Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. The downtown, in particular, has seen extraordinary changes. For today’s post, I dug into my archives for a photo I took 6 years ago, in 2010. The boom was already in full swing, and since then, many more skyscrapers were added. The building under construction is the W Hotel on 2nd Street. The entire area is now filled with upscale residences anchored by upscale retail. Soon, 2nd street will be extended west to connect to the new Central Library and the newly redeveloped Seaholm complex. Lots of changes, for sure.
The downside, rising costs, especially living downtown. You really need to be affluent or be willing to spend a good chunk of your monthly budget for that downtown, urban lifestyle. On the plus side, you have a central core that’s more valuable. Not just financially, as measured by property values or tax revenue, but more importantly, as a vibrant destination that attracts the young professionals. Though a majority of the Austinites live in the suburbs, it’s the downtown that gives a city its identity. I believe you can’t have an effective sub-urb, without a vital central urb(an core).
I’m sure a bunch of people don’t like the changes. Certainly rising costs and oppressive traffic are some of the downsides. But what’s the alternative? In an increasingly, winner take all society, in technology, the economy and even social media, if your city isn’t getting attention, it’s being passed over. Super expensive places like New York and San Francisco continue to grow, despite their costs. Austin has its own pull, making it one of the most expensive places in Texas. There is a huge number of inexpensive places to live in Texas, but many of those places are shrinking. Their downtown core is a shell of the bustling heydays, when railways determined growth.
I shot this with my Canon 20D with a a kit 18-55mm lens. It was the second serious camera I bought after my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel XT, in 2006. I bought the used 20D, inexpensively, a few years later. I loved it for its prosumer build with a beefier grip and direct controls. It’s an 8MP camera which can still makes perfectly good images, printed up to at least 13″ x 19″ and certainly overkill for typical web posts.
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