Keep Austin Texas Weird -What's that all about? (LOCALISM FEATURED)

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate 0396717

Keep Austin Weird 5K"Wait, what was that, I ask?  My son responds again, "its 107 degrees according to that thermometer at the starting line".  I moan and try to figure out WHY I have agreed to participate with him in the Keep Austin Weird 5K (and costume contest with each entrant issued a pair of "Elvis" sunglasses) at 6pm in the afternoon in the middle of a brutal Texas summer... The event is a benefit for the RunTex Carrozza Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides running shoes, coaching and race entry fees for people with low incomes. Paul Carrozza is also the owner of RunTex, the absolute coolest running store on the planet located here in Austin Texas!

Keep Austin Weird 5KWe start off together and my son says he wants to go on ahead and I quickly agree mumbling something to the effect that I will catch up later (oh sure...) After two miles I am sweating like a politician in church and just about to say to "heck with it" when who should come running towards me? My son who has doubled back and is laughing as he tells me he wanted to be sure I was okay. I can barely see from the sweat pouring into my eyes and I am gasping for air in the torrid heat but I manage to say, I'm good! I struggle to keep moving and try and not pass out while slipping into that spacey zone that comes before heat exhaustion!

I am thinking all the while that we only have a mile to go and if I can keep from barfing up a lung I just might make it! He then tells me to "smile" for the photographers by the roadside and I do laugh when he catches a scoop of Amy's Ice Cream tossed from the Water/Ice Cream Stop by volunteers to anyone who picked up a cup a few yards earlier! (I told you this was weird!)

Keep Austin Weird

Keep Austin Weird is an axiom chosen by a group that promotes small local businesses in Austin, Texas.The Austin Independent Business Alliance picked the phrase from a remark made by a librarian at Austin Community College in a phone call to a local radio station. Red Wassenich and his wife, Karen Pavelka, placed the slogan on bumper stickers, distributing them free to businesses in Austin. "Keep Austin Weird" was later trademarked by http://www.outhousedesigns.com/ and used to market T-shirts, hats, and mugs.

The slogan is a reference to the many small businesses, events, functions and personalities in Austin which give the city its unique cultural identity.  The Keep Austin Weird website describes itself as a "collaborative fission of coordinated individualism" and it gets somewhat weirder from there, learn more at: http://www.keepaustinweird.com/ . The whole concept is really just a celebration of all the things that that make Austin so unique and enjoyable. Austin Mayor Will Wynn supports the foundation and the group focusing on supporting local business! I read this quote by him recently, "The city is so weird, he joked, that his parents bought a house in Round Rock. But what exactly makes Austin weird? Wynn said it is the high quality of life in a growing city that feels small. "We don't feel nearly as large . . . because we have a unique quality of life," Wynn said. And I could not agree more, every day brings some new and interesting weirdness!

Weird 5K finish lineWe finally cross the finish line behind a crowd that includes two girls rowing in a cardboard canoe, people running in various costumes, a scuba diver and a collection of Dr. Seuss characters. A short time later, after we manage to cool off and refuel with a few quarts of ice water, some Amy's Ice Cream and a half dozen slices of Mangia Pizza, we wander over to the Free stage to watch some great local music.

Keep Austin Weird Tie-DyeKeep Austin Weird is really about the rich diversity & eclectic ideas of our community and the melting pot nature of all the things that TRULY make Austin such a wonderful place to live. I love Austin and have lived here a long time and I even enjoy the fact that the Weird "slogan" sometimes irritates those who do not fully understand the meaning.  Of course, there are always party poopers in every crowd but in Austin they are vastly outnumbered!

 

 

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Russell Lewis Luxury Real Estate Broker Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

 

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Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Gail Thanks again for dropping by! I have been very fortunate to have received the gold stars and I am flattered! While at ReBar camp I learned that I need to post more often and also fill out my posts to include more Real Estate related material so I am ging to make the effort to post 3 times a week instead of once every 8-10 days and have more business info. I do enjoy writing about local stuff and for Localism and will continue to do that too! Now I am headed to your blog to see waht is new in your part of the world!

Oct 27, 2008 01:22 AM #63
Rainmaker
231,666
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

I have a Keep Austin Weird tie-dyed t-shirt and I love the concept!

Oct 27, 2008 07:20 AM #64
Rainer
1,100
Terri Moore
AvenueOne Properties - Austin, TX

Russell, you are our AvenueOne Hemingway of blogs! (Or at least Dave Barry) Thanks for another fine post!

Oct 27, 2008 08:51 AM #65
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Emily Thank you for dropping by, I added you as an associate and if you ever need a replacement for that tie-dye t-shirt, let me know!

Terri I really appreciate the compliment and I probaly look more like hemingway and think like Dave Berry (my son thinks he is hilarious) but really, as much as I enjoy it, I am typing more than writing! Have a great week!

