Saturday, April 16, 2005

Rules For Living in Austin

From my friend Sally. Not only are they funny, they are true.

  • First, it's pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.
  • Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Austin has it's own set of traffic rules. There's no book about them. All you can do is get in your car and hope you survive to learn them.
  • All directions start with "Go down Mopac...'cause you don't want to get on 35."
    Burnet, Braker, and Lamar have no beginning and no end.
  • It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street that you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this a "scenic drive".
  • The 8:00 am rush hour is from 6:30am to 9:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:30pm to 7:15pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
  • If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from Austin.
  • Just remember that Mopac IS Loop 1; Capital of Texas Hwy IS 360; and 183 IS Research, Anderson, Ed Bluestein, and Old Bastrop Hwy. 2222 IS Northland or Allendale or Koenig. Don't try to figure it out. Just accept it. If you question the intelligence behind this naming convention, people will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.
  • If moisture is determined to be rain, not sweat, all traffic must immediately cease. Ditto for daylight savings time, girl applying eye-shadow across the street, or a flat tire 3 lanes over. Do not attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like snow or SXSW.
  • Construction on I-35 is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it!
  • Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed "hippie" in sandals and earrings is probably the latest IPO millionaire around here.
  • Stay away from the Congress bridge at sundown if you do not like the thought of being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
  • And, yes, we all know that's a man in a teddy and a tiara on Congress. It's Leslie, and he probably makes more money than you do.


Anonymous said...

For the uninitiated, what's SXSW?

Anonymous said...

SXSW -- is South by Soutwest. It's a combination of three different festivals rolled into two weeks -- interactive, movie, and music. The biggest part is the music festival where bands come from as far away as Australia in hopes of getting heard, and signed, by record executives. Even big name artists, such as Robet Plant (lead singer of Led Zepplin) come as well. Of course, music fans come to listen to great music.

Not quite as big is the film festival, where quirky indies are screened. I know that Spellbound, the Academy Award nominee for best documentary a few years ago debuted at SXSW.

The smallest festival is the interactive, showing the Web and new media. However, within the industry it gets buzz, and national guests.

SXSW (abbreviate only in writing; when talking about it, say South by Southwest) is in March. It brings tons of people and money to our town, which is good, but we already have serious traffic problems, so most of us choose to stay away from downtown Austin during the event unless absolutely necessary.

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