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"The good and the bad"


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b
Austin, TX

The lustre has worn off - 8/19/2016

Lived here for 8 years from '06-'14. Loved it the first 3 years then it became just okay. I survived the Great Recession here relatively unscathed, so for that I am grateful to this city and it's thriving business culture. I don't know what it was like in the '70s or 80s (the supposed hey-day) - right now it's just an American city, much like others in midwest. Okay, maybe better than some of those. It's a very social city so if you like that this is your place. It's not as laid back as the reputation, in fact, it's very fast paced and always buzzing. Though the people are generally cool and friendly. Everything that was good about the city is being stripped away but that is what happens when the governing body does their job and attracts businesses. Although there is probably more diversity than there once was. Culture is mainly Longhorns football, drinking/bars/drugs, live shows, BBQ, swimming holes, fitness, and DUIs. If you like the real outdoors, you will grow very tired of this place. Big Bend is six hours away. Mountains - nowhere. There is a coastline but it's nothing like the East or West coast. You could do worse. You could also do a lot better.

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Chris
Round Rock, TX

Epitome of Overrated - 8/9/2016

Don't move here, and I'm not saying that because I want to keep this place so supposedly cool. I'm saying it because it is incredibly overrated, and it just might (if you have a family) be the most regrettable decision you ever make. The real estate brochures will all tell you what a Shangri La this is, and yet, for the life of me, I can't see how this place is so great. Yes, it has good things, but.....SO DO OTHER PLACES. For anyone over 35, actually other places have much more to offer, honestly. There isn't a single thing that this city has a monopoly on, and there are so many things that it doesn't have (comfortable weather, natural splendor, good museum system, helpful public transportation, pro sports, modesty, etc.) Yes, I do say "natural splendor," because, well, there are no mountains or beaches anywhere nearby, and the scrubby paths here hardly qualify as hiking trails in most places. Beyond this, it is quite misleading to say that it's very cheap. Maybe that is true for people from Cali or other high-profile places, but, as a resident, you pay plenty for taxes. It just is paid by different means (property, toll roads, high sales tax). The place does have a promising economic situation, yes, but for people in the non-tech sectors, it's not nearly as rosy of an outlook. IN some of these industries, too, you are definitely treated as an outsider if non-native. This is understandable, considering all the influx into here, but still, it's frustrating to go through. Last but not least, you know what is so weird about this city? That it thinks it's so special. I, for one, am counting down the days until I can chalk it up to past mistakes.

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Austin
Nashville, TN

Visiting Austin-Great Impression - 7/10/2016

I have never lived in Austin, but have visited many times and have received a good vibe from the city. First of all, people who live there really seem to love it and are welcoming. I've been in bars and had people come up to me (both genders) and start conversations and seem very friendly. Not just once, but on several occasions. And not in a I'm drunk and looking for companionship sort of way, but it a genuinely friendly matter. Being from the south, this was foreign to me, as people seem to converse with you only if you are in a mutual group or if they are intoxicated in most occasions. However, I do think this is more of a place for younger (20-35 year olds) people, rather than adults looking for a more mature setting. It feels like a laid-back, large college town, which is not for everybody, though it may have changed since I last visited (2013). Compared to larger, fast cities, it's probably a step back in terms of amenities, though I was impressed with some of the offerings (the Whole Foods Corporate HQ and its 2-3 story grocery is definitely worth a visit, and there is a Fry's, several Trader Joes, and Google Fiber). I live in Nashville, and for younger people who are looking for booming, friendly transplant cities, Austin feels like it is several generations ahead of TN. A very clean city with plenty of personality. If you are young at heart, this is the place for you.

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Elizabeth
Austin, TX

Born and raised in Austin, Texas - 3/7/2016

It is not secret that Austin is a great place to live. I was born here and have lived in central Austin much of my life. It is crazy to see how much my town has turned into an internationally known big city. I am a residential Realtor and one thing I always say to my clients moving to Austin is that "people here want you to love Austin and feel welcome." In addition to all of things you hear about how great Austin is, friendly people is what keeps it real.

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Hlksmash
Austin, TX

Great for many, not for everyone - 1/5/2016

Austin has a great blend of things to offer; outdoors, bars/clubs, community initiatives, arts, dance and music. Depending on where you want to live, you can get a somewhat reasonably priced place, granted you had better be a professional or semi-successful creative type. You cannot afford to live comfortably alone in Austin on less than $40/$45k a year. There are major issues with traffic for this size of city, but, i have yet to get almost run off the road ( Houston, San Antonio, Vegas)or aggressively honked/yelled at (NYC, Atlanta) . Over hyping of certain neighborhoods drive up costs, but, what popular city hasn't experienced that? Austin will never be the ultra-cheap sleepy college town it was, get over it, time changes things. I've been here over 10 years and if I did not see positive changes I would've left. Austin wont be for everyone, just like any other place on this site, don't bash Austin on every aspect because you weren't a fit!

