June 25, 2011

Keep Austin Weird

Austin Skyline 1    

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!



- Mexican Trailrunner said...

How cool, I love this! Have always wanted to spend time in Austin, instead I was stuck in Houston. Not even close!
Austin has been on my radar screen ever since the Outlaw Music scene with Waylon, Willie, and the boys.
Thanks so much for this very well-photographed and well-written tease. Maybe some day. . .

barbara hopkins said...

my son lived in austin for a few years. having been primarily raised in bloomington, indiana, a university town, he loves university towns of all sizes.

i didn't get to spend much time in austin, but in the time that i did, it seemed like kind of a university CITY. that is, lots of diversity in restaurants and population, lots of music venues, a plethora of UT souvenirs, more cultural activities than you can shake a stick at, and a highly educated populace.

enjoy it while you're there!

C and G Taylor said...

Yeah, Mare, if they'd come to mind I'd have mentioned more musicians! Some of those folks still come here to perform, too!

Barb, it is a moderately large city with one downside I'll admit...it is all crammed in a very small, much of it walkable place, and as a result the traffic is muy, muy