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Old 03-20-2012, 08:18 AM
 
7 posts, read 7,729 times
Reputation: 14
Default Potential move to Austin - how progressive IS it?

Hi - I am looking to relocate and Austin is in my top three list of cities to move. I did research on most educated and "liberal" (loosely) cities in the US and it consistently ranked on the top. But I have also heard that for transplants who grew up truly liberal cities, like me (San Francisco), the liberal label is sort of a facade. So if we drop the term liberal and conservative, is Austin considered progressive? I will die a slow death if I encounter any more drunk young girls named Ashley when I am out on a Friday night, shallow as can be. I am a single female in my late 30s who is looking for other single friends (and in a city where there is little pressure to become a family unit), as well as for intelligent, non-metrosexual guys. I am not materialistic, and I enjoy simple things and appreciate the environment, eating well and naturally, and always learning. I am also very open religion-wise. I love interacting with people from different cultures and meeting interesting, accomplished individuals. How would Austin rate with those ideas in mind? I appreciate all positive comments, even if the response is not what I am looking for. Please don't respond if you have nasty or sarcastic or empty responses. Thanks again.

 
Old 03-20-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
460 posts, read 605,786 times
Reputation: 329
This kind of question can start heated discussions around here, but usually most people can agree on one thing: Austin is liberal for being in Texas. On the plus side:

* It's a big college town so there are tons of people from all over. However, many them are young, some of them are drunk, and some of them will undoubtedly be named Ashley
* You will have no trouble finding "a crowd" like you describe. Some people will tell you that you should stay within the 'city limits' (and avoid the burbs) and while there is some truth to this, it varies tremendously based on the burbs you're looking at. Circle C (where I live) or Steiner Ranch are too suburban for what you want right now, but there are a lot of neighborhoods in NW and N Austin where I have several unmarried friends in their early 30s and they don't complain about a lack of stuff to do (neither, for that matter, do the Circle C people I know, but you may want more nightlife than they do)
* Austin is nowhere near as expensive as SF or most other cities like it (NYC, LA) but it is also not a large city and not as metropolitan as, say, Houston or Dallas. I came from NYC and it's got just the balance I wanted, though.

The bad (for you):

* You will encounter living, breathing conservative people on a more regular basis than you did in San Francisco. Because they are humans, some of them may be unreasonable and think that you should go to church, but for the most part, Austinites have a pretty laid back vibe to them. However, Austin itself elects democratic city government very reliably.
* You won't have the same spread of cultures as you would in a major city. This point gets a little hazy because many people consider Austin to be a very diverse place (there are whole threads on the subject...) and personally I would agree that it is: for its size. Compared to Portland or Seattle, it is. Compared to Houston, Dallas, SF, or LA...not as much. When I was in your shoes and thinking of moving to Austin, the question I asked myself was whether I would encounter the variety of people and backgrounds that I was comfortable with, not whether I could pin a badge on my sleeve that said 'I live in the most diverse place ever.' So your taste may be different.
* The center of Austin's nightlife, downtown 6th street, will probably have its share of Ashleys just because UT is so huge. But lots of people hang out there, even us suburban, early 30s married fogies.

Most of my friends in Austin are around your age and dating (but not married). One gay dude lives with his partner, which is not at all unusual (and not right downtown, either). But people define "liberal" in different ways. I wouldn't call Austin's liberalism a facade but I would say that it's moderated to some extent by the metro area and the state, which are much less liberal. Texas is still a low-tax, low-service state, and Austin can't do much about that. Very different from CA in that respect.

Come visit and find out for yourself though!
 
Old 03-20-2012, 08:48 AM
 
Location: SW Austin
206 posts, read 177,671 times
Reputation: 64
Look around North Loop - Westgate - Cuernavaca - East Manor rd - East side of 35 anywhere for that matter - 78704 - 78702 zips.
 
Old 03-20-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: SW Austin
206 posts, read 177,671 times
Reputation: 64
Not an empty comment but the environmental protected areas have been overrun by materialistic people. houses in the aquifer area are now over 400k for anything decent and have turned into Ashley factories. .

Last edited by suit-n-tie white guy; 03-20-2012 at 09:16 AM..
 
Old 03-20-2012, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
460 posts, read 605,786 times
Reputation: 329
I would also disregard anything suit-n-tie white guy says about Austin real estate. He is looking for a place and not having luck finding what he wants in the area he wants and is in some kind of twilight zone where everything he can't afford or doesn't want sucks for all people.

