news and not news of the day. Art reviews, NWO to your neighborhood. food, politics, art and everything under the sun. Austin Texas
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Austin is not the place to live
The irony is that the people moving here for Austin's "unique culture" are the same ones destroying it with all of the expensive condos going up around town. And don't even try to claim that transplants are bringing money to the city, it's trickling down, etc...It's been well-documented that the net financial effect is negative.
And no, I don't care about your stupid Black Keys wanna-be band.
Don't forget to bring: A willingness to help people of color so much that you are willing to gentrify their neighborhoods to prove it. and here is video of how fun SXSW 2013 was. Police Taser Fun
shooting on 6th street ( the main action is at the end of the 3minute video)
For people on the move, Austin is a place to stop and live
Yahaira Rodriguez distributes pamphlets to students at Huston-Tillotson University with information on mentoring troubled youth. Drawn by the city’s diversity and its sense of community, she moved here from Washington, D.C., in 2011.
What’s the difference between the nation’s capital and the so-called live music capital?
The answer reveals as much about the lure of Austin as it does about why, in September 2011, Erin Hallagan and her boyfriend, Matt Nikolajevic, quit what they considered great jobs, rolled the dice and left Washington, D.C., for new lives in Austin.
“In D.C., the first question a stranger will ask you is, ‘What is it you do for living?’ They’re looking for networks to advance themselves,” Hallagan said. “In Austin, the question is, ‘What is it you like to do?’ It’s more about self-nourishment and development. It’s a great fit for us.”
Hallagan, 27, was a film and theater major in search of a film community. She found it in Austin, where she is the conference director for the Austin Film Festival. “The creative culture here is huge. That’s the biggest thing for me,” Hallagan said.
Nikolajevic, 28, who graduated with a history degree from George Mason University and worked for a culinary school in Washington, now works in the admissions department at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin.
Like Hallagan and Nikolajevic, the new neighbor next door might be young, college-educated and not from around here.
The Austin metro area attracted more young people and college graduates than any other major metropolitan area in the country during the period from 2009-2011, the second consecutive three-year period in which Austin has led the pack in those categories, according to an analysis by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He measured rates for annual average net migration (including people who left Austin) of young adults ages 25 to 34 and young adults with college degrees.
According to an American-Statesman analysis of census estimates, in 2011 about 50,000 people moved to the five-county Austin region from another state, comprising 2.8 percent of the metro area’s population. (By comparison, 1.6 percent of the nation’s population moved to a different state in 2011; 2 percent in Texas.) An estimated 30,000 Austin-area residents left for another state that year. Still, with net migration of about 20,000 people, the Austin region ranked second among the state’s five-largest metro areas, behind Dallas, which had a net migration of about 25,700 people who had lived in a different state the previous year.
Those figures and other mobility data bolster Austin’s long-standing distinction as an attractive destination, especially for young people and people looking for jobs.
“Austin hits the trifecta. It’s got jobs, cachet, it’s got people who see that it’s a pathway to careers, either because they go there to get an education or to use an education,” Frey said.
“It really boils down to Austin’s ability to exert this gravitational pull for the young and talented,” city of Austin demographer Ryan Robinson said.
Jobs typically are the top reason people move. Twenty-somethings traditionally have the highest rates of mobility, and college graduates typically are more willing to move out of state for jobs because they tend to compete for them in national markets, Frey said.
With its high-tech industry and universities, its good economic health compared with other places, and its reputation as a vibrant hot spot for young people, the Austin metro area scores well with job seekers and young adults.
In a January report on the Austin office market, Oxford Commercial said that Austin has the eighth-most educated workforce in the country, and that employers benefit from the area’s high concentration of universities and access “to one of the most energetic, innovative and highly educated” labor pools in the country.
That ready pool of talented, young college grads, along with diversification of the local economy, and of the tech industry in particular, is helping attract companies to Austin, said Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
“The old mantra used to be ‘Location, location, location.’ Today, it’s all about ‘Talent, talent, talent,’” Porter said.
Half of all adults who move here have a four-year college degree, Porter said, citing Internal Revenue Service data.
