1. Zombies. Apparently Austin is under threat of zombie attack, as reported by my favorite local blog, Austinist. Mike and I have been really into scary movies over the past year, so these zombie warnings are extra amusing to me. Braaaaains!
2. Neighbors. Tonight I picked up supplies for dinner from a place about a block from us, Cissi's Market. It's part gourmet grocery store, part wine bar, part restaurant, and it's really delicious. Tonight I grabbed some lavender asparagus, YUM. I got to talking to the girl who rang me up, and she said that they give a "neighbor discount" for people who live nearby. Apparently most of the shops and restaurants on South Congress (the super hip and happenin' main drag near our house) offer similar types of discounts. This is just one of the many ways Austin really builds a sense of community. I always have the feeling here that people are looking out for each other, and that atmosphere makes it much easier to be new in town.
3. Helmets. When we got here, we would kind of rub our eyes and do a double take every time we saw a dude flying down the freeway on his motorcycle without a helmet. Apparently in Texas you are not required to wear a helmet if you have either taken a motorcycle safety course or have $10,000 medical coverage. Because understanding how to safely operate a motorcycle is going to save you when some bonehead pulls a left turn without paying attention and makes hamburger meat out of your head. This is like saying, "Oh, you took a health class in high school where you watched a 1970s projector video on safe sex. You are now cleared to participate in daily orgies." Except genital warts are less likely to make you dead.
But according to this article I read today, bikers' rights groups feel that the government should have even less say over the safety of their heads. What on earth is the argument against wearing a helmet? Most bikers I've seen are either bald or have mastered the art of the multi-hairband ponytail, so it can't be fear of helmet hair that's the issue, right? SIGH.