Armstrong, now 41, first moved to the capital of the Lone Star state from the Dallas suburbs when he was 18. He was diagnosed with cancer there at 25, married there at 26, had his first child there at 29. The city’s rise has run in parallel with his own. Richard Parker, a journalist and Austin native, wrote in a New York Times op-ed in October that “No one has embodied the rise of Austin better than Lance Armstrong, who went from a local cycling star to an international super-athlete in roughly the same span of years that Austin went from sleepy to sleek and hip”.
Forbes ranked Austin the fastest-growing city in American for the last two years in a row. Its population grew by more than 50 per cent between 2000 and 2010. Recession refugees from the coasts have flocked here to find work: the city created 21,000 jobs in 2011 alone. Austin is now home to two world-famous music festivals, a thriving local film industry, and major firms such as Whole Foods and Apple, which plans to build a $304m operations centre there. In November, the city hosted the US Grand Prix. Armstrong, however, was out of town, vacationing in Hawaii.
I'm so sick of this beady-eyed, self-serving turd. Austin will do very well without the disgraced Lance.
Yeah, they owe it all to Lance.
Austin is so overrated. If that shithole city was in pretty much ANY other state, no one would give it a second glance.
Texas = Shithole
R3's breasts are waxy with crimson rage!
R3 is actually quite correct. Austin has a good reputation only because it's surrounded by Texas, the worst place on earth.
I like Austin.
R5 if you think TX is the worst place on earth you haven't traveled extensively.
Texas may no longer be the best place on earth since their are more immigrants these days.
I bilt astain
And that's probably a good thing R7. TX can turn blue.
Austin is nice but these 21,000 jobs are too many. One of Austin's prime qualities compared to most of the Sunbelt is that has refrained from making the construction and selling of homes its primary economic engine. This statistic suggests that era is over and Austin is now building beyond its means. Dell is going nowhere. The Austin music scene is in decline. The military is about to be hit with cuts. The Republicans who run the state hate UT. There has been an excess of business lending compared to returns these last 15 years. Nope, I'm afraid Austin should have reigned itself in a little and not encouraged this late migration and building.
Austin has grown too fast for its own good.
It is legitimately a nice enjoyable city but there is certainly truth to the fact that part of what makes it so appealing is how much "cooler" it is compared to the rest of Texas.
Normally I love The Independent; this article, however, is a fucking crock. Lance did not "build" Austin, not in ANY context of the word. Yes, his rising fame paralleled Austin's own rise from sleepy town to tech- and creative-field center, and until his doping admissions he was certainly hailed as one of its heroes, but Austin would've done perfectly fucking fine without Lance.
Also, R10 is COMPLETELY full of shit. While I agree that Dell is going nowhere (except maybe back into the private sphere via private equity buyout), the city has an exceptionally strong business backbone on countless fronts, tech still leading the way (even minus Dell). And the music scene is on the decline? That's been going on for, oh, 30 years now, and has nothing to do with the city's general growth. And military cuts? WTF?? The city's last real military base closed decades ago (and was promptly converted into its present airport), and the nearest one is Fort Hood, a good two-hour drive. Republicans don't "hate" UT, and if anything, the fact that the country's largest university is situated in Austin *preserves* its prospects for future growth (ditto it housing the state Capitol).
But still not booming or hip enough for anyone to buy retro-fabulous corduroy sofas . . .
Kirker defending Republicans? That's not the way to build your credibility.
Actually the rise of Lance Armstrong coincided with the demise of Austin. At least the quirky, weird and charming Austin that no longer exists.
You could call the Lance Armstrong era the "Rise of the Douchebags."
The only reason why Austin has the reputation it does is because it's in Texas. Plonk it down in California, and it wouldn be that much more special than say, Sacramento.
It's not as large and unwieldy as Houston (nor as slummy and filthy), nor as snotty and sterile as Dallas is. There is a lot of unsightly suburban sprawl in Austin just like Houston and the Metroplex, just on a smaller scale, and there are hills.
