You know what is sweet in Austin? The publications. With enough grist in the music market, arty publications get the casual readership that may be lacking in Houston as well as national attention. They have the Onion on streetcorners!
While Austinites (or Austinians?) regularly complain about the American-Statesman, I did find it to be full of interesting and personal writing with a clear viewpoint. Though they may have the blinders on a little tight it was terribly nice to see a newspaper where the articles aren’t yesterday’s recycled and edited for content news. The weekly Austin Chronicle is a muckraker like any other, albeit with less adverts for porn than I have seen. A long-winded article about an ex-military police officer shooting at a suspect in a crowded urban area was particularly sensitive (I betcha HPD has fewer qualms about doing so) and liberal (the cop actually sat down w/ the paper and said ‘I have mental problems’ to a sympathetic reporter) but it was enjoyable and well intentioned (how many HPD officers have post-traumatic stress from a war zone? who knows).
Little fun zines are a money pit, and the producer of MISPRINT has his tongue so firmy in cheeck that he’s bleeding out of his jaw. This hipster-slandering little beige book is worth every page and is a terribly clever way to introduce out of the loop visitors like me to the well-honed social scene. Check out their site for a Flash version, viewable from Tehran, Calgary and many other places that are not Austin.