Sunday, March 31, 2013

Traveling: Austin, Texas - Coolness In The Land Of Cattle & Oil

It looks like Texas is ruled by cattle and oil. If you drive through the vast southern U.S. state you could see for hours just bulls, cows and oil wells. But right in the middle of nowhere there is a jewel: Austin.

The federal capital of Texas is a tiny town (population just around 800.000 wikipedia) if you compare it with New York City. But the place shows some coolness which reminds me a bit of the east coast metropolis. The downtown skyline offers several pieces of modern & beautiful architecture. The skyscrapers display the growing wealth of the region which benefits not just from the new oil boom in Texas. Austin also is a center of science & research thanks to an important university which is the fundament of an expanding technology and defense industry.

Hence a lot of construction is going on, a sign that money is pouring into the city. A statistics of the 10 fastest growing U.S. cities puts the Texan place on No. 4 with an over average growth of GDP & employment (

Thanks to the high portion of students and scientists the city also is famous for her rich music scene and a lot of street art. Culture and a variety of pubs, bars and restaurants, many on 6th Street & 4th Street, attract a lot of cool people. The Austin scene reminds me a bit of southern Manhattan. 

A lot of the charm of the city is a gift of nature: The Colorado River that flows through the heart of Austin and is crossed by the Congress Avenue Bridge and other bridges. The Congress Avenue Bridge, which has a lot of traffic, is home to a very special part of Austin´s nightlife: A myriad of bats who sleep during the daytime under the construction. Exactly at sunset the night flyers are setting up to their nightly hunts and are flying eastwards along the river. This spectacle attracts crowds of spectators who are gathering on the bridge and on the meadows nearby. 

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