Why Do People In Austin Hate Dallas So Much?

While testing out my new cheetah knees in Austin over the last several days, I was reminded of my least favorite thing about (certain) Austinites: their abject hatred of Dallas. Anytime (generally) I introduce myself to a local and say where I’m from, they act like I said I live in a cloud of black mold inside a wasps’ nest inside an Ed Hardy store next to a sewage plant inside an active volcano on top of a Native American burial ground.

I mean, I like Austin. I used to live there. I go there and I enjoy myself more often than not. But it’s not like it’s the beach from the Leo DiCaprio movie The Beach or anything.


  • downtown_worker

    Amen. I lived in Austin as well, and I miss certain things about that city. Dallas may not have bats, hipsters and month-long music festivals, but we have great restaurants and beautiful vapid women who love the Kardashians. And that’s ok.

  • John N. Bryan

    Heck, some people IN DALLAS hate Dallas. It drives me nuts.

  • Jackson

    As a Dallas-raised guy who has one foot at each end of I-35 (or, as Austin alone refers to it, IH-35), I can say with certainty that Houston comes in for the same derision. In fact, if I drill down deep enough into a criticizing Austinite, I almost always elicit the admission that H-Town sucks more than Big D.

  • Because Dallas is better than the $h!tholes and cheaper than the great places. That, however, does not make it a great place. And it’s not that they hate Dallas, they hate the people here for believing all their own BS. I hear Austin people complain about Austin ALL THE TIME. I’ve never heard one say to someone complaining to “if you don’t like it, then just leave” . But I guarantee within 10 comments it will happen here. It’s the boosterism in the face of reality, the in-your-face nature of the evangelicals, the love of the squeaky clean homogeneous suburban life. Here is the truth…when you tell someone one you live in Dallas, no one ever says “oh, cool, I love it there”. But they say that about Austin….

    • @BigJonDaniel: I disagree with your reasoning as to why people in Austin hate Dallas. I think that’s why you dislike some Dallasites, though. And that’s fine.

  • yeah…um

    the superiority complex of Austinites is extremely aggravating. Funny thing is, like 90% of the people I know who are like that down there are from Dallas or Houston!

  • Billyboy

    We don’t like you in Ft. Worth, either. (LOL. Don’t take it personally.)

  • Beck

    I don’t get it either. First of all, the cities share 96% of the same DNA. It is not like you’re comparing Damascus to Tokyo. I could probably blindfold someone and drop them on a random corner (outside of the downtown areas) in either city and much of the time they couldn’t tell them apart.

    Secondly, for however pretentious Dallas is supposed to be, you are much more likely to hear “Oh, you’re from Austin? Cool.” vs the other way around.

  • Ozonedude

    We do have vapid white people here. That’s true. But Austin traffics in the same subtle classism practiced in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and San Francisco. Which is that they’re down with the poor and the minorities but heaven forbid they move in next door. Dallas is a real city with real problems and Austinites are so not down with that.

  • heels

    I prefer A Magazine

  • I think my views are shared by many people I know in Austin. And there is much more than that I don’t like about Dallas. Just try this – name three people, three places, and three things about Austin and about Dallas. Then ask some Austin people the same question. Dallas has a “brand”. So does Austin. The disconnection is what people in Dallas think the “brand” is, and what the rest of the country thinks it is…. However I try and find ways to make it a better place, spend my money at local places, support the local music and restaurant scene, etc.

    • @BigJonDaniel: Fair enough.

      I will only say this. I don’t give a flip what the rest of the country thinks Dallas’ brand is. Because — while they are entitled to think what they think about whatever — 1) it doesn’t matter, and 2) maybe I’m one of the people you’re talking about, but I think they are wrong. I mean — and I’m not trying to put words in your mouth — are you suggesting people in Austin would like Dallas better if we just agreed with an outside assessment of it?

      Austin has been better about communicating to the rest of the country what they want their brand to be, though. I will give them that.

  • trenta

    Yea, the same thing nauseates me as well. I like Austin a lot, always have a fun time and certainly see all its charms. But shit, I like Dallas. It’s understated and not crawling with people who think it’s the center of the f’n universe. I can see plenty of shows, eat great food and still maintain a decent job and living. I have several sports teams to cheer for and can fly outta DFW in a jiff, if I’m so inclined. I rarely run into the “awful stereotypical Dallasites” that people think exist all over here.

    What’s the big deal?

  • @ZC – ” I don’t give a flip what the rest of the country thinks Dallas’ brand is” Really? I would say your publisher and editor and heavily invested in that concept. Think of someone from OKC trying to tell you how cool OKC is. And you would probably say – “ummm, it’s OKC, man. No matter how many museums, or concert halls, or big buildings you build, it;s still going to be OKC. ” And then think if the OKC people just kept telling you how great it was, over and over. And what if the OKC people came into town, and sneered at your traffic, and sneered at your politics, and sneered at your godlessness, and said you dressed funny? You would be all like “umm – dudes, you are FROM OKLAHOMA CITY, ok? It’s ugly and uncool there, and I don’t see why you think it’s better, cause it’s not.” Get the picture. To Austin, Dallas is OKC

    • @BigJonDaniel: My lord you are making a lot of generalizations.

