U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Austin
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 10-14-2009, 02:04 AM
 
145 posts, read 64,315 times
Reputation: 88

Advertisements

As you may know, I recently transferred to UT from a Dallas university, the city I grew up in. In the five months I've been here, what I've noticed, other than the exaggerated claims of liberalism, is a strong distaste amongst many Austinites in regards to Dallas and a strong degree of conspicuous consumption among many Austinites.

Ironically, the aspect of Dallas life most here seem to despise is the pretentiousness that Dallas (particularly it's northern edge) has become notorious for.

What I find so interesting, and perhaps hypocritical, is that I find Austin has become very pretentious in certain areas, and continues to become more pretentious, according to many Austin natives I've spoken to.

The recent explosion of astronomically-priced apartments and condominiums, chic restaurants, and VIP clubs has definitely given Austin that Dallas/LA feel in many regards. Then, there's the recent uptick in luxury automobiles according to many I've spoken to, as well as generally fashion conscious and fit people, and you can see where I'm going here.

To note, these observations are pretty much confined to downtown, north central Austin, west Austin, and parts of north Austin (Arboretum area). If you want a reality check, go to east Austin, which is still economically disadvantaged, or south Austin, which continues to shun pretentiousness in favor of bohemian artistic expression.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with any of this, because it means that Austin is growing up and becoming a stronger economic significance in Texas as it continues to attract talent from acros the country.

Clearly Austin is not the city it was twenty, ten, or even five years ago. I think residents, as a whole, need to embrace the changes and understand that conspicuous consumption is a byproduct of a successful economy. That said, I question the baseless attacks on Dallas when Austin is guilty of the very same phenomenon.

What do you think?

 
Old 10-14-2009, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,889 posts, read 13,303,134 times
Reputation: 8029
Quote:
Originally Posted by + or - View Post
As you may know, I recently transferred to UT from a Dallas university, the city I grew up in. In the five months I've been here, what I've noticed, other than the exaggerated claims of liberalism, is a strong distaste amongst many Austinites in regards to Dallas and a strong degree of conspicuous consumption among many Austinites.

Ironically, the aspect of Dallas life most here seem to despise is the pretentiousness that Dallas (particularly it's northern edge) has become notorious for.

What I find so interesting, and perhaps hypocritical, is that I find Austin has become very pretentious in certain areas, and continues to become more pretentious, according to many Austin natives I've spoken to.

The recent explosion of astronomically-priced apartments and condominiums, chic restaurants, and VIP clubs has definitely given Austin that Dallas/LA feel in many regards. Then, there's the recent uptick in luxury automobiles according to many I've spoken to, as well as generally fashion conscious and fit people, and you can see where I'm going here.

To note, these observations are pretty much confined to downtown, north central Austin, west Austin, and parts of north Austin (Arboretum area). If you want a reality check, go to east Austin, which is still economically disadvantaged, or south Austin, which continues to shun pretentiousness in favor of bohemian artistic expression.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with any of this, because it means that Austin is growing up and becoming a stronger economic significance in Texas as it continues to attract talent from acros the country.

Clearly Austin is not the city it was twenty, ten, or even five years ago. I think residents, as a whole, need to embrace the changes and understand that conspicuous consumption is a byproduct of a successful economy. That said, I question the baseless attacks on Dallas when Austin is guilty of the very same phenomenon.

What do you think?
I think Austin is much wealthier than it was twenty years ago. I think it is tied to the growth of Dell and the stock option heyday of the 90s. Austin was the home of many startups that reached IPO - then stalled. But their stock option holders made big money for a while. Dell alone created many millionaires.

I do not think there has been any recent uptick in expensive cars. That began a long time ago. The uptick in cars today, if there is one, is in hybrids and other smaller cars. I see more exotic sports cars these days - but no more M-B, Lexus, etc.

The downtown boom is the result of the city government's concerted push to grow the urban core of Austin. Somehow they drove it all with upscale condos, not more affordable. I have doubted for a long time that Austin truly has that many people who want to live downtown in $750K condos. I have no idea if so many people do or not. The economy today probably distorts it all.

