19 October 2011

Thirty by thirty update: The Nashville of Texas

Anyone who studied my dry erase calendar last week – aside from identifying the Sorting Hat in the corner – may have noticed I wasn’t even posting from my beloved Nashville. I was busy checking a city off my 30 by 30 goal of three new cities!

That’s right, I’d never been to the Texas equivalent of Nashville, the fellow blue dot in a red state, the more southerly Music City. And I was there for a job interview, so it’s a good thing I liked the city!

I would love to have a photo-heavy travelogue, but since I was, again, on a job interview, I didn’t get to go everywhere I would have liked or carry my camera around my neck all day long. (The photo above is swiped from here, actually.) I did, however, have a great visit. The position I interviewed for is in an excellent laboratory, and I did in fact get an offer, so we’ll see if Austin becomes the new base for the Redheaded Stepchild next year!

Since I don’t have a photo-heavy travelogue, and because most of it is boring job interview stuff you don’t care about, here’s a numbered list of things I learned about Austin:

1) It really is the Nashvile of Texas. The up-and-coming hipster neighborhood here is called “East Nashville”. In Austin, it’s “East Austin”. One of many twilight zone realizations.

2) If you happen to find yourself in East Austin, the Blue Dahlia Bistro is ridiculously delicious. The soup of the day I had was a tomato soup that rivaled a fresh marinara, with white beans and spinach. I mean really. I was sad that I couldn’t order the entire menu.

3) If, on the other hand, you are near the university, you really should stop in Trudy’s. My chipotle-beef stuffed chile proved once again that Tennessee can’t do Tex-Mex to save its life. Chuy's is but a small consolation.

4) The university there has ten times the number of undergraduates as my current institution. They are everywhere. Like integrated into the scenery. Everywhere you look, undergraduates. I am still not sure how I feel about that.

5) My potential employer put me up here, and it was absolutely delightful and accomodating. I usually avoid B&Bs because you have to talk to strangers and I am awkward. But the innkeeper was great for learning about Austin, breakfast was crazy delicious, and my second morning there I ended up having breakfast while chatting with an HHMI investigator also visiting the university. So yeah, recommended.

6) Driving around downtown provides amazing full-on views of the Texas State Capitol. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve ever seen the Tennessee State Capitol from the road.

image from here

So Austin was great, and the job offer was a bonus! Unfortunately I won’t be interviewing for a job in any other new cities, so I’ll have to make an actual effort to check off two more new cities – especially considering that Mr. P and I are saving our pennies for a friends’ wedding next summer in London (which won’t be a new city for me, or Mr. P). Hope the next cities are as fun as Austin!


Rachel C said...

Congrats on the offer!