These days, the city that “Keep Austin Weird” hoped to defend is even more obscured by ungodly traffic, rising prices, closed businesses, and hordes of newcomers who don’t quite get it. Leslie Cochran, a homeless man and iconic Austin weirdo known for his high heels and second-place finish in a city mayoral race, passed away. The Broken Spoke, a 50-year-old honky-tonk, practically shares its parking lot with a new luxury condo.
But Austin’s proclivity toward the unconventional is still here, if you know where to seek it out -- and you absolutely should. These are the small businesses, oddball landmarks, and standout quirks that give this city its character -- deeply appreciated, and staunchly defended, by the Austinites who still strive to keep the weirdness.