So said Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith describing a recent local hailstorm on KUT, and inadvertently revealed the chasm between new and old Austin. Once upon a time, describing hail as “the size of golf balls” was itself a little too high-tone, but now soybean-sized hail is the new metric for Austin’s aspiring metrosexuals.

New Austin

In this morning’s Statesman, John Kelso has a particularly good column commenting on the changes washing over Austin. In critiquing a new combination hotel/condo/art museum planned to be built on the banks of Waller Creek that will purportedly feature a video floor in the lobby of people sleeping, Kelso dryly observes that:

If I want to see people on the floor, I can go to the Continental Club.

In the end, I fully realize change is inevitable and–almost always–improves upon the former state of things. However, what has distinguished Austin from Dallas and Houston is its lack of pretense and quirky combination of the political, the academic, and the professional. I just hope in our great advance towards modernization, we don’t lose the essential vibe that made Austin unique and desirable in the first place.

Less condos and wine bars, and more Armadillo World Headquarters and Las Manitas.

Thx to John Kelso and the Statesman

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