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Sam
Austin, TX

LASA Benefits in Short - 12/7/2015

Go to LASA and Stay there if You Can Handle This: -------------- 1. Competitive academic environment 2. Very good teachers 3. Rigorous academic load, AP classes 4. Competitive students around you 5. Lots of homework to keep you up until 10.30-11 pm 6. Long commute, late after school activities, late pick up 7. Nerdish atmosphere 8. Competent school staff to support ------------

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Laurel
San Francisco, CA

Wanna Be/Has Been/Avoid - 5/28/2015

If you are Texan, I'm sure Austin is a great place. Most of the people who don't fit in to the rest of the state, move to Austin. But it will never been anything more than a wanna-be city. It will never be on a par with the great cities in the US, no matter what, because alas, it is in Texas. Too many Texans live there. And a smaller percentage of former Californians live there, and they were the people who couldn't hack it in California, which isn't speaking highly of them. There is absolutely nothing to do in Austin unless you like excellent musicians playing third rate annoying one- track pseudo country music. Or if you like amazing restaurants, it does have those. Or if you like biking and jogging in 110 degree heat around a very ugly arid climate. (Anybody who says Austin is pretty has never been anywhere else.) But what this place does not have is an active cultural scene, a diverse population (EVERYBODY is white, or segregated Indian/Asian tech people who couldn't hack it in California). There are no art museums, galleries, cool hang outs for different types of people, public transportation, interesting shops, design, style, vibrancy, cutting edge thought, technology, business, anything. If you think it's a power center, you've clearly never been to the Bay Area, NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA, or any other places where things are really happening. And speaking of that, you either make minimum wage and live like a bum, or you make a lot of money and spend it on stupid things. It's all a big tax break for out of state corporations. Nothing is really created there. Ok, they have Whole Foods. (But everybody hates Whole Foods and if they're into really good local food, they would shop locally, not at Whole Foods.) The housing is ugly. The people are backwards and take mellow to an embarrassing degree. And I could go on. I guess the bottom line is that if you think Austin is "all that" then please stay there, and don't be embarrassed when you travel and people could give a fat nothing about where you're from. It ain't Paris, it ain't San Francisco, NY, Miami even, it is basically nowhere. It has a good PR run there for a while, but it's over now. What really bothers me the most is, people like to think they're green and liberal and pro-environment, but what do they do but run around 24/7 with a carbon spewing air conditioner strapped to their car and house? And drive a giant SUV that gets 10 mpg? It's appalling. Sorry to be negative, but the best I can say about Austin is, it's probably a nice place to be from, as long as you are now living somewhere else. Ok, sorry, peace out, good luck, don't move there.

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W
Austin, TX

Give this place a pass - 4/9/2015

Arrogant and pretentious for such a hick town, Austin combines the worst of Texas Teasips and the worst of the Left Coast to produce a place hardly fit to pen hogs. Your mileage may vary.

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Kim
Leander, TX

Great place to start a career - 2/20/2015

Austin is a great place to live. Hot in the summer, but you get use to it. Very mild winters. There might be a trace of snow and it will shut the town down, very funny! There is a lot to do. Outdoor activities, music venues and great places to eat. The city is growing with all the jobs here so of course, a lot of people moving here. If your looking to move here and you have kids, try to stick in the Round Rock or Dripping Springs school districts. The best schools are in Wimberley, Tx about 30-35 miles outside of Austin. Many people commute 30-40 miles to work daily. It's Texas, It's big!!! Once again, this is a great place for a young family to move to but if your older, like me, I want out! Looking for a more quite, peaceful life. I'm looking at Ashland Oregon. Any comment about Ashland would be great!

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Alex
Austin, TX

Do your community a service - get rid of Texans. - 2/6/2015

I live in New York but have lived in Austin before for several years, and when a customer comes into my bar who's from Texas I tell them "Go back to Texas you f*ggot f*cking piece of sh*t!" and then kick them out/ban them. If everyone did this, the world would be a much better place.

