Why am I leaving Austin and moving back to NYC

published: 4/17/23 | April 17, 2023

After eight years in Austin, I’m leaving and moving back to New York City full time.

I first visited Austin in 2013, got hooked, and started coming back so often that I decided to move here in 2015. I was only half here the first two years. I split my time in New York City a little, traveled a lot, and lived in Paris a little.

But in 2019 this is my only home.

However, over the past year, it has become apparent that the city and I have drifted apart. The quaint little town that drew me here as a respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC is no longer a quaint little town but a big city that lacks the infrastructure of a big city. Traffic is horrible, my food truck stops are gone, it’s more expensive, and the crooked Rainey Street is now all high-rises and hotels. The character of the city has changed so much that Austin has become “the place to be.”

Now, I’m not trying to be one of those people who “get out of my garden.” I’m sure people have lamented that people like me have come to change their city. Just like the people before and before them.

Change is a constant in life and trying to stop change is like trying to stem the tide. Austin can change all he wants. Not all changes were bad. There’s a lot to do in the city, there’s more jazz and comedy, better food, and the airport has more direct flights now.

But if Austin wants to be a city — and its local leaders seem to want it that way even as they bemoan the high cost of housing — then it is a city. Give us better infrastructure, more housing, bike paths, and public transportation. Austin has become a city but without any of the benefits that come with cities.

In the past year, while roaming from New York City to Paris to Berlin to London, I’ve begun to notice that the things I love about big cities just aren’t there in Austin. I missed walking everywhere, the museums, the jazz clubs, the public transportation, the copious art museums, the diversity of people, ideas and food. I missed the hustle and bustle that comes with places like New York City, Boston, London, and other major cities.

I’ve spent much of the past year in Austin, and starting in October due to allergy shots, I didn’t leave for 6 months. All that time, I’ve been dating, joining social clubs, and building a life there.

But my heart kept whispering, “This is not the place.”

Austin no longer feels like home. New York City has always been a part of my heart. I want to come back and see how it goes. Will I spend 8 years there? I don’t know. By then, I’ll be fifty!

But, for now, I’m ready to say goodbye to Austin. After eight years, this utility has ended.

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