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you complement Austin to any long-time resident, you have an excellent
chance of hearing "you should've seen it in the 60s" or " 70s" - or
any of a number of variations on that theme. In fact it's become a
sore point with a lot of younger Austinites who have grown tired of
hearing it. Nevertheless, it's true. The Austin lifestyle has always
been more "laid back" over other Texas cities - and to a certain degree
it's still true. The two negative factors in Austin are traffic congestion
and population - the roots from which all other minor problems stem.
Austin has traditionally had a fondness for the outdoors. The Colorado
River (as Town Lake) bisects the town and remains one of the most
under-appreciated bodies of water in the state. Spring-fed Barton
Springs is second only to Balmorhea as far as a dream swimming
pool. Feel for the young native Austinite who travels to distant cities
to discover they don't all have blue/ green water crossing main street
or that they can't canoe in the shade of overhanging trees. The river
has traditionally served as a line separating "unconventional" South
Austin from the business district and the neighborhoods north and
west of the capitol and UT campus.
The once-distinct dividing line is fading as many former South-Austinites
move north to fill neighborhoods vacated by those moving north of
town to Round Top, Georgetown and Leander. Erasing the line further
are up-scale businesses that are invading the funkiness of South Austin
- offering to pay higher rents that landlords can't refuse. Austin
is a pedestrian-friendly city and the police force may still be the
best educated in the country. Crime is comparatively low and murder
still makes the front page - unlike larger towns that put such statistics
under "local happenings."
Yes, Austin may have transvestites running for mayor, and legislators
misbehaving out of sight of their constituency, but it also has buses
that run on time - and some that will even hang your bicycle on the
front in case you're too tired to pedal home. Austin will always be
unique. Austinites love it too much to permit drastic changes. Economic
considerations, aside, the inner-city of Austin is - and will remain
- liveable and loveable. Name another city where a 1980s copy of National
Geographic featuring the town as a cover story can be sold (with a
straight face) in 2004 for $5. You haven't seen Texas if you haven't
Experience it and maybe you can tell your grandchildren: "You should
have seen it in the 00s."
Trips & Weekend Getaways from Austin
on Austin, Texas
the capital of Texas, county seat of Travis County, and home of
the University of Texas at Austin ... was established by the three-year-old
Republic of Texasqv in 1839 to serve as its permanent capital, and
named in honor of the founder of Anglo-American Texas, Stephen F.
Austin. " - From Handbook of Texas Online:
Austin, Texas Tales
by Mike Cox
Somewhere in northern Travis County or southern Williamson County
is the site
of a long dead dream, a "delightful" community that never was.
the UT's longhorn mascot by Mike Cox
One of the more bizarre events in Texas collegiate history took
place in Austin on a January night in 1920.
Bust by Mike Cox
With more than 20,000 chanting anti-war protestors headed downtown
from UT, the governor decided he was hungry for barbecue...
Austin Tourist Information
Convention and Visitors Bureau
201 East 2nd Street, 1-800-9262282
Visitor Information - 866-GO-AUSTIN
Greater Austin Chamber -
Lakeshore Tower building
210 Barton Springs Road, Suite 400, Austin, TX 78704.
Telephone: (512) 478-9383 Fax: (512) 478-8819