Austin: not weird, smarter

By Abigail Chaff

Abigail Chaff

What exactly does everyone want out of Austin, Texas? Austin seems to be the new place to be. I feel geographical locations go through cycles just like everything else. Right now Austin is on trend, right up there with Tom’s Shoes and tattoos.

A few years ago everyone wanted to be in Colorado. With legalized medical marijuana and pharmacies popping up everywhere, what 20-something didn’t want to breathe the clean air and jump over bums?

Before Colorado, it was Pittsburgh. Pretty much the only thing to do in Pittsburgh is eat amazing fatty food and drink Yuengling.

And of course, while you do those things, you also worship the athletic gods of Pittsburgh professional sports. If you’re not ready to be sucked into the cult of Steeler mania and the Penguins, you might as well stay home.

In the ‘90s, Seattle was the place to be. In the midst of a grunge phase, the ‘90s ushered a generation to Seattle’s rainy streets. Seattle was the perfect mix of depression and music that the ‘90s kids craved.

Going even further back, we can use San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene as the perfect example of a town being taken over by young adults looking for a good time. People migrated to the Haight in bus loads hoping to find a community of people just like themselves.

During the era of peace and love, everyone wanted to sit around, smoke some dope and trip out; they wanted to actually feel something within themselves instead of being told what to do by corporate America.

Every decade has trends that made those years what they were. Nothing ever stays the same. Most fads have a way of coming full circle and making their way back into the mainstream at some point, but when and what can never be predicted.

Austin is an exciting place, and everyone knows it. Almost everyone is nice in that town; except for at the H.E.B. (Austin’s Giant Eagle) — everyone there is mean, and will knock you over. Almost every bar is awesome. Every rooftop patio and beer garden is full of people just wanting to have a good time.

The atmosphere blows on the wind and can be very intoxicating. Austin reminds me of Akron’s Highland Square. But in Austin, the hipsters are actually nice, and it’s just more fun.

Most of the hipsters are clean as well, an idea the grungy kids stinking up Annabell’s seem to forget about.

The slogan that has caught on in Austin is “Keep Austin weird.” I wouldn’t say Austin is weird; it is just more accepting of different types of people. I think we could all admit that the United States is slowly but surely becoming a truly free nation.

Tattoos are not as taboo as before, gay and lesbian men and women are finally letting their voices be heard, the government is finally starting to understand that marijuana has real benefits and are hopefully reaming their “war on drugs” to combat a real threat.

Austin is a forward-thinking place. Employers don’t care that their employees have tattoos and piercings; they realize that the fact that someone has brightly colored hair does not actually reflect their level of intelligence or work ethic.

Austin is on the forefront of new age thinking. It is a liberal city in a notoriously conservative state. Austin is not “Texas,” and that’s what is making this town so appealing. Everyone has a place in Austin.

Am I ready to pack up and move to Texas? Not really. Everyone’s spotlight will eventually fade. Ben Roethlisberger became a creepy date rapist. Seattle stayed Seattle, and that’s just rainy and hilly. The hippies of the ‘60s realized all they did was form a drug habit and joined the rest of the homeless crowd.

I must say, Colorado is still pretty cool, but good luck trying to find a job with all those other mid-20s waitresses and bartenders.

Austin is warm and has tons of things to do, but in the long run it’s just a place. I know its cliché, but home really is where the heart is. Most of my friends in Ohio constantly complain how this state sucks and that they hate the snow and that Akron is boring. I happen to like where I live.

If you don’t like the snow, move out of northeast Ohio, or stop talking about it. I’m one of those weird people that doesn’t like to constantly whine about the weather and would rather accept it and not be miserable.

I have no real plans to stay in Ohio, but that’s because I don’t think anyone should stay somewhere forever. There is an Austin, or a Denver, or a Haight Street for everyone; you just have to go find it. Just because everyone else isn’t flocking to its borders doesn’t mean it isn’t where your heart will sing.