ON A WALK: Allandale in Austin

/// Instagram phone pics, Austin Eavesdropper.  Top and left-to-right: Clouds in Allandale, flowers on a Trumpet Creeper in my front yard, dandelion in my hand, sports car on Exmoor Rd, a neighborhood teepee, rusted and repurposed machinery, roses at my friend Megan’s house.

Back when I lived in Hyde Park, I used to go on these epic walks.  At the time, I think I pretended they were for exercise.  But their true purpose was something different entirely: I just needed to unplug, to process, to have some Tolly time.

On one of those walks, I met a man who assured me he would be the next president of the United States.  I probably don’t have to tell you that it wasn’t Barack Obama.  But he hollered to me (and anyone happening to be in the general vicinity) that we could “mark his words, ’cause this leadership train’s a-leavin.'”  If I ever run for public office someday, I promise you that will be my campaign slogan.

Now, this man might have been crazy / drunk / high.  As well-to-do as Hyde Park is, it gets its fair share of those characters.  But he also could simply have been dreaming, envisioning a time and a place where he was in charge.  And I liked that.

Ross and I moved about a year ago, to a neighborhood technically called “North Shoal Creek,” but I just tell everybody Allandale, since people know where that is.  Upon moving I somehow lost my walking habit, and I blamed it on the fact that It Was Not Hyde Park.  But over the past few days, I’ve been walking again.  Getting to know my neighborhood.  These past few months have been very plugged-in ones for me, and I needed to get out.  I also needed it be warmer, and you know what?  DONE.  It’s not even April, and we’ve already moved into the mid-70’s down here.  I love Texas.

Like that future president in Hyde Park, walks for me are a way to dream.  But they’re also a way to internalize the personality of a neighborhood, to get to know its inhabitants.  I miss Hyde Park all the time, but I decided I live in a pretty cool place when I found a teepee in someone’s yard (above).  I came home and asked Ross if we could build a teepee … or better yet, a treehouse.

Reader, are you an Instagram freak like me?  I’d love to follow you if so.  Tell me your Instagram handle in the comments below, and you can find me @TollyM.