All Writing and Photography © Alex Livingstone/Owner's Closet

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Today, I think it has officially gotten Out Of Control

In my mind, I feel like I've kept pretty cool about how this city is growing in an unappealing manner. But today I've decided it's gotten to the point where I can't keep it to myself any longer. I do recognize however, that nobody really wants to listen to the criticizing and complaining. To that I say, "Stop reading this opinionated blog immediately! Go back to safe, mildly informative, ultimately unfulfilling articles on Gawker or Huffington Post!" 
Today it was the two shitty BMW drivers with their asses sticking out of the same turn lane, blocking left lane traffic because getting where they need to go was more important than waiting their turn. Damn shi shi foo foo plates of offal protein and farm raised Narcissus flower amuse bouche and the douche foodies who can't get enough. The rising cost of living and the creative class that's being pushed out. It used to be that at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon, the only people out and about were service industry people, students, musicians and part-timers trying to find an easy going lifestyle. The "Velvet Rut" that my mom read aloud about in her Southern Living. At this point there are tons of people out and about in the city. Despite the ridiculous number of bars and restaurants in Austin, I know these folks aren't in the service industry. They dress too well. They don't have tattoos. They are usually wearing some trendy exercise clothes in public. They look like the folks who were crawling all over Club DeVille on busy weekend nights when I moved here in 2000. Yeah, I moved here in 2000. Chances are pretty fucking high that you moved here at some point too. Whether that was 2010, 2006, 1995, 1985 or 1977, you still moved here from somewhere else. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Doug Sahm, and Janis Joplin are not from here either. Gotdamn Ray Benson is from Philadelphia, PA and no, he isn't dead.
The six or seven mixed use condo buildings going up on S. Lamar between Barton Springs and Ben White have got me thinking. There is no way to get to MOPAC from that section of Lamar, leaving very little pressure release for what I imagine will be tremendous traffic problems. I don't know exactly how many units will be available but I bet everyone who lives there owns a car and will drive themselves everywhere. All of that traffic will be forced to flow up and down Lamar as well as through the surrounding neighborhoods. Plus, there is not a quick way for all these folks to walk from their new urban abodes to things like Rainey St., First Thursday, Batfest, Reggaefest, Central Texas Food Truck Festival,  and the Food and Wine Ass Kissery Fest so they'll probably drive.  Heaven forbid they use public transportation. 
On the way home from Free Range Never Ever Diner and Richie Rich uptight hometown grocer, I noticed that the face of my South Austin neighborhood had changed overnight. One new coat of paint and set of windows after another. All of the N-S arteries are clogged throughout the day. The way this town is growing, think about how fucked traffic will be in a only a couple more years. Bicyclists, watch your asses.