Spring starts in Austin.
We know its starting because the bluebonnets are out and SXSW kicks off in just days.
Don't know what SX (“south by”) is? Google it, or use my new favorite search engine DuckDuckGo – unlike big G, DDG guards your privacy insanely!
But I digress.
If you've never been to SX here are a few tips that will help you enjoy the full experince that is #Austin. Consider it a newbie's guide to Austin so its not quite so obvious you're the noob.
We are an LGBT proud city. Gay, straight or bi, whatever your vertical identity you are welcome here both socially and legally: Austin municipal code prohibits discrimination on this factor both in housing and employment. We don't judge here, so if you'd prefer a more rigid more right-wing environment we suggest you go up the road a little bit to Round Rock. And stay there.
We dig a lot of things: litter isn't one. Put trash in its place, learn to recycle and if you see something lying on the ground pick it up. Oh, by the way, we don't give you plastic bags in the C store or grocery – you bring your own bag (“sack” down here). Friends from DFW think that's hilarious but anything that keeps up distinct from the metroplex is fine with us – don't Dallas my Austin.
Wanna get to the fun? Walk, take a pedicab, ride the bus, use a taxi, try Austin B-Cycle or engage Uber. Don't bother with Zip Car, Car2Go or a rental: you don't know where you're going and even when you get there you won't be able to park. Help us all keep moving by letting someone else do the driving as we keep one more car off the road. By the way, cyclists and pedestrians always have the right of way here. Always.
You're not in Kansas Anymore
We know, we know… We're not as hip as San Francisco or as urbane as New York or as cool (or damp) as Seattle. Uh, that's why we're here: we prefer this. We enjoy open tent politics, high tech, low class, colored hair, piercings, football, frisbee, boots, tats and hats (cowboy). We are eclectic. So come on down, have some fun, and enjoy yourself but please don't tell us what's wrong with us. We're okay with being different.
Do you love music, art, cinema, technology and creativity? Then SX is for you! And if along the way you enjoy drinking, dancing and a little Willie Weed that's fine too – we love to party down here. But be real and be responsible. If you attempt to drive drunk or cause a scene out on the streets we will arrest you. How serious are we? We put our own DA in jail last year. So have fun, but be nice: you may be visiting but we live here.
Hot as Hell
We hope you have a great time and enjoy yourself. With all the fun and interesting people mixed in with a vibrant city and gorgeous weather you're going to be tempted to move down here: don't. We are a very southern city in Texas – it's hot as hell here six months of the year. So unless you like that (as I do) stay home.
One last thing, those bluebonnets are our state flower – please don't trample or pick them. Let everyone enjoy their beauty.
Y'all come back!