      Look, again, I don’t think the problem is that Dallas people think it’s BETTER than Austin. It’s that we are constantly pushed to defend it as being not the worst place in the world, by people in Austin who make the “why would you live in Dallas when you could live in Austin” argument. It’s not that they (me) have to say it’s better. Just that it’s not the place it is made out to be.

  • fred

    Because they don’t know the “real” Dallas of North Oak Cliff and East Dallas. They think it’s Park Cities, North Dallas and West Plano et al. Can’t blame them too much for hating that…the people in the real Dallas get irritated with them too…

  • Daniel Tosh

    Hate is fun.

  • TheKid

    What do you expect them to think about Dallas with some of the recent shows that are set in Dallas and reviewed on FrontRow? They make me want to puke or shy away when poeple ask me where I am from lately.

  • JB

    To me, Dallas is more ‘family oriented’ as a city which makes Dallas seem more stale at times and its definitely good to get away from it once in a while. However, the only thing better than leaving Dallas is coming back to it.

  • Son of Dolemite

    Lived in Dallas for 12 years after college. Have lived in Austin for the past 12 years. My observations:

    3 reasons why Austin is better than Dallas:
    1. Dallas has a much higher percentage of snobby, shallow d-bags. Not that they don’t exist in Austin…
    2. You don’t have to get dressed up to go to the grocery store in Austin
    3. BBQ — not even close between Cen-Tex and North-Tex

    3 reasons why Dallas is better than Austin:
    1. Pro sports in Dallas/Arlington
    2, Austin has good restaurants; Dallas has far more top level restaurants
    3. Much better museums in D/FW

  • yeah…um

    @BigJon – but see, I think the overall point is exactly what you are illustrating. There is probably some fairly cool shit in OKC (Flaming Lips, anyone?) and to shit on people bc they are from OKC would be small-minded and elitist.

    That is what makes Austinites who shit on Dallas annoying…they come from supposedly the pantheon of open-mindedness but then they shit on other places that aren’t Austin. Regardless of your brand or perception, it’s still a shitty thing to do.

  • ZC, and I can’t believe where you sit at the HQ of Dallas boosterism, you even don’t think it exists! I think (GENERALIZATION AHEAD!) People tend to rationalize wherever they live, so as not to be so miserable. And I also think there is a large part of that rationalization HERE that morphs into Dallas being the best place in the USofA, and to hell with anyone who doesn’t think so. “We have all this stuff, and it;s C_H_E_A_P!!! NO way I would live anywhere else!!” – But let me answer your question more directly. You have to defend dallas because it just isn’t that great. Lots of people live here to make a living. Poeple live here because they HAVE too. Not just me. Lots of people. And I wouldn’t live in Dallas if I could live in Austin, and I think many people feel the same way

    • @BigJonDaniel: I am not saying boosterism doesn’t exist. Of course it does. I am saying, once again, that I don’t think that is the reason. I mean, maybe I don’t tune in that frequency, but I’m not aware of a ton of people saying “Dallas is the best place in the USofA.” Well, sure, boosters may say that. But that’s what they do. There are boosters in every city. Who cares. Does the Mayor or Wick or whomever want people to like Dallas? Obviously.

      Now, let me answer your generalization about me more directly. I like living here. A lot. I like the PEOPLE. I like the neighborhoods. It’s easy to get around. It’s cheap, too, sure.

      There are magazines in Austin. There’s a couple of papers, too. I could probably get a job down there if I wanted. It’s not too far away from my kid, or the rest of my family. I’ve even been in the running for a gig down there before. Point is I don’t HAVE to live in Dallas. But I dig it here. Without any shame or misconceptions about where I live. OK?

      You’re stuck here? OK, fine, but don’t project on me, or anyone else.

      Talk to a shrink and take lots of day trips, I guess.

      • And I realize the end of that had a whiff of “if you don’t like it, move” to it. Unintentional.

  • @yeah…um – but that’s the whole point. Some places just suck. Are you saying being judgmental is bad? In Dallas, judgement IS the predominant cultural ethos. Being open minded doesn’t mean abandoning the ability to judge one thing superior to each other. This is a very typical Dallas argument, because judgment here is (literally) scriptural. So you argument is this ? – “Hey Austinite – you are not a dogmatic, evangelical, judgmental prick – so therefore how can you judge my city harshly? Open mindedness means nothing is better or worse! “That’s a specious argument.

