Six Stupid Reasons to Move to Austin, a Mediocre Town

Categories: Texas, Whatever

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Todd Ross Nienkerk, That Other Paper
The ghost of Stevie Ray greets a fresh crop of smug slackers.
Some mewling mouth-breather named Ed Reed on a blog called Thought Catalog has fallen in love with Austin and listed off six reasons why more Yankees and Californians should move there and join him. And of course, there's an obligatory, misinformed slam on Houston, but more on that later...

He says it's cheap to live there, and I guess if you are coming from NYC, he might have a point. For the rest of us, bargains are hard to come by, save for the glamorous environs of beautiful Ben White Boulevard.

It always amuses me when some Houston hipster trades in their Montrose or Heights apartment for an allegedly cooler tomorrow in some cul-de-sac in Cedar Park or Manor.

Reed also exults in finding a $4 six-pack of beer.

Sounds kinda mythical to me, but I will say this: Back in high school, pre-beach trips, my friends and I used to stock up my two-tone, Gem-Topped El Camino with $5 cases of Carling Black Label at the Hillcroft Fiesta, and similar bargains can be had there to this day. And the beach was just an hour away, which is more than ever could be said for Austin, barring a quantum leap in transportation technology or a geological catastrophe.

His second reason to move to Austin? "There are jobs." Yes, in OfficeMaxes and Sonics in Round Rock. Oh, okay, the job market is better in Austin than elsewhere in Depression Lite America, but the situation is even better here, and as we mentioned earlier, Austin ain't cheap.

Next he claims that the people are friendly. Only when they aren't telling you to go back home, rolling their eyes at your unfashionable attire or telling you how much your hometown sucks compared to Austin.

In the number four slot, he dares to praise Austin's weather. Look, Houston's weather sucks five months a year. We know this. But at least our summers are (ordinarily) punctuated with amazing tropical thunderstorms. Austin is scorching and tediously so. And give me 95 percent humidity over cedar fever any day.

Next, he goes on to tout all the stuff there is to do in Austin, and here's where what little feeble brainpower he showcased earlier dims to oblivion.



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128 comments
biron.clark
biron.clark

Very well written. I've never visited either town but I laughed at the 'breakfast tacos' reference. Good article overall. I'll come visit soon and decide for myslf!

outoftexas707
outoftexas707

I cannot judge a whole city, only my experiences in it. And, they have been quite shitty here in Austin. Not sure if I'm just going to all the wrong places or what but it certainly seems like there is a much higher ratio of assholes and young, smart ass kids thinking they invented the 'night life' before anyone else.

atxshore
atxshore

"Austin ain't cheap."  For the love of all things good and right, will Texans PLEASE gain some slight inkling of perspective on cost of living in the U.S. (operative word here).  The Lone Star State doesn't even have one representative that cracks America's top 10 most expensive cities.  I understand if you've lived in Texas your whole life, you've seen prices go up dramatically, but in the scheme of things it's not bad at all.  Unfortunately that goes in one ear and right out the other for a good many in Texas.

ricardo.caiano
ricardo.caiano

Sorry but UT draws a bigger cult base than the Astros.

subwolley
subwolley

I grew up in Austin, lived there for 20 years. While the nightlife is fun, I couldn't wait to get out of that town. I think Austin is overrated. It's so hot. There's no seasons, and it is a pain in the ass to get anywhere, because it's all highway. My family still lives there, but I moved away 15 years ago, and I can't bring myself to move back there. Mainly because the weather sucks. 

dugg
dugg

Why didn't this writer jus' say:

"MY dad is bigger/stronger than YOUR dad" 

How sophomoric !

carmen.411
carmen.411

Austin is an amazing city. I love all the live music venues and music/film/art festivals. It really does have the friendliest and most easygoing people I've ever known (yes, even the hipsters), the food is good, and it's undeniably a beautiful city. However, the road system is horrendous, it is more difficult to find a stable and high-paying job, and the cost of living is higher. You have to be prepared to live there, especially financially. As for Houston, it's much more ethnically diverse, there's a bigger variety of restaurants, there are more museums, and more stores to shop at. The roads are set up better, but traffic is still pretty bad. The radio stations, well, suck. The people seem a bit more narcissistic, and there aren't very many live music venues, especially ones that feature smaller/obscure bands. Both cities have pros and cons. I happen to like them both!  

Skintaster
Skintaster

Well, I read the print version of this, and it came off as needlessly defensive and reeking of an inferiority complex.

Here's the thing: I love Texas in general. Maybe more time should be spent defending this state against some of the unfair criticism it gets from outside it's borders, than wasting time over stupid city rivalries.

