With SXSW kicking off this week, Austinites and visitors alike can expect a bit of chaos. If you’re a newbie headed to the festival, no worries. We've compiled a list of stories to help orient you to the city.
Consider this a little guide on how to get the most out of Austin.
Regardless of what you think of Austin calling itself the “Live Music Capital of the World,” you've got to admit it is pretty effective branding. Even people who don't like music, and who've never been here, equate the city with a vibrant scene.
"Keep Austin Weird." The phrase is printed on T-shirts, bumper stickers, posters; it's part of Austin's national reputation. Some residents say that the city is losing its unique weirdness; some lament that it’s already gone.
Others say the weirdness is alive and well.
Sure, Austin is full of weird little tics that make Austin Austin. How can you tell natives from newcomers?
Listen to how they pronounce street names.
In 2016, The New York Times published a travel guide to Austin, "36 Hours in Austin, Texas.” It recommended barbecue, guitars and food – lots of it. That guide inspired one "traveler" to hop on a plane and follow the Grey Lady's itinerary to a T.
This is that hypothetical traveler's (satirical) story.
One of our listeners had a hunch that it might be legal to walk down the street with an open beer in most of Austin’s residential neighborhoods.
We answered his question as part of our crowdsourced reporting project.
Some birds are well-liked. Some are considered pests. Many just slip under the radar. But not the grackle.
The grackle demands that you take notice – and you'll notice many grackles around Austin.
Even though the population of Austin is booming, thousands of black residents have moved away in recent years.
A listener wanted to know why, so we investigated.
There are a number of swimming holes in Central Texas, so grab your swimsuit and take a splash.
Don't accept an invite to take a swim at Lady Bird Lake (formerly known as Town Lake). There are plenty of beautiful (legal) places to swim in Austin – but this isn't one of them.
Even if you're staying at an Airbnb in Hyde Park, you might still hear bands playing at clubs all the way downtown.
Wind and heat enable the noise to travel to residential areas. And that might be the small price to pay for staying closer to SXSW festivities.
Over the years, Austin's skyline has changed, and new skyscrapers have sprung up all around the Capitol. But there are some places you just can't build.
On the underpass walls along Lamar Boulevard near Fifth Street, you'll notice a row of blank blue panels on either side. What the heck are those things?
Remember that water bottle during SXSW. Austin is hot – it is Texas after all.
A longtime Austinite says it wasn't always this way. We gathered data that prove she's right.
SXSW-related trash has increased as more and more attendees flock to Austin for the festival.
Meet the people who clean up after the festivities.
Prepare to walk out of SXSW with sunglasses, stickers, tote bags, koozies and more.
Companies give out a lot of free stuff, but does it help their brands?
We’d say, “Don’t even think about it,” but it wouldn’t do us any good. People keep moving here, and that population explosion hasn’t been kind to Austin’s renters – who make up more than half the city’s population.