But there is plenty of Austin that is not pretentious. Visit a Fry's electronics store. You will see the nerd/geek population out in force - all shopping for computer parts, software, or home theater.

What I do see in Austin vs. Dallas is a different style among the people with money. Austin's rich women don't have big hair. They are fitter. The men are less likely to be wearing a suit. And their Lexus SUV has a bike rack on it.
 
Old 10-14-2009, 08:50 AM
 
2,304 posts, read 3,428,473 times
Reputation: 954
I don't think wealth and pretentiousness can be lumped together as the same thing. I've seen this in the other areas that I've lived especially when I was in College. I definitely use to think that people who purchased Macintosh computers in the 90's were pretentious. I felt that they were just throwing their money away and trying to attain status. Back then Macs were almost twice the cost of an equivalent PC. My friends and I would use "Mac owner" as a derogatory term in College similar to "Yuppie Scum" which was also popular. I realize that it was just us College kids being College kids now.

This topic always brings me back to the South Park "Smug Alert" episode from a few seasons back. You can watch the full episode for free on their website. It's pretty funny in my opinion, but I guess it could be considered somewhat offensive to some people (as most South Park episodes are edgy).

Smug Alert - Episode Guide - South Park Studios

So to answer your question, I don't think Austin is more pretentious than any place else. Dallas seems nice from the few times that I've visited there. I also think that the "exaggerated claims of liberalism" that you speak of are common of the ultra liberal as they historically tend to be more vocal. They are the ones that are putting out the claims in the media. Everyone else here doesn't really care enough to try to stomp down their claims in my opinion.
 
Old 10-14-2009, 08:54 AM
 
7,677 posts, read 8,122,553 times
Reputation: 11524
I lived in Austin in the 80's and found much of what the OP said to be true even then. To me it was the "hipper than thou" vibe that I found oppresive. But to each his/her own.
 
Old 10-14-2009, 09:18 AM
 
715 posts, read 802,526 times
Reputation: 625
I've been here 25 years and yes, I see that there is more pretentiousness than in years past. Then again, there are a whole lot more people here now from all sorts of different places. We made our first trip to the Domain last weekend and hubby and I said "who are these people?" Many seemed expensively dressed and tooling around in Escalades,etc. Back in the parking lot, we noticed plates from all over the place so assume they are newcomers. By the way, quite a few California plates.
 
Old 10-14-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Texas
910 posts, read 1,463,660 times
Reputation: 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by + or - View Post
As you may know, I recently transferred to UT from a Dallas university, the city I grew up in. In the five months I've been here, what I've noticed, other than the exaggerated claims of liberalism, is a strong distaste amongst many Austinites in regards to Dallas and a strong degree of conspicuous consumption among many Austinites.

Ironically, the aspect of Dallas life most here seem to despise is the pretentiousness that Dallas (particularly it's northern edge) has become notorious for.

What I find so interesting, and perhaps hypocritical, is that I find Austin has become very pretentious in certain areas, and continues to become more pretentious, according to many Austin natives I've spoken to.

The recent explosion of astronomically-priced apartments and condominiums, chic restaurants, and VIP clubs has definitely given Austin that Dallas/LA feel in many regards. Then, there's the recent uptick in luxury automobiles according to many I've spoken to, as well as generally fashion conscious and fit people, and you can see where I'm going here.

To note, these observations are pretty much confined to downtown, north central Austin, west Austin, and parts of north Austin (Arboretum area). If you want a reality check, go to east Austin, which is still economically disadvantaged, or south Austin, which continues to shun pretentiousness in favor of bohemian artistic expression.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with any of this, because it means that Austin is growing up and becoming a stronger economic significance in Texas as it continues to attract talent from acros the country.

Clearly Austin is not the city it was twenty, ten, or even five years ago. I think residents, as a whole, need to embrace the changes and understand that conspicuous consumption is a byproduct of a successful economy. That said, I question the baseless attacks on Dallas when Austin is guilty of the very same phenomenon.

