What’s It Like to Live in Austin?
Austin is a fairly laid-back, fun place to live. Here, the dress seems to be more casual than in many large Texas cities. Many people work from home, or have a flexible work schedule. Austin contains many young people and artists, and has a diverse culture, which is affected by the following factors (among others):
- Technical companies–A directory of “Silicon Hills” (Austin’s own “Silicon Valley”) lists over 100 technical companies in the Austin area. This makes Austin a fairly tech-savvy town. Many Austin organizations and businesses were some of the first to be noticed on the Internet because of the large number of “techie” folks here in Austin.
- Universities–Austin is home to the University of Texas, St. Edward’s University, Concordia Lutheran University, Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson College, and there are two other large universities in nearby towns, Southwestern University and Texas State University. That means Austin is home to a lot of young people and students. Many, after graduation, decide to live in Austin or start families here, which means Austin has many young families as well.
- The music scene–Austin is a music industry mecca. South by Southwest (abbreviated SXSW) is a large music and film festival that has put Austin on the entertainment map. Austin has a large and varied selection of artists performing all over town, and notably on 6th Street downtown, every night. Austin City Limits, which appears on public television, is filmed here, and has showcased many well-known talents through the years.
- Cultural holdovers from the 1960′s–Austin has a history of, for lack of a better word, “hippie” culture. Whole Foods, a now well-known health food store, was started by two entrepreneurs from Austin. Of all the counties in Texas, Austin’s county of Travis one of the few “blue” counties, politically (though Austin is home to a wide variety of views). In Austin, it’s easy to find resources for holistic health, alternative spirituality, and natural childbirth. Hippie Hollow, a popular sunbathing and swimming spot on Lake Travis, is a clothing-optional park. Environmental groups in Austin help to protect Austin’s natural resources, such as the Greenbelt and Barton Springs.
- Capital city–Being the capital of the state of Texas, Austin is home to many leaders, such as the governor and congress members, and houses the state Capitol Building. Like any large city, Austin is a very diverse community with people from every walk of life. The above are just a few of the things that give Austin its flavor.