And it's so-called liberal reputation is vastly overstated. It may be liberal for Texas, but that's not saying much. Keep in mind that a lot of people who move there usually come from some small shithole town in the Panhandle or Oklahoma or Louisiana, and think they're "liberal" because they smoke weed and play a guitar. But these are the types who wouldn't want to move to Dallas or Houston because there are too many blacks and Mexicans in those cities for their taste.
Fuck Austin. Fuck Texas. Fuck Lance Armstrong.
The California that voted for Prop 8, r16? That California? I still think Austin would be a pretty nice spot in that California imho, thx.
R17 - Well good for you if you think Austin would be "Special" in California. Like many Texans who think they're the center of the universe, you're completely missing the point. The reason why Austin gets so much love and hype is because the city is supposed to be the opposite of Texan stereotypes. It also lies in a hilly region and has some sense of beauty to it. But that's because it's compared to the hideous prairie of Dallas-Ft Worth or the reclaimed swampland of Houston or the barrio atmosphere of San Antonio. It's like being the valedictorian in a poor-performing school.
Contrast that to California where it would have to compete with San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Yes, they have issues with sprawl and bullshit, unlike the other majors in Texas, have natural beauty to make up for it.
And Cali was just one example. I'd consider Austin a nice city in Florida (where it would compete with shitholes like Tampa or Jacksonville), Georgia (where it would be the 'cooler,' less sprawling, less pretentious, whiter (since many of the types who move to Austin really dont like a lot of blacks around) alternative to Atlanta) or North Carolina (where it would be almost as large as Charlotte and almost the equivalent to the Triangle). And if it were in Mississippi or Arkansas, be the top tier city in those states.
I've lived here for twenty years now, I came from San Francisco. Lance did not build Austin, really we hardly saw him here. He was off building his empire.
I am sure he despised Austin and just used us as validating backdrop - to build his scam. People trust Austin and the businesses that come from here - we're high-tech, UT, music and left politics. The fact he came from here meant people trusted him more. Had he been from Jersey that never would have happened.
[quote] Like many Texans who think they're the center of the universe,
Um, project much, dearie?
No in Austin we are an oasis in the desert, a shining light in a dark, bigoted secessionist Texas.
Just out of curiosity, how does Texas plan to sustain their growth when they run out of fresh water?
Who builds a city in a desert?
Hard to believe he's only 41. He's been around so long it seems like he should be pushing 50.
I heard his left nut was burried in Austin
Austin is the most racially segregated of all the big Texas cities. You'd think because of its liberal bent that wouldn't be the case, but it is. When I lived there, there were no black or Hispanic gays in the so-called gay A-list. Maybe things have changed in the last few years, but one rarely saw a person of color at a private party.
On the other hand, you see a diversified mix in the Dallas and Houston gay social scenes.
I lived in Austin for 3.5 years following college and in many ways, I don't think it lived up to the hype. I say this as someone who grew up in Oklahoma, and had never lived anywhere "cool" before.
Traffic is awful and public transit is a joke in most areas minus a few neighborhoods. If you like to drink or see concerts every night of week, it's a fine place, but I prefer museums or the theatre, and for cultural pursuits of that vein, Houston beats Austin hands down. Forget doing anything outside for the 3-4 months of the year that the temperature hovers between 105-110 degrees, all day, every day, too.
Don't get me wrong--there are a lot of good things about Austin, and I definitely enjoyed my time there. It really is the best city, in many ways, in the region. But it also isn't the paradise that many people in my age group (20s-30s) make it out to be. I live in Seattle now and it's better in almost every area, excluding Mexican food and sunlight.
I just got a great job offer in Austin. I'm debating whether to leave California for this job. Austin is being sold as a FAB place to me. California businesses are leaving the state in droves. I'm 45 and single. Should I go?
R26 -- I live in Seattle, too, and agree with your impressions of both cities. However, the Mexican (and Chinese for that matter) food scene is pretty dreary.
