For many years, “Keep Austin Weird” has served as the city’s motto and appeared on bumper stickers and T-shirts. This tagline is intended to increase support for regional independent companies as well as Austin’s eccentricity and diversity. The slogan has been interpreted in many different ways since its inception, but it continues to be a significant symbol for many Austinites who wish to voice concerns over rapid growth and development, according to the 2010 book Weird City, which claims that the phrase was started by a local Austin Community College librarian, Red Wassenich, and his wife, Karen Pavelka, who were worried about Austin’s “rapid descent into commercialism and overdevelopment.” Residents in Austin have a long history of speaking out against construction projects that they believe would harm the environment.
Adults in Austin read and participate in blogs more than adults in any other U.S. urban area, according to the Nielsen Company. In all of Texas, Austin citizens use the most Internet. Reddit’s most active city in 2013 was Austin, which also had the most views per resident. Money magazine ranked Austin as the No. 2 Best Big City in “Best Places to Live” in 2006, No. 3 in 2009, and the “Greenest City in America” according to MSN.
Shopping can be found in South Congress, which extends southward from Downtown. Coffee shops, oddball shops, eateries, food trucks, trailers, and festivals can all be found here. It takes pride in “Keeping Austin Weird,” especially in light of the recent growth in the neighborhood(s). Many locals in Austin credit the spectacular and unimpeded view of the Texas State Capitol for the city’s lasting popularity.
A section of Downtown Austin known as the Rainey Street Historic District historically included bungalow-style houses constructed in the early 20th century. The street, which was formerly a working-class neighborhood, has evolved into a thriving nightlife area since the early 2010s. Many of the historic homes have undergone renovation to become hotels, apartments, bars, and restaurants, many of which offer guests spacious porches and outdoor yards. The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center is another building located in the Rainey Street neighborhood.
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