  • Cranky Girl

    Zac – I think you hit on something. Generally speaking, Dallasites DO care too much about what outsiders think of our city, whereas the Austinites (and the cities Ozonedude listed) care a lot less. Austinites seem more confident about there city, whereas Dallasites do stupid things like blowing money on real estate con games (sorry – “investments”) to make our city better. I wish more of us had a “whatevs” attitude about our Dallas’ perception to the outside world.

  • Randy

    The comment thread on the Austin-based article I was reading about Leslie’s death took about 2 comments before it turned into “Damn, and Leslie was about the one person keeping Austin from turning into f’n Dallas”. And, no, I’m not kidding.

    @BigJonDaniel, that sounds a lot like someone with a chip on their shoulder about a lot more than this imaginary “Dallas boosterism”, ya think?

  • Steve

    About 10 years ago, I had some friends who moved here to Dallas from Portland. It only took them one visit to Austin to witness this phenomena, and to notice that the cities are not really all that different.

    On a subsequent trip they invented a game that goes like this:
    Ask someone you just met why (not “if”) they hate Dallas.
    Ask that person where they grew up.

    Generally speaking, the more the person dislikes Dallas, the more likely it was that they grew up here and later moved to Austin as a young adult for college or to otherwise spread their wings. In my uninformed opinion most of these people are taking their parental issues out on a city that they never lived in as adults.

  • Kristina Higgins

    Hailing from DFW originally and having lived in Austin for 7 years, I can say that it takes about 4 of living down here before you get it.

  • Steve

    I just have to add that the idea that Austin isn’t obsessed with what the outsiders think of their city is totally hilarious.

  • Robert Abtahi

    Funny you mention this because I was in Austin on Friday night and came away with the same feeling… in fact I tweeted this the next morning:

    As much as Austin claims to be different and unique, their new W, Taverna, and coming soon Bob’s scream Dallas to me… Just an observation”

    I lived in Austin about ten years ago and the place has changed dramatically in those ten years… in addition to all the development it seems like their desire to be different is so strong that they’ve ended up conforming to that belief.

    I saw a ton of beards, jorts, and wayfarers…

  • @ZC – It’s good that you like living here. That makes it easier, right? But you are doing the same projections that I think you are accusing me of. YOU like it here, therefor, “most people do”. I don’t like it here, therefore, “most people don’t.” YMMV, I think.

    A Couple of years ago, I committed to doing more, and seeing more, and exploring more of Dallas. I committed to becoming more active and meeting more people. I drive from out of the burbs into Dallas to spend my money specifically at places that I support. And I meet so many great people, who are DYING for more great things in Dallas,and are so frustrated with how much better it could be here.

    Yes, I can point to the improvement in many areas that are important to my perceptions of the livability here.
    But the prevailing culture here is very suffocating to many types of people.

    But I’m not sure I ever answered your question. Why do people in Austin hate Dallas? Maybe it’s a Red/Blue thing? Maybe Dallas represents a life or a lifestyle that people move to Austin to get away from.

    S***, I grew up in Marin County. You’ve never seen regional snobbishness until you’ve seen it from a Northern Californian about Southern California…

    • @BigJonDaniel: I said *I* like living here. That is all.

      And I’m out.

  • Steve

    Attention each and every citizen of Austin! It was cooler before you moved there.

  • yeah…um

    @Steve – “Generally speaking, the more the person dislikes Dallas, the more likely it was that they grew up here and later moved to Austin as a young adult for college or to otherwise spread their wings. In my uninformed opinion most of these people are taking their parental issues out on a city that they never lived in as adults.”

    EXACTLY! I can name about 15 people who fit this description of the top of my head.

  • LR

    I’ll tell you why. Because Austin has a bunch of haters. “Laid Back” only applies if you’re doing what they want you to be doing. They had a shirt going around that said, “Welcome to Austin. Please don’t move here.” And how exactly did they all come to living there, then? Silly.

  • @RobertAbtahi That’s the classic Austin comment! I’ve been going there since 1979, and no matter when I go, someone will tell me it was better 10 years ago. They told me in 79 that 69 was THE BOMB, and that Austin was going down hill. The Armadillo was still open, and the rents near campus were cheap. In 89 they told me how 79 was so great! Liberty Lunch was still open, and the rents in downtown were cheap!. In 99 they told me 89 was great! 6th street live was still open, and the rents in South Austin were cheap! in 2009 they said 99 was great! The original Alamo draft house was still open, and the rents in east Austin were CHEAP! LOL!!!!

  • wlubake

    To me, this story summarizes the rift between Dallas and Austin:

    We have very close friends that just uprooted their entire family of 4 to move to Austin without jobs or prospects for jobs. They go on and on about how great it is to live in the live music capital of the world, how Austin has so many great jogging and biking trails, and how laid back everyone is. The problem is that these friends don’t go to concerts, don’t jog or bike, and are stressing out to make ends meet to pay the rent on their house in the suburbs north of town (because Austin proper is too expensive).

