Dispatch from Austin

Spring, 2017 nearly six years ago: has Palo Alto degraded as dramatically?


The more than 260,000 new residents who have moved to the area since 2018 might not understand that they’ll be frolicking in a symbol of Austin’s transition from livable city to tech-bro theme park. Nor would the hundreds of thousands expected to join them in the coming ten years, filling jobs at Tesla, Oracle, and countless other companies lured here by generous tax incentives. There was nothing we could do. Austin was now a surf-park town. Texas monthly 

…The bang you get for your buck is terrible traffic, doubled property taxes, annual rent hikes, chain restaurants from Denver and Portland, Oregon, sidewalks littered with electric scooters lying flat on their sides, and a “culture” owned primarily by Live Nation.

Austin was never as laid-back or “weird” as it claimed it be, but it was appropriately grungy, and relaxing, and you could flourish here even if you didn’t have a ton of money. Not anymore. The cost of living in and around Austin shot up by 17.8 percent between 2010 and 2020, and home prices have almost doubled. Average rents are now higher than in Paris and Naples (and, yes, we mean the ones in France and Italy)


I started my day with a observation that the month that David Crosby died at age 81 the cover of the Rolling Stone issue #1371 was Rizal Leah, who writes her own rules.

andand (but not Anand Wilder, x-Yeasayer, not yet at least…): after a three month hiatus, Earthwise will announce a 10 show spring series, mostly jazz, but eclectic. March 1, Tiptons Saxophone Quartet Plus Drums; March 4, Damn Skippy f Amendola, Bernard, Scheinman Schott & Sickafoose; March 11, Stephan Crump; it still feels quixotic; would the planet be worse but for Earthwise? Part agit prop and Situationist, “MOLOCH! MOLOCH! MOLOCH!” and all that but I think I know how Zidane felt right before he head-butted his way to a red card and out of the World Cup…

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
This entry was posted in art, austistic, filthy lucre, Plato's Republic. Bookmark the permalink.

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