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Do Austinites live off of hopes, dreams and angel farts?

2010 June 29

Angels watching over us in Austin, TX at Eeyore's Birthday 2010.

Last Wednesday I biked on over to City Hall for a final push of the Imagine Austin Campaign to help form the city’s Comprehensive Plan of 2039.  It was absolutely energizing to be surrounded by so many concerned citizens as we watched a real plan being laid out for the future of our community. On my looooong bike ride home from the event, I started thinking about the possibilities and how they contrasted my experiences throughout the day.

I live in Sunset Valley, which is pretty far from downtown; 8 miles actually.  So commuting by bike and bus everyday is challenging. It’s punishing really, and so hard to resist the urge to grab my car keys and enjoy a nice air conditioned, speedy ride into town without having to worry about dying (Death by huge truck with an Aggie sticker is not my idea of a valiant and honorable ending).  But then I remember I pledged to cut my carbon emissions by 10% this year, and I get on that bike and ride.

This past week I rode into town  five days out of seven.  And while biking generally makes me happier than driving, things can and do go wrong.  Twice I realized about 2-3 miles into the ride that I had forgotten my u-lock.  On Thursday, the first 3 restaurants I picked for lunch were closed, turning my one hour lunch into a three hour nightmare during which I ran into a post on a sidewalk (Was riding on the sidewalk for lack of a bike lane and the presence of speed demons near Ben White).

So I got to thinking, “What could make Austin a better and more livable city?” And I imagined a city where ALL roads had bike lanes and the only foods available here were whole/real foods. I saw a metro rail that served as an incredibly fast and efficient form of RELIABLE transportation. We had sidewalks paved in consideration of wheelchairs and strollers. And we had playgrounds for grown ups!

While biking to Home Slice to have dinner with a friend, I realized I’d forgotten my bike lock AGAIN!  Then I thought about the bicycle deposits they have in Tokyo.  If we had those in Austin, we wouldn’t need to carry  locks, we’d just valet our bikes. That would solve so many of my biking troubles.

Crazy bicycle parking machine in Tokyo.

And while I’m dreaming, can we make cat-calling illegal? What is that all about anyway?  Why do men think that a girl/boy is really gonna stop in the middle of the road to talk to a man who is making hissing noises?  Oh, brother!

In discussing all of the seemingly implausible ideas for Austin’s future, I remembered how a friend from Dallas once wrote “Austinites live off of hopes, dreams and angel farts.”  The way I see it, we simply have the courage to see possibility.  As for the angel farts, well that just makes us stronger; lots of glitter to keep up our strength in hard day’s work of dreaming.

On my way home from the Imagine Austin event at City Hall, I discovered that South Lamar now has a bike lane.  As I raced down home on the smooth, newly laid road, I couldn’t help but smile and think, “them angels are workin hard for me.

REMEMBER: We have until TOMORROW (June 30th) to get our feedback to the city. So take the quick survey and let your voice be heard!


How do you envision Austin in 2039?

What problems do you encounter in green commuting?

Is it the angel farts that keep you in Austin?


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5 Responses leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010

    Angel farts? I wondered what that smell was.

    Love the article. It’s a bit of a thing, to live on hopes, dreams and angel farts, isn’t it? But ambition is a good thing. Being from the good ol’ rust belt, I’ve encountered dozens of studies that say one of the really limiting things about the Northeast is its populations decaying entrepreneurial spirit. In other words, peeps up there lack the motivation to start or create things. Down here in Austin we’re a little bit separated from the rat race, and quite separated from the “I really wish I was NYC” business attitude of Dallas.

    Angel farts are a far cry better than the lumpy Badger turds that the North’s dying industrial cities were built on, or Dallas, the ugly step-sister of all things NYC and Washington.

    Austin in 2039? Hover-buggies. Ooh, and everyone will have their own internal, portable air conditioner built into their butt cheeks. The DMV will still take like 2 and a half hours.

    • Ari permalink
      June 29, 2010

      Hahahaha! I like the way you think Mathew S. Thanks for reading ;)

  2. June 29, 2010

    Hi, Ari! Thanks for the post and your … unique … points! Could you do us a favor and point people to our survey (, rather than the Meeting-in-a-Box page (getmeeting.htm), which isn’t getting distributed anymore?

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