    Austin is an idea. That idea only transaltes to reality for a small percentage of its non-student population. It is the same with Dallas.

    What makes Dallas so terrible to Austinites is that which is enjoyed/practiced by only a small percentage of the Dallas population: the excesses of society culture. You take the extremes off both cities and they look pretty dang similar.

    I will give Austin its barbeque. Why can’t we get that right here?

  • mynameisbill

    Austin looks down on Dallas….Dallas looks down on Mesquite(Plano, Frisco, insert your ‘burb of choice). Moral of the story…folks like talking crap about other places, people, or things. We’re all guilty of it, so pull up your big boy pants and don’t be so sensitive.

  • @wlubake “the excesses of society culture”??

    This is why people hate Dallas!

    And all you did is sub Austin into the “why TX is better than CA ” argument. That’s pretty old school!

    For BBQ, try Lockhart and Pecan Lodge. As good as all but only a handful of places in the Austin City limits

  • Jon Hubach

    They are weird and laid back. We hyperventilated over a freaking Kardassian. They have Sandra Bullock, Lance, Robert Rodriguez, and more than I can think of. Here it’s about image and money. You can’t throw a stone and hit a cool place. Here there are cool places…if you can afford to live in Dallas. You live in the burbs you get crap on top of crack. And those cool trucks in Austin, good luck here. They are JUST getting to Dallas with so many regulations. Have to admit Austin is just cooler than us.

  • JB

    Dallas has always had a bit of an identity struggle. The rest of the country looks at Texas one stereotypical way and the three other cities sorta embrace the image, perhaps perpetuate it. But Dallas, regardless of the TV show image that was/is portrayed has never been comfortable with the whole Texas stereotype. Should it be “country/western?”. Nope, Ft. Worth and Austin have that covered. Should it be “Big Oil?” Nope Houston has that covered. Should it be “glamorous?”, Nope, we can go to L.A. and visit. Should it be “Southern?” Nope, not really quite our style. Maybe we should be more “Northeast-like?” Nah, we can fly for a weekend to NY or something. ..The result is that Dallas is kinda all the above but yet none completely. Throw in some fine pro sport franchises and some overall great food and… whalla. I’ve lived in several more exciting cities, including, perhaps, Austin, but Dallas is a place you feel the need to call ‘home.’ @BigJonDaniel, you may be right that many people HAVE to be here,….initially. But I have heard many of those same people end up WANTING to stay here permanently after living here for a year or so.

  • beccalyn

    Born and raised in the Midwest – I very much dislike Dallas and have lived here for 8 years. It’s easy to romanticize where I have been – however, I can definitely say that no one should categorize Dallas as a family oriented city. Sorry @JB. I think it’s getting there and there’s a lot more culturally centered things to do – but I miss being able to walk around, use public transportation easily, going to parks and of course, Dallas has a lot to catch up on in the arts category. Arlington was going to have a lot more things for families to do when the stadium was going to be put in, but someone shot down a lot of great ideas that could’ve made Arlington a fantastic city with sports and artsy things to do.

  • Cranky Girl

    Yeah, we like talking crap about our suburbs, but I’ve noticed we have very little interest in Dallas vs. Houston or Dallas vs. San Antonio faux rivalries. They existed more in the RL Thorton days, but today most people say, “meh.” It seems we are striving to be another city. Want evidence? See how many people comment on a Dallas vs. Houston post that occasionally comes from Wick or Glenn or maybe Tim. There are very few comments.

  • dallasboiler

    I moved to Dallas 16 years ago from the midwest and had never been to Texas before then. My entire perception of Dallas prior to moving here was based on 3 things (and a lot of naivity):

    1. Dallas (the TV show) – I expected glitzy, glamorous ladies dressed to the nines and guys wearing cowboy hats, boots and jeans with a sport coat. I also expected to see large ranches and tumbleweed blowing across the runways at DFW. (And, of course, I expected everybody to be in the oil business.)
    2. Dallas Cowboys – Obviously I expected football to be a big deal and based on the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders my expectations on Dallas women were only bolstered.
    3. Texas – People who have never been to or near Texas think of it as the original “Old West”. They expect that most cities here would be something akin to the Stockyards in Ft. Worth.

    While my ‘brand’ of Dallas was somewhat off from what it actually is, I can honestly saw that I didn’t have a ‘brand’ for Austin. All that I knew about Austin was that it was a) the capital of Texas, b) it was the home of the University of Texas and c) that PBS filmed a live music show there. I knew nothing of the whole “Keep Austin Weird” element or that it could be any more liberal than any other large college town (e.g., Madison, WI).

