1. You’re numb to the weirdness.
Did you just see a guy dressed like a stripper version of the god Mercury running down Guadalupe? It must be a Tuesday.
2. You rag on Dallas.
“Life is too short to live in Dallas.” So says a sign near Zilker Park. Compared to Austin, this northern metropolis is flat, boring, and lacking in good TexMex like Trudy’s and Baby A’s.
3. Statistically, you’re probably in better shape than other Texans.
Austin was voted one of the fittest cities in the country not too long ago. Whether you enjoy doing loops around Town Lake (not Lady Bird), cycling in Dripping Springs, going for an early swim in Barton Springs, or just hanging out and doing yoga at the Auditorium Shores, this city keeps you healthy and happy.
4. You avoid Mopac like the plague.
Even if you do commute from the Arboretum area five days a week, no one is crazy enough to merge onto Loop 1 during rush hour; you’d be better off cycling.
5. You learned Texas geography by reading the street names.
Before you even knew the names of the bodies of water in Texas, there was San Jacinto, Guadalupe, Rio Grande, and Red River Street. Bonus points if you can name all of them from 35 to Mopac.
6. You grew up eating in movie theaters.
Alamo Drafthouse and its message of “watch a movie AND drink a beer” may have spread across the country, but it’s Austin through and through. Austinites never had to deal with jamming a fast-food burger into their pockets to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
7. First Thursdays are a full evening to you.
Could there be anything that makes you feel more of a part of Austin than walking down South Congress on the first Thursday of the month, grabbing a pizza at Home Slice, and checking out some of the local artwork that gives meaning to the expression Keep Austin Weird?
8. Just like breakfast tacos are a complete meal.
9. You were one of the last holdouts for Lance Armstrong.
You had heard the first doping rumor. Then the second, then the 217th. When the news finally broke and the confession was on Oprah, maybe you still doubted it. Anything to defend a fellow Austinite.
10. You went to SXSW when it was possible to get tickets.
SX (the southwest is implied) wasn’t always the insane extravaganza it has become, bringing in speakers and artists from around the world. In the 90s, and even the early 2000s, it was possible to get tickets and arrange lodging without breaking the bank.
11. El Arroyo signs still bring a smile to your face.
The one exception to the “never drive on Mopac rule” is to do so for the express purpose of exiting on West 5th, where El Arroyo entertains drivers and pedestrians with their hilarious signs. Growing up in Austin, you probably remember a few that bring a chuckle.