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grand rapids vs. san antonio vs. austin

have i said this here?
if new york city could be moved to the desert climate, i might find myself living in heaven
(they'd have to be all right with the laidback, casual look).

though mr. f wasn't won over by san antonio, i'm digging it.

san antonio seems like a really accessible city ... in many ways ... driving into and around the city and the people we've met.
i just found out san antonio is much larger than austin in both population and geographical footprint. the footprint is clear. the number of people? i would never have guessed this to be true. san antonio feels like grand rapids in the areas we visited. 

downtown san antonio is very walkable, along with king williams, a neighborhood just south of downtown. we were able to walk comfortably from king williams through downtown to the north side of The Alamo where we were staying this past week.

driving through san antonio is sssoooo easy. i got caught in rush-hour traffic. it was painless.

it felt like we were in grand rapids.

we've been in austin a day and a half, and the traffic has been horrific. we've learned to avoid the freeways, yet the main roads can try ones patience.

of course, we are not in the same proximity to downtown austin as we were to downtown san antonio. also, we need to spend more time in austin to begin to understand it. right now, we're in an area that's like so many cities ... blandville stripmall haven. in know austin is far more than this.

according to walkscore, austin has 12 neighborhoods great for walking (living without a car). san antonio only has three. though grand rapids isn't on the top 40 most walkable cities (i believe walkscore is looking at the 40 largest cities for their neighborhood comparison), GR has a much higher walkscore than either of these bigger cities. It's overall score is 85 out of 100. Austin's is 49; SA's is 45.

listening to austin's city council meeting on the future of their urban planning is inspiring. yes, this is the first stage of this discussion with the three finalist groups presenting their proposed utopian dreams. hopefully, the city won't water down or debase these plans, AND hopefully, austin can afford all the important details of the proposal they implement.

it would be awesome if a city like austin ended up being true self-contained neighborhoods like what Alvin Toffler writes about in, "The Third Wave."

how lucky am i to have stumbled upon this particular meeting? pretty cool. they are talking about all the things i'm interested in concerning our new city of residence. mr. f is the one who turned on the tv, so he deserves full credit. we have some work ahead of us.