    Anyway, that’s a long way to say that – whether you like it or not – the ‘brand’ that the majority of Americans probably have about Dallas is tied to stereotypes (both accurate and inaccurate). But, at least it has an international ‘brand’. Austin is a great place, but I don’t think that it has an international ‘brand’. (And, I think that is one of the reasons why some of the people who live there may prefer it to Dallas.) Dallas wants to be a big-name city held in the same regard as New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Miami, etc. I think that Austin would prefer to not be a big city in that same fraternity.

  • blizzo

    Ftw is better than both! Houston is the real armpit of texas I’d rather live in el paso than Houston

  • Eric Celeste

    Pfft. “Texas.”

  • Buck Areau

    One more thing, as someone who was raised many counties away from Dallas, Austin and Houston, I can tell you, anybody who says he’s going to Texas and then lands in Dallas is just flat wrong. Dallas ain’t Texas.

  • Julie

    Dallas is more business-minded. Austin is more party-minded. They are different from one another. Simple as that.

  • Z

    Dallas has no soul. No innards. No substance. It’s a hollow tree. It’s a deserted movie set waiting for a great script, so someone will believe it’s a real place with four walls where a family lives.

    Dallas could have grown a soul, over time, but it ruined its chances forever with the get-rich-quick mistake of confusing professional sports teams with genuine history and culture. When, in fact, sports are the cubic zirconia of culture.

    People have to believe in a place, and lend it part of their own spark, for it to come alive. Here, folks just pray to the transient, cleated millionaire gods du jour. Roots don’t grow in such shallow stuff.

  • RJ

    “but I miss being able to walk around, use public transportation easily, going to parks”

    Sounds like you live in a ‘burb, not Dallas.

  • bill holston

    Interesting discussion. I like Austin, particularly the great walks and parks that are close in. I’ve walked the Barton Creek greenbelt often and find it a lovely urban hike. I like the music of course.

    Dallas is very insecure about identity. But, I love it here. The hike on the Buckeye Trail was great. You can hear great music every weekend: Kessler, Sons of Herman, and the Granada. Not to mention the smaller venues, like Club Dada City Tavern, and the Doublewide. We are close to Denton, so we can sort of claim Sarah Jaffe and Doug Burr. We can claim Norah Jones and Erykah Badu.

    We’ve got the Chihuly exhibition coming up at the Arboretum, and the John Paul Gautier Exhibit was historic.

    I happen to work at one of the best human rights organizations in the US, where we have some of the best young legal talent representing immigrant survivors of torture and domestic abuse.

    We have great local theater. Kitchen Dog, is just opening up Turn of the Screw.

    And finally, we have a growing number of microbreweries. You hang out at Goodfriend, meet your neighbors, and their kids and their dogs, well it seems like a great community to me.

    there’s rivalries between cities, but nothing about my life here fits the stereotypes.

  • john

    “but I miss being able to walk around, use public transportation easily, going to parks”

    “Sounds like you live in a ‘burb, not Dallas.”

    I believe that is one of the main problems with Dallas. We are a metro area of 6.5 million people, yet 5 million of those people live in the hinterlands. Most folks I work with live in the far suburbs and drive literally 30 or more miles to work every day. They constantly complain about how awful Dallas is and how there is nothing to do. When I ask them when the last time was that they had actually been inside the loop, most of them say it has been years, if ever. If we were a metro area, like Austin, that was not dominated by suburbs we might not have such a negative minded populace. These are the same folks that go to other places and whine about how bad Dallas is, which perpetuates the negative opinion others have of our city. I have been to many, many cities, and I can tell you, Dallas is actually a pretty great place to live, if you live IN the city of Dallas.

  • Dirty Joe

    30 year Austin resident here. The only other place I’ve lived is Houston for 5 years (for school). I’ve never lived in Dallas, so I can’t speak directly to that, but I think Austinites in general are a bit snobby about coolness.

    I actually found Houston to be a pretty good place to live. Some of it sucks and the sprawl in general I could do without, but there are pockets of Houston that to me, are at least as cool, if not cooler, than Austin (Heights/Montrose). I know this is picky, but the thing that bothered me most about Houston was its flatness. I like a little topography. But Houston has great parks (contrary to popular Austinite belief, it is not a concrete jungle), substantial culture, outstanding restaurants and bars.

    Austin has transformed since I was young. My favorite things about Austin- the lakes, parks, greenbelts, etc., have become less accessible as Austin has become more densely populated. So I think in general quality of life has gone down. Someone recently moving here may not recognize that, but it’s true. So enjoy yourself wherever you live, because the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side.

  • @ John Because Dallas is better than the $h!tholes and cheaper than the great places. That, however, does not make it a great place

  • RAB

    Dallas would be perfect if it had a monorail from Highland Park Village to Uptown and to the Arts District — and then required proof of Park Cities residency to get back. (By the way, who even cares about Austin or what they think? Geez.)

