When I first moved to Austin after living in Washington state, I was 13 years old and would ask my mom every once in a while to drive down historic 6th street at night just so that I could feel the pulse of the city. Coming from a small farming community, it was somehow comforting to know that there was always excitement happening nearby. To this day, I still drive down East 6th street to get the dose of comfort: Knowing that as life’s routine happens, I’m still only a quick drive away from people living life in the moment. It’s a good reminder for me to appreciate where I am.
Naturally, when a vacation rental became available on East 6th street, one of the few residential buildings on this strip, we had to take advantage of the unique opportunity. Let’s be honest, East 6th street wasn’t a place we were ever going to want to permanently live. Why not make a fun experience out of the place that gives this city its pulse?
So, welcome to LiveVenture home # 13:
Location: Littlefield Building on Brazos and East 6th street – across from the historic Driskel Hotel.
Length: 3 weeks
I knew we were living in the heart of downtown when… I was at a new friend’s house and wasn’t sure how to get back to the freeway, so instead of driving around aimlessly, I put ‘Austin’ into the GPS so it would take me towards downtown. Once I found the freeway, I would just turn the GPS off. By the time I hit the downtown area, I had my music turned up and my convertible top down; I didn’t actually hear the GPS until I was 1/2 block away from our house. The GPS lady says, “you have arrived in Austin.” My home was literally where the GPS considered Austin.
It’s been interesting to see the pattern of the city: what the daytime workforce looks like, what the afternoon happy hour group looks like, what the young party crowd looks like, and the after 2 am group who just wants to party a little more…(those complimentary ear plugs from the management company were a blessing. ) I realize 4 things while living here:
- Our city really does party seven days a week, and live music is really played almost all day on each of those days.
- There is quite the homeless community. And I do mean community… There are clear “cool places to be” and “popular” people.
- Between 2 & 3 AM really truly are dangerous times to be on the road. It was terrifying watching how many drunk people walked out of the bars at 2 AM and most likely hopped in a car.
- Austin really is still way cool. In a 21 day span, with no planning of calendar of events, we ended up downtown in the heart of two massive events: the X games and the Rot Rally.
X Games invades…unexpectedly: We took a night stroll to the Capital to find the X Games set up with only the event organizers and the skate pros practicing for the kick-off of the festival the next day. We had no idea there was this even happening downtown less than 24 hrs away. It was the calm before the storm and we got to see their intimate practice. It was pretty awesome to actually see the event packed with people the next day.
Top Trip Rental, who manages the condo we were staying in, extended an offer for us to stay in another property for one night for a fun experience. This was just a wee bit different: 4,000 sq feet, 2 car parking garage, and an indoor pool for starters – literally on East 6th street and hidden among the bars. One would never expect it there. We were able to bring a few friends and toast to unique experiences, complimentary of my new favorite rental company (hats off to them!). I also went back for a party and met mermaid friends in the pool a week later. Check out the blog about that here.
A night out on the town: college-style. Who says 30 is a drag? Ok, a lot of people, but I’m determined to still have fun. While I like to have fun, I would not put me in the “partier” category. But you put me living on 6th street and with a friend (new to Austin) who hasn’t experienced it much, it’s a recipe that had to be mixed up. We started with the Rot Rally and closed down Maggie Mae’s with a dance party on the roof. I haven’t done that since college, and most certainty wouldn’t be able to do it often, but it was one night to remember. And one that I wouldn’t have done if I didn’t live a couple blocks away.
Sometimes all you need is a bottle of wine.
People watching is amusing. People watching on your balcony with a bottle of wine on 6th street with your favorite person in the world? Well, that’s down right delightful.
An incredible thunderstorm rolled in one night. Sure, Austin has big storms all the time. I am known to become wide eyed and stick my head to the window, being mesmerized by the lightening. With historic 6th street in the forefront of one of the larger storms I’ve seen in months, my storm watching was taken to the next level. Amazeballs!
Being a tourist in our own city. There were too many great bars to name all, but a stand-out night was enjoying one of the best views in Austin: The Stephen F Austin Intercontinental outside patio. It also just happens to be where I had my first internship in high school. Easily walking to the Capital and the Congress Bridge to watch the bats was also great fun. I had so many places I had planned to visit, but time simply ran out. Another LifeVenture stay down there might be in our future. Perhaps not during the Rot Rally, though. 🙂
Going from our Creek Cottage (home # 12), a complete serene home, to East 6th Street was a big change. But as dramatic as the change was, we eased into it quickly and started enjoying the new home right away.
This location and home truly exemplified the reason we are living this LiveVenture: to live life differently and to notice and appreciate our surroundings.
Until the next adventure,