Austin’s recent newcomers come not to change it, but to join it

Looming by Jann Alexander © 2010
Looming by Jann Alexander © 2010

The Austin-American Statesman’s Michael Barnes is out and about Austin alot (as implied by his column’s name) and has been for a long while–a point he makes eloquently in a 3-part blog series as he examines the three phases of Austin’s development with an all-inclusive approach to change in our city, and an optimistic conclusion in part 3 about Austin’s soul–needing “no artificial redemption.”

Cautioning vigilence, but making a case for the diversity added by recent newcomers to Austin who “come here not to change it, but because of it,” Barnes argues there’s a peaceful co-existence found amongst old-timers who are territorial about losing our favorite landmarks and newcomers who enjoy Austin’s quirky and iconic spots yet also embrace the inventive new businesses that continue to arrive on the “keepin’ it weird” scene.

It’s clear to me that the constantly evolving creative energy in our city keeps it fresh, vibrant and gives us all a feeling that anything’s possible here. I’d argue that it’s what gives Austinites that fierce passion for our city that we all seem to possess–no matter how little or long we’ve lived here. Maybe it falls to those who already embrace Austin’s wonders to share and educate those who contribute to Austin’s redevelopment: after all, why kill the very attraction that makes our city such a mecca? ♣

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