  • ts

    There is one reason why Dallas owns Austin: DFW Airport. I can visit real awesome in Asia, Europe, or South America in 2 flights or less. Suck on that Austin while you’re connecting through DFW.

  • Daniel

    The people in Austin who put down Dallas are either pathetically parochial, provincial Austionites or former Dallasites. People move to Austin from places like Dallas and want to take credit for having moved to San Francisco or something — the fact that it just happens to be 190 miles down the freeway doesn’t mean they aren’t brave souls who flew the coup; it’ s just that there’s a place on the level of San Francisco 190 miles away, is all. (In places they don’t talk about at cocktail parties, they need to believe this.) So they carp on Dallas as if it’s this distant nightmare thousands of miles in their past. (And simultaneously manage to convince themselves that some pisspoor dump like the Blanton Museum is well-recognized internationally.) The reality is, they just did the safe thing for a stoner liberal-arts type to do when s/he is twenty-something, pointlessly educated, and has no skills except being smart, which isn’t really much of a skill at all.

  • Daniel


  • Daniel

    P.S. Nobody can argue that Austin doesn’t have superior barbecue. And scenery. And festivals. Those are big deals, too, but that’s about the extent of it. I’m not even convivinced their music scene is better, if you include Denton as part of the Dallas scene.

  • @Daniel: I’ve stayed out of the conversation till now. I need to know: how did you sneak cocktail past our vigilant screener? Kudos!

  • CollinBabs

    My opinion of Austin has been that it is the Berkeley of the South and has been that way for several years now. The true Texas character has almost been stripped from the city and been replaced with a manufactured persona full of greenies, smuggy buggies, and benevolent laws (banning plastic and paper bags) “for the good of all and the planet.” Dallas could stand to be a little greener, but not to the point where it feels like San Francisco. Some can say that Dallas’ true Texas character has also been stripped away and I wouldn’t argue too much with that…Austin has the geographic scenery but Dallas maintains the brash, bold, and bewildering bravado which characterizes its personality.

  • Daniel

    That’s for me to know and you to find out. Is that a bit cocky of me? Why, yes, I suppose it is. But try, try , try to understand: I’m a magic man.

  • Helen

    I’m an ex-Dallasite who moved to Austin and love everything about living here, from the water and hills to the corporate culture of my workplace. That said, I love going back to Dallas to see my friends and family, visit museums and eat. Some of my old Dallas friends think Austin is a godless place, so: There’ll always been snobbery on both sides. Of everything, not just geography. Some journalists, for example, believe that other journalists who don’t cover hard news aren’t really journalists. Right, Zac?

  • LakeWWWooder

    If you are from Lakewood you love Dallas passionately – and you think Austin is another cool place.

  • @Daniel: You have my respect and admiration, you cocky motherfucker. I hope you realize that with great power comes great responsibility. Use it wisely.

  • I like Austin. I love Dallas. My wife loves Austin. She likes Dallas. Somehow, our marriage still works.

  • @Daniel: Guess what? I, too, am feeling a bit cocky now.


  • Daniel


    “Passionately”? Dallas is more like a better-than-average-looking wife of many years who keeps herself in good shape, knows how to put herself together for a night out, is decently employed, has a knack for entertaining and makes killer Bloody Marys on Sunday mornings. You could leave her for someone who makes you feel “young and alive,” but what kind of damn-fool thing would that be to do? There’s more to life than passion, son.

  • Daniel


    All right, Grasshopper, you snatched the pebble from my fu — er, from my ****ing hand.

  • Zac –

    I think @ Daniel – answered your question

    “The reality is, they just did the safe thing for a stoner liberal-arts type to do when s/he is twenty-something, pointlessly educated, and has no skills except being smart, which isn’t really much of a skill at all.”

  • Daniel


    That’s why they hate people from Dallas? Because we are crass philistines (as exemplified, I presume you meant to illustrate, by my comment)? Look, fella, you need to dig a little deeper if you think that’s the case. If anything, there’s a more robust creative class here than in Austin. Granted, it’s rather overwhelmed by umpteen-billion square miles of suburban mediocrity.

    In the end, it all depends on what flavor of poseur least engages your gag reflex. Yuppie trendoids are easier to steer clear of here than pseudo-intellectuals are in Austin. The God-guns-and-family set are almost nowhere in evidence in Dallas proper. The artists/thinkers/dreamers in Dallas also share a sense of kindred-spirit that you really don’t find in Austin, where it’s understood you must pretend to have read Foucault if you expect to get nookie. (Paradoxically, this is most annoying if you actually have read Foucault.)

    For the record, I am a (former) stoner liberal-arts geek. Also for what it’s worth, Dallas went 65/35 in 2008 for Obama, so it’s not exactly blue.

  • Daniel

    “almost nowhere in evidence” = no more so than in Austin

    Certainly much, much more so than in Seattle or Boston.

