- Eric Webb American-Statesman Staff
Do we really need San Antonio?
Despite an aesthetic best described as “Paris circa World War II but with more crumbling buildings”; a stretch of waist-deep garbage water running through the town like a dysenteric artery, dotted with chain restaurants and tacky tchotchke shops; and a tourism economy built on an old adobe shed that takes 10 minutes to stroll through, S.A. is one of Texas’ most important cities and a hub of state history.
So why are some San Antonians trying to pick a fight with the great city of Austin?
On Wednesday, MySA published “10 reasons to hate Austin beyond their breakfast-taco arrogance.” To be honest, our feelings are hurt. Wounded, even. Austin doesn’t have any particular quarrel with the Alamo City, aside from their Meek-Mill-esque desire to start a beef with our state’s capital city.
MySA’s hopefully tongue-in-cheek smear campaign stemmed from, of all things, a now-infamous Eater Austin article positioning the Violet Crown as the cradle of breakfast taco civilization: “But, did you hear or see anyone from Austin publicly disavow the piece or its clearly wrong assertion that Austin, eager to declare itself the capital of anything, is the breakfast taco destination?”
Well, there are enough tacos to go around, friends. No need to tear each other down.
In the name of Lone Star brotherhood, let us bury the proverbial tortilla-wrapped hatchet. San Antonio, you’re welcome to come take in all the wonders of our city anytime you want. (If you don’t mind a little traffic.) Instead of further sowing hatred, here are 10 reasons to love Austin:
• The outdoors. Austin is one of the most beautiful places in Texas, home to Barton Springs Pool, Lady Bird Lake, bike paths galore, Zilker Park, the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Mount Bonnell and a whole mess of bike paths and running trails.
• The weirdness. Listen, we’ll admit it. Maybe Austin is a little less wacky since the days of the cosmic cowboys. But we’ve got horses trotting down Congress Avenue, a whole 5K dedicated to strangeness, Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon, Peter Pan Mini Golf, Esther’s Follies, flying ice cream, massive lines to buy smoked meat … c’mon.
• The bats. Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in the United States. Terrifying! But cool! Remember what we said about the weirdness?
• The food. Why even try to cook at home? Chew on a slice of cheese pizza at Home Slice, slurp up a bowl of pork belly broth at Ramen Tatsu-Ya, or eat up at Uchi, Taco-Mex, Maudie’s, Hopdoddy, 24 Diner … we could go on. And on. And on.
• The University of Texas. Hook ’em.
• The music. Even if the music industry is going through tough times, there’s still a show every night of the week at the Continental Club, or Broken Spoke, or Mohawk, or Cheer Up Charlie’s, or ACL Live at the Moody Theater, or Hotel Vegas, or any other club in town. Speaking of “Austin City Limits,” there’s also that little TV show you might have heard of, as well as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, South By Southwest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, etc.
• The people. There’s a reason others keep moving here, after all. Welcome home.
• The movies. Not only is Austin home to famous film industry, movie greats like Matthew McConaughey, Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez call it home. For those of us who want to see films and not be in them, there’s always Alamo Drafthouse.
• The history. Austin is the capital of Texas and the address of the Capitol. This is where the magic happens. If you want to see how Texas became Texas, then look no further than the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.
• Willie Nelson. There’s no better patron saint for a city to have.
Custard last stand
Time, as it turns out, is both a flat circle and a cone.
The state’s Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday threw out the remaining criminal charge against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, signaling the end of 18 months of legal trouble. Perry was indicted in 2014 on two felony charges related to his 2013 effort to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest.
The former governor’s indictment spurred at least two viral moments: a well-coiffed mugshot seen ’round the world and a defiantly casual trip to Austin sweet spot Sandy’s after booking, where he posed with an employee and a cone of custard in a picture posted to Twitter.
Flash forward to 2016. In addition to the legal victory, Perry on Wednesday made a case for considering social media a form of poetry, returning to the Barton Springs Road burger joint for a follow-up photo opp.
The caption of a new photo posted to Instagram reads, “Epic legal victory falls on the 180th anniversary of Col. Travis’s Victory or Death letter: ‘I shall never surrender or retreat.’” Followers of the former governor’s photo feed no doubt noted the carefully curated composition of the pic, with the former governor’s apparent swirl cone flanked on either side by vanilla and chocolate treats. The lens flare, too, is Photoshop-filter caliber.
Meanwhile, in San Marcos
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has notched impressive victories and uncanny momentum. Perhaps more interesting than his primary and caucus wins, however, is how Texas State University in San Marcos has decided to deal with the rise of The Donald.
Video recently surfaced of a Texas State student dressed in short shorts, a blazer and a toupee. He calls himself “Donald Tramp,” and his dream is to “Make Short Shorts Great Again.”
In a Feb. 10 video shared by Facebook user BOY CHAD, student Kristoffer Ian Celera can be seen dancing seductively and yelling “Vote for me, Donald Tramp!” before standing up and starting a striptease. A photo of Celera in the Trump costume he wears in the video can also be seen on his profile, originally posted Oct. 29.
According to Celera’s Facebook profile, he is studying computer science at Texas State and “likes” several political organizations on the site, like “Students For Rand” and “Young Americans For Liberty.”
— Jake Harris, American-Statesman staff