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Old 11-07-2009, 02:56 AM
 
96 posts, read 93,167 times
Reputation: 56
Default Yet Another Dallas vs. Austin Question

Sorry, guys. My family and I are planning on moving to Texas from Connecticut. We used to live in NYC and while I really got fed up with the hustle, bustle, my husband and I liked the ability to just walk anywhere we wanted to go.

We then moved to Westchester, NY which is much more car-dependent and we didn't like it as much. Also, the food choices were pretty much limited to Italian and more Italian. There were synagogues everywhere, yet no decent bagel to be had -- what's up with that?

Now, we've been here for three years in (downtown) Greenwich, CT and we do like it more than the other places in which we have lived. It's a very nice mixture of town and country, having sidewalks which will take me to the library, grocery store, train station -- just about anywhere as long as I am willing to haul it a bit. The food is also pretty good with a lot of international offering.

Speaking of international, we have a lot of people in town from all over the world and I have found that I like meeting people from different cultures. Nothing really important but just thought I'd mention it.

Also, we now have two little preschool children so being somewhere with a good library, public services (good swimming pools or summer programs, etc.) and parks/playgrounds would be great.

I don't mind college towns, per se, but I would like to avoid too much college kids partying and so forth. And we're not really into live music scenes. We're leaning towards Austin because I think it's a little less car-dependent than Dallas and maybe a little more like New England in political views (though we're not really left wing). We're looking at a couple of apartment complexes in Westlake for the Eanes schools. They seem to be right on Mopac and Capital of Texas Highway. Would that kill all chances of walking anywhere? The one on Mopac supposedly faces Greenbelt and the other is across the street from some giant mall anchored by a Nordstrom's.

Some people might suggest we choose Dallas for career aspirations but that wouldn't be a factor in our selection. I have been to Dallas and the people were very friendly and the food seemed pretty good, too. The one detracting thing I noticed was that there would be stretches of road with strip malls or maybe some empty lots that kind of made it neither a small town nor a big city -- a sort of non-descript street you might find anywhere (e.g. Tulsa, OK; Orland, FL, Gary, IN). Just seemed to lack character. As I write, it occurs to me that maybe I subconsciously like the old/historical feeling/architecture of the Northeast.

Sorry for the long soliloquy on all things I do and don't like about my past towns. Please let me know what you guys think about Austin or Dallas for my family.

Thank you!
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:06 AM
 
96 posts, read 93,167 times
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Hmm. Maybe should have posted this in the Texas forum.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Austin
4,172 posts, read 7,252,328 times
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For the most part, unless you're right in the heart of Austin, you're probably not going to want to "walk" everywhere. Crossing a main street to get to the mall is dangerous. Many intersections do not have crosswalks. However, if you're into biking, that's another story. People ride their bikes everywhere and that would make you less dependent on a car.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
15,950 posts, read 21,004,103 times
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You would not be likely to be walking much of anywhere (except, possibly, to Zilker Park and the Barton Creek Greenbelt from the one you say faces Greenbelt), if you're thinking of walking to shopping, in that area. (I used to live in that area and still own a house there and so am there frequently and think I know where you're speaking of.)

If you're set on Eanes schools, the most walkable area that I know of in that school district would be a small part of the Rollingwood area.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:39 AM
 
8,241 posts, read 9,883,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akpack View Post

We then moved to Westchester, NY which is much more car-dependent and we didn't like it as much.

We're leaning towards Austin because I think it's a little less car-dependent than Dallas and maybe a little more like New England in political views (though we're not really left wing). We're looking at a couple of apartment complexes in Westlake for the Eanes schools. They seem to be right on Mopac and Capital of Texas Highway. Would that kill all chances of walking anywhere? The one on Mopac supposedly faces Greenbelt and the other is across the street from some giant mall anchored by a Nordstrom's.

Some people might suggest we choose Dallas for career aspirations but that wouldn't be a factor in our selection. I have been to Dallas and the people were very friendly and the food seemed pretty good, too. The one detracting thing I noticed was that there would be stretches of road with strip malls or maybe some empty lots that kind of made it neither a small town nor a big city -- a sort of non-descript street you might find anywhere (e.g. Tulsa, OK; Orland, FL, Gary, IN). Just seemed to lack character. As I write, it occurs to me that maybe I subconsciously like the old/historical feeling/architecture of the Northeast.

Sorry for the long soliloquy on all things I do and don't like about my past towns. Please let me know what you guys think about Austin or Dallas for my family.

Thank you!

I started to C&P your post, but it basically boils down to this- unless you live in a 10 square block of downtown Austin (with the $$ tag to pay for it) Austin's walkability is nothing like NYC, Boston or even DC. It's a beautiful city, but car independent we are not. Also, our suburbs tend to look like Dallas'.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
2,044 posts, read 2,234,070 times
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No offense to you, original poster, but based on everything you've said about what you're looking for and what you're used to, you might actually be better off in a California city like San Francisco. If you do come to Austin or Dallas, you will need to adjust your expectations quite a bit because neither city is walkable.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:52 AM
 
25,170 posts, read 32,331,706 times
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Are you kidding me? Austin is a much tinier city than Dallas. I'm not sure how you picked up on your observation of it being one road town with nothing but retail. LOL
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:37 AM
 
96 posts, read 93,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passionatearts View Post
No offense to you, original poster, but based on everything you've said about what you're looking for and what you're used to, you might actually be better off in a California city like San Francisco. If you do come to Austin or Dallas, you will need to adjust your expectations quite a bit because neither city is walkable.
Thank you. Yes, you would be right. But California is not in the cards. Dallas and Austin are.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:39 AM
 
96 posts, read 93,167 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by artsyguy View Post
Are you kidding me? Austin is a much tinier city than Dallas. I'm not sure how you picked up on your observation of it being one road town with nothing but retail. LOL
Not that it was a cow-town. Just that there would be these non-descript stretches of road that kind of looked like anywhere USA.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:48 AM
 
96 posts, read 93,167 times
Reputation: 56
I started replying each post, but I guess I should do it in one posting instead.

So, are there bike paths everywhere around Austin, including the southwest (Westlake) area to downtown?

Downtown Austin is not in the Eanes school district, right?

TexasHorseLady -- do you know if the two apartment complexes I am considering would be too loud from the highway traffic? We would like to look for a house after about a year so I thought apartments would be the most efficient/economical way to go about it. Do you recommend something else in Rollingwood?

Thank you.
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