Austin doesn't suck, but your neighborhood might
Austin consistently tops lists as one of the best places to live in the US, without any argument from the 150+ people moving here every day. Our residents' average age is 31, we’ve got a killer music scene, cool jobs, restaurants and bars, and awesome rooftop pools where hot chicks in bathing suits will pour champagne all over you. But that doesn't mean every neighborhood is equally awesome/hot-chick-champagne-pouring -- no, in fact some suck a little, some a lot, or some not at all. Here's the breakdown
East Cesar Chavez/Holly: You've got yup-ster couples in newly remodeled homes next door to families with yards full of sun-bleached Playskool slides and chihuahuas, next door to single creative types in rentals owned by out-of-towners who don't know about the property value boom yet. You can walk to the Lake, bike to Yellow Jacket or Cenote, but you cannot escape the daily uber-dorky Segway tours comprised of boring tourists in helmets and Crocs
Hyde Park: Living in a beautiful and charming Hyde Park bungalow sounds amazing. Living in a 600sqft apartment built in the '70s and then "remodeled" to look "modern" (Whoa are those Ikea light fixtures!!!) for $1200 a month does not. But hey, at least you're close to The Flag Store
Bouldin Creek: Lovely Victorian homes, great little coffee shops and brunc-- OH S#$T! IS THAT ELIJAH WOOD?
East Central: Even though it's being heavily gentrified (Ahhh!!! G-word!!!) by every type of hipster on the spectrum, ranging from androgynous to wears-Grandma's-oversized-prescription-glasses, this neighborhood still gets a bad rap for being the home of the infamous 12th and Chicon block and its "drug addicts and prostitutes". But let's be honest, there's just as many of those strolling around the Whole Foods
Downtown: Based on appearance alone, the high-rise people appear to have it all. Just under the surface, however, is a sadness... an isolation. These people possess a void that yoga and designer dogs and wine and My Fit Foods just can't fill. This isn't Manhattan, people, there's no reason to live 20 stories up -- unless you own a powerful telescope and in that case, can I come over
South Congress: This area should be referred to as "Austin: The Ride". This is what Austin is depicted as on postcards and travel sites. Tourists come from all over North Austin (and Houston too) to browse Allens and Uncommon Objects and to eat Home Slice Pizza while sitting on a curb
East Sixth: Not an actual neighborhood, more of an adult playground -- the happy land of beer, tattoos, food trucks, beards, and Peter Pan syndrome. Oh hey, know what makes food taste REALLLLY good? When it's served to you by a chick with armpit hair and scary Larry glasses
Campus: Back when you were a teenager, the Drag was where you went to loiter with your friends. You could go to Einstein's (the arcade, not the bagels), thumb through the alt-culture mags at Tower Records, bum cigs from older kids at the original Quackenbush’s, sneak into a movie at Dobie Mall and then get solicited for a free stress test by those Scientology weirdos. Now it's just a bunch of sorority girls with hair that hasn't been brushed in days wearing XXL Sigma Phi Alpha Delta T-shirt dresses sucking down caramel Frappuccinos and bros in basketball shorts eating every imaginable incarnation of the taco/pita/burrito like they're all going to be skinny forever
West Lake: Your lawn is beautiful and sprawling, you drive a sweet car, your high school has a Jumbotron. All the rude stuff people say about you, they're just jealous. PS will you adopt us
Tarrytown: A bunch of yoga MILFs with rich husbands. If you want to piss them off, mistake them for someone who lives in Westlake. Also, people who immediately tell you they live in Tarrytown are definitely renting
The Domain: If your idea of the good life is living inside a mall and doing happy hour at The Park four days a week, this is the place for you!
South Lamar: This is where the '90s never died. Women still wear chunky Mary Janes and baby barrettes, guys wear chokers and have chain wallets, people are really into roller derby and hula-hooping and fire-dancing and boot-cut jeans and blue hair..
Mueller: Pros: You live in a brand new subdivision with nice neighbors who stroller-jog and walk their dogs regularly. You have a brand new HEB within walking distance! You love to talk to your friends and neighbors about how great the HEB is. (Seriously, it's just an HEB.) Cons: You accidentally mistake the town home next door for yours all the time. (Because they look exactly the same, get it?
Cherrywood: "Oh, you're in education? Omigod, Me too! How cool! Your boyfriend is in the service industry but does freelance graphic design on the side? Whoa whoa whoa whoa, mine too! That is sooooo weird! Hey -- is that a little enclave for an old-school telephone? We have one in our duplex also. Omigod, that Mad Men poster is so cool. Did mention I loooove your wood floors?
Rosedale: Hordes upon hordes of totally decent people in their late 20s to early 40s in really nice weekend wear make just grabbing a taco from Tacodeli and an espresso at Houndstooth on any given weekend a truly unpleasant experience
Clarksville: Ask anyone what goes on in Clarksville or who lives there and you’ll get a mixed bag of responses. “Townes van Zandt lived there back in the day.” “Definitely people who eat at Whole Foods five nights a week in workout clothes.” “I heard once at this party that there are still a couple of $800 garage apartments.