Jun 23, 2023 - News

An Austin newcomer's guide: What to read and watch

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan slaying it in 1983. Photo: Ebet Roberts/Redferns via Getty

Once known as Waterloo, Austin is a college town, a tech town, a music town and, of course, a capital town.

Between the lines: There's no shortage of lovely nooks and neighborhoods, but finding a place that fits your budget is the trick.

🏠 Where to buy your first house: Try Wells Branch, Pflugerville or, nearer in, Southeast Austin.

📞 Who you gonna call: Sidewalk falling apart? Garbage wasn’t collected? If you're in Austin and need help with any non-emergencies, call 311.

🍿 What to watch: "Slacker," Richard Linklater's 1990 plotless, zeitgeist-capturing film about young bohemians.

  • Of note: Cult classic "Office Space" was shot in ATX, as was our favorite TV show, "Friday Night Lights."

👏 Who to cheer: Head to a University of Texas women's volleyball game at Gregory Gym to root for some champion players.

📚 What to read: The "Path to Power," the first volume of Caro's magisterial Lyndon Baines Johnson biography, which tells you everything you need to know about the Hill Country.

  • Billy Lee Brammer's "The Gay Place," an LBJ-inflected novel about politics set in Austin.
  • Texas Monthly staff writer Skip Hollandsworth's "Midnight Assassin," a true crime story that reads like a historical novel.
  • "Waterloo," a satire of slackers and politicos by Karen Olsson.
  • Lawrence Wright's long New Yorker piece on our city's transformation.
  • Anything taco journalist Mando Rayo writes.

🐂 Horns up: Our heroes are University of Texas football player Earl Campbell, the late blues musician Stevie Ray Vaughan, the pioneering politician Barbara Jordan and the amazing Gary Clark Jr.


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