I came across the latest article in the “OMG you guys, Houston is actually really cool!” genre. I enjoy these; it’s fun to see people in New York and LA figuring out that there’s a big, interesting world beyond their cities. I grew up in the northeast and one of the realize just how provincial it is under its oh-so-worldly pretense.
And it’s nice to see people realize that Austin is overblown.
“At the time, having grown up in Houston in kind of a bubble, I was pretty skeptical about the city,” Odam says. So Odam asked the kid in the black T-shirt why he’d be moving there from someplace as verifiably and undeniably hip as Austin. The kid shrugged. Austin, he said, was a white monoculture of hipsters, yuppies, and techies. (Odam was telling me this story in a Japanese-fusion spot in East Austin, which made it easy to visualize said culture.) In Houston, the kid said, things were happening.
It’s coming on 15 years that I’ve lived here, and I’ve noticed one big attitude change in that time. 15 years ago, it seemed like Houston was a little tentative about its greatness – kind of apologizing for the weather and sprawl and saying “Hey look, we’re a real city!” These days the vibe is more like the sentiment of this t-shirt (available from a local business):
No, I don’t have one. I’m too old to be wearing a t-shirt that says “fuck you” on it.