Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some Things to Know About Austin

Thank God for holidays. I am at the lab today, just to take care of a couple things, but will cut out a bit early. In general, we have learned that we have strength in numbers, so most of the American students in the group (which is now a significant portion) as well as a few of the foreign post-docs are going to be coming over to my apt. complex for some grilling. It is kind of chilly outside, so the guys will probably handle the outdoor food prep, and then we will hang out, eat inside and play some games. I'm hoping I can fit some sewing in later on . . . I didn't get nearly as much done (craft wise) as I was hoping this weekend. Time flies when you have tons of errands to run. More about the hunting trips later on, but in the meantime . . . I saw this and thought it was too funny. Not only that, but having lived here for the past almost-five years, I have found all of these things to be true. Enjoy

A few observations for those of you who live here... or used to live here....or plan to live here.

1. First, it's pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Austin has its 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.

3. All directions start with "Go down Mopac... 'cause you don't want to get on I-35. Oh, yes, Mopac is Loop 1.

4. Burnet Road, Braker Lane, and Lamar Blvd. have no beginning and no end.

5. It is 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.

6. Stay away from the Congress Ave. bridge at sundown if you do not like the thought of being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. (Largest Mexican Free Tail Bat Population in the US )

The bats leaving the bridge at sundown, taken from shewhopaints' flickr stream

7. The 8:00am rush hour is from 6:30am to 9:30am . The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:30p to 7:15pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

8. If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from Austin . Green means "GO"; Yellow means "GO"; and Red means "three more of y'all can GO". You may only apply your brakes at the end of a yellow light and the beginning of the red light when they create a burnt-orange hue. This is Longhorn Country, after all.

9. Just remember that -
- Mopac is Loop 1;
- Capital of Texas Hwy is 360;
- Hwy. 183 is Research Blvd. , Anderson Lane; Ed Bluestein or
the Old Bastrop Hwy ;
- Hwy. 290 is Lamar Blvd ;
- FM 2222 is Northland Dr., Bull Creek Rd., Allendale Rd.,
Bullick or Koenig Lane ...

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.

10. If moisture is determined to be rain, and not sweat, all traffic must immediately come to a screeching halt; ditto for daylight savings time, a female UT student applying eye-shadow crossing the street, or a flat tire three lanes over.

11. DO NOT attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like ice, snow, SXSW (South by Southwest Music Convention). Construction on I-35 AND Hwy. 183 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it! ( I also avoid being on the roads after a football game....if they're not leaving the stadium, they are leaving any place-of-business that shows the game and serves beer).

12. Attn: All telephone solicitors...DO NOT correct my pronunciation when I say I live in Manchaca , TX .. It's pronounced MAN-shack (just like a man living in shack). Also realize that the city of Manchaca (MANshack) is in Hays and Travis Counties , and there is also a very long street in Austin named Manchaca (MANshack)! The city of Manor and Manor Rd. are pronounced 'MAY-ner'. We don't like corrections on that either. And, for God's sake, DON'T pronounce the 'E' at the end of Guadalupe. It's Gwada-LOOP and we like it that way!

13. Burnet Road is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NET. Koenig Lane is pronounced KAE-nig not KOE-nig. The old airport (Robert Mueller) is pronounced Robert Miller and is on Airport Boulevard . The new airport (Austin-Bergstrom) is no where near Airport Boulevard . It's in the city of Del Valle pronounced Dell Valley !

14. Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed 'hippie' in worn-out sandals and earrings is probably the latest IPO millionaire around here.

15. Regardless of what you are told, the Capitol is CENTRAL AUSTIN, and yes, we do have a body of water splitting Austin into North Austin and South Austin and it is called "Town Lake" (by longtime Austinites, and Lady Bird Lake by newcomers) not the Colorado River (even though it is part of it).

a picture I found of a partial view of downtown from the southeast

16. And, yes, we all know that there's a man in a teddy and a tiara on Congress Ave. It's Leslie and he probably makes more money than you do. (Surely, you have a homeless, celebrity drag queen that likes to run for Mayor where you live, too, right?)


**And you wonder why there are so many bumper stickers that say 'Keep Austin Weird'!**
And why Pflugerville (which is between Austin and Round Rock) residents wear tee shirts that say, Pflugerville -- Between a Rock and a Weird Place !!!!

This is a weird place, huh? There are so many things that Ryan and I see and we always end up saying "...only in Austin."


Coco said...

oh my that last pic is hilarious!

Lisa said...

I'm a little late in reading this post, but numbers 7 and 8 crack me up! I DO NOT miss the traffic in Austin. Blurgh.

Vanessa Monet said...

Crazy how true all of this is.
#8 is the worst! I am amazed that I haven't gotten in an accident yet.

angie (on tour ;-) ) said...

That is an awesome article. I wished my parents spoke any English ;-)