Austin, TX

Don't Believe Austin is Still Weird? Check These Places Out

Carol Lennox

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Mural by Tara Johnson. Better TogetherPhoto by Tony Moreno

Suzy Strutner in Huffpost describes Austin, TX perfectly.
"And THEN there's Austin, Texas, hands-down one of the quirkiest, funkiest, weirdest cities in the United States."
Here are some examples of why and how Austin stays quirky, funky and weird, in spite of the constant gentrification.
HOPE Gallery is being relocated, since the original, started in 2011, was razed to make way for more condos. As are many cool and iconic things in Austin. However, this one is being built into a new, maybe even cooler, setting. While the opening of the new location has been delayed until this coming December, never fear, Austin is committed to the new space near the airport.
The original was created to allow the public to create art on walls and fences. The result was a conglomeration of art, murals, graffiti, and fun. Visitors and residents alike enjoyed the artistic freedom of the space.
Austin's original Castle Hill graffiti park is being reborn as a nearly 18-acre open-air cultural center complete with art exhibits, food and drinks, practice paint walls and a market.
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Faerie house created by Grace Campbell.Photo courtesy of Zilker Botanical Garden website.

Zilker Botanical Garden Woodland Faerie Trail is sprinkled among the garden’s walking paths. You'll find tiny faerie and gnome villages, each a work of art on their own. As stated on the Zilker Botanical Garden website, "Every year local faerie architects create homes for faeries traveling through the area."

The houses are on view all summer, so if you missed it this year, be sure and put it on the calendar for 2022. In the meantime, visit the rest of the 26 acre gardens, and Zilker Park.

Many people have written about the Cathedral of Junk, but here is what it's all about from the words of the man who created it.

Vince Hannemann says, "I just did it because it was kinda cool," he tells us. "It's my clubhouse. It's fun. Kids, when they come through, they know what it is."

He started building it in 1988, and continues to add to it regularly. Built of cast off appliances, parts, and other oddities, often given to him by visitors, it's a towering work of junk art. Although it's hidden from the street, in his backyard, the townhome dwellers behind him have complained. Fortunately, the city can't find a reason to tear it down. Vince built it to last.

"This is built to withstand Texas storms," Vince states humbly, but with satisfaction. It's also built to withstand gentrification. Thanks, Vince, for keeping Austin weird.

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My purpose is to inspire and inform. You can read more by me on Medium.com/@carollennox, and on the Good Men Project. I've had a lifetime of valuable experiences, and I want to share the lessons I've learned readily, or been forced to learn. I'm a psychotherapist, a hypnotherapist, a mother to my amazing son, Blake Scott, whom I write about often. I also write about race, equality, social justice, sex, government, and Mindfulness, not in that order.

Austin, TX
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