Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Keep It Weird

This cartoon was in the latest issue of the Austin Chronicle. The phrase "Keep Austin Weird" was started back in the year 2000 by a caller phoning in a pledge to KOOP radio, and thanked them for "keeping Austin weird". The phrase was picked up and used in a general campaign and movement to encourage people to buy local, support small businesses, and encourage positive entrepreneurship rather than let chains like Wal-Mart and Starbucks make everything everywhere look the same. Other cities in the country have since picked up the phrase, so you can now keep Louisville and Santa Cruz Weird... and more. Erie PA claims to have started it all over 20 years ago*, but I guess Austin is the one that built a fire under it.

*This is according to an article in the July 2005 SW Spirit magazine, not online.

I really don't like the gentrification-type development that is going on, and since money talks so loud, there's nothing that can be done to prevent these things. Over on Barton Springs Road, for example, I was really disappointed when Austin Java (now known as "previously weird") moved in and replaced Pizza Nizza -- a great little pizza restaurant with funny crap on the walls and a huge tree growing inside it that went right through the ceiling! (they didn't cut it down but it's no longer a prominent feature, so one small favor there) Austin Java's style is more modern and yuppie-fied, and they have bands playing on the deck that purposefully interfere with the bands across the street at Flipnotics (don't deny it AJ, Flipnotics was there first, all you're doing is creating cacaphony and unpleasantness). Now we hear that the owner of Austin Java is getting rid of that great little trailer park that has been there forever nestled between Shady Grove and whatever -- and putting up condos. Austin Java is off my good list. Here is a sign that one of the trailer park residents has in his fence that faces the sidewalk. Mister, you couldn't put it any better.

LINK: Keep Austin Weird



Fernando said...

Cruel to post this with me stuck in Dallas.

I still miss Dallas - BUT, it's not what it was in the 80's. It's even hard to find a Conan's pizza.

Blueberry said...

Sorry Fernando! If his sign had said Houston instead, that might be better.

Fernando said...

Ewww... I lived in Houston. Bunch of redneck bigots surrounded me. That was a horrible time. There are good people there, they just weren't around me at the time.

Ellie said...

Oh that cute little rv park property is getting sold? The ones that guard their driveway during the ACL Festival to prevent parking? The one with all those trees? A shame really! "And I'm sure the condo's will be economically priced too!" (note sarcasm)

Anonymous said...

That picture ROCKS!!!!

Blueberry said...

Ellie, that's the one. Also, don't know if you ever went to Maria's Taco Xpress, but she made a deal with Walgreens to build her a new place when they took over her old spot. They took out the funky trailer park behind her. She has a nice new spot but now has the Walgreens and new condos next to her. Not better, but glad she's still around.