Twice in the last two weeks I’ve discussed the word “Austinite”. How long do you have to live here before you are an Austinite? Should you ever be considered a native? Are natives better than imports? One life-long Austin resident told me she was proud to be from Austin and it made her feel cooler (maybe even a little better) than an import like myself. On the other hand two Austinites were arguing at a party over whether or not imports like myself should go ahead take on the name. One person took a welcoming stance and the other took the stance I agreed with and said you couldn’t just move here and call yourself Austinite.

Newsflash: Not all immigrants to Austin want to be Austinites. While it is the greatest city in Texas and one of the greatest cities in America, I am who I am because of my home state pride. The Old North State is my home and I will gladly claim myself as a North Carolinian for the rest of my life. I like pulled pork barbecue, sweet iced tea and shrimp and grits is a meal I could base my life around. Listening to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show makes me homesick and a little teary.

At the end of the day North Carolina doesn’t offer the lifestyle I want. I like the absence of winter, the emphasis on arts and music,  the bustling city with the small town feel that Austin provides. It has almost everything I could desire… except for mountains, Moravian lovefeast buns and dogwood trees.. and probable a few other things.

This is how North Carolinians feel about their state.


2 thoughts on “Austinite

  