See our city through the eyes of vis­i­tors

Austin American-Statesman - - LIFE & STYLE -

Last week, Sean Massey and Joshua B. Ludzki, two friends from up­state New York, vis­ited Austin. Be­cause I was ab­sent dur­ing their first days here, I asked Christo­pher

Car­bone, as­so­ci­ate edi­tor of L Style G Style, to show them Austin’s so­cial life.

The re­sult was a full week of ac­tiv­ity dur­ing what is usu­ally con­sid­ered a dead time of year. The trav­el­ing com­pan­ions — Ludzki, a ra­dio per­son­al­ity and com­mu­nity leader, and Massey, for­merly of Austin, now a uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor, city coun­cil mem­ber and busi­ness owner in Bing­ham­ton, N.Y. — shared some so­cial ob­ser­va­tions. (For a much more com­plete record of their in­sights, go to austin360.com/outand­about.)

Ludzki: “What struck me about Austin in the dead of sum­mer was how walk­a­ble it still is. We’ve gone to the hike-and-bike trail al­most ev­ery day since we’ve got­ten here. It’s been packed with peo­ple. And friendly peo­ple. Peo­ple that hot and sticky and tired and well-ex­er­cised shouldn’t be that friendly.”

Massey: “I of­ten use Austin as an ex­em­plar for cre­ative-class cities. Bing­ham­ton has many of the po­ten­tial strengths that Austin does — high-tech in­dus­try, large cre­ative class, grow­ing arts scene, a uni­ver­sity, and is lo­cated at the con­ver­gence of two rivers amid lush green hills. And yet, Bing­ham­ton still hasn’t re­al­ized its full po­ten­tial.”

Ludzki: “One of the first things I no­ticed was the de­gree to which lo­cal busi­nesses re­ally seem to tend to the aes­thet­ics. And I’m not talk­ing about high-end restau­rants and cute lit­tle in­de­pen­dent cof­feeshops. I’m talk­ing about lots of busi­nesses you wouldn’t ex­pect — the liquor shop on the corner or the laun­dry mat down the block.”

Massey: “Our new gang of friends made us feel com­pletely wel­come and an im­me­di­ate part of their scene. Con­ver­sa­tions were easy and var­ied.”

Ludzki: “The bot­tom line for me is that just about any ma­jor city you visit in the United States will have great restau­rants, great mu­sic, great clubs, great art . . . but there’s def­i­nitely some­thing pretty great — and pretty unique — about the peo­ple in Austin.”

Massey: “We ended the trip a bit like we started, a danc­ing marathon at Rain with our new best friends. Our epic ad­ven­ture came to a close with a dra­matic send-off ren­di­tion of a dance remix of the ‘Glee’ ver­sion of Jour­ney’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.’ It was fab­u­lous!”

mbarnes@states­man.com

LINKS Re­cep­tion for Leonard Pitts Jr., Carver Mu­seum & Cul­tural Cen­ter

6. 4. Se­dora Jef­fer­son and Su­san Stotes­bery 5. A.J. Bing­ham and Rev­lynn Law­son 6. Gina Har­ris and Toni Tip­ton-Martin

M Two grand open­ing

Michael Barnes pho­tos

12. 10. Aaron Lofton and Brian Dil­lard 11. Bar­bara Kim­bel, Cecilia Sch­midt, Joe Reynolds and Josie Ro­driguez 12. Frank Car­mona and Jef­frey Lane

Pretty and Pink Party for Joanna Lin­den, West Lake Hills res­i­dence

9. 7. Joanna Lin­den and Oliver Everette 8. Justin Shook and Kim Potts 9. Court­ney Sanchez and Ken­dall Sanchez

Not Just An­other Can­cer Event 2.0 for Team Sur­vivors, Stubb’s

3. 1. Kathy and Ron Farsh­ler 2. Vanessa Martin and Josh Goler 3. Cyn­thia El­lis and Jeanine Cuel­lar

2.

1.

5.

8.

11.

4.

10.

7.

MICHAEL BARNES

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