As I said in my last post, Austin is weird. That’s not my opinion, it’s an official slogan for the city: “Keep Austin Weird”. Actually, it’s my opinion, too. Austin is weird in all the best possible ways. One of the definitions of weird is:
involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny
In that sense, the Christian faith is weird, so I have no problem with the word or the concept. It’s also counter-cultural, something I’m fully in favor of.
For Austin, the original point of the slogan was to encourage people to support local businesses. In this case, weird means more funky restaurants like Home Slice pizza and Wholly Cow burgers and fewer crappy chains like Pizza Hut and MacDonald’s. Anything that keeps Subway out of a city is a Good Thing. Chains like Subway are like neutron bombs. Drop one in a city block and the buildings stay standing, but the spirit of the whole block is DOA. I have scientific data to back up this claim, but it’s classified.
Austin is also weird because it’s unlike anyplace else in Texas. (Another Very Good Thing.) It’s like plopping New Orleans, San Francisco, or Cambridge in the Lone Star State. Truly weird areas like the SoCo district (South Congress Avenue) and 6th Avenue must have been spirited into the state while the cowboys and oil barons were looking the other way. Much of the fun is mobile anyway as Austin is a haven for food trucks. Coolhaus is a particular favorite of mine.
Sure, you’ll still see guys chowing on brisket and lumbering around in cowboy hats (time to get a life, boys) but you might also run into (as I did) a middle-aged woman with sub rolls affixed to her ears with a bandana.
What makes all this even weirder is that the city is the capital of the state. How did that happen? It certainly doesn’t represent the fiercely proud Texans in an accurate light. They probably wish most of Austin (except the capital and the Longhorns) would up and mosey out of there.
If it does, it will be welcome in MA.