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Old 10-31-2012, 09:16 PM
 
243 posts, read 229,357 times
Reputation: 166

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Quote:
Originally Posted by N. Olikee View Post
Can we just get over the whole "weird" thing which WASN'T weird when I came here over and over again back...........well, way back when.

The "weird" thing has become a cottage industry.....taken up by other cities that want to be "weird." ICK!

I'm all for progress.....and progressing.....

As I've said many times, Austin is going through what Houston did in the '70s and Dallas did in the '80s.

Progression..............it's a good thing!
Those other cities stole from us!

I think when people say "Keep Austin Weird" they really mean retain Austin's unique culture. Not turn Austin into San Francisco's little sister.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:06 PM
 
41 posts, read 103,123 times
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Quote:
A few lucky of us who bought in early enough and the new Californians get to enjoy the center while Austin becomes more like Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix with each new resident.
I agree with this, and I would like to hear some type of workable solution of where to put all of the new people, if not central and not sprawled out in suburbia. I do like the idea of having 4 story multi-family units, with architecture similar to that of the French Quarter. I think this could work very well in places like the east side - near downtown but not right in it. It would create enough density to be walkable but still have character. I think they would be a waste of space in downtown itself though. It's not like downtown is some quaint residential village anyway, and I'm not hearing any compelling arguments for not increasing density there.

I move here from Philadelphia for family reasons. I like Austin quite a bit and am a full supporter of not losing what funk and flair is left. I have to say though, that the car-culture here and the urban landscape it creates (strip malls anyone?) is not my idea of keeping it funky. I do see Austin at a bit of a turning point - does it move towards Seattle, Portland, San Francisco density or Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta sprawl? I unfortunately think it will be the latter. Density is usually not a choice - it comes from a city being built out before the automobile or having unique geographic features such as mountains or oceans that by necessity limit the sprawl. Cities that do not have these tend to spread out unless a concerted effort is made to have this not be the case. Having spent time in all of the cities I mentioned, I can say that the dense ones, to me, were infinitely more interesting, vibrant, youthful, energetic and alive. The sprawling ones appeared to be suburbia configured in a rough approximation of a city. No thanks.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:17 AM
 
Location: SW Austin & Wimberley
6,208 posts, read 16,089,537 times
Reputation: 5289
Quote:
Originally Posted by austinrebel View Post
Those other cities stole from us!

I think when people say "Keep Austin Weird" they really mean retain Austin's unique culture. ...
I think "weird" means, in short, "accepting of non-standard people and their impulsive quirks and strange ideas and/or appearance". Perhaps it's a form of tolerance or indifference to others being who and what they want to be. I think it really all started when Willie and the Rednecks and Hippies all decided that they could hang together and drink and listen to each other's music. We don't have a current version of that level of social crossover integration happening today.

In order for weirdness, whatever its precise definition, to thrive, Austin must be affordable, inviting and accommodating to the weirdos who form its underpinnings. This includes a lot of the service industry employees, musicians, artists and the "slacker" culture who seek to work enough just to get by and support their chosen lifestyle - for now. It's not us 1980s slackers who have grown up and have kids in high school and college to pay for. It's not the well employed tech crowd who need a hipster $5 coffee house to sit at while staring into a glowing gorilla glass screen and not talking to anyone.

In the mid-1980s when I was still in my early 20s, me and my best friend were both Dominos Pizza managers. We shared a 4 bedroom house near Westgate/Berkley with three waitresses who all worked at the Tavern. We had two cars and a motorcycle between us all, rent was $450/mo split 5 ways, and a large 1-topping Dominos Pizza was $10.40 with tax (which is about what it still costs today).

We all drank and partied heavily 24/7 and enjoyed the cheap living and fun times Austin offered. A lot of the pizza delivery guys were musicians who worked a few shifts a week and got through life in Austin just fine on the tips and small wages. Personally, I don't remember ever being "broke", even though I made very little money.

