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Austin and Albuquerque

magmae

Member
Messages
14
Points
1
I've applied to planning programs at the University of Texas-Austin and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Any insight into the culture of the cities there? I live in Boston now, so a move to either place will likely be a big change.
 

poncho

Cyburbian
Messages
96
Points
4
Austin

Austin is fantastic! It has changed quite a bit in the pst few years but its still great. It is possible to get around with no car if you live near campus. Parks are great. Progressive. Food and music are the best.
 

planasaurus

Cyburbian
Messages
215
Points
9
Yea, Austin is cool. Cool music and nice town. Sort of like Ann Arbor, if you know Michigan at all. I hear they have a good planning program.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,788
Points
58
I've spent considerable time in both cities.

Weather -- definitely Albuquerque. Four gentle seasons, with a wee bit of snow in the winter, and a dry but hot (but not Las Cruces/El Paso/Tucson hot) summer with intermittent rain. Austin is hot and humid, perhaps more so than Orlando.

Culture and urbanity -- Austin, Austin, Austin. Albuquerque's downtown is essentially dead, and except for the Old Town and Nob Hill areas, there's not too much nightlife. Austin has a thriving downtown, an exciting local music scene and a more bohemian culture; it seems like more of a college town than the Duke City.

Austin is, ideologically, more leftward leaning than Albuquerque. New Mexico is thoguht of as a Democratic state, but that's attributed to the large Mexican-American population, lower incomes, and large percentage of PhDs. There's a large military influence in Albuquerque, but it's not a place where people thump their Bibles particularly hard, like Colorado Springs or Charlotte.

Both Albuquerque and Austin have more "funkiness" than a similarly sized city, but Austin more so.

The built environment of Austin a few of the less desirable traits often found in Texas cities (i.e. frontage road development, high rise signs, etc.). Albuquerque has the South Side barrios, where zoning is merely suggestive, and Central Avenue (the city's main street) is astill a bit sleazy.

New Mexico is called the "Land of Entrapment," both for of the enthusiasm of the local and state police when it comes to enforcing speed limits, and the fact that the state jsut sucks you in -- it's tough to leave, and if you do you're inevitably drawn back in again.
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Austin -- my kind of town. During the 2000 campaign, I wished I was there even more so. After all, what does it say about a city where they commemorate lieutenant governors with history museums and blues musicians with statues?

With New Mexico, I am assuming, Dan, that "Entrapment" was a pun.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Dan's by far got the best insight so far. Austin has a lot of culture going for it, but is also a depressing built environment (except for the lake). Venture out of the city and you are in a wasteland.

Albuguerque is my choice. It is still a bit of a grown-up cow town, but is probably among the next set of "hot" locations.
 

Friend of Flavel

Cyburbian
Messages
30
Points
2
I've never been to Austin, though I hear it's a great town. I spent about 4 1/2 years in ABQ. during which I enrolled in UNMSAAP & finished my MCRP. I loved Albuquerque and was sorry to leave, but I wouldn't move back. It's beautiful and if you like the mountains, you can't do much better. But you gotta love the scenery because the pay is crap.
 
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