R27, Austin is a very young city due to UT. If you're older than 40 and don't already have a bf, it can be a very lonely place to live.
R27 I am from Texas and currently live in LA. I lived in Austin for a little over a year. I enjoyed Austin when I lived there. Living in Austin will be a slower lifestyle. They don't have a ton of dance clubs. They have a few gay clubs but not many. Lots of pubs, etc. Austin doesn't have a lot to offer culturally. You'd have to go to Dallas/Houston for museums, ballet, Broadway, etc.
The restaurant scene is getting better. It used to mostly be Mexican food, etc but as more people move there, there's more sushi, martini/wine bars, etc.
If you like going to the lake, hiking, bike riding, etc Austin would be good for you.
Traffic is a complete nightmare. Move close to work.
R29 is spot-on. I've heard the same complaint from many 40+ gay friends in Austin.
Austin has never been a shit hole. I've been going to Austin since 1955 to the present. Austin has always been a great town and now a great City.
People who make slurs like some of the posting dolts within this thread clear out themselves as ignorant assholes.
Lived in Austin for a year until recently, I liked it a lot except for the heat.
There's plenty to do, and living near downtown, I was close to Zilker Park and the lake. The gay "scene" is pretty white, but there are plenty of non-whites out there ( they went to "Kiss n Fly", before it closed down). Most live east of I-35, the main highway that bisects the city, racially and economically. The other non-whites are the Asian and Indian tech people but they are harmless, and transient until their visas run out and they go home. The poor and mexicans live east of I 35 and it is a giant shit hole.
Lots of hipster gays with facial piercings and tattoos, and hiv is rampant among the younger crowd.
Armstrong is pretty hated in the city. He has a horrible reputation and is known for being tremendously rude to people. He burned many people even before the doping scandal.
Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin lives in Austin and pops in in local clubs on occasion.
There are tons of jobs there, good jobs that pay well even after Dell lays off thousands in the next six months. It is affordable. Traffic sucks. Good food. Paul Qui's succulent bung hole is there. Pot use, while technically illegal, is ignored. I have never seen it so openly smoked anywhere and the police don't care. On 4/20, it is like some kind of city wide smoke out.
People have to remember that even though Austin is pretty liberal, it attracts people from all over the area, and even on Gay Pride weekend there was a gay bashing (caught on video, the guy was found - from Temple / Killeen area).
A note about Lance... I watched the interview and I was struck at how good of a liar he is. In the old clips they showed of him denying drug use, he was adamant and very convincing, much like his current confessions. It makes me think he is still lying about things and there is much more to be uncovered.
Wrong! I have lived in Austin since 1984 and it was a vibrant, hip city long before that idiot Armstrong showed up. He is rude, arrogant and one of the vilest human beings I have ever met. The man is only cordial when he thinks he can "get soemthing out of it." He thinks his shit smells like fucking Starbucks Coffee and that Austin owes him eternally. He is quite delusional.
r22 the same could be asked of Nevada.
R22 Austin is not built in the middle of a fucking desert. It is located on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Austin has an abundant water supply and is in no danger of "the oasis drying up." It's amazing how virtually every person who has never visited Texas assumes that it is a vast desert filled with cactus and tumbleweeds (thanks to decades of Western movies filmed in Nevada and Arizona and said to be Texas). The only part of Texas that qualifies as desert is West Texas. Parts of North Texas are flat and semi-barren, as well, but most of the state is quite abundant in hills, lakes and greenery. I agree with the previous poster that Armstrong had nothing to do with Austin's affluence and "hipness." I'm sure he would love to take credit for it, though.
Lance Armstrong is universally despised in Austin and has been since the moment he arrived. Trust me on that. He never does anything to help out the city and is virtually invisible. He was NEVER the HOMETOWN HERO.