‘I fell in love with the city’
Employment trumps all other motivators when people move long distances, according to demographers, but some newcomers to Austin says there’s much more to it than just work.
Though career paths were on their minds, Hallagan said she and Nikolajevic did not have jobs lined up when they moved to the West Austin neighborhood of Clarksville.
Another newcomer from another state, Julie Wernersbach said she was so taken with Austin, she would have come even without a job offer.
The first time she set foot in Austin in 2010, Wernersbach found herself basking on the upstairs patio at Whole Foods. It was a shimmery, sun-dappled day. She wore a tank top. It was December.
“I felt life could not be better,” the 31-year-old Wernersbach said with a laugh.
Just four weeks after that Shangri-La moment, Wernersbach packed up her belongings and left her home in frosty Long Island, N.Y., to take a job in Austin as a publicist for BookPeople.
“Austin was a place I wanted to be and a place I wanted to work,” Wernersbach said. Austin just felt comfortable, Wernersbach said, and she liked its creative culture and its appreciation for a locally owned bookstore.
“And I’m having a little fun,” Wernersbach added, laughing again.
Another Washington transplant, Yahaira Rodriguez, a 35-year-old Puerto Rico native, came to Austin for the first time in early 2011 for a national meeting of the home-grown Las Comadres, a social and professional networking organization for Latinas that has members across the world.
“I fell in love with the city and with the people,” Rodriguez said. By that summer, Rodriguez had made a new home in Austin, drawn, she said, by the city’s diversity and what she considered its strong sense of community.
Rodriguez thinks Austin is a place where entrepreneurs can flourish. That was something she was looking for, and she is putting it to the test, starting up a private practice here as a life coach and as a consultant working with nonprofits.
Two factors stack up in a favor of business in Austin, Rodriguez said. First, the city has a growing economy; Washington’s wasn’t as stable. Second, Texas has no state income tax.
Rodriguez raves about Austin, but Washington has one thing going for it — a wealth of museums and cultural spaces, many of which are free. “I will miss that,” she said.
The downside of popularity
Among people who moved to a different state in 2011, the city of Austin had a net migration of about 13,000 people, according to census estimates. Measured a different way, the people who moved to Austin from another state in 2011 made up about 15 percent of all people who moved to the capital city.
“Other parts of the country are scheming and dreaming to get a piece of this action,” Robinson said. “We’re doing it largely organically.” He predicted that data not yet available for 2012 and 2013 will show Austin continuing “on a really strong trajectory” of new residents coming from out of state. The city is driving a long and sustained growth surge in the five-county metro area, Robinson said.
Austin is the state’s fourth-largest city, and last year it passed San Francisco to become the nation’s 13th-largest city. As impressive as that is, the metro area has been growing faster by percentage since 2000, by 37 percent in the last decade to 1.7 million people, according to the 2010 census.
That surge continues; the Austin area grew faster than all large metropolitan areas in the nation last year, according to census estimates released earlier this month, which also showed a number of other Texas metro areas and counties among the fastest-growing in the U.S. last year. Among states, Texas has led the nation in growth since 2000, with demographers attributing half that surge to migration, with the bulk of that migration from other states.
Still, though newcomers represent a fraction of the Austin region’s growth overall — about 470,000 people during the last decade — some longtime residents gripe that the new residents are changing the city simply with their numbers, as if they are somehow responsible for chipping away at what made Austin a special place. Longtime locals grouse about ubiquitous traffic snarls, for one thing. Perhaps with the full force of hyperbole, one talk show host said recently that Austin was becoming like the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, though in fairness he was talking as well about development and urban sprawl and big events such as Formula One, which draw more visitors.
The satirical website The Pessimist recently asked visitors for the South by Southwest festivals to please not move here, claiming the city isn’t all that it’s cracked to be. Example: “Sure, our bats are awesome … until they turn into vampires.”
Even Hallagan said that she and Nikolajevic fell pretty quickly into the camp which thinks there might be “too many” people moving to Austin.
“I feel hypocritical,” Hallagan said. “I feel so connected with what Austin represents that there’s this huge fear of people coming and maybe diluting it a little, and I would hate for that to happen. But the optimistic part of me also thinks that might present a lot of opportunity as well.”