I grew up in Houston, moved to Austin in the early 890's, fell in love with the town, and then moved back to Houston. I like both. I never really experienced much "Houston hate" from people in Austin. Liking where you live doesn't mean busting on some other place. But Austin IS special, and that's ok. Houston has it's charm too, but they're different kinds of cities, and have different kinds of appeal. 

I find it interesting that a lot of the Austin hate I personally hear from Houstonians comes from inner loop hipsters, that act as if the city ends outside of 610. And Houston has some issues that lessen it's appeal to many people. Lousy preservation of historic landmarks, a fairly fractured music scene with relatively few live music venues scattered all over the place... It's not shangri la for everyone.

Austin has it's issues too, but for certain kinds of people it's a great place to live. Both cities have a different culture, and depending on what a person likes/needs, either can be great places to live.

But seriously? Writing a childish piece on how Austin is "mediocre" in response to some blogger just makes this town look bad.

Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick

Having lived in two real cities (New York and DC) reading an article pitting Houston against Austin is akin to watching lepers arm-wrestle. Both cities suck. People in Texas act like Austin is so cool. They frequently compare it to the bohemian parts of NYC. Apparently, Texans have never been to NYC--Austin is lame by comparison. Houston is a muggy cesspool full of nouveau riche posers.

Mcw784
Mcw784

I've lived in both places and you know what the most annoying thing about each one is? This annoying and arrogant bullshit bickering back and forth. Love for Austin and Houston don't have to be mutually exclusive. Austin is a better town if you're a hippy or a liberal and enjoy the outdoors, Houston is better if you want more economic opportunity or are a redneck or enjoy going to 5-star restaurants and the ballet. Homelessness is Austin's worst quality and crime is Houston's. 

Both have sanctimonious douches writing blogs.

Drozy
Drozy

The last time I went to 6th street there were way too many frat boy types and hipsters. Where have all the hippies gone?

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

Those are things I do envy about Austin. Unfortunately the moron who wrote the article I critiqued mentioned nothing about Austin's pleasant natural surroundings.

MEG
MEG

I honestly think his logic is based around the fact that Austin is smog-less, and the diversity in ATX is just unlimited...but isn' that what attracts everyone to a "hipster" town? I'm pretty sure I could say the same for Denver or Portland. Cheap? Depends on your lifestyle, which if you're like most of the kids that move from down south to central Texas, you're going to end up without a job for 3 months, finally landing one at Starbucks or on 6th as a barback, and being absolutely and utterly unprepared for the dough its takes to hit every bar, every night of the week. Now I'm not saying thats everyone, don't get me wrong; some of you hit the jackpot and actually PREPARE to move to Austin, instead of migrating on a whim. The traffic is terrible, but thats the price you pay for living in a big city, and he should be used to that coming from a city with the worst commute to and from any street corner. Also you have to realize that NYC is home to some of the most obnoxious, stilleto-powered, Benz-headed people in America; Southern hospitality is a breath of fresh air to this guy. Regardless of how it looks to us, he is a Yankee, so he is a different breed. This is a culture shock at its finest.

texashipster
texashipster

I can't believe that guy Ed said that about Houston, what a douche. If Austin is so awesome as he proclaims, shouldn't it speak for itself? He just demonstrated how incredibly overrated it is by having to change the topic to slam other cities that are out of its league. I'm sure Austin is thrilled to get another member of of "Keep Austin Insular"!

beav
beav

I've lived in Houston, Dallas, and Austin and I can say that Houston by far has the biggest inferiority complex I've ever encountered (and perfectly embodied in this article).  So much time and effort spent defending itself and claiming to be better than other towns when the other towns for the most part don't care at all. 

Mojoboogie2
Mojoboogie2

 We try to keep Fertitty out of Downtown.

elchucoguy
elchucoguy

Jalisco's...You call those flautas? Por favor Flautas are made with carne desebrada and are thin not thick like a burrito! Glad to be be back to Houston's Mex food!

David Houston
David Houston

Not sure that's true, nothing is cheap in Walgreens...  But on the subject of cheap beer.  I like Old Milwaukee from the major stores, it's one of the cheaper beers if not the cheapest, but a reasonable tasting beer.  IMHO it's better than many others costing much more.

David Houston
David Houston

All I'll say is I love Austin, it's a great place.  However if you go there for the entertainment on 6th Street do watch out for the guys on the doors touting you to go into particular places.  Last time I was there one guy was very hands-on and even intimidating, just keep your cool and think twice about going in any place where they have to 'persuade' you to enter.

