An outsider living in Austin

I’ve made the Austin area my residence for almost two years now. I lived for a while a bit north in Round Rock, but lived in Austin when I got here, and live here now.

It wasn’t my first trip to Austin. In my college years a friend went to school at Texas then St. Edward’s. My cousin went to UT and graduated from there. In fact, he keeps reminding me that if it weren’t for my love of the Longhorns through high school, he may have never gone to school here.

I’ve visited many times, took many canoe trips down the Colorado/LadyBird Lake/Town Lake areae. I’ve flipped my one-man dingy at Hippy Hollow. I’ve eaten Sixth Street pizza, and have smoked the sweet leaf a time or two while here. I’ve been to just about anywhere that needs to be gone to.

But, within the last year, I’ve been described as “one of those.” As in one of those who recently moved to Austin, and not a true Austinite.

I remember having this conversation before, and hearing on the radio, that you need to live here for 10 years before being considered an Austinite. But even then, you really aren’t.

Who the hell makes up these regulations? I was born in Chicago. I had nothing to do with that, but all of a sudden those who lived in Austin all their lives claim they are somehow much more regal than I am? I’m pretty sure most folk who say this lived off of mom and dad for the first two decades of their lives. After that, it was up to them to figure out what they were going to do, and where they would live.

But I’m here, now, being judged as a Johnny-come-lately and not a real Austinite despite my taxes being paid, my Texas Tag (if you don’t know what this is you don’t have one, or don’t need one), and high-fiving the homeless. One thing I will give up to Austin is that they have the most beautiful homeless people one the planet — granted I haven’t been all over the planet.

But you grew up in Austin. Good for you. Go ahead and pretend that’s a badge of honor. I grew up in all sorts of places and I am very thankful for that. But I don’t think of myself better than anyone else for it.

It’s Austin. You have crappy Tex-Mex food, the traffic blows, and your football team sucks. It’s not all that. It’s a great city, no doubt, but people who think like I mentioned need to get the Monty Python fish slap.

Lake Travis smells like a dump, and apparently now there’s a reason to believe it is a dump.

I’ve lived in much better cities. I love Austin, but don’t pretend to be better than I am because you grew up here and never moved and bothered to see how the rest of the world lives.

Peace.

-30-

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