Thursday, November 4, 2010

Austin's currency is creativity.

About a week and a half ago, I participated in Austin Unscripted, a documentary project by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

When they wrote and said we were coming to Austin, I got a little bit excited, and was inspired to write a really long post.  It was about my continuing love affair with Quack's, my favorite coffee shop/bakery in the whole world.

Now it wasn't the best hair day, and I do say the word "special" about 38 times in the last few minutes of the interview ... but oh well.  I think I got some good points in.

This was such a cool project in general, and I am pretty thrilled that NTHP targeted Austin. Because our city hasn't been a CITY for all that long, and in some ways, I feel like it's only just gotten on the national radar. We all have this collective notion of Washington D.C., or Boston, or Los Angeles -- but Austin?  I'd say it's in the nascent stages of that.

We're still pretty "underground" as far as the rest of the country is concerned. That's why I feel so lucky to be a blogger right now. To document this time not only in my life, but in Austin's life -- because I think we're in the middle of a truly fascinating chapter.

To see more Austinites talking about their beloved city, the changes it's gone through, and the places they'd like to save, click here.

(Implied shout-outs in interview above to Gourdough's, Banarchy, Hey Cupcake, and all the many wonderful Austin taco trailers).


Kristen said...

you are so adorable! loving this... think you were really spot on with why austin is so awesome.

Julia R. (Nat'l Trust) said...

Tolly, you're quickly becoming our poster child for the Austin Unscripted project. Many thanks for all your support and insight!

P.S. I wish my good hair days looked like your 'bad' hair days.

Nat'l Trust for Historic Preservation

Beth H said...

bad hair day?! whatever, lady! you look gorgeous & you totally hit the nail on the head. after living in Seattle for 11 years, i am soooo happy to be back in Austin! Seattle is beautiful & worth visiting yes, but just can't hold a candle to Austin's charm.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Kristen - Thanks woman!!! I was happy they were so generous with their interview time. They let me riff on a bunch of random stuff for a while.

It's also really interesting / thought-provoking to hear what other interviewees had to say. Especially on the issues of: condos (good b/c at least it's not sprawl; bad b/c they're exhausting our transportation infrastructure), East Side (good b/c of the increased revenue from shiny new businesses; bad b/c those same business and attendant yuppies are pushing out historical residents due to rising property costs), and "outsiders" moving to Austin (good b/c our artists are getting exposed to more eyes; bad b/c our city is "big enough" as it is).

I find all the input really intriguing on this documentary project. I'm of the "this is so exciting!!" camp, while there IS a distinct "I'm worried about what Austin will become" camp. So, I definitely recommend checking out those other folks.

@Julia - You guys are makin' me feel like a rockstar! Thanks for the Tweets and fanfare. ;) I don't deserve it.

@Beth H - WOW! I knew you were in Seattle, but not for 11 years!! Would you believe I've never been? Even though I lived in NorCal for 2 years?! I seriously need to change that.

But yes...our magical little Austin! Living here raises your quality-of-life bar PERMANENTLY. :) Interestingly enough, the only city that has ever come close to calling me like Austin has - and it's a totally different sort of place - is London.

I wonder why that is? Why some cities just feel like "home" the moment you arrive?

mpmc85 said...

LOVE everything you had to say. great perspective and analysis about this amazing city amidst evolution. and i have no idea what you mean about bad hair day :)

grrfeisty said...

aw. this video made me totally miss austin...i've been in houston since late 2005...sigh...