June 25, 2011

Keep Austin Weird

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Sometimes towns in Texas are so Texan that their unique character is masked. Not so Austin! Beneath the modern skyline, this city loves to be unique. Eccentric. Weird, even. And they’ve got a lot to work with!

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DSC07748Our temporary town is a multi-ethnic melting pot with 48,000 University of Texas students, museums, fine hospitals, historic sites and neighborhoods, parks, great restaurants, natural food markets and fresh produce stands. It’s also got permanent and mobile food trucks by the hundreds, artists and musicians seemingly numbering thousands (many busy needling tattoos), quirky shops, gas stations converted to restaurants, preserved old store signs, lots of ethnic food, and more thrift shops than we’ve seen in anywhere! The state capital is here, with the excitement of debate and demonstrations. It’s all seasoned  with Texas’s do it my way rebel nature and cultivated impulsive, tough cowboy, go-for-it character. 

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Though outsiders, we think that the “weird” Austin gumbo had its roots in the 60’s with the music industry - a roux of rock, soul and country music (think Janis, Willie) and 60’s youth culture. Ah, they and we were younger, then!

Here’s this week’s festival!

  Keep Austin Wierd Banner

Youth accordion contest at Texas State History Museum. Wild, talented, amazing!


The Pecan Street Festival. Music. Artists from the South. Clothes from Asia.


Happily, Austin remains both weird, yet classy, and it’s a fine place to stay for awhile. Except during the summer heat with 100-plus degree weather!

But I confess that I’m totally over the University of Texas paraphernalia, which is everywhere!