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Old 02-04-2010, 08:26 PM
 
197 posts, read 557,870 times
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I'm serious this time.
One of the things driving my husband and I from Seattle is that people here define "Laid back" as "Why try?"
I'm not trying to sound like a snob, but there is a big range between "Laid back, I like to wear jeans to the mall," and "Laid back, I haven't picked up my dog's poop off my lawn in a year."
What kind of "laid back" is Austin?
Also, I keep hearing about the suburbs being conservative and the city being open-minded. "Conservative," as in Fred McMurry, TMC, or "conservative" as in "Mom had better have a 3 foot braid and a fabric-covered Bible?'
Same thing for "Open-minded." "Open-minded," as in "we are friendly to everyone," or "Open-minded, I smoke my marajuana in a thong, so don't judge me?"

Can anyone elaborate on this?
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Austin is more like "oops I tripped and rear ended your pet poodle"

But for a city, it's pretty clean.

I hope that answered your question.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
11,480 posts, read 11,233,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burlshoe114 View Post
I'm serious this time.
One of the things driving my husband and I from Seattle is that people here define "Laid back" as "Why try?"
I'm not trying to sound like a snob, but there is a big range between "Laid back, I like to wear jeans to the mall," and "Laid back, I haven't picked up my dog's poop off my lawn in a year."
What kind of "laid back" is Austin?
Also, I keep hearing about the suburbs being conservative and the city being open-minded. "Conservative," as in Fred McMurry, TMC, or "conservative" as in "Mom had better have a 3 foot braid and a fabric-covered Bible?'
Same thing for "Open-minded." "Open-minded," as in "we are friendly to everyone," or "Open-minded, I smoke my marajuana in a thong, so don't judge me?"

Can anyone elaborate on this?
laid back doesn't mean slacker/procrastinator. It's a state of mind - for lack of a better word, calmness. Of course, we're talking about individuals here, but it seems as if people don't get so frazzled and unnecessarily stressed out here. I work in the legal industry, which goes hand in hand with stress, but things are just more calm, less bureaucratic, a little more intimate. You work hard, but you really do feel like a part of a family. Maybe part of that calmness is due to taking one's time and not obsessing about trivial matters...I don't know.

Conservative is defined here as it would be in other states. Open Minded can be a bit of both of what you described. Both can be found anywhere.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:42 PM
 
522 posts, read 1,276,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattV View Post
Austin is more like "oops I tripped and rear ended your pet poodle"
LMAO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
laid back doesn't mean slacker/procrastinator. It's a state of mind - for lack of a better word, calmness. Of course, we're talking about individuals here, but it seems as if people don't get so frazzled and unnecessarily stressed out here. I work in the legal industry, which goes hand in hand with stress, but things are just more calm, less bureaucratic, a little more intimate. You work hard, but you really do feel like a part of a family. Maybe part of that calmness is due to taking one's time and not obsessing about trivial matters...I don't know.

Conservative is defined here as it would be in other states. Open Minded can be a bit of both of what you described. Both can be found anywhere.
Ditto on this.

Austin is overall very laid back/mellow, but the people varies like anywhere else. You'll have people who are the definition of laid back, and then you have the pot smokers. I have noticed a big difference between Austin and Houston. I prefer Houston for my own reasons, but I have noticed that the work environment in Austin is more relaxed, and it really is a sense of family.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 5,941,651 times
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I have lived in both Seattle (qualify that, Eastside of Seattle in a suburb but know the city well) and Austin (both northeast suburb and Southwest Austin City Limits, worked downtown and husband went to UT) and really loved my time in Austin and am enjoying living in Seattle. So I will do my best to give you some honest comparisons. I get that you may really dislike Seattle at this point and honestly wish I could tell you for your sake that Austin is really different than Seattle but I personally think the "vibe" is pretty similar. Both tech towns, both university towns, both have live music venues and strong artistic communites. Both have large communities into fitness - cycling, triathlon, running. Texans in general are more outgoing and outwardly friendly but yes, still laid back in the same sense of Seattle laid back in Austin proper. Differences? Certainly the topography and the weather are hugely different. Austin centers around either the state government and UT whereas Seattle has many different districts. Seattle is 3x the size, and you will notice that Austin is a much smaller town. Not a bad thing IMO...I rather liked the size but Seattle is a much more diverse population.