Lived in Austin for 13 years. When I moved there after college it was amazing. But as you get older (in my 30s), you start to realize its a very young-oriented town and felt like I had done everything there that could be done. The traffic too is insane. Had to move to Dallas b/c work and am surprisingly happy here. Definitely miss Aistin from time to time but know I out grew it. It's a great place to spend your 20s.
Yeah, Austin was already special long before it ever heard of that little bicycler. We love some of the other famous residents we've had (McBongo, Sandra Bullock, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, etc), but we have no use for that man.
It's amazing all the hate Texas gets on here. I grew up in Texas in the 70s and 80s and loved it. In the first decade I was out of college, I lived in several cities outside of Texas. I lived in Los Angeles for 3 years, New York City for 4 years, Seattle for 1 year, and Chicago for 2 years. I came back to Texas in 1997 and it was like a breath of fresh air to return. I have lived in Austin ever since. There are only a few negatives about Texas that I see. It is very hot most of the time (but I love hot weather, it beats the shit out of Northern blizzards), there are a lot of Republican Conservatives (but there are more Liberals than you would think), and mold/cedar allergies in January & February of every year. I am a 47 year old gay male and, to me, Texas is an awesome place and I will never live anywhere else. Most people who hate Texas only lived here for a short time or have never been here at all.
Why are people like r7 allowed to post?
Datalounge is leberal and humanistic space. We are good people. Not haters.
R41 I loved living in Texas. I lived in San Antonio and Austin in the 80s and I have very few bad things to say about it. I grew up in Wisconsin and I loved the Texas winters. Very mild. I have never understood the hate either. I think most people (who have never been there) have the impression that it's a bunch of uneducated rethug hillbillies living in mobile homes in the desert. I think they get that impression from TV shows and movies. I found Texas refreshing in many ways. I would move back there but my family and friends are here and I would be very lonely in a new place. I loved the winters, the mexican food, the rivers and lakes, the friendly people and the openess of the state. Most of Texas is quite beautiful.
Thank you, R43. Texas is a great place to live. I don't care if you're straight, gay, lesbian, transgendered or bi. I, a gay man, moved to Austin from Boston in 2002 and I have never been happier. Most people who complain about how "horrible" Texas is are people that are unhappy anywhere they go or live. Remember, as Buckaroo Banzai said, "Wherever you go, there you are."
I've lived in Austin for the last 10 last years & never knew that Robert Plant lived here. Interesting. Austin is great if you can stand the insane heat and unbearable traffic. Way too many people for a mid-size city. It's not as cool and hip as it used to be, though.
Lance Armstrong BUILT AUSTIN???? Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? That asshole has NOTHING to do with Austin's vibrancy. As others have posted, he is absolutely despised in this town. He is selfish, arrogant and rude to everyone. This city was special long before that phony came along and it will be better when he moves away.
R5 - You must not travel much/at all. I have travelled all over the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe and Asia. I have seen many, many, many places worse than Texas. As a matter of fact, Texas is one of my favorite places to visit. I always look forward to returning for a visit there. In all the times I have vistited Austin, I have never heard anyone mention Armstrong's name. I had no clue he even lived there.
Texas the worst place on earth, R5? I think not. I can think of at least 39-40 states in the union that are worse. You don't get out of your mother's basement often, do you?
Lance Armstrong has nothing to do with Austin, either good bad or indifferent. He is a non-entity here. He means nothing to us and never has.
Austin wipes its proverbial ass with that dweeb and flushes him.
The Texas City That Lance Armstrong Built, my hot white hairy ass!!!!! That cretin had nothing to do with Austin's success. This was a tremendous town and is now a spectacular city. He had nothing to do with it. Incidentally, I saw him in a local shop a few years ago and he was a first class prig. I don't care anything about celebs, so no, I didn't approach him. I saw the way he treated others, though. Believe me, he is not Austin's favorite son by any stretch of the imagination.
Austin is a great, vibrant city. Native Austinites know their political history and they are deeply passionate about their politics. In California, we really don't have a deep sense of our cultural and political history because everyone seems to be new immigrants or recent transplants, what not. Each of us seem to live in our own bubble. We're not cohesive as a population.
