Keep Austin Weird: CultureMap to Invade the State Capital

Nothing defines the funky culture of Austin like socialites.
We at Hair Balls have never been much for the socialite set, but we know that there are a fair number of them in Houston, which is why the existence of CultureMap is not really all that surprising. There needs to be an outlet that covers galas and general hobnobbing with the muckety-muck that isn't a glossy magazine filled with ads for plastic surgery.

What is surprising, however, is the impending launch of, apparently a sister site to the Houston original that will focus on our state's capital. In fact, when you visit the main CM site, you get directed to the Austin splash page first, complete with a big background image of twentysomethings in line outside a food trailer, because nothing says CultureMap like sweaty hipsters jonesing for a late-night cupcake.

We're surprised by the choice of Austin. How are the hippies in Central Texas going to take to CM getting all up in their weirdness?

Granted, the state capital is there, meaning fundraisers for politicians galore. There's always room for coverage of the University of Texas fraternities and sororities, we suppose. But, the lavish caviar of CultureMap would seem to clash with the green tea and granola of Austin.

Why wouldn't they go to Dallas? If there was ever a metroplex desperate for the kind of coverage CM offers, it is Dallas. With all the McMansions in the northern suburbs, there would be no shortage of home-shopping parties for high-end fashion. It's a Shelby Hodge wet dream!

Until then, we await CM's coverage of the Austin sophisticate set and hope that when chairs start flying and fences start falling at next year's South by Southwest, CultureMap will be there to cover couture.

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"because nothing says CultureMap like sweaty hipsters jonesing for a late-night cupcake. "

Haaa! That was great! And spot on.

It's a good question why Dallas wouldn't be the next destination. Competition would be my guess. But then again, the competition is in the right market.

Or, to dream: wouldn't it be refreshing if they actually started covering the mad politics of Austin. Like a Tim Fleck, or Molly Ivins. More likely hemlines, but hey. Nice piece.


Wow...look at that picture of CultureMap Austin. It's chalked full of socialites - one is even going into a trailer. Have you ever read CultureMap? It covers culture...a pretty wide topic. And dare I say, something that Austin has plenty of so what exactly is the point here?


Not really surprising as they have stated many times since their launch in 2009 that they planned to expand to other cities soon.


Man, Austin hasn't been hippie town for at least 15-20 years

Dillon Sorensen
Dillon Sorensen

Have you read CultureMap? The assumption that the site is purely dedicated to high society is rather erroneous. That's only one small coverage area.


Point: CultureMap is an uncritical media product by the privileged, for the privileged. So, its growth is a sad reflection of what's happening in Texas & elsewhere: rich getting richer, mids sinking, poor wallowing amidst cuts so that the rich can grow richer, and be covered by CultureMap.

(I don't expect you to understand any of this though, especially if your daily info diet is at CultureMap's teet).

Thea Goodman
Thea Goodman

Austin has turned into pretentious yuppies only paradise.

It is so bad that the bus stop located at the South entrance of the Capitol was moved so tourists and the young elite hipster class who is moving into the exorbitantly priced condos downtown wouldn't see the disabled,minorities,elderly,poor,minimum wage & junior college students waiting for the bus and have their sense of entitlements & aesthetics OFFENDED. The Texas Historical Commission did the dirty work & were rewarded with funding for 2011-12 after many other agencies lost funding.

Young,fit, beautiful and RICH, you will LOVE it here.Especially if you are white! Over 45--NOT so much.

"No country for Old Men," especially OLD WOMEN. "Old" here is 45 + for women and average 55+ for men.

Lots of homeless here.Most of them are in the age groups I have mentioned above. If you are old, it is best to stay out of sight as much as possible. Probably safer because there seems to be a bar on every corner & lots of street drugs for sale. Cops are selective who they arrest too. we have a lot of "machos" too.

I have been here since the early 1960s when a family job promotion brought me here reluctantly from Houston with the rest of my family.

Generations of free labor from Bergstrom Air Force Base & the three universities & illegal aliens and the Black,white & Hispanic "underclasses" kept wages below par for years here. They still are.

Austin is the kind of town that either embraces you most enthusiastically or grinds you up like raw & bleeding hamburger then junks you.

Most employment here is who you know.Everything seems to be in quotas as well:Hispanic jobs,African American jobs, white jobs, men jobs,women jobs.

Liberal hypocrisy reigns supreme.So does the old crooked LBJ Democratic machine which still runs as well as it did back in the day.Amazing..PREFERRED DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP AS I SAID YOUNG,RICH,BEAUTIFUL & FIT WHO LIVES DOWNTOWN & DOES THE HER CONFORMITY THING. THE YOUNG YUPPIE FAMILY AND THEIR "FAMILY FRIENDLINESS" AND SIDEWALKS ROLLING UP AT 9 P.M.


I am stuck here for now.And as I watch, this place is NOTHING at all like they say it was.The hippie thing here was only from 1967-1972.I know because I was here and saw it myself through sober, non-stoned out eyes.

The golden age of hippiedom NEVER existed here.

At various times in my UNemployments, I have researched this place and it started as an incredibly bigoted,overgrown Deep South community run by privileged patriarchal class elites and Bible thumping Protestant Ethic without much religious ethics standing in the way of a quick score...

A town of cab drivers with master's degrees,PhD janitors & burger fryers with BAs. Underemployment goes along with the low,low wages.

Austin will always be that Protestant ethic hypocritical Southern small town where money is worshipped no matter where it comes from.

Nouveau riche rules.

So whoever wrote the stereotype about Hip Austin wrote a fiction about a place that never was.



Hey Dillon, let's just say CM doesn't delve into hard news or really anything of substance. I like the site for what it is......a place to learn about new restaurants, "artsy" events and other fluff.

CM is all about "Stuff White People Like" which sort of passes for "High Society" in Houston.


Even worse is my advice: Don't audition for a CultureMap writer.

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