Meh
Meh

Wow, you can almost smell the smug right through the screen.  Fantastic.

regent032
regent032

Houston is a much more diverse city than Austin.  24% of Houston's population is African American compared to 6% for Austin.  Our Asian community is one of the largest in the United States, Austin can't even compare.  Houston is one of the top 10 LGBT population centers in the United states.  We have one of the largest gay pride parades in the U.S. and we even elected Texas' first openly gay mayor  (Austin's patronizing treatment of the homeless transvestite they used to brag about looks weak in comparison). Austin's percentage of Hispanics is close to Houston's, but Houston has over 1 million Hispanics versus a quarter of a million in Austin.  Besides, Austin's idea of good tacos is Torchy's,  Houston has better tacos than Torchy's on nearly any corner in the city. Houston has significant populations of Ethiopians, Nigerians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Mexicans and countless others. Austin is basically a city dominated by white, college educated, straight liberals that have very little tolerance for those who don't drive a Prius and shop at Whole Foods. 

outoftexas707
outoftexas707

P.S. Houston is a shithole, all around, to me. So, it's not a case of liking one more than another. By the way, born and raised in San Antonio. Jesus Christ on a stick, never, ever thought I'd miss that place until I got here. Anyways, moving North soon. Somewhere quiet. I fucking hate 20 year old shitheads more than life itself. If I stay here much longer, you'll read about me in the papers.

jrewes
jrewes

@Saint Patrick 13 million flushes per day in nyc.  what a great city.

jrewes
jrewes

@Saint Patrick NYC 13 million flushes a day.  what a great city.

carmen.411
carmen.411

@Saint Patrick  Take a chill pill, man. No need to get all sassy and whatnot. I would absolutely love to visit NYC sometime. However, your smug attitude sorta gives me a nasty impression of Northerners. Even though I haven't visited NYC, I'm sure it's probably too different to even be compared to Austin. For one thing, Austin doesn't really have that big-city vibe, yet NYC is the biggest US city! It's like comparing chocolate cake to pizza; they're both delicious, but I wouldn't want cake for dinner and then pizza for dessert.  

Skintaster
Skintaster

"Two real cities"? DC is a shithole. Have family there, spent a lot of time there, old band even played there a lot on tour. The place pretty much sucks. New York is great (If you like saxophones), but not as great as so many New Yorkers like to believe. It's lost a LOT of it's charm with it's lovely Disneyfication, and frankly, isn't what it used to be.

texashipster
texashipster

Sounds like nothing but Northeastern superior-complex to me. Moving on now...

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

"Another Sanctimonious Douche on a Blog" is totally going on my next batch of business cards.

regent032
regent032

Austin might have less smog than Houston, but to try and call Austin diverse is a big stretch.  In fact most hipster cities in the United States are predominantly white.  The populations of Austin Texas, Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington are nearly 70% white with Austin and Portland having a 6% African American population and Seattle having 7%.  San Francisco has 6% African American population also, but they have a large Asian population that brings down the percentage of white people to less than half. The pretentious white people in those cities like the idea of "diversity"almost as much as they like the idea of "awareness", but their idea of diversity is having a wide selection of gluten free frozen pizzas available at the Whole Foods.When it comes to diversity, it doesn't get more diverse than Houston, in fact we have the studies to prove it!http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

texashipster
texashipster

Inferiority complex means one feels they don't measure up.Houston KNOWS it more than measures up, but many outsiders don't recognize this and are obviously insanely ignorant about Houston. Totally different thing. 

JoseATX
JoseATX

@elchucoguy Los Tios RULES, Taco Shack well they make enchalitas using fricken Velvetta. Love the Los Tios on Beechnut in Meyerland! Austin's Restaurants suck!!!!  I am going back to H-TOWN REAL SOON, FOR SOME REAL FOOD, DONE RIGHT!

Drozy
Drozy

Walgreens came out with their own super cheap beer. Tastes like shit.

Craigley
Craigley

Same stuff goes down in Amsterdam. Ain't no big deal.

JoseATX
JoseATX

@regent032 Leslie Cochran was not a transvestite, he was a cross dresser.  Please do some fact checking. A transvestite is a person who had a sex change. 

Mike
Mike

How is being more diverse a good thing? 

Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick

That would be a "superiority complex" not a "superior-complex". Clearly you did not go to school in the northeast.

carmen.411
carmen.411

@John Nova Lomax That's actually pretty true.

MEG
MEG

And I also wasn't speaking racially either. I was speaking on terms of personality.

Rgr
Rgr

Should call it TLC..., Tastes Like Crap!

David Houston
David Houston

Interesting.  No doubt it would be, but I'm tempted to try it if it's $4!

jscro
jscro

It makes for better food choices. Seriously. I'm from Austin, and while I think this article is kinda silly, Houston's food scene (ethnic and non ethnic) kills Austin. Diversity breeds more choices for everyone. That's why it's a good thing. 

I really do love Austin, but I love Houston to. Austin isn't diverse, it's one of the whitest cities on the planet.

JoseATX
JoseATX

@Rgr More Crap Less Filling.

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