today

Yes, you read that title correctly. This morning I, Amanda, had an 8 mile run. Ok, fine, miles 5-7 were a bit combo run/walk. But that’s not the point. The point is in like 1h 40m I moved myself 8 FUCKING MILES.

And this run was very educational. I learned a great many things and I want to share them with you.

  1. 8 miles is far.
  2. An overcast sky on a Texas morning in August is a blessing.
  3. There are a lot of bakeries and furniture stores on Burnet I need to visit.
  4. Medical Parkway is almost exclusively doctors offices (fair) and hair salons.
  5. Don’t put “Take a Walk” by Passion Pit on your running playlist, sends the wrong message.
  6. Someone on 35th St has a rooster.
  7. Hills are stupid.
  8. Setting a goal and telling everyone about it is really vital to success

I said i learned things,I didn’t say they were all earth shattering. But I think the last one is pretty important. At least for me. I ran 8 miles today, because in October I’m running 10 in this awesome charity race, Run for the Water. I decided to fund-raise in addition to running and my friends and family have donated, so…..I kinda have to run this race.

Yeah the money will go to the charity regardless but now  everyone knows I’m doing it and they’re gonna ask me about it and I am self-centered enough that I want to be able to say “oh yeah, it went great.” I don’t want to say “oh that, um yeah, so I chickened out because I didn’t want to be the last person to finish.”

I do not love running. If I wasn’t doing this race this would be just about the only reason I ran: someecards

And while I love to eat and drink, that really only ever inspired 3 miles tops. I cannot believe that I’m going to run 10. And honestly, at this point I’m not really sure its even possible. But this morning around mile 6, 8 seemed impossible, and i made it home so maybe there is hope. At the very least there’s a whole internet full of these to keep me going:

Hey GirlRyan Gosling

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?

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….