The other key thing to remember here is that Austin is still in Texas which is generally a conservative state for the most part. So for Texas, Austin is liberal leaning but relative to say, Boulder, CO (another place I lived near and worked in extensively), which is truly more liberal leaning, it feels more conservative. And for me personally Seattle feels a good bit more liberal than Austin. I say that because I am pretty conservative and was reasonably at home in Austin. Here, less so, though I feel people are still respectful or tolerant of different opinions, but conservatives are in the minority here, no doubt about it. So it will feel more conservative relative to Seattle. Is that bad? I don't think so because I think there is a pretty good live and let live attitude in Austin no matter what side of the fence you fall on.

Both cities have college campuses that are a major presence and you will have your fair share of homelessness in Austin too. I think politically, Washington touches issues that Texans won't really want to touch for a while such as legally assisted death, legalizing marajuana, legal recognition of same sex partnerships and LOL - taxing plastic shopping bags. Whether you think those policies are good or bad, it is relatively progressive to have them on the ballot.

Another key difference and maybe a silly one to some but not me...Austinites in general are not real big on recycling. Most of my neighbors did not recycle in Austin and would put out extra bags of trash. I would physically feel sick every trash day seeing all the trash and I love that in Seattle my trash is 1/5 of what I put on my curb each week when considering recycling, composting and true trash. All my neighbors do it and it is not cheap but the mindset here is truly more focused on the environment. Another issue for me...clean air. Seattle has really clean air and water in comparison and you will miss it. And billboards? I lived in King County for 8 months and could not place why it just seemed so darn clean in Seattle...until a friend told me that billboards taller than 8 feet were against the law. Brilliant idea, unless of course you are new town and want to find Target. You will notice that for sure. Billboards are EVERYWHERE in Austin.

And this should not come across as Austin bashing at all because there are many things I love about Austin. The restaurants and cool little dives there are places I really miss and have yet to replicate in Seattle. And I am speaking of cool places like Waterloo Ice House where adults can hang out with friends while kids play on the playscape. People are still intellectual in Austin but it's not a quality that screams at you like it can in Seattle. I don't think people take themselves as seriously in Austin in their personal lives as they can here. And Texans in general are just the friendliest people you can meet. Austin is a really fun town if you love live music and just living a slower pace of life. And let's not forget the lower cost of living, though you certainly can spend a lot if you want to, you don't have to. I think it's a great place to raise children too should that be on your radar.

From your posts I discern, it's just time for you to do something new and Austin should certainly be high on your list for places to relocate to. It's a very likeable place if you embrace it for what it is. It does have a lot of similarities to Seattle but it's still it's own unique place, just as Seattle is the only Emerald City, love her or hate her. Austin offers a high quality of life for the most part. And hey, you can always move if you don't like it...Austin isn't lacking for residents.

Hope this helps. And if you haven't visited Austin, you need to go. Good luck in your decision! Jennibc, can you chime in??

Last edited by texastrigirl; 02-04-2010 at 09:39 PM..
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 26,481,416 times
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texastrigirl - I think your post is fair. I lived in Seattle for a short period a very long time ago as a child so my experience really doesn't count. But I have been there a fair number of times in recent history (software business).

One thing I'll add about Seattle - it has some terrible traffic - just Austin. And Seattle seems completely uninterested in fixing some of it. The drive to/from Bellevue can be every bit as bad as any in the Austin area.

While you're sitting still, or going 5 miles per hour, it might be nice to have some billboards to look at. Just kidding!
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:06 PM
 
65 posts, read 160,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
One thing I'll add about Seattle - it has some terrible traffic - just Austin. And Seattle seems completely uninterested in fixing some of it. The drive to/from Bellevue can be every bit as bad as any in the Austin area.

While you're sitting still, or going 5 miles per hour, it might be nice to have some billboards to look at. Just kidding!
I think most cities are just as bad but people in Austin (or anywhere else) only know what they know. When I moved to SoCal I found the traffic to be nowhere near as bad as the legend - people simply exaggerate. I've been going up to Austin weekly to explore and house-hunt and the traffic even during rush hour is nowhere near as bad as northside San Antonio, and doesn't even begin to approach Phoenix or Las Vegas, two other cities where I've lived.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
680 posts, read 1,235,330 times
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Texastrigirl nailed it very well. I've spent time in the same places she has and I agree with everything she said. My added comment is about the conservative suburbs, which tend to be more economically conservative in the Seattle area and more Bible-belt conservative around Austin. After all, when you drive more than 10 miles from central Austin you are deep in the heart of Texas and it's a long way to get to any place that isn't dominated by southern Baptist influences (aside from the Catholicism of the Hispanic-dominated areas to the south/southwest.)

