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Old 12-02-2013, 10:41 PM
 
25 posts, read 63,745 times
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Now that I think about it, I really just enjoy SA's downtown atmosphere a lot more... in addition to being more ped friendly and historically, culturally, and ascetically pleasing.

Weird, huh?

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Old 12-28-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Katy-zuela
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The Riverwalk is more pedestrian friendly and the city is more tourist oriented. There is not much to see in Austin besides the requisite State Capitol, Governor's Mansion, and 6th Street.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KerrTown View Post
The Riverwalk is more pedestrian friendly and the city is more tourist oriented. There is not much to see in Austin besides the requisite State Capitol, Governor's Mansion, and 6th Street.
I would say that SA's is better below street level and Austin's is better as street level. Riverwalk is like being in the center of a city without even realizing it. It is enjoyable but extremely tourist focused which limits its appeal to locals.

OTOH DT Austin you can see movies at the Paramount, Ritz and Violet Crown; do shopping on 2nd street; hit the hike and bike trail (coming soon with boardwalk extension); go to a concert at ACL; hit the convention center; or go to the warehouse district or Rainey Street for drinks and specialties from the food carts.

From a safety perspective I don't think either one has the advantage at street level but SA certainly has the advantage with Riverwalk (of course driverless cars will mostly solve that problem but that is another thread)......Which gets me back to an older idea of creating a walking district in DT Austin, something that hasn't been seriously considered.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Center City
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Like most Texas towns, Austin went the way of other sun belt cities and tore down its old historical architecture downtown and replaced it with new but sterile properties. In San Antonio, the boom has had much less of an impact. While it hasn't been great for SA's economy, it has left it a charming city and Texas's best to explore by foot (and I'm not talking soley about the Riverwalk).

Compare Commerce Street in SA: http://goo.gl/maps/n9ZpZ
. . . with Congress Ave in Austin: http://goo.gl/maps/LnHvn

Walking around SA offers a more intimate experience, and you know you're there when you're there. The streets of Austin exude this generic combination of sunbelt meets mid-west vibe and one could be pretty much anywhere.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 01-01-2014 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
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^^ I thought Austin kept a significant amount of historic and beautiful Victorian/early 20th century architecture on it's main streets. The thing about Austin is that (judging from the size/ height/density of old buildings), it had/has a relatively smaller scale historic downtown.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:57 PM
 
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Austin has very few historic buildings of note. It wasn't nearly the same city San Antonio was 100 years ago.

And yes, San Antonio has the River Walk with is fantastic in the sense that it is a very pleasant stroll.

But San Antonio's appeal is very paper thin unfortunately, downtown almost exclusively a tourist/convention center trap.

Austin's nascent urbanism is actually much better. In the past, the downtown was a ghost town but no more. It is alive with lots of different folks doing a lot of different things at all times of the day.

It has it's fair share of faults - Dirty 6th Street is a disaster. . . the Congress Avenue beautification done in the 80s needs to be ripped out and replaced with great streets treatment. . .just about every single down town street in Austin is 4 12' lanes wide one-way couplets and that desperately needs to be changed. I could list half a dozen or more other faults.

But on the whole, Austin is doing better things to make downtown a real place than San Antonio is doing. Both have a long long long ways to go before being truly great though.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,949 posts, read 7,612,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Like most Texas towns, Austin went the way of other sun belt cities and tore down its old historical architecture downtown and replaced it with new but sterile properties. In San Antonio, the boom has had much less of an impact. While it hasn't been great for SA's economy, it has left it a charming city and Texas's best to explore by foot (and I'm not talking soley about the Riverwalk).

Compare Commerce Street in SA: http://goo.gl/maps/n9ZpZ
. . . with Congress Ave in Austin: http://goo.gl/maps/LnHvn

Walking around SA offers a more intimate experience, and you know you're there when you're there. The streets of Austin exude this generic combination of sunbelt meets mid-west vibe and one could be pretty much anywhere.
San Antonio (at least specifically there- never been) looks to have a real appealing scale and great historical architecture remaining. It reminds me of the historic Gas Lamp Quarter here in San Diego. I've heard, or rather read here on CD that San Antonio is amongst the best or most appealing walking city in Texas- along with Ft. Worth (again, at least parts of it). Would those who know consider that to be the case?
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,869 posts, read 7,818,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
San Antonio (at least specifically there- never been) looks to have a real appealing scale and great historical architecture remaining. It reminds me of the historic Gas Lamp Quarter here in San Diego. I've heard, or rather read here on CD that San Antonio is amongst the best or most appealing walking city in Texas- along with Ft. Worth (again, at least parts of it). Would those who know consider that to be the case?
One of my regrets from my time in Texas was that I never got to Fort Worth. I too have heard nice things about that city. IMO, none of the Texas cities offer a neighborhood with as extensive stretch of vibrancy as San Diego's Gaslamp district. That said, I find San Antonio a much more interesting city to explore by foot than Austin. In addtion to the historical downtown, most people don't know that only a small part of the Riverwalk is commercial. It extends through beautiful neighborhoods both north and south form the central downtown. The King William neighborhood to the south is particularly charming with homes dating back over 100 years: City of San Antonio | Official Web Site - Historic Preservation. The Riverwalk also connects to an enclosed downtown mall with a Macy's, a 9 screen cinema and stuff like that. A few walkable blocks to the west of the CBD is Market Square: http://goo.gl/maps/cVq4O.

Austin may be a better place to live, but for a tourist (and particularly one on foot), I'd recommend SA over Austin in a heartbeat. Austin has a good rep, but to me, it feels like any other sunbelt city.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:59 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,719,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
One of my regrets from my time in Texas was that I never got to Fort Worth. I too have heard nice things about that city. IMO, none of the Texas cities offer a neighborhood with as extensive stretch of vibrancy as San Diego's Gaslamp district. That said, I find San Antonio a much more interesting city to explore by foot than Austin. In addtion to the historical downtown, most people don't know that only a small part of the Riverwalk is commercial. It extends through beautiful neighborhoods both north and south form the central downtown. The King William neighborhood to the south is particularly charming with homes dating back over 100 years: City of San Antonio | Official Web Site - Historic Preservation. The Riverwalk also connects to an enclosed downtown mall with a Macy's, a 9 screen cinema and stuff like that. A few walkable blocks to the west of the CBD is Market Square: http://goo.gl/maps/cVq4O.

Austin may be a better place to live, but for a tourist (and particularly one on foot), I'd recommend SA over Austin in a heartbeat. Austin has a good rep, but to me, it feels like any other sunbelt city.
Austin despite its rep, is EXACTLY like any other sunbelt city. But so is San Antonio, big time. Both have a relatively interesting core, but outside of that area is nothing but sprawl. If anything, SA is worse on this scale, but not by much - they're both poster children for the worst kind of sprawl there is.

SA has the River Walk, but if you want something beyond standard tourist stuff, better off in Austin.

King William is one of the very best neighborhoods there is anywhere in the US. But it's not really part of Downtown.
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