As Of Late

Maybe it’s because people think they’ve “been to Salem” by driving through it on I-5. However, the Salem you see on I-5 is not a good representation of Salem, Oregon as a whole. NE Salem is also not S. Salem which is not central Salem which is not West Salem. Not one of those areas is Salem, they are all Salem as one unit.

So I realized I’ve been getting caught up in the S. Austin / Westlake part of Austin which, just like Salem, is not Austin, just part of Austin. And p.s. on that note, can I just say how funny it is that each HEB totally is tailored to the neighborhood it’s in. Like how the HEB on the east side is totally crappy and the one in Westlake has drive-up grocery service? Just saying…

Anyway, I decided to explore the east side of Austin a bit this weekend. Got in my car and drove around a bit – not sure what I was going to find, but it was a really awesome experience. Def. saw a part of Austin I’ve never really seen before. There are some up and coming areas of the east side, lots of hispanic sections, lots of areas that would be considered lower on the socio-economic level…however, a TON of personality.

This side of town actually reminds me alot of some of my favorite parts of Portland – NoPo, Alberta Street, SE Portland kinda near Burnside, etc. Check it out:

Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food Restaurant. If any business deserves to succeed, this is it. Lola Stephens, the woman who runs this restaurant, has worked ridiculously hard to get her restaurant going. She had no money going in and was actually homeless for a part of her life, after she had lost her job. She was lucky to get enough money to get things together and with a combo of hard work, passion and good cooking, got the restaurant going.

The one day the restaurant isn’t open is Sunday. Why? Well, it’s because she feeds the homeless for free out of the back of the restaurant on Sundays. What a saint, is she not?

Church:

School:

Love this. Almost reminds me a bit of kid robot:

Tats. Neat sign – I like the typeface:

Nom nom nom:

Yup. Pretty neat morning I had. My suggestion to you: try something out of your normal routine today. Whether it’s how you get to work, where you get your coffee, what you do after work…whatever it is…switch it up. And pay attention to the things and people around you in the process…it’s amazing how easy it is to get caught up in the daily routine and how much we’re missing because of it!

In other news, my life is going well. Tonight I jammed with Chris Kelly for a few hours. Recording some tracks for him in the near future, which I am very excited about. There’s something so soothing about spending an evening just jamming with other musicians who are in it for the right reasons.

And P.S. I accidentally wrote “35” (Austin freeway) instead of “I-5” (Oregon freeway) when I was talking about the freeway in the first paragraph. Almost as weird as I when I said “y’all” that one time without realizing it until afterward. Weird, weird, weird.

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