Amarillo 101: Guide To Fitting In While Living In Yellow City
When I moved to Amarillo, no one could really tell me how to fit in. There were no handy guides to finding places to hangout, things to do, and definitely no "what to/what not to do" guides. Through trial and error, I have decided these bits of advice will help out.
If you are a religious person, there's a lot of good news for you. Amarillo has you absolutely covered with a place to worship. It pretty much doesn't matter what you believe in. If there isn't a place of worship already in place, all you have to do is check the MeetUp app and you can find gatherings for all faiths and belief systems. Rule number 1: Respect religions.
Also, if you don't buy into religion you aren't alone. Just try getting into any restaurant on Sunday morning without a wait. It's impossible.
We love scandals. By scandals I mean murder, crime, and salacious stories. The crazier the better. While most of us will never admit we "love" hearing about this stuff, you won't find many people passing up the opportunity to watch a good old fashioned "train-wreck."
Also, somehow you'll always find someone who has a friend that is a friend of a cousin who knew a guy that met a person that goes to church with a person that is somehow related to the person charged with whatever despicable crime has been committed. It's almost like that "Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon" game.
You're in the wrong place if you don't take pleasure in the culinary arts. We love food. All kinds of food. There are almost as many restaurants in town as there are churches. We love religion, and we supplement that with our love of food. Fried foods. Artisan style foods. Fast food. Steaks. Burgers. We love it all.
Join a Facebook group and lurk for a bit. You'll figure out where the best spots in town are for just about anything you could ever crave. We have it all.
Get good at complaining. It's almost a local sport. Whether it's all of the shenanigans going on downtown (looking at you parking meters), or the non-stop construction...learn to complain about it. Also, don't forget to compare your new home to other surrounding cities and complain that we don't have what they do (looking at you Cheesecake Factory).
You earn the right to complain about our town if you live, or have lived here. Imagine Amarillo is your younger sibling. You can say whatever you want about it, but you better not tolerate some outsider talking smack about your home.
There is a smell that you will notice from time to time. It smells like a cow has dropped off a nice, hot, package in your front yard. That, my friend, is the smell of money. Refer to it as such. You don't have to like it, just know, that's what greenbacks smell like.
Beer is second only to Ranch Dressing or spicy ketchup from Whataburger. We even have an entire evening dedicated to enjoying all of the MANY varieties of beer we have here (looking at you Beerfest). Learn to enjoy craft beer. We have a ton of it around here.
We do love helping each other out. If we hear about someone needing a helping hand (and provided they aren't a giant waste of reproductive material) we will band together and get them back up on their feet. We may not always get along, but we're all neighbors and that means something (unless you're a turd).
I spend almost as much time listening to people talk about how things "used to be" as I do listening to people complain about road construction. Know that this city has been going through a lot of changes, and what you know as "home" has changed drastically over a small number of years. Just nod and say, "Oh, wow," anytime someone gazes into the distance to recall an old drug store, or train depot, or theater, or anything from back in the "good old days."
You've already been pegged. Just know it. You went out to Cadillac Ranch and took a ton of photos and pondered its meaning. You went and tried to eat the 72 oz. steak at The Big Texan. You saw a painted horse and decided to take a photo with it, or on it. You're a tourist. Don't beat yourself up. We all were at one time. Soon these oddities will just come to be a part of what defines your home.