What we talk about when we talk about Austin
Arrived in 1973, got told I should have been here in the '60's, it was better. Actually I was here for a very short time in 1965 and wished I would have stayed. But I found out that people have been saying "you should have been here 10 years ago....." in every decade since the cattle corals existed behind Scholz's Beer Garden. Austin has been changing but so have we. You will find that the nostalgia for particular times in Austin seems to always coincide with the era of the most happiness in the life of the speaker (person being sad about the loss). We all want to be young again. Nostalgia for the "good old days" is getting to be an internet industry these days - have you seen the number of sites that have cropped up sharing pictures and memories of days gone by? "That's Old Austin.. Remember?" is not the only one, every middle sized town and every state has one. My feed is full of opportunities to share and to remember - history, beautiful landscapes, memories of places I have been, lived in, have family members living (or dying in, I dabble in genealogy). I am in my 80's now and as concerned about change as anybody else in my age group. But I also remember the short sightedness of the "No Growth" activists, heck I was one of them. The future is going to happen whether we like it or not and the future will always be change. All I am saying is "pick your battles, people" and enjoy the present as much as you are able and be kind, even in a traffic jam.
i'm a lifelong Austinite (born in 90s) and think this piece is amazing. A thoughtful, kind-hearted, helpful rebuttal to a largely confusing and confused New Yorker piece. thank you for it, and well done!
Thank you for bringing self-awareness and reality to this conversation. No place stays still in time and that includes oneself.
While completing respectful, best rebuttal yet to Larry’s piece. Thank you Jason!
The "Larry" Wright article wanted me to start an article club because I, too, was walking around thinking about what I think about it. It left me feeling the same way it does when a family member talks **** about a shared family member -- I wanted to both agree and defend. Alas, I had a Shiner instead. Thanks for this take Jason!
As Austin grows, it becomes a money town. A small town that has become the 11th larges city in America has no choice. Austin’s legendary creative and “weird” culture survives in pockets that are easy to find. The issue is percentages and money. A strong majority of newcomers are arriving for good jobs and to enjoy the easy, mainstream social life. The cheap, musical Mecca that brought so many here ( including me) has morphed into a slick, expensive, commercial , big city. Well of new arrivals find a “cool, vibe” neighborhood, scrape off an existing home and impose their identity my building a huge cubist house. 5 years later they move away leaving behind their dream house that is more of a nightmare for the neighborhood. This happens over and over til the charms that attracted folks in the first place are supplanted by moneys oppressive presence.
Despite my doom and gloom commentary , Austin isn’t dead, there are more creatives than ever, bigger audiences, and more realistic opportunities for musicians. Being creatively weird is still viable in Austin, you just have to look a little harder
I'm a native Austinite - born at St. David's and went to schools in Tarrytown at college at UT. We moved to Dallas for work in the mid-nineties but I still love/hate my home city. You captured that duality beautifully - thank you.
Why bemoan what was?
Enjoy what is!
I’m employed at Dell Children’s Hospital, an excellent facility! I’m proud to be affiliated! We will be blessed with a second facility soon.
I arrived on the UT campus in 1969, experiencing the war protests, the streakers, and a National Championship Football Team.
My classroom and street education have been valuable in my success.
Nothing will erase my experience. No one will tarnish my joy of what was, what is, and what will be.
The past is not a hitching post. Instead, a guide post.
I beseech you to join in celebrating life in the ATX!
Don't think I'm going to read the Wright piece, people have literally been telling me Austin used to be better since the mid '70s.
I love this city. Last night [a Sunday] I had to make a decision about which [excellent] band to go see. Thanks Jason.
Fan-fkn-tastic. Native Austinite here. You've hit the nail on the roadway. Evil Mopac is one of my favorite wits when discussing the issues with Austin. If we wait for Elon to consume all of our resources, we're really not going to be weird any more. Suffice it to say, I've moved away, twice, but I keep coming back. Barton Springs. Lake Austin. The youth of UT as the weather gets nice. And your Alamo book, a game changer. Thanks for this buttal, or is it a rebuttal? Great stuff.
I'd like to meet with Larry to clear this up. Please let him know I'm available today at 5 PM @ Me/35th.
Jason, XXXOOO! : )
Highly recommend your subscribers, read “The Gay Place” by the late Billy Lee Brammar to grok old Austin.
good morning, Jason. Too long time no see, my friend. Born and raised in Austin (1948). I think Wright got it right.