When I was in Austin, I was around some of the best people I've ever met. There is definitely a sense of cultural identity. It's je ne sais quoi because I can't really define it. The Mexican-Americans are proud of their heritage and many of the ones I've met are 3 or 4 generation. It's a nice melting pot that is united by a devotion to Texas itself. That is what unites Texans -- a love of their home state.
I was asking the other non-Austinites and they agreed. Austinites know who they are, where they've been and where they want to go (as a city and as a state).
R51 - I agree with you. I have been in City Government in Austin for quite a few years and, trust me, he has had nothing to do with our successes. He likes to take a lot of credit for things in the national press, but, well, we see what his word is worth...
[quote]Austin is a very young city due to UT. If you're older than 40 and don't already have a bf, it can be a very lonely place to live.
I lived in Austin from 2000 thru 2003 in a professional grad program, and while that wasn't my experience, I can see how it would be true. I was a bit older than most of my classmates at UT, but was newly single and ready to enjoy myself, and it was a very fun place to be in my early 30s.
It took awhile to get used to the heat, the strange highway setup and the bugs, and I haven't been back since a brief visit in '09, but I strongly recommend Austin and UT to anyone who wants to have fun, likes music and the outdoors, and wants to feel safe and comfortable being out.
I met some great people and had a few very good romances in Austin. But I can see how if had been much older than I was, it would have been a weirdly, eternally twentysomething scene to be in. Not just because it was a college town, but because it seemed that older guys stayed away or moved away...
Kirker may not agree. It's not my city anymore, but I remember it fondly.
For what it's worth, I hardly ever heard the name Lance Armstrong mentioned. Maybe once at Chuy's, by a server. I was much more aware of a couple of Bushes being at UT while I was there. (Jenna and "P")
I love the Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio area of Texas. We had relatives down there that we visited yearly when I was growing up. I was always excited to go on a trip down to Texas. As an adult I returned twice and still loved it. Austin is one of my favorite cities. Lots of fun. Love it.
Eric F. from Ohio
The person that wrote that article about Bike Boy building our city was apparently kissing up to him for something. I have never witnessed one thing that Bike Boy has done for my city, and I have lived here all my life.
R33, So true. I have lived in Texas all my life and I never had the "Texas Twang", but it was a lot more common way back when. I think it started to disappear in the early-1970s. Every once in a while, I still run across a middle-age "twanger" (usually a conservative church lady), but it is becoming rarer and rarer.
Spot on, R57. Somebody was kissing up for something. I have been an Austin resident since 1971 and it was a great place long before I ever heard his name. I know quite a few people in high places in this city and they would be hard-pressed to name one thing he's done for Austin except sucking up valuable oxygen.
Austin really is a city for those under 30, but it is a great place. I have many great memories of living there back in the day. I never heard anyone mention Armstrong the entire time I was there.
WITH ALL THE STEROIDS HE TOOK, HE PROBABLY DID BUILT THE ENTIRE CITY. LOL.
Austin's water tastes horrible, and running it through a coffee machine doesn't help.
Austin is great for 40 something and 50 something gays.
I wouldn't recommend it to gays under 30 though.
I've lived in Austin all my life (I'm 23) and I have never heard anything about Lance Armstrong doing jack shit for the city. I asked my dad (who is involved with the City of Austin) and he rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, right. That fucker's never done a god damn thing for Austin. I don't know where you heard that shit." LoL.
R63 I agree with you. I've heard so many people say that Austin is only great if you're under 30. Maybe if you're straight. Austin has a robust gay community for men of ALL ages.
Armstrong built Austin... my ASS! He's never even here from what I hear. He's had nothing to do with Austin's growth. As if a bunch of people are going to move to a strange city far away just because some goddamned egomaniacal bicycling loon lives there. Bitch, please! I can think of many reasons one would want to live here, but Lance is not one of the reasons (no more than someone moving to San Antonio because Tommy Lee Jones and George Strait live there). Ridiculous.