Oct 27, 2008 09:18 AM #66
Anonymous
Jimmy

Russell, I stopped in to your office to say hello and Terri told me about your blog. SO...here I am and you are doing quite well in the blogging world. This post is so good and a cool explanation about the entire "Weird" phenomenon. Keep up the good work and keep up the running! I am going to raed some of your other posts when I get a chance this week!!

Oct 27, 2008 09:41 AM #67
Rainer
53,044
Linda Bourgault
lulugraphix-creative photography & fine art - Flower Mound, TX

I lived in Austin for a year between 1979 and 1980. I loved it! Still have friends who live their and will not live any where else. It doesn't have the the "town" feel any longer, but it's still weird. Can't beat the Mexican food or the Bar-B-Que (there will be arm wrestling over this statement), and IF you are a vegan you'll find plenty of restaurants, cafes and diners catering to your tastes.

Roy Spence, the CEO of Idea City, runs one of the coolest businesses in town. Idea City is an advertising agency with great spirit and purpose. I know that most people don't equate spirit and soul with agencies, but this one really is different. Their synergy revolves around PURPOSE and you can feel it when you walk into Idea City. Some of the most creative people in the world work there and their personalities are outrageous. The work environment was built to inspire and it does... some people go to work in their pajamas, there's special parking for expectant mothers, a diner right out of the 1950s, conference rooms with a ping pong table, a huge cow hanging from the ceiling... I think you get the "idea." If you are looking for a nationally recognized ad agency you need to call Idea City (GSD&M of Austin, TX). Tell them Linda sent from Air Force Recruiting Service sent you (I worked there and they know me).

Thanks for a great post about Austin... brings back a lot of terrific memories.

Oct 27, 2008 09:57 AM #68
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Jimmy Sorry I missed you today but thanks for commenting on the post! I enjoy writing for Localism and the "Weird" thing was just a natural

Linda 79 & 80 were some very fun years in Austin! And you definitely have a handle of the mood and vibe of our great city! (even if we have grown) I work only 3 blocks from GSD&M  and you are right that is is an incredible place. I also have a friend that works there and a man who I used to run with actually designed the logo. Very cool environment and the home of an ifantastic wealth of creativity. here is something you may have heard but Roy Spence  wrote a book awhile back entitled "The Amazing Faith of Texas" that is very interesting and the web site for the book describes the work:

"Travel slowly along the roads and highways of Texas, and you are less likely to miss the turns that lead you into the heart of this great state - to the places of amazing faith. From tiny churches on dusty back roads to temples, mosques, synagogues and megachurches along the highways, The Amazing Faith of Texas is a stunning exploration in words and pictures of the strong, abiding beliefs that sustain faith-filled Texans. Beliefs that transcend the boundaries of religion. Transcend the dogma. Transcend the differences. We have heard all we need to hear about what divides us when it comes to faith. Now let's talk about the common ground that unites us."

Texas and Texans for all the myth and hype is an incredible place to be from and live. I am not one of those that wants people to stop coming to Texas because that is unrealistic but I hope that we can maintain some of the integrity and the wild zaniness that makes our home so unique. Thanks you so much for yor comments!

Oct 27, 2008 03:24 PM #69
Rainer
208,221
James Wexler
wexzilla.com - Scottsdale, AZ

I was watching a show called "Its always sunny in Philapdelphia" on Thursday nights on FX channel and last week a main character was wearing a Keep Austin Weird t-shirt, I had no idea what it meant

Oct 29, 2008 02:54 AM #70
Rainer
26,894
Crystal Ledbetter
Texas Home Group - Montgomery, TX

Hey Russell, you can really run, I tend to ride(horses) its a heck of alot easier on the body, Great story and I can so see you pushing thur the pain to the finish line. Enjoyed lunch with you last week.

Oct 29, 2008 03:16 AM #71
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

James It is funny that you see the t-shirt popping up in the most unlikely places! And it's even more interesting that it has a serious meaning coupled with the happy go lucky attitude that we also ahve in Austin! Thanks for dropping by!

Crystal Thanks for dropping by. I just added you as an associate and I have to tell you that I am so impressed at your work ethic! Glad I met you and hope to see you again sometime!

Oct 29, 2008 02:48 PM #72
Rainer
3,124
Susanne Lee
Realty Austin - Austin, TX

Russell, thanks for doing your part to "Keep Austin Weird" while keeping us smiling at AveOne!

Oct 30, 2008 08:47 AM #73
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Hi SusannaThanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I do enjoy the weird parts of Austin AND AvenueOne! HAH!

Oct 30, 2008 10:25 AM #74
Rainmaker
173,353
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

Hi Russell...

