Saturday, January 8, 2011

City Nostalgia for All

I remember when a venture east in Austin strictly meant going to visit my Abuela or handful of other family members that reside in East Austin. Ninety percent Latinos and ten percent lower-class Austin. You could even call East austin the 'Little Mexico' of the Austin at the time. Pawn shops, Mexican bakerys, cantinas and other Spanish-speaking businesses. Now fast forward ten years: East Astin is like a Little Brooklyn. The young and hip are riding their road bikes, zipping up their hoodies and venturing east because it's close to downtown, and thriving. Though there is a certain charm to it, the restaurants and dive bars do make it a unique and fun place to be after dark, I'm afraid it's a bit too hipster-ville for my taste.
It's merely amusing to see these two demographic classes clash as the city outgrows itself. Poor, older, local mexicans, and young, non-local, twenties, well-to-do students and hipster kids.

So what's going to happen as development in East Austin continues, will it keep it's old-city hispanic vibe, or completely transform into a new area for Austin's young and trendy? In my opinion, it will have to be a part of the city that shares it's cultures and comes to an agreement on space.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Spoonful of Now

I miss you, twenty fresh. Though lack of writing the past few months has been painful. Let's just say life has consumed me? Returning from Spain has been a whirlwin of confusion for little ol me, getting used to the non-stop American lifestyle again, trying to incorporate my newfound necessity for pleasure on the daily, finding a new job, remembering I'm still in college, etc. But I'm tracking my balance backdown (thanks Leo Babuta- as always)!

Anywho, my inspirations as of late...

The Black Keys:

All the rage to me currently. Dan Auerbach's voice makes me feel like everything is right in the world. Missing them at Austin City Limits this year unfortunately, but let's hope I can talk a scalper into an afforadable price so I can satisfy my urge to hear TIGHTEN UP live at Stubbs in a few weeks. Swooooon.

I know, Austin has been exploding with Foodie's since the opening of Whole Foods back in the day, but I'm totally digging the competition right now. For those not familiar with the winning Austin restaurant scene, right now seems an appropriate time as it is Austin Restaurant Week. ARW benefits the sustainable food center, and has over 60 restaurants participating. My favorite menu's on the list- Annie's Cafe & Bar, Buenos Aires Cafe, Cippolina West, and Jeffrey's. Check out their menu's ranging from $15-35 per person.

Happy First Day of Fall! I think I see a 59 degrees in the forecast this week! What will you be for halloween...? For me, so far I'm leaning towards Elle Driver from Kill BIll. (Or Luz from MACHETE?!) Come on, I just want to wear an eye patch.


Apparently I'm graduating this Spring, and apparently I'm an official therapy Intern. Austin Art-Therapy folks. It's nice to learn from a pro. Deanna Miesch Is a really great woman, not to meantion her awesome studio on the east side will be participating in the East Austin Studio Tour this November. Can't wait.

Just can't sign away without giving my teachers over at Black Swan Yoga some love. Seriously has been a big help in my life since returning this summer...affordable amazing classes, all donation based.. See you at Sunset Sweaty Yoga sometime this week?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reverse Culture-Shock

My stay in the magical Gaudi-land has passed by, and I've made it back to the States all in one piece. This seems to amaze everyone I've seen thus far since I've been back in the states...and myself.

Being back home is bittersweet. Photos coming of the World Cup, Mont Tibidabo, Mont Juic, the beauty of Gaudi, and Barcelona nightlife...just ya wait.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vale, Vale, Vale

El verano is well underway and somehow I've woken up across the atlantic in Barcelona. My first few days here have been heaven. Aside from the times when I'm forced to be with two dozen other American international students in public places here, I really love the good friends I've made, and the places I've been so far.

Everything, including the people, is so much more full of life in Spain in comparison to America. People rest, are productive without being in a hurry 24/7, save plenty of room for pleasure, all seem to be in love, and take care of themselves's a very balanced lifestyle.

I´ve seen lots of beautiful things already, and met people from VERY diverse walks of life, pictures when I return to my apartment (I´m at a hostel in Valencia right now).


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Let it Flow

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them--that only creates sorrow...Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
--Lao tzu

I'm flying to Barcelona in less than two weeks. The anxiety/happiness/fear/excitement is building rapidly! A friend of mine that I've gotten close with the past few months has decided to come with. Though I'm still traveling alone, I'm happy knowing I'll have a travel partner once I get to BCN.

We made plans see France and Stiges. It was sort of a spontaneous decision and though there was lots of thought behind it, it's still crazy! I couldn't say no...can't resist the flow of life, a mantra I believe powerfully in for the time being.

Countdown..13 days. Adeu America!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Two cents on Bliss...

This summer, Julia Roberts is going to be in a film based off Elizabeth Gilbert’s essential and spiritually wonderful novel Eat, Pray, Love. The mainstream West (now including Hollywood!) is finally being warmed up to Eastern ideas of spirituality and religion. It’s a revolution I’d say.

To go hand in hand with this so-I-call-it ‘spiritual revolution’ is another revolution, in the world of psychology. The last decade much of research has dedicated it’s energies to the psychology of happiness. How to attain it, keep it, share it, even what our brains look like when we have it. I know, what a wonderful aspect of life to make empirical, but it’s beneficial to the progress of society as a whole in my opinion.

At the heart of this psychology of happiness is the idea of balance, or internal equilibrium. Religions of the east encourage finding this balance, and that is there that you will find your eternal bliss, amongst life’s chaos.

GIlbert puts this perspective into her book perfectly, comparing the western and eastern tradition of how the injustices of the world are viewed and dealt with in the eye of religion,

“The [other] objective of religion, of course, is to try to make sense of our chaotic world and explain the inexplicabilities we see playing out here on earth everyday… The Western tradition says, “It’ll all get sorted out after death, in heaven and hell.” Over in the East, though, the Upanishads shrug away any attempt to make sense of the world’s chaos. Furthermore, the Upanishads suggest that so-called chaos may have an actual divine function, even if you can’t personally recognize it now: “The Gods are fond of the cryptic and dislike the evident.” The best we can do then, in response to our incomprehensible and dangerous world, is to practice holding equilibrium internally— no matter what insanity is transpiring out there.”

I believe finding this equilbirium is the most basic function of spirituality, necessary for all other aspects. I also believe that balance is the power of sucess in life. I dedicate these writings to the continuous lesson on balance and the bliss that can be found there!

-Jules Alana