What do you think?
Although many here won't admit it, Dallas and Austin are VERY similar. Austin is probably more like Dallas than any other city in the country. In many ways Austin is just a smaller Dallas with a more college-town feel to it.

Austin's reputation is still shaped by what it was in the 70's and 80's. Those times are long gone. People here need to get over that.

By the way, welcome to Austin.
 
Old 10-14-2009, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
5,002 posts, read 9,901,482 times
Reputation: 3497
I'm going to disagree. I know a lot of people who are financially secure and you wouldn't know it based on where they live, what they drive or what they wear. If anything, I'd say the wealthy in Austin hide it better than most places. We are certainly not a "dress up and be seen" type of community as I can think of few places where sandals, shorts and a tee-shirt would not be welcome attire. We are one of the worst cities in the U.S., per capita, for the sale of Men's suits.

Quote:
I find Austin has become very pretentious in certain areas, and continues to become more pretentious, according to many Austin natives I've spoken to.
Which areas in particular are you finding to be pretentious? What are the specific indicators you've observed?

It sounds like you're not finding pretentiousness, but simply hearing about it. That's not valid research. Go live your life and make your own observations.

I don't think Austin is that different than any other average U.S. city with regard to consumer consumption, which is the most direct indicator of "pretentiousness", in my opinion. In fact, until just recently (past 5 years), Austin was undeserved by high-end retail establishments. There was a good article explaining why a few years ago in the Austin Business Journal.

When high-end retailers look at demographics and purchase habits of an area, Austin simply came up short. In other words, Austinites were not spend-happy enough in the luxury categories to warrant the establishment of high end retail operations. Yes, we had a few, but not in proportion with cities such as Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, etc.

Recently, we've seen that shift a bit, with the Domain, Hill Country Galleria, etc., but I see that as a normal result of affluence reaching a critical mass in the Metro area, not a sign of "pretentiousness".

So, I'll have to say Austin remains laid back, relaxed and unpretentious, if anything. Sure, there are anecdotal examples one could hold up of specific instances (i.e. - my neighbor drives a Hummer), but I'm talking on the whole. Austin is about as real and down to earth as it gets, in my opinion.
Steve
 
Old 10-14-2009, 10:08 AM
 
291 posts, read 442,465 times
Reputation: 201
Dallas is an ugly, inexpensive sprawl where you can make really good money. Austin is a pretty city that is expensive to live in with lower pay and less career opportunities. People who like material things are going to be drawn to Dallas because it allows them to live that lifestyle. Just look at the places really high end retailers open - it usually goes NY, LA, then Dallas.

Just the fact that you can wear shorts to 90% of the restaraunts here should clue people in. If you think this place is pretentious, I doubt you've ever lived in a major city.
 
Old 10-14-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,889 posts, read 13,303,134 times
Reputation: 8029
I think this pretentiousness talk is silly.

Many come here and complain that Austin doesn't have the shopping, the glamour, the museums, etc. that NY, LA, Dallas, Boston, etc. have.

We have a Nordstroms. We have yuppie Chinese with PF Changs. But even if the image of Austin national magazines write about isn't quite accurate this is not a pretentious city.

We have minor league baseball.
 
Old 10-14-2009, 10:32 AM
 
367 posts, read 424,819 times
Reputation: 222
I will agree with the person who said Austin has more in common with Dallas than it likes to admit. However, I would limit this to geography and climate.

Although many Austin residents like to claim they are like CA, its more like Dallas/Houston from a geography and climate standpoint. Its landlocked, hot, and has alot of suburbs that are similar to the suburbs in Houston and Dallas. Austin is hilly, pretty, or expensive by Texas standards, but really not much more so than Dallas/Houston.

I will disagree with the term pretentious. I think Austin is a much more laid back place to live than Dallas, and I believe this is driven by the UT -college town factor. To me Dallas is a wanna-be LA, where there is more of a hippy-dippy element to Austin.

I think I would describe more annoying Austin attitude as "smug". I particularly find the smugness annoying from people, who have never lived anywhere else outside of the area, who consider it some kind of Shangri-La

And yes, I have lived in both Dallas and Austin.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Austin

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top