I must confess  after reading  that wonderful, well deserved feature (AGAIN),  plus all 74 comments  I am so tired, I feel like I ran that marathon in 107 degree heat.... LOL

Lets see...... you volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, run 5-K marathons in 107 degree temp.work for the Austin Chamber of Commerce ( or should )  and are a master of words.....un-real Mr. Lewis

I think you are hiding from us that you have to be a professional writer.  Your post are wonderful....now excuse me I think

I will make a quiet exit from blogging and get back to selling houses,( and watching my Steelers )

You sure set the blogging bar  high.

It is so wonderful to see you and your son creating that special memory together.I wish for you many more memories and races together ( only not in 107 degree heat)   Austin sounds like a great place to call your home. I will direct my Austin hopefuls to your direction.......

 

Nov 06, 2008 12:52 PM #75
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

June, you are making me blush and I always look forward to reading your posts and our comments to each other too! I must confess that I am not much of a writer but I just take a bit more time and post less often. However, I do also sell houses and like you have to spend more time in the real business world. I like blogging and went to ReBar camp awhile back and learned that i need to start writing more real estate related stuff so will begin...eventually posting some listings, neighborhood info and market updates for the areas where I specialize. Not as much fun but necessary.

I have really enjoyed really enjoyed finding my "voice: here and it has helped to know people like YOU who also post great stuff and write good comments and I also enjoy our friendship that started here. Heck, I even watch the Steelers now! The cowboys are my team but they have turned into a group "drama queens" It's a disaster but wait, I digress...Thanks for your comments and I am a subscriber to your blg too so keep p the good work yourself! Thanks and I will also send any prospects I have to you!!!

Nov 06, 2008 01:10 PM #76
Rainmaker
173,353
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

Hi Russ ..me again..about those Steelers....Big Ben almost gave me a heart attack during that Redskins game on election eve.Thank heaven our back up Leftwich carried them to a win.  I just heard Ben will be questionable for Sunday against the Colts.  Another nail biting Sunday.  yep...sorry about your Cowboys  but I am sure the Steelers enjoy having another fan.

Our fans dominated Washington with there terrible towels on Nov 3 

BTW  I can not believe you are saying you are not much of a writer....well my friend you are..and I am backed up by 76 others in these comments who agree. Keep it up..its all about quality, interest and enjoyment ..you have it all 
What is a ReBar camp?

 

 

Nov 06, 2008 01:38 PM #77
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Hi June! I am so disappointed in all of the squandered talent that makes up the Cowboys...I really have watched two Steelers games and rooted for your guys! (There is probably a demerit or two from my fellow Cowboys fans for that)!

Thanks again for the compliment, I have really tried to improve while at Active Rain and Like the progress so far and if anything I need to make my posts shorter (and I probably talk too much in real life too!) posts shorter (and I probably talk too much in real life too!)

ReBar camp was a blogging conference held in Houston recently that had all of the big guys from all over the web and country including Rich and Brad from Active Rain ( my personal favorites) and it was an amazing learning experience.REBarCamp - "The FREE Social Media & Networking Conference that Comes to You!" Oh...it was FREE, I just had to drive down that morning. I think they are planning something for your part of the world in the future so check it out!

Nov 06, 2008 11:30 PM #78
Rainmaker
173,353
June Lewis
Northwood Realty Services - New Castle, PA
Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571

Thanks Russell  I must have missed all that information on REBAR AND WILL KEEP WATCH FOR THEM TO COME TO THE EAST

I am not a fan of long post, but their are exceptions some post like yours, Brads, Rich, Elizabeth Nieves, Donna YAtes in fact all the ones I subscribe to...I read every word and enjoy every word.  Your post are so fun and interesting don't cut them down

(they are not wordy)

Like our Steelers .................keep on, keep on ...........going

Nov 06, 2008 11:42 PM #79
Rainmaker
515,973
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

June, Thank you so much. I am going to keep posting the fun stuff (Austin is a gold mine for interesting and "weird" material) while at the same time doing more about real estate. I appreciate all of your comments and have a great weekend!

Nov 07, 2008 03:55 AM #80
Rainer
75,259
Kristy Owen
Moreland Properties - Austin, TX
Realtor, G

I have always wanted to do this run fun, thanks for all the info!

Nov 12, 2009 09:21 AM #81
Rainmaker
258,435
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Russell!
First, congrats on the feature!  Austin sounds wonderful!  I gotta ask you about the local government there.  Our new mayor has introduced the "executive mayor" concept, which we get to vote on next year.  Our council is completely opposed (gee, I wonder why!).  I woman who came to speak to us told us about Austin's local government...council members are at large rather than having districts, if I understand correctly. What is your mayoral power there?  What do you think of the system Austin employs? Is it successful?  This woman raved about how fabulous Austin is and that any city would be proud to have such a successful city! I am going to have to visit someday!

Nov 12, 2009 05:13 PM #82
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