  • john


    “@ John Because Dallas is better than the $h!tholes and cheaper than the great places. That, however, does not make it a great place”

    I don’t see that I ever said anything in my post insinuating that Dallas is a great place because of the reasons you say. Judging from your posts, you seem to like to put words in people’s mouths, and you definately are not happy here. I think Austin is the place for you.

  • Daniel

    Let’s go easy on BigJonDaniel — he’s bursting with frustration that he had to type the word as $h!thole. Being a magic man, with magic hands, I would labor under no such constraints. But, unfortunately for our more prurient-minded commenters, I am a class act and will decline to prove it.

    (clenches jaw and grips desk in a Heculean display of self-censure)

  • Daniel

    (Heculus was the Greek god of euphemism)

  • Kyle Rovinsky

    Not everyone in Dallas, just douchebags like you

  • Daniel

    Kyle, I’m almost too sheepish to point this out. It brings me an anguished welling of deep-down humility to apprise you that I, sir, can curse whereas you cannot; if this means that all our future interactions must be, necessarily, colored by a tacit acknowledgement of my blunt superiority, I should only hope that your candor remains intact — even if tempered with regards to personal name-calling.

    Now go have a cocktail or two, it would seem you need one.

  • ts

    More of the singular Daniel and less of the BigJon variety.

  • Avid Reader

    Last time I was there I saw less of the Keep Austin Weird shirts that every single establishment sells and tons of Make Austin Corporate. No opinion, just that was hysterical and in line with this thread.

  • Ummmmidk

    We don’t
    I live in Austin and no one I know hates it

  • 2 time Dallas resident

    This is my 2nd try at living in Dallas. First experience was in downtown where people were very snooty, judgemental, frequently drunk and under the impression they were smarter than they actually were. I tried meeting the neighbors that lived next to me on both sides and around the high rise I lived in. When I invited the neighbors over for dinner, 1 just stared at me and shut his door. The other talked to me in a very condescending tone and told me they had big plans that night (even though I didn’t say which night I was going to invite them over) and said they wouldn’t be able to attend my “little din din”. I don’t know what that was a reference to. Throughout the rest of the year and a half I was there, when I made eye contact with the neighbors and said hi, they’d smirk and tilt their nose up just slightly. Very odd behavior. Churches were also very cliquey, and fast to dismiss me from joining any worship groups which completely floored me. Guess they were working on special assignments from Jesus that I was excluded from.

    This time around I moved further north, primarily because of the bad people experience my first time. This experience has been a little better. I also find people’s friendliness proportional to the amount of wealth they have. Some of the people in the neighborhood are very pissed, unfriendly, and reminiscent of downtown Dallas people. I also know one of those neighbors had his car repo’d a few weeks ago. Another had their house foreclosed. It sounds like a lot are struggling to stay in the affluent neighborhood and “keep up appearances”. A lot of the other neighbors are older and close to retirement. They are the most friendly ones, but its hard to visit with them frequently because of the big age gap. As soon as you leave that subdivision and get into the lower priced homes, the people are immediately less friendly and don’t mind showing it.

    Between the times living in Dallas, I was in Austin, and I really do miss it. Its funny how people in Austin called Dallas residents snobby, while Dallas prefers to call itself sophisticated. I guess sophisticated includes being rude, raging alcoholics from downtown or being splenetic and deep in debt while living in an affluent neighborhood. I’m not saying Austin was perfect, but I really miss the friendly attitudes there over the bitter environment I’m in right now.

    The thing that continues to sadly shock me the most is I thought I could escape the bad attitudes of Dallas by finding AT LEAST ONE CHURCH who’s congregation left their attitude, egos and problems at the door. I’m still searching for that place.

  • txhipster

    No blizzo, Port Arthur is the armpit of Texas. There have even been articles about it. Get with the times, dude.

  • bulfinch

    I’m late to the party here, but I’m gonna add my bit anyway for any other stragglers like me who happen by later…

    I’ve lived in Austin for about four years now (plan on leaving soon) and visited Dallas just last weekend. I first visited Austin in ’98 with the idea of relocating here at the behest of a friend who’d lived in Central Florida with me and shared in many of my misgivings about that area. In the process of his trying to escape Florida to California, he broke down in Austin and stayed there, growing to love it. I liked it after visiting, too, and planned to move here shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, things fell through. Having the chance to move here again ten years later, in 2008, I seized the opportunity. I like Austin, but I feel like my Kool Aid goggles must fit looser than everyone else’s. It’s just not that great.

    The following are some observations from having lived here the last few years followed up with some observations from my very brief visit to Dallas:

    1.) Austin is a not a very photogenic city. I don’t know what people are talking about when they say it’s scenery is amazing. It isn’t. Like any city, there are pockets here and there. Hill Country, when verdant, can be a refreshing departure, but it only seems as pretty as it does because so much of Austin is so homely. There is also a dearth of good commercial and residential architecture, and anything that has even a slight architectural flourish will have some zany premium attached to it — and zany is being cute about it.