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Kimberly
Austin, TX

OMG!!!! Austin YUCK!!!!!! - 12/30/2014

I have lived here 3 years, from Minneapolis. I did as much research as I could, before coming down here. I wanted the cool, laid back, Hippie, live music vibe. Austin, TX has all but lost that. Maybe South Austin has retained some of that. That part is on it's way to losing it too. Austin, TX is full of pretenious, cold hearted AHOLES from California. Ya see, companies from Cali are moving here, because they get an enormous tax break. I must mention that it is definitely a younger city. 20/30 year olds. And the men who are middle aged, act like complete imbeciles. I was reading a couple of other posts, that stated the main culture is drinking. That is the truth! If something that is totally fantastic (I will bet money it will not) does not happen to be me, by the end of my lease (rent is outrageous by the way---hello water bill!), by May 2015, I am leaving here!!!!!! Just a word to the wise!

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joan
Leander, TX

Living in austin - 12/29/2014

Very expensive, but more importantly impossible to get around - traffic patterns have never been established - takes more than an hour to go 10 miles - tieups everyday - accidents all the time - streets always closed for something - taxes should be low for all the events that are held disrupting traffic - cost of water outrageous $100 just for the privilege of having it before any charges for what you use - not a town for families still geared to college kids and those riding bicycles - would recommend staying for a couple of days and just try to get around before making a decision to move here

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Steve
Austin, TX

The times are a'changin - 12/23/2014

Austin is changing from a low-cost college town to a high cost tech-city. Traffic has grown so bad that commuting from less costly areas is difficult. Living in convenient locations has gotten very expensive due to demand. The city is way behind on infrastructure to address these issues so the next decade is going to me difficult.

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Lillian
Austin, TX

Austin isn't all that great - 12/5/2014

So, We moved here 5 years ago and I'm ready to leave. My favorite thing is the food scene. Lot's of cool restaurants. Also, I've seen more live music in 5 years and it's all fantastic. But that's kind of where it ends. Yes, it's outdoorsy but the heat is unbearable (and I'm from Miami, so I'm no pansy). I've gone hiking for the day and it's so hot, it's impossible to carry the amount of water you need to enjoy yourself. Also, there are no shoulder season. It goes from 98 to 28 and everyone exclaims "Winter's here". It does the opposite in March. It's hardtop bike because the winds are routinely 20-30 mph. They rave about the wild flowers, but they only bloom (if they bloom) for 3 weeks and the rest of the year, the medians and byway look like over grown weeds in a ghetto. The actual city is very dirty, and the sidewalks and streets are in major disrepair. The traffic is horrible. It used to take me 10 minutes to get to the Galleria Mall, now it takes 30 minutes to go 4 miles. So many people are moving here and there are is only one option so you have to just sit. During the wild fires, there was no way to get to safety because there was only one road. Very disturbing... The BBQ is good, but it's all about the meat. Nobody puts much thought into the sides, so that's kinds of disappointing if you like to try different types of potato salad, etc. The schools are meh. My kids complain they aren't learning much, just made to memorize stuff. The entire school focuses on Football and also Football. Culture is non existent, except drinking. And they start early. I'll miss the Breakfast tacos, but I can make them myself.

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CJ
Austin, TX

best city in the US - 9/25/2014

what a great city, it combines the diverse open minded culture, nature beauty and high tech that you find in places like the bay area along with the low regulations, low taxes and low government control that you find in texas. What a great city, keep Austin weird !!!

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Michael
Grandville, MI

Austin is not where you want to be - 9/7/2014

I lived in the Austin area for 30 of the past 35 years. I left for good in June 2014. I will never return. I am writing this to warn anyone thinking about moving to Austin. Don't do it. There's three reasons for not moving to Austin: population growth, traffic, and climate. Population growth: In 1980, Austin was a sleepy little college town of about 300,000 people. It is now (2014) a metropolitan area of about 2 million, about to surpass the San Antonio area in population. Austin will continue growing because it's one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. People want to move to Austin because Austin has this image of being hip, hot, and happening. You sit in traffic on I-35 in Austin and Austin suddenly loses its appeal. Traffic: Austin is about 20 years behind on building highways. Take a look at a map of Austin and San Antonio. Who has the better highway system? San Antonio, hands down. The traffic on Austin main thoroughfare, I-35, is woefully congested, even on the weekends. Other main roads like MoPac, highway 260, FM 2222, etc. have almost as bad traffic congestion during rush hours. Downtown Austin can be hard to navigate during certain hours of week days. Weather: I remember back in the 80's and 90's Austin had somewhat cooler and wetter summers. The average number of days 100 or more is 12, but, in the last few years, the number of days 100 or more has significantly increased. There was a year, 2011 I think, where Austin had 67 days 100 or more. In August 2014, the number of days in that month alone 100 or more was 15. Also, Austin has been in a drought, along with most of the state, for the past four years. Lake Travis at one time was at 34% of its capacity recently. Winters are mild in Austin, but the summers are about six months along, with plenty of humidity. Austin is not where you want to be.

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Amy
Austin, TX

Austin is no longer the place to be - Can't wait t - 8/24/2014

I moved here 20 years ago and everything that was a positive then, no longer exists. The cost of living is HIGH folks, don't believe the hype that no state income tax equates to a lower cost of living - not in Austin Texas! The property taxes are high, the home value assessments are high and the annual cap on those assessments is 10% - do the math! Wages here are low in the "right to work" state and most jobs are part time only with no benefits. School funding is low. Healthcare is high. All the funky and cool things and places that used to define Austin have moved out because of the high cost of living. That being said, corporate welfare here is king. All the things that we used to love to do here are no longer accessable due to the unbearable crowds and traffic. I saw on this website that Austin's average commute is 23 minutes - no way. I have one of the "better" commutes in Austin and it takes me an hour and half minimum to travel 15 miles to work. We are being surrounded by overpriced toll roads here in every direction, air pollution is now a problem, and crime is high with an apathetic and military type police department. I would never recommend Austin to anyone. It's over-hyped (thank you Governor Perry) and now depleted of everything that once made it a wonderful place to raise a family.

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Ask
Austin, TX

Why am I still living here? - 7/31/2014

I have lived in Austin for the past 6 years. I can't take it any more. Austin is the fastest growing city in the United States, it's exploding. It's the only major city that has no loop system, so you can imagine how horrid the traffic is here. And it's not even during rush hour, it's always backed up on I35 and Mopac both ways. Sometimes it takes an hour to drive 10 miles home from work. Second, the weather will make you absolutely miserable if you're sensitive to heat and humidity. The entire summer lasts about 6 months. Day after day Austin ranges from 97F to 100F in July and August. In 2011 we had 110F+ days. The City of Austin controls my apartment's thermostat, so they can shut off my AC during peak hours as they please. The humidity makes the heat stick around at night, and it's not unusual to take a walk at night in 90F temperatures. Imagine how uncomfortable it is to sleep here. Lastly, it is extremely expensive to live here. I'm paying $920 (rent only) for a small 1 bedroom apartment about 12 miles away from downtown. My rent increased 20% over last year. Yes, 20%. So now I have to ask myself, why am I paying so much to live in an overcrowded, uncomfortably hot, congested city?

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Ashley
Austin, TX

Too many people - 7/19/2014

Ok I'm not sure which category fits this best. I love my city. Austin is my home, I've always lived in Austin. I'm a 5th gen. Austinite, 7th gen. Texan. I'm proud to have that title too as we are becoming harder hand harder to find. More and more people come each day to move here and suck us dry of our culture that we so proudly held. They come and only want the music. They come to see all these famous bands playing at our festivals and close to move in so they can here them more often. Well I have something to say, we have too many people in our small town now! It's not built to hold you and your 3 kids and dog, don't move here from California to see Muse and Red Hot Chili Peppers play at ACL. No! Go home. We have enough of a problem trying to stretch to fit everyone else. We're happy to share the music but go home afterword. Please. We don't need more of you. Or your unreasonable laws you want to add. Thank you -from an angry Austinite.

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Rachel
Austin, TX

Austin is great.....Well, I can remember when it w - 7/7/2014

I have lived in Austin for around 10 years now. Everyday this city is changing and evolving into a metropolitan, corporate city. No more small town Austin! On average 50 people move here a day and we have NO public transportation apart from the awful metro buses that get stuck in traffic like the rest of us. I live two miles from my work and it takes me 45 minutes both ways (morning and evening) to get to and from. The lack of roads and alternate forms of transportation can really change your view of the city. If you plan on moving here, you MUST have a car. All of the artist, hippies, and bohemians are slowly being pushed out of the city because it is too damn expensive to live here! They are tearing down the eclectic Austin homes, shopping centers, etc. and building high rise condos. Austin was the place to be 10 years ago, now, I am looking for a new TOWN to move to. It is the best place to live in Texas hands down but just make sure you're a trust fund baby or fell into a large pile of money before moving here or else you will find yourself in financial trouble. Oh, and did I mention that a new law has passed with in the Real Estate market, any houses built after 2007 are only allowed to have families living in them. You may not have more than two unrelated people under one roof. There goes the only affordable way of living here...However, it is a beautiful city and I do love the vibe. Just beware of HOT Summers lasting 5 months, awful traffic, every event and restaurant is so crowded, high cost of living, lower paying jobs, and the development of high rise expensive condos.

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