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Old 05-27-2010, 04:00 AM
Location: Austin, TX
8,584 posts, read 17,251,722 times
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Originally Posted by rogramjet View Post
While the hills around it are pretty, they are not actually Austin, and not accessible by most of the ugliness wandering most of this city.
They are most definitely in Austin, right in the city limits, and that's what makes the setting so unique to Texas. Perhaps you are thinking of San Antonio, with the hill country outside of the city? Anyway, just google Mt Bonnell, Shepard Mountain, Judge's Hill, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Pennybacker Bridge, etc. and you'll get up to speed.

Doctorjef's point is not so much a slam on Ft. Worth. Lubbock is actually quite impressive for a city its size, with a decent road system and more museums than you would expect. Plus with the cowboy/western vibe, it's very easy to see how Ft Worth could be considered a "bigger Lubbock". Again, it's no dig on FW -- I think that's the identity they are going for.

Austin is just a different animal, can't really be compared to anywhere in DFW or Houston. It's got the road infrastructure of a small town, which causes the traffic everyone complains about (although they are really only referring to two roads -- I 35 and Mopac, and just during rush hour). At the same time, you'll see FAR more people on bikes and walking in Austin, since it has the most walkable neighborhoods (in Texas, anyway) and the densest zip code... plus with the topography of hills, greenbelts, and the Colorado river running right through the heart of the city, it just has a different look and feel from the typical TX cities. Not saying it's better, cause it does have it's problems, but it's not really the kind of city you would compare to FW, or even Dallas or Houston for that matter.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:52 AM
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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I've lived as a teen and youngadult in Lubbock, as an adult in Fort Worth, Austin, Beaumont, Mineral Wells. As a child I also lived in Corpus Christi, Dallas, rural Denton County. Additionally I have had family in Tyler and Winkler County. Obviously when living in Fort Worth as an adult I also got well familiar with Dallas and to varying extents with the various Tarrant County burbs. I've driven all over the state, both on vacations and commutes between Austin and Lubbock and Beaumont and Austin, and Austin and San Antonio. For overall quality of life Austin beats anywhere else in the state. I didn't just come down with yesterday's rain. And BTW, northern Delaware - which is on the Appalachian Piedmont - totally beats anywhere in Texas for its rolling, pastoral beauty and its diverse multi-species forestation, while our beaches downstate are never more than two hours away from the farthest point. And if you once drove through on I-95, which only cuts through a small section of the state, you haven't seen Delaware at all. As far as the view from the train, maybe the above poster was thinking of the outskirts of Philly, especially North Philly; or hasn't been through Wilmington, DE since the riots of 1968. The downtown is neat and clean; the historic turn of the 20th Century train station (from which I frequently travel to NYC) is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar restoration and renovation that will be complete at the end of this year.

As to the attitude of other Texans toward Austin, I've found they either love it, hate it or are totally indifferent to it. If you are an intrinsically conservative and straight-laced person who isn't youth-oriented, has no aesthetic eye for the Hill Country topography and flora, hates "libruls", and can't get into the funky vibe of Austin, you will naturally hate the place. Many Texans seem to resent Austin and Austinites, and probably to secretly envy - I was going to say "us" - them.

I didn't start out to dis any Texas city. Frankly I find Dallas and Houston to be largely nightmarish because way too big and freeway-dominated; Lubbock and Fort Worth to have real assets to commend them but to have been rather provincial, boring and/or frustrating places to live; San Antonio to have a lot of charm but too big and sprawling and too conservative. They all have good things, as well as disadvantages. On balance, as I've said, Fort Worth is probably the most liveable out of a comparison with Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Lubbock, as well as every other Texas city -- except Austin.

Finally, I will concede that as Austin grew, I was able to adjust my situation so that I was able to live and work in the same part of town and that I adjusted my commutes for consulting so that I would avoid bad traffic; ditto times for going out to eat. The main problem with driving in Austin is crossing over from South Austin through the immediate downtown-Central Austin stretch at rush hour times. That mile or two can be a real bottleneck, whether on Lamar, MoPac or I-35 (I would avoid I-35 altogether because it backs up worst of all); but you can avoid those problems most of the time through various strategies. I've lived both in the suburbs of Austin and in South-Central Austin. I'd never live in the burbs again, but was very happy living in two different homes north of Ben White and south of Oltorf, both just a few blocks off South Lamar.

Last edited by doctorjef; 05-27-2010 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:23 AM
200 posts, read 420,681 times
Reputation: 291
To one of you: yes, I would never put Austin in the league of Dallas, Fort Worth, or Houston - EVER!

To the other one: isn't Delaware just the giant parking lot to the Walmart in southern Jersey?
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:59 AM
Location: NE Tarrant County, TX
394 posts, read 1,142,099 times
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Originally Posted by rogramjet View Post
Having lived in Fort Worth, San Francisco, and now Austin, I would say Austin is the overrated Lubbock. Not Fort Worth. I'd give Lubbock more points than Austin. Austin has an oddly misplaced perception amongst those that don't know better and read forums like this. It's a vast traffic-filled, ugly strip mall, poorly governed, over property taxed, psuedo-city flooded with homeless zombies and poorly washed 20 somethings. It's the the worst city in Texas, by far. While the hills around it are pretty, they are not actually Austin, and not accessible by most of the ugliness wandering most of this city. However, any city in Texas is better than any place in Delaware...! Been there on Amtrak traveling from NYC to DC. Wow, Delaware - super scary...!
My sister lives in Austin and when we visit we spend all of our time at her home in Bee Cave. The time spent outside of her home (coming to town or leaving town) is spent sitting in traffic. Austin has a great reputation, but I've been beating myself up recently for not really seeing much to like there. I mean, everyone is supposed to appreciate Austin, right ?

I guess Austin is truly more "happening" than Ft. Worth, but that's fine, I suppose. Like many others I have spent significant time in most of America's largest cities and find that Fort Worth suits me just fine for now.

For the record, I'm not convinced that Texas has anything close to the altogether stupendousness of San Francisco - love that place!

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Old 05-27-2010, 10:05 AM
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Well, this is the thing -- Bee Cave is NOT Austin. You have to get in and out of town and unless you know the rhythms and have the flexibility to adjust accordingly, you will probably do a lot of sitting in traffic. I DETEST traffic, so have structured my life to avoid it as much as possible for a very long time now. I also hate freeways, which is one reason I wouldn't live in a place like Houston or Dallas. It is possible to live in Austin and not spend much time sitting in traffic, but to do so you need to live and work on the same side of town, actually live IN town and not out in the burbs, know the back ways and short cuts, and structure your leisure/going-out activities to avoid high traffic times (or else be patient). I'd also recommend making use of 360/Capital of TX Hwy in preference to MoPac wherever feasible. Also within town I know that the narrowness of many Austin streets tends to freak out people unused to them. My parents were living in Lubbock when I was an undergrad at UT and I vividly recall my dad's consernation at the narrowness of the streets west of campus -- after the super-wide streets of the Hub, he had a hard time negotiating the narrow Austin side streets. But one rapidly adjusts to these things. When I lived in Vilnius, Lithuania there were streets in the old town where drivers had to climb partially up on the sidewalk in order to get past one another -- it's just the way it is.
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:43 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,864 posts, read 59,904,182 times
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This thread has gotten way off topic, now arguing abouit Austin. Closed until the FW mod can review.
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