    2.) Being the poor man’s California — which, let’s face it, is what ATX has become — is not really a lofty distinction. Meanwhile, Austin (and really, no city in Texas) does not hold a candle to most metro/coastal areas of California. Everyone talks about all the Californians moving to Austin; what they don’t talk about is all the Californians that move back or long to do so. Pay attention to relocation forums sometime and see if the remorse is not palpable.

    3.) I have travelled very extensively across the United States. Even the really scary and highly unglamorous parts. NO other city I have EVER been to or lived in is as IN LOVE with itself as Austin. It’s kinda nice at first. You get here, and you’re a little off your game…y’know, the new kid in town…then you hear the “I moved to Austin in blah blah blah blah (cue charming anecdote)” spots on KUT for the first few times and you’re disarmed. After year two, it starts to get a little nauseating. Austin Austin Austin. When I’m on a plane, I hear people who sound like they work for the CoC, parroting all the buzz and hype about this that and the other thing Austin-related. I even overheard one guy say that he lies and tells everyone he’s a native to gain more points. Whenever I’m in a restaurant I constantly overhear the city mentioned by name…Austin Austin Austin….frequently followed up with Bay Area. This does not happen in other cities. You don’t sit in a restaurant in Manhattan and overhear the word Manhattan every three or four minutes.

    4.) One of Austin’s strongest appeal factor is the people. However, unlike landscape and climate, demographics are given to flux and can change quite rapidly — especially with the middle class decline in America that is under way and the attendant migration flows that will continue to ensue.

    5.) Austin’s claim that they avoided the housing bubble is insane. They’ve enjoyed something of a proxy bubble from all of the bubble gains from other sand states. And since Austin enjoyed a relatively robust housing market because of these wealth inflows, when all of the stimulus and low rates that were designed to prop up prices in the hardest hit states found their way into Austin, it was like administering adrenaline straight into the heart of an otherwise healthy patient. Prices are Kee-Razy here as a result. And for ugly houses or horrible Cubist McMansions.

    Now…when I visited Dallas last weekend — mostly the Northeast section — I gotta say, it was pretty nice city. I didn’t feel smitten, but I didn’t feel beat over the head, either. A lot of the negative appraisals of Dallas that I’ve witnessed now seem pretty overblown. It was by no means compelling, but that’s actually what was kind of nice about it; it just seemed like a city. It seemed to have all of the things I imagine a broad spectrum of different demographics might require from a city — except, perhaps, the folks who need to feel defined by their city, in which case, I can see where maybe Dallas could be a let down. There seems to be no definitive Dallas blueprint. Again, I like that. I don’t need what I already recognized and like about a city to be repackaged and marketed back to me with a catchy sound bite and attendant premium. Just provide me with the basic facilities required for the pursuit of happiness and try not to ding me at every pass.

    The three biggest drawbacks to Dallas: tornadoes; crime numbers; sprawl.

    And khaki shorts.


  • Stu

    It’s the attitude. I am from Lubbock orignally and then I moved to Austin 10 years ago. I have been to Dallas a million times growing up, and my wife is from DFW (Fort Worth) in particular. It all comes down to attitude. Dallas is a status-quo, corporate-yuppy, don’t-rock-the-boat, don’t-go-outside-the-box, keep-up-with-the-Jones’s type of culture. Austin is totally opposite. We thrive on indiviualisms, creativity, rock-the-boat, break-the-status-quo’s. It’s a giant melting pot of ideas, commerce, cultures, and people who aren’t afraid to be however they want, nor push their ideas on anyone else, it’s a live and let live type of attitude. And no offence Dallasites, but when this situation arises and somebody says, “I’m from Dallas”, it’s not that I don’t like you, it’s that I feel sorry for you, that’s all. I fell sorry that you are not liberated. Free yourself!! Dallas is a climb-the-corporate-ladder type of place where Austin is an entreprener’s dream world, where no idea is too stupid, and the crazier the idea the better the result. Austin not a climb the corporate ladder kind of place….it is a let-me-create-the-ladder kind of place.

  • samson

    Stu — Austin is catching up to Dallas. Give it time. It’s caught the California bug!

  • hatch

    Maybe it’s the posturing, affliction t-shirt wearing tools and shallow bitches who date them. The self entitlement of people who cut to the front of the line. Mega churches and perfectly manicured lawns, corporate yuppy jobs, consumers of high-end shopping and great restaurants, yet have no interest in leaving the city better than they found it. Take…take…take. Dallas fashion is status quo, to be someone you’re not. In Austin, if you’re successful or not, you’re comfortable in your own skin and embrace your individuality.