We just bought a place right in the aquifer zone (SW Austin) for 350 and there were other brand new homes there 50k less than ours, as well as slightly older homes for less than that. But I wouldn't recommend that area to you anyway just because it is probably more suburban than you want. I guess it's "overrun by materialistic people" to the extent that suit-n-tie guy was priced out of it.
 
Old 03-20-2012, 09:13 AM
 
Location: SW Austin
206 posts, read 177,671 times
Reputation: 64
aquitane i live half the distance to downtown and im not hurting for it. Im defriending you now.
 
Old 03-20-2012, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
460 posts, read 605,786 times
Reputation: 329
Certainly - I don't disagree with you that there are plenty of good reasons to live closer in and that those neighborhoods have their appeal.

I just take issue with your blanket statements about every neighborhood you don't like, particularly when they're factually incorrect ("can't live on the aquifer for less than 400k") and offensive ("overrun by materialistic people"). Almost every pronouncement you make about Austin, and you make them daily, is either wrong, insulting, or both.

There are materialistic people in every part of town in every town, urban and suburban, and there will always be conflict between urban "city center" types and suburban types. For the most part this conflict is a pointless assertion of one way of life being "better" than the other, as if it were possible (much less desirable) to try and make one area of town be all things to all people.

Austin is great because there are areas that will appeal to you no matter where you fall in this continuum. You can find a chill area with single 30-somethings in townhomes and condos or you can go a little further out if you need more sq ft and don't mind a slightly longer trek. I spent six years in NYC and don't have any kids so I am the last person to criticize the advantages of living in an "urban core" (inasmuch as Austin has one). I just don't go around criticizing the advantages of not doing so, either.
 
Old 03-20-2012, 09:26 AM
 
239 posts, read 242,335 times
Reputation: 260
Jason Stanford: Rick Perry's War on Texas Women
Perry Continues Assault on Women's Health Care - News - The Austin Chronicle

Austin being considered "liberal" or "progressive" is lipstick on a pig. There is a hard right, fanatical, racist, anti-immigrant, extremist uber-conservative christo-fascist *WHEW* contingent (and all to eager to do so for the publicity...or cash) steering Texas. And it's getting uglier and uglier.

Last edited by kbchitown; 03-20-2012 at 09:52 AM..
 
Old 03-20-2012, 09:34 AM
 
4,013 posts, read 6,100,799 times
Reputation: 1613
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaphRod View Post
Hi - I am looking to relocate and Austin is in my top three list of cities to move. I did research on most educated and "liberal" (loosely) cities in the US and it consistently ranked on the top. But I have also heard that for transplants who grew up truly liberal cities, like me (San Francisco), the liberal label is sort of a facade. So if we drop the term liberal and conservative, is Austin considered progressive? I will die a slow death if I encounter any more drunk young girls named Ashley when I am out on a Friday night, shallow as can be. I am a single female in my late 30s who is looking for other single friends (and in a city where there is little pressure to become a family unit), as well as for intelligent, non-metrosexual guys. I am not materialistic, and I enjoy simple things and appreciate the environment, eating well and naturally, and always learning. I am also very open religion-wise. I love interacting with people from different cultures and meeting interesting, accomplished individuals. How would Austin rate with those ideas in mind? I appreciate all positive comments, even if the response is not what I am looking for. Please don't respond if you have nasty or sarcastic or empty responses. Thanks again.
I would say this is not a good place for you. Austin is liberal by texas standards but still very conservative. People get married very young here, probably in their early twenties. You may not feel pressure, but everyone around you will be getting married and having kids.

Most people are white, from texas so you wont get very much in the way of varied cultures or people.
 
Old 03-20-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
460 posts, read 605,786 times
Reputation: 329
I think you mean "contingent" and not "contingency" and yes, the state government is conservative socially as well as fiscally. I don't agree with "lipstick on a pig" as the OP was asking about what Austin is like ... as in, what are the people in Austin like. Even the conservatives I know (and we're getting out into the burbs here) are more fiscally conservative than socially, but it's just a matter of degree.

There are people all over Texas who support either or both of a right-wing economic agenda or a right-wing religious agenda. Some of them live in Austin, but it's probably the area least "like that" you'll find in TX. I'm certainly no social conservative and wouldn't have bought in Austin if I felt like I was going to be the only non-Jesus person around.

Quote:
Most people are white,
Incorrect but not by much:

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