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Old 10-27-2012, 06:03 PM
 
Location: SW Austin & Wimberley
6,208 posts, read 16,027,197 times
Reputation: 5288

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This writer seems to think he's writing some sort of obituary for Austin.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/op...pagewanted=all

Steve

Last edited by austin-steve; 10-27-2012 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,189 posts, read 1,080,457 times
Reputation: 1361
FWIW, I enjoyed the article. (Maybe just for hearing someone's nostalgia for Austin that postdates my own.) But, I also think the thesis falls into the category of those that say "i lived in this place when it was wonderful, at it's height; i wish it would stay that way forever". When I lived in Austin in the early 70s, some people then lamented that the Austin they loved was disappearing. As a relatively sensitive young person, I took what they said seriously, but I thought Austin was great and its future was bright. (That was before the pro-growth crowd prevailed and places like the Bee Caves Road area and Bull Creek got developed.)

While I sympathize with the author's (apparent) feelings, I should also say "welcome to the club". Part of the experience that comes with living a few decades is to see that, while you miss the stuff you loved when you were young, the new crop of young people is finding new things of their own to love.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:45 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,934,796 times
Reputation: 2546
Thought the article was thoroughly obnoxious and factually off base. I'll skip the absurdist Leslie mourning. 2nd Street is nothing like Dallas. I've never heard it compared to Dallas and even if it were, it's still an incredible add and wonderful for the city. The Domain is frequently compared to Dallas, and not my favorite place by any streatch but better than standard Malls. Remember when we built monstrosities set behind acres of parking like Highland Mall, Northcross Mall and Barton Creek Mall? Oh yeah, that was in Austin's "golden age".

The lament about F1 being a departure from "sunshine, tacos, good coffee and better margaritas, Willie Nelson, Longhorn football and barbeque" is nonsensical. None of those things go away because Austin is becoming a more interesting, well rounded, city. Last time I checked we still get plenty of sunshine, the tacos are better than ever, I can name a dozen places off the top of my head that serve outstanding margaritas, Willie is forever as is Longhorn football (if only DeLoss Dodds and Mack Brown would kindly leave... topic for another discussion) and BBQ is better than ever with the addition of Franklin's.

I lived and loved Austin in the slacker era. Hell, Ive been around long enough that I do remember the Alamo Hotel and Armadillo World Headquarters. But it's a better town now than is was by a country mile. I spent many a night at Liberty Lunch and could frequently be found at many lost Austin icons. I survived on the beans and rice Les Amis, gorged on Austins Favorite at Mad Dog and Beans, and enjoyed the best biscuits in the world at the Nighthawk Diner. But I wouldn't go back to the "good ol' days" for nothin'. Those good ol days weren't so good. Downtown was a boarded up ghost town during the day, the sole souce of life being the nightly drunken orgy on 6th Street.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,790 posts, read 39,696,857 times
Reputation: 24218
That's a very perceptive article from someone who lives here. I would love it if Austin had managed to grow and yet still retain more of what it made it a great place to live, different from all the rest.

But there are those (see above) who were dissatisfied, and wanted very much for it to be more like Big City USA with their tall skyscrapers that somehow, to them, meant what a "city" is, and were unable to appreciate what they had. And the very things that we all loved about Austin drew crowds that proceeded to destroy them in the quest for the latest fad. We keep it up, we're going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Joni Mitchell said it best in Big Yellow Taxi: "Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot."
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:48 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,934,796 times
Reputation: 2546
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
That's a very perceptive article from someone who lives here. I would love it if Austin had managed to grow and yet still retain more of what it made it a great place to live, different from all the rest.

But there are those (see above) who were dissatisfied, and wanted very much for it to be more like Big City USA with their tall skyscrapers that somehow, to them, meant what a "city" is, and were unable to appreciate what they had. And the very things that we all loved about Austin drew crowds that proceeded to destroy them in the quest for the latest fad. We keep it up, we're going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Joni Mitchell said it best in Big Yellow Taxi: "Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot."
You have so many things wrong I won't bother to address each. But the pavers of paradise are found in a unholy alliance of ANC nimbys and the suburbanites who perpetrate sprawl, not those of us who advocate density, building upon what's already there.

They are coming. You can go up, you can go out. Staying the same size is not an option.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:54 PM
 
41 posts, read 102,669 times
Reputation: 107
Meh. NYC is not like Miami. Miami is not like Portland. Portland is not like New Orleans. New Orleans is not like Chicago. Chicago is not like San Diego. San Diego is not like Seattle. Austin will not be like any of the above. Cities get bigger but do not blend into one indistinguishable amalgam. The author of the article sounds like he's more fishing for hipster points than anything else.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Austin
1,668 posts, read 3,224,955 times
Reputation: 1068
Who cares what the author thinks. I lived in Austin simply because where else would I have a Beijing native and a Chabad House rabbi as my next door neighbors and could do training up at TSBVI so that someday I can get a career in blind rehab. Those were the weird qualities that suited me fine but would freak out San Antonio to no end whatsoever. I never paid attention to Lance Armstrong or 2nd Street or the Longhorns or whatever else the author was going on and on and on about.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Houston
1,189 posts, read 1,080,457 times
Reputation: 1361
I'm the kind of person that loves that kind of diversity around me. I love that Austin has become more diverse, but that isn't what distinguishes it. For example, I live in Houston and my closest neighbors are from Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Monterrey, India, and many other places. Also, the Chabad House here is a block away.

My point is that many places in the US have become more diverse and continue in that direction. Which is great, in my opinion. However, Austin has a number of strengths in addition that that, which provide opportunities to make it a more interesting and fun place to live.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
8 posts, read 12,985 times
Reputation: 38
Austin will remain 'weird' as long as Texas remains a laisseiz-faire state. As long as the tax rate remains low, we can conceal carry, there is no governmental requirement to start taxing garage sales or private purchases and we can eventually "red light district" our cities (as it was during the times of the Old West) Austin will continue to reap the benefits of being a socially-conscious, liberal (but not elite) city. I live in Houston, but love Austin for its vibe. Unlike Seattle, San Fran and LA with its political violence, intollerance and meth addition, Austin remains tolerant, peaceful (yet lawful), true to its Texas nature.

In Texas we prize our quiet communities, built decades ago on the old County Sheriff's ability to rule his kingdom and "maintain the peace." Austin is very much like it was a century ago: quiet, decadent, rambuncious, with both its hippie culture and modern tech industry.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:02 AM
 
Location: san francisco
2,062 posts, read 3,474,776 times
Reputation: 818
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
That's a very perceptive article from someone who lives here. I would love it if Austin had managed to grow and yet still retain more of what it made it a great place to live, different from all the rest.

But there are those (see above) who were dissatisfied, and wanted very much for it to be more like Big City USA with their tall skyscrapers that somehow, to them, meant what a "city" is, and were unable to appreciate what they had. And the very things that we all loved about Austin drew crowds that proceeded to destroy them in the quest for the latest fad. We keep it up, we're going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Joni Mitchell said it best in Big Yellow Taxi: "Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot."
lady, listen to what you are quoting. "paved paradise and put up a parking lot." that's what they did in the days you claim where Austin was at its greatest... putting up a crapload of parking lots everywhere. these days development is gearing towards making a dense urban and compact city without overlapping its natural environment. This isn't so difficult to understand.
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