Trapped in Nowhere

And I restart my posting with a rant about living on the edge of nothingness. Don't get me wrong, I like rural areas, and small towns, but living in the countryside with nothing to do doesn't jive with me at this time in my life. I've begun to wish (even though I know it would've never happened) that instead of moving from the suburbs to the countryside (like I dreamed of when I was a kid), that my parents had moved us to the city, however much real urbanity there is in Austin.

After being at school for a year in Eugene, Oregon, I hate being isolated in this house even more. Being 9 miles away from the closest town is no longer a source of pride, but of agony. Especially when our property lacks any real exciting features; no hidden canyons, or high hills. I wish it was only a mile to a bookstore, or even a bakery. Having to get into the car and drive to do anything at all; I'd rather face total sensory overload than having to deal with trying to make up stuff to do.

It's also a lot harder to keep in shape; when living in Eugene, I could just ride my bike around town, exploring, or going shopping; here, the only roads are two-lane highways with 60 mph speed limits, which I'm a bit wary of biking on.

In point, there are days I can't wait to go back to school. I'm bored out of my mind here.


Update from Eugene

Decided to update the blog; been a bit of a long hiatus recently due to moving to Eugene, Oregon to attend the University of Oregon and major in Architecture, with architecture studio being a lot of the reason for having so little time to blog. Spending multiple all-nighters working on models is not a conducive environment to write in.

So for most of the year, I'll be changing my focus from Austin to Eugene, concentrating on the city's evolving urbanism and the role that the University plays within the city, as well as the community's conflict between varying ideals of "green-ness".

Eugene Public Library

What I like so much about Eugene is that even at only around 150,000 people, it still has a better existing urban fabric than Austin does. Especially infrastructure-wise. Mainly from the fact that it's been a substantial-sized city for longer. Downtown has wide sidewalks with at least 20 blocks of 2-3 story mid-rise buildings. And several of the surrounding city neighborhoods were obviously built pre-zoning, with their nice mix of apartments, offices, single-family homes, and offices. For the size, it also has a great transit network, with BRT, and several other lines that run every 10 minutes during the main part of the day, as well as a circulator linking campus and downtown, and nice rural routes that connect the city with parks and small towns.

There are some drawbacks, though, sometimes Downtown can seem a bit dead: so many offices and city buildings, and not enough entertainment or working public spaces, and some of the big avenues like 11th and 6th and 7th seem to break up downtown into spaces that don't interact with each other because they're just large car sewers. Also, especially the Police, and sometimes the University as well, don't seem to appreciate the urban parts of the city for the gem they are, and can get quite high-handed.

I'll be trying to update more frequently with posts about some of the urban developments, transit changes and architecture studios that are happening around town recently.