The Year That Wasn't

Top 10 Reasons to Avoid  the New Downtown 
No. 6: Ugly Buildings
Top 10 Reasons to Avoid the New Downtown
No. 6: Ugly Buildings (Photo By John Anderson)

Top 10 Reasons to Avoid the New Downtown

1. Code writers from Vignette playing Phish covers on Sixth Street.

2. City parking meters leased to valet services, making parking on a city street near the restaurant you are trying to get into impossible -- and effectively privatizing the same meters at which you are so aggressively ticketed by day so that you can be aggressively towed after 6pm.

3. Austin Energy's frightful "chiller" box on the state parking garage at Third and San Antonio.

4. Better to pitch a tent out on the watershed and get offered an incentive package to come downtown.

5. Critical mass of bloated egos as lobbyists compete with techrich for tables at Sullivan's.

6. Ugly buildings: Despite the money invested in new high-rises, Austin still lacks the Phillip Johnson signature structures that dramatize the Houston skyline.

7. GSD&M's po-mo kitsch compound east of Sixth and Lamar is ugly enough to damage retinas of commuters headed west toward MoPac.

8. Downtown Rangers hired as Downtown Austin Alliance's unarmed cops harassing anyone who doesn't appear to fit the profile of Austinites described in Nos. 5 & 10.

9. Ample alcohol and an ever-changing kaleidoscope of street closings: bad mix.

10. Downtown is so upscale that its bar and restaurant prices have made it a gated community for the big players in the new economy.

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