Early in 2013, notorious North Korean leader Kim Jong-un leaked a map disclosing his alleged points of destruction via nuclear missiles (or whatevs). For some reason, Austin, TX made the cut and instead of fear, an influx of awesomely weird comments took over Twitter, with so many asking #whyaustin?! Maybe Dallas put him up to it, because not living in Austin is sure to create understandable envy. At Umbel, we’ve decided to explore and share our affinity for the eccentric, eternally casual, dynamically matchless and definitely weird capital city, Austin. Members of our team have lived in New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas, Brazil, Mumbai, Mexico and about 20 other cities around the world. Regardless of where we’re from, where we’ve been and how long any of us has lived in Austin, we are all totally obsessed!
Buy a home, raise a family, be fit, be hip, be safe, get a job, get a social life, start a business, start a band; Austin is rarely unseen on a “Top Ten” of places to live for this or that. Despite the economic woes the country has faced, this community seems to foster happy, innovative, energetic and successful (tatted up) people. These four categories try to capture a collaborative answer when Umbel employees were asked the question: Why Austin?
1. The outdoors: Miles of running and biking trails, with many a dog park in between. The rain is just enough to keep the flowers flamboyant, with ample sun and a loyal breeze perpetually ready to take over. Even when the heat roasts you during summer months, there is always some relief in one of Austin’s many water offerings: Barton Springs, Hamilton Pool, Deep Eddy, McKinney Falls, several lakes that look and act like rivers or the misty fans on bar patios. With reliable weather, there’s never a reason not to plan a music or arts festival – and those are a plenty.
2. The business: With Austin’s relevancy in the startup world, it must be easily accessible from San Fran, Seattle, Boston and NYC. A hub of tech geniuses, t-shirt wearing venture capitalists, centrally located and centrally time zoned, Austin (“Silicon Hills”) is positioned quite agreeably for moving and shaking in the business world. We even have live music in our airport and food trucks in the cell phone lot. Austin is currently being wired for Google Fiber, which should speed innovation tenfold!
3. The consumption: The social scene flourishes with resources from local breweries, distilleries and wineries, stocked on shelves in renovated homes turned into libation stations. The happy hours are hip, plentiful and inviting. The iced toddies are perfect. The breakfast tacos are alarmingly amazing. There is a diverse culture of food trucks here, which always seem to pop up in all the right places whether you’re hungry or not.
4. The peeps: Walking around the city during the day may leave you thinking, “Do any of these people even work?” The answer is yes. In fact, many are telecommuting, studying, blogging and just generally multi-tasking. They’re not too busy to not enjoy the city, consume its goods and be inspired by a cyclist wearing nothing but a banana hammock. Our furry friends are welcomed on the majority of restaurant patios and inside indie boutiques because why not? Our hipsters are obvious but not obnoxious. Environmentally aware and incredibly fit (even with inevitable consumption stated above) there is a genuine feeling of care and awareness for the well being of the city and all of the creatures who live here.
The overall attitude of this place proves to be incredibly fulfilling. It’s so easy to become addicted to the productive paradigm that living in Austin emphasizes. The startup culture perfectly mimics the larger Austin community; the ability for so many new ideas to flourish is a reflection of the supportive and welcoming nature of the like-minded citizens who have made this city boom! But not in the ‘nuclear’ way.
Cheers to Austin, Umbel loves you! Meet the Umbel Team.