Austin Apartments | Texas Living with Urban Influence

Apr 30




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If you want to live in Austin, chances are it is because of the music. The city is defined by its musical past, and the present is suffused with local and visiting acts. This makes for a competitive rental market. Fortunately, Austin is a friendly city, with plenty of people willing to help. If you are planning to relocate to Austin, it is important to understand how the city works, and where to look to find an ideal apartment.

So two weeks ago,Austin Apartments | Texas Living with Urban Influence Articles the band stuffed itself into a spartan van and set out for this Texas city to play a show that would last all of 45 minutes. A thousand miles later, the band landed at South by Southwest, a conference that showcases Austin's storied devotion not just to music but specifically to live music: blues and bluegrass, country and rock, Zydeco and hip-hop.

"We didn't think twice," said Tom Naumann, Jet by Day drummer. "It's still Austin."

Like a modern Motown, the city is considered a cradle of independent music and has given scores of artists a ticket from garage-band obscurity to legitimacy. But many fear the city's ability to nurture new music is -- like the economy -- weakening.

These days, the freshest face in the self-declared "live music capital of the world" isn't that of a young blues prodigy or a music executive with a bead on undiscovered talent. It's the cop on noise patrol.

Desperate to appease those who moved into Austin's music district, then complained about the racket, city officials recently approved a noise ordinance. Standing outside clubs, using hand-held devices that resemble Geiger counters, police officers measure decibels and have become, many believe, the chief emblem of a city in serious trouble.

The entire nation is in an economic funk, of course, but in the long run, the soul of most cities will survive. Los Angeles will still bleed Hollywood glitz, even as California confronts a budget deficit of as much as $30 billion. But many believe Austin's very image -- it's very "capital of the world" catchphrase -- is falling apart.

Even as it puts on its easygoing bohemian face each morning, the city is spiraling into an economic pit. Rents that doubled in some areas during the boom never fell back to Earth. Clubs are shutting down at an alarming rate. Venues that have managed to survive have had to slash the fees they pay bands to perform live.

Musicians have always been willing to keep their day jobs, as the saying goes. Now there aren't any of those either. Weeks ago, one homemaker decided to apply for a job as a $10-an-hour courier. He was shocked, when he arrived at the address listed on a classified ad, to find 200 others competing for the position.

So there you have it; another dream is realized in Austin. If you are planning to move here, you could be next. At least you know you'll have a great apartment to go home to after the show.

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