Keep in mind that the image you painted of a brand of conservatism embodied in "Mom had better have a 3 foot braid and a fabric-covered Bible" is an anachronism that can scarcely be found anywhere near a city of more than 100,000 people. The suburbs here are mostly prosperous and modern. The Bible Belt has evolved well beyond the 19th century, but the morality is still quite conservative.

Where's the 3-foot-braid reference from? Old movies? Polygamist compounds in southern Utah?
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:25 PM
 
197 posts, read 557,870 times
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Where's the 3-foot-braid reference from? Old movies? Polygamist compounds in southern Utah?[/quote]

Just trying to give an example. The 3-foot braid is just me being silly and I got the visual reference from the Waco Texas cult compound and that Polygamist compound that was raided 2-3 years ago.

I have to admit all my issues with Seattle are not all the city's fault - More bad luck with neighbors. We live in Northern Seattle between Mount Lake Terrace and Lynnwood, and have dealt with:
1.) A neighbor lady who remarried, found God and turned her house next door to us into an unsupervised homeless house which quickly became a crack house for three years until the frequent police calls and neighbor complaints shut it down.
2.) The neighbors on the other side who started out friendly, but then let their twin boys run wild through the neighborhood from the time they were 3-years-old. These boys would seriously open our house door, run in, and refuse to leave. At all hours of the day. If we locked the door, they would ring the doorbell over and over until we came down. At all hours of the day. (6am, anyone?) Same thing for our backyard. They viewed our backyard as their backyard. We asked nicely for years for these neighbors to start respecting our privacy, which got us nowhere. Of course they had a big dog that they would chain in their backyard to a barbeque who would bark and snarl bloody-murder at us every time we went into our own backyard. So we finally ended up spending $7K to build a privacy fence to ultimately keep out the kids and keep us safe from their dog. They took this as a declaration of war, and would have their kids go to their upstairs window and yell profanities at us whenever we went out into our yard. When we finally went to the police about this, they used the "They're just kids," defense and the city of Brier let them off. This went on for YEARS. And not just to us, although we were the ones to get the brunt of it, since we were next door. These people never cleaned their house or their yard, and the house was a total eyesore. Then they decided that since a falling down porch covered in coke cans and a yard full of poop and swearing kids wasn't bad enough, they decided to get "urban chickens." As in they got a chain link dog kennel and filled the thing full of chickens and put a blue tarp over the top of it, and then walked away. After months of this, the chicken dung smell was horrendous and a massive population of rats invaded the neighborhood. All of us neighbors finally went to the mayor about this problem, and the mayor told us to stop harrassing that family. Seriously! Although a county inspector did finally go over there and impose a few health regulations and the rat situation got a little better. It has gotten a little better with these neighbors, too, although they still give us dirty looks whenever they see us, which is just about every time we go to get our mail from the mailbox or are in our backyard.
3.) The beautiful trees which looked so nice when we moved in have crushed three holes in our roof over the years. Our homeowners insurance has literally doubled and my husband has anxiety attacks now whenever the windstorms come. Our neighboor kitty-corner to us had an entire tree fall and crush their house, so I guess we haven't had it too bad in comparison.

We have a baby now, and know we can't be raising a child next to all of this, so we looked around Seattle at better neighborhoods. Our current house appraised for about $370K, but to even come close to a new construction home in a nice neighborhood in Seattle near where we work runs in the $450K price range, and that is for a house with pretty much no yard and one less bedroom. My husband had to dramatically cut back on his work hours to help take care of the baby, so we can't really afford that kind of morgage anymore anyway without living like squirrels in winter.

And then their are the minor things, like during the election year when it was open season on me and my husband for being Republicans in a Democratic city. Do you know how many derrisive and hateful things were said to us "Just in joke?" When I went to management about a coworker who was being especially vicious, they blew me off. Come to find out they all were also Democrats who empathised to the left.

And then there is my commute to work. To get to the freeway, I drive through downtown Mount Lake Terrace for the shortest route. I drive by crumbling cinder block houses, a house where the owner decided to paint giant murals of crying Native Americans on his home, and other such fun things in this "beautiful city."

I agree. It is time for a change. I just don't want to make another mistake.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
7,268 posts, read 16,724,958 times
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Wow burlshoe, I'm not typically a fan of the HOAs that are so prevalent around here in Austin.. but with your terrible experience up there, you may find them positively refreshing. Or you could get a pretty large lot here to be far away from the neighbors. Land is way cheap compared to where you are now...

I can't imagine living next to such horrible neighbors for so long. Life is to short to have to wake up every morning and come home in the evening to a stressful battle with the neighbors. Home should be like a sanctuary. Anyway, I'm sure wherever you decide to go it will be a welcome change!
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