Today I manage a rental across the street from my old house near Westgate. Same exact floorplan. Tenants are paying $1,450/mo split 3 ways. They are all musicians. There's no way they could hold down the same jobs we did in the 1980s and get by as well. They all have regular wage jobs. Everything is much more expensive, relative to the incomes available in service sector tip jobs. Plus, we didn't have Internet, iPhones, websites, etc. to pay for and maintain. Gas food and beer was about it. And it didn't cost $90 for a ticket to a touring band show. You could just loiter outside Antones (when it was still on Guadalupe) or Liberty Lunch, etc. and listen.

Today, if my 1980s roommate crew was in a house in south or north central Austin, some ANC bluehair would be down at the city council griping that we're living in a "stealth dorm" party house and that something needs to be done about it. And council will be happy to oblige with some new regulation (like the metered parking in west campus) to further squash the soul of Austin and make it more mainstream and "family friendly". Meanwhile, they let SoCo business parking and foot traffic completely invade the neighborhoods off S. Congress. It's just all screwed up and backward.

I don't know the answer to this problem of where to house the people who form the ingredients of Austin "weirdness". Certainly not in downtown condos. Central housing won't get cheaper, regulations won't be reduced, cost of living will keep going up. Weirdness will decline and pretentiousness and conspicuous consumption will rise. And if I don't move downtown into the middle of it all, I'll probably just retire to Leander and visit Austin every now and then.

Steve
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
9,421 posts, read 9,361,160 times
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Where to put all the people? Why, right here - a little cell in a big box for everyone...easier for the government to keep track of and control.

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Old 11-01-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
9,421 posts, read 9,361,160 times
Reputation: 8604
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
In other words, encourage the goal to gut the center city and turn it into nothing but apartments, condos, and skyscrapers. Just charming.
The Eastern Bloc of the Soviet Empire was pretty good at that, except for the skyscrapers.

See my previous post.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Not Moving
970 posts, read 1,653,986 times
Reputation: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by austinrebel View Post
Those other cities stole from us!

I think when people say "Keep Austin Weird" they really mean retain Austin's unique culture. Not turn Austin into San Francisco's little sister.
I think they are people here....in Austin proper............who want to keep it the same as it was? Way back when?

Ain't happenin'................

So, accept that and move forward. Embrace what is worth "embracing", and hold your nose with the rest. Fight what is "worth" fighting for, and live with it.

Yep........"weird / unique"......get it............got it.........really got it.....And, yes, "they stole from us."
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:58 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,951,865 times
Reputation: 2546
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
Where to put all the people? Why, right here - a little cell in a big box for everyone...easier for the government to keep track of and control.
Nice straw man, but No one is advocating this. For an example of what a dense but very livable city looks like - look at Vancouver. It is stunningly gorgeous.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
1,598 posts, read 2,041,601 times
Reputation: 2532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Nice straw man, but No one is advocating this. For an example of what a dense but very livable city looks like - look at Vancouver. It is stunningly gorgeous.
But as a previous poster pointed out, it is how it is because of its geography. The Austin metropolitan area has no such geographic restriction.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Not Moving
970 posts, read 1,653,986 times
Reputation: 500
CANNOT compare Austin to Vancouver.......apples to oranges.......and thankfully, I don't live there over the winter!

AND......btw...........I was in Eastern Europe when it was under the Soviets.....bad.....bad....bad.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:38 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,951,865 times
Reputation: 2546
Quote:
Originally Posted by rah62 View Post
But as a previous poster pointed out, it is how it is because of its geography. The Austin metropolitan area has no such geographic restriction.
Geographical restrictions don't factor into how tall a building can be, how much parking is required, the city set-back requirements and a thousand other details that factor into good development. These are all factors the city controls through its zoning and regulatory process.

The idea that we can't influence where development takes places is somewhat ludicrous as that is exactly what we're doing right now. The city policies guaranty the only place for people to go is to the suburbs. Doesn't have to be that way, but that's where it is going. Austin Metro Area is 1.7M and growing at roughly 6% a year. Even if this growth rate reverts to the mean we still will add 3/4 of a Million people in next decade or so.

The CBD may add another 10K. The projected high growth corridors maybe another 40.

That means 700K coming to the suburbs. Houston.
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