I lived in Austin for 19 years, and I love it dearly, but I can also find thirteen reasons to not love it.
1. Traffic – Austin is severely congested. As many native Austinites tell me, the city council deliberately choose not to make bigger and better roads, because they wanted to keep Austin small. True or fact? I don’t know. The proof is in the pudding though, traffic is bad and there’s tons of construction!
2. No Smoking – Smoking is pretty much not allowed in most restaurants and bars. I don’t smoke, so this isn’t a problem for me. But smokers, beware, not only is it hard to find places to smoke, but people will throw things at you and give you dirty looks. Austin is a “healthy” city.
3. Liberal Mecca – Texas is a conservative state overall, but right smack in the middle, Austin, is a huge liberal center. Whole Foods is headquartered there. A huge local celebrity is Leslie, a homeless, mini-skirt wearing drag queen/transvestite, who tried to run for mayor. Austin could shock the pants of small-town Texans.
4. Longhorn Fans – The University of Texas is based in Austin, and the city is a sea of burnt orange. Longhorn fans are everywhere…and very serious. If you’re a Texas Tech, Aggie or, God forbid, an Oklahoma fan, watch your back. Austin is NOT for you.
5. Bikers – I don’t know the actual numbers, but off the top of my head…50% of people bike in Austin. I swear. Ok, maybe not really, but it’s a lot. And they are all over the roads. They cause motorists all kinds of problems…but yet they have the right away. Don’t get me wrong, biking is so good for your health and I applaud those who do, but they drive me nuts sometimes.
6. Allergies – This might need to be numbers 6 AND 7. Allergies are BAD in Austin. If you don’t have allergy problems when you move to Austin…you eventually will. Everyone says this. And so far, I haven’t seen any proof to contradict it. If you’re an allergy doctor, don’t walk, run to Austin, where you’ll have a booming practice.
7. Allergies – I wasn’t kidding. It gets two sections.
8. Cost of Living – It’s skyrocketed lately. Downtown has become very pricey especially. Restaurants, bars, etc. Housing is crazy expensive. Don’t even get me started on property taxes.
9. Politicians – They’re freaking everywhere. The Capitol and Legislature draws them like flies. You can’t walk down the street without tripping over one.
10. Green Lifestyle – You need to conserve if you live in Austin. Recycle, reuse, resell. I think it’s great, but it can be a little over the top at times.
11. Oops, I lied, here’s one more reason. Live Music – If you hate live music, don’t step foot in Austin. The airport has it, downtown has it, it’s everywhere. Austin is the Live Music Capitol. Stevie Ray Vaughn is one of the big claims to music fame, and this statue of him resides along the hike and bike trail on Ladybird Lake downtown.
12. Bats – If bats creep you out, don’t visit Austin. The world’s largest urban bat colony resides on Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge in the summer. By largest, we’re talkin’ 1.5 million bats. They migrate from Mexico every spring and are Mexican Free-tailed bats. People gather to watch the hole colony fly out at sunset.
13. Did I mention allergies?