R66 George Strait lives in San Antonio? Hmmm, I'd better call UHaul rent a truck, LOL.
[quote] A note about Lance... I watched the interview and I was struck at how good of a liar he is. In the old clips they showed of him denying drug use, he was adamant and very convincing, much like his current confessions. It makes me think he is still lying about things and there is much more to be uncovered.
Of course he's a fabulous liar. He's been practicing these lies for over a decade. He can spit out a lying reply to a doping question faster than he could answer you if you asked him what his name was. He's a sociopath
[quote] He was diagnosed with cancer there at 25
I wouldn't doubt it if his doping actually caused his cancer
Did he even really have cancer? They said it had spread to his lungs and brain, too, yet he miraculously survived (and kept winning).
"Forbes ranked Austin the fastest-growing city in American for the last two years in a row. Its population grew by more than 50 per cent between 2000 and 2010. Recession refugees from the coasts have flocked here to find work: the city created 21,000 jobs in 2011 alone. Austin is now home to two world-famous music festivals, a thriving local film industry, and major firms such as Whole Foods and Apple, which plans to build a $304m operations centre there. In November, the city hosted the US Grand Prix. Armstrong, however, was out of town, vacationing in Hawaii."
And just how the fuck is this related to anything Armstrong did for the community of Austin? Why is the fucking Grand Prix even mentioned? It says right there that Armstrong had nothing to do with it. He was in fucking Hawaii. Jeezus H. Bejeebus.
Stupidest Fucking Thing I've EVER HEARD
R71 I picked up on that Grand Prix/Armstrong out of town thing, too. I guess he was in Hawaii building Honolulu into the next "happening thing" like he did Austin.
Poor Austin -- since it has been "discovered" it has been stripped of all its charm.
[quote]the city has an exceptionally strong business backbone on countless fronts
But it's not easy to make a success of a 2nd-hand furniture store.
Austin has become too slick, too commercialized, too self-conscious. It has little of the quirky charm that it had when I went to UT in the 80s. All the people who have moved there from other states are slowly destroying it.
It used to be that gaudy displays of wealth in Austin were frowned upon, but now they're celebrated. It's turned the city into the Texas version of Orange County, CA.
[quote]It's turned the city into the Texas version of Orange County, CA.
Nah, that would be Highland Park.
R76 - Actually, Plano/Frisco would be Texas' version of Orange County.
And as for whoever was claiming that Dallas' gay scene was more integrated, a lie! A lot of gay men who moved to Dallas tend up be from shithole towns in Oklahoma, Kansas, Ark-La-Tex, or East Texas and usually carry their ignorant racial views with them. Blacks are pretty much ignored and ostracized in Dallas in general anyhow, an the gay community is no exception. If you like shallow, superficial prissy twins or overly tanned 40-something's who still think they have it, Dallas is a wonderful city for you.
My partner and I recently moved from Europe to Austin. So far, so good. We keep running into Brits (he's a Brit) here. We live in the suburbs in a brand new house in a gated community - for $650K you get a super luxurious home here. The countryside is very green, hilly with lakes. Looks very much like Northern New Mexico to me. Our neighbors come from India, Europe, China and there are several black and mixed-race families. Everybody seems cool with us though I think we are the only gay couple on our street. There is a lesbian couple. Most of our American neighbors seem to be recent immigrants from California. Apparently, Austinites are becoming fed-up with all of California moving here.
Austin seems to be a very tolerant place (except when it comes to Californians) and surprisingly lively for a relatively small town. We loved SXSW and the music scene is very intense. We haven't socialized much yet, still getting moved in and settled but I think we'll be happy here. We certainly love the hot weather after the most miserable, rainy winter on record in Europe.
Restaurants are good too - we love the food trucks and TexMex and were surprised by how many excellent Japanese restaurants there are.