The 25 Austin Commandments

On a beautiful, sunny day, with blue skies and a temperature in the triple digits, Willie Nelson came down from on high (obviously) and blessed our city with his laid-backness, and we were happy… for a while. The glory he bestowed upon us became so bright and so beautiful that many came from all over in search of cheap rent and tacos. He sang songs about whiskey and being on the road and having blue eyes, all of which we loosely transcribed into these 25 commandments. Honor thy fellow man and woman by following this code, so that we might all bask in what’s left of Austin’s bounty.


1. Remember the Good Old Days
Go ahead, reminisce about that 350sqft, $350-a-month studio you lived in five years ago -- that you just saw on Craigslist for $1,000. Some sucker is going to pay the grand, but not you.

2. Respect anglicized street names
Always refer to Manchaca Rd as simply "Man-chack" and correct those who say "Man-SHACK". It’s a convenient thoroughfare, not a Joe’s Crab Shack/all-male brothel hybrid. That goes for "Guada-Loopy" as well.

3. Know some of Austin’s music history
Educate millennials who don’t know the origin of the "Hi, How Are You?" mural on the Drag. And by "educate", we mean tell them to Google it.

Cocktails 25 Commandments ATX
Bar Congress

4. Learn what Campari, Averna, and orgeat are
This is 2014, you can’t drink whiskey cokes forever. The cocktail has come a long way

5. Rock a jacket at the first sign of Fall
Which is early December, right?

6. Decide for yourself whether Franklin is worth the hype
Hint: it is.

7. Tip well
While there are many arguments for and against tipping and many wage-related issues to address, one thing holds true: if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to dine out.

Top Notch 25 Commandments ATX
Flickr/Thelonious Gonzo

8. Honor Richard Linklater
Finish Dazed and Confused whenever it’s on. Then go to Top Notch and enjoy a burger while saying, "I love those redheads, man," in your best Wooderson.

9. Drink local
We have outstanding local beer, made with the blood, sweat, and tears of many a bearded man. Well, thankfully not literally. As far as we know…

10. Take your parents to Frank for Sunday brunch
The people watching and music will distract them from asking you why you’re still single.

11. Visit your favorite bartender during the week
That’s how you get good service on the weekends when you’re stuck behind a wall of bros holding twenty dollar bills between two fingers, making aggressive eye contact with the bartender in an attempt to get their attention. Provided you are cool and tip well during weeknight visits, all YOU have to do to get a drink is nod.

12. Appreciate the East Side
Enjoy every square inch of grittiness that’s left, because soon it’s going to look like the freakin’ Domain.


1. Speak poorly of Austin
Anyone who does shall receive the response: "Then go back to California!" This can be alternated with: "Why don’t you go the f*** back to Dallas already!?"

Line 25 Commandments ATX

2. Cut the line
Anywhere, at any time. Who do you think you are? President Obama?

3. Gazeth upon another man’s junk
If you go to nude-friendly hangout Hippie Hollow, and an older gentleman asks you if you want a beer, make eye contact but never allow thy gaze to travel South, for his junk is as ancient as time.

4. Refer to us as "The ATX"
The word "Austin" only has two syllables. Also, you sound like a d**k.

5. Cheat during trivia
We’ve all seen someone at Geeks Who Drink go into the bathroom and miraculously come out with an answer. Nobody knows that much about Star Trek: Enterprise. Don’t be that guy.

6. Attempt to park Downtown during SXSW
It’s not going to happen, and if it does, you will regret it financially.

7. Acknowledge the bar "barkers" of Sixth Street
No. I don’t want a $1 Long Island Iced Tea. Ever. What is this, 1989? Who even drinks that? Wait, are you a Time Lord?

Via 313 25 Commandments ATX
Via 313

8. Eat Via 313 more than twice a week
Otherwise you’ll have to learn how to get fat with grace. Note: eating Via 313 twice a week is perfectly acceptable.

9. Forget your reusable grocery bags
We know you already have a giant wad of shiny, plastic, red-and-white HEB bags under your sink.

10. Propose to someone on Mt. Bonnell
Have some originality -- choreograph a dance routine at a Savers or something.

Tacos 25 Commandments ATX
Taco Bell

11. Hoard Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos
Just because they are free during SXSW doesn’t mean you should stuff your backpack with them. They only have a 2-3min window of being edible, anyway.

12. Drink and drive
Use a designated driver or Lyft or Uber or a Yellow Cab. MetroBus and MetroRail also offer super-cheap late rides. The more you know!

13. Covet the man with a swimming pool…
For you can buy an inflatable for 20 dollars at SuperTarget. Combine that with an 18 pack of Lone Star and thou art saved from the Texas sun.