I have a confession to make, I am middle-aged. Another confession, I live in (heck I am from) Austin, Texas, Center of the Universe. Austin seems to be on everyone's radar these days, "Best Place to Live," "Best Place to Live, Work, and Raise a Family," "Live Music Capital of the World," and the list seems to multiply on an hourly basis. I wasn't born in Austin, I was born in Houston, Texas, but moved to Austin in 1960 when I was a toddler. At that time, my hometown was quaint, a University town where the entire place revolved around the local University of Texas schedule.
Coming of age in Austin was wonderful, going to Armadillo World Headquarters to listen to Waylon and Willie and the gang, going to Lake Travis to spy on the skinny dippers at Hippie Hollow (sorry my friends did this and told me about it, meanwhile I was at the library), watching the sunset over the rolling hills surrounding the city, nirvana! Then Austin was transforming into a liberal mecca (not like Dallas or Houston they say, Austin is different), and every other car seemed to sport a 'Keep Austin Weird' bumper sticker.
Ahh, life began to change, suddenly responsibility, holding (and hopefully keeping) a job became my buzzword. Next, on the horizon, marriage, kids, and a move to suburbia. Even though my family and I lived in the suburbs, there was an occasional thong bicylist sighting to remind me that I still lived in Austin, and even though the city was changing from a 'slacker town' to a thriving metropolitan area complete with skyscrapers, thong cyclists were visibloy struggling to keep Austin weird. Oh, and that homeless cross-dresser and perenial candidate for mayor!
Although I am now middle-aged, and occasionally grab a meal at the local cafeteria, I am struggling to keep my cool demeanor and change with my beloved city! I recently had a hip-replacement (wear and tear on the joints my physician stressed), but I am still not sure if that automatically makes me a 'hipster.' This spring, my family and I are tearing up our suburbia roots and headed for a cool, urban high-rise condo complete with a swimming pool, fitness center and wine storage room. But we will be living on Willie Nelson Boulevard, just down the street from the Austin City Limits recording studio. Keeping Austin weird, I hope!