“When I was growing up all of this was farm land.” This is a comment an old lady would say to her grandchildren, but instated it is me – a twenty-one-year-old – talking to my boyfriend as we drive down Mopac. Austin is growing and regretfully it shows no signs of stopping. Farms have turned into shopping centers, Mam and Pap places are now tourist locations, and the highways are parking lots.
All of this started happening around 2008. The rest of the country was having trouble finding a job while Austin was still staying afloat, and the people coming in helped keep it that way. But it’s been eight years and its recorded that 110 people move into Austin a day, and that is just with in the city limits.
Obviously, someone spilled the beans. Austin is great. Our crime rate is low, our employment is high, we like the outdoors, we eat healthy, and we are the most liberal city for miles.
There are many ways to tell if a person is new to Austin. The eases being their driving. Austinites are very polite drivers. We don’t generally speed. There was a time when if you saw someone speeding it was on the shoulder with their hazarder lights on and everyone (including the police officer) suspected it was a new dad on his way to the hospital. If there was a biker on the street you give them the road because for all you know it could be Lance Armstrong. Most importantly, Austinites do not honk. It’s rude and only done if someone is in danger.
Other subtle things include:
- Calling Mopac, Loop 1
- Not knowing what a breakfast taco is
- Mispronouncing Buda, Manchaca
- Taking the stairs to get into Barton Springs
The list goes on and on. It’s strange growing up in a town that grows so fast. People my age tent to sound like grumpy old ladies when we talk about the good old days of Austin. We lament over how soon the Broken Spoke might be pushed out, and why is there a fairs wheel at the Trail of Lights this year?
Very few cities grow just as fast as Austin has. It means there are little kids who will only remember an Austin that is moving fast. The older Austinites will remember the Golden Years, and for those of us in the middle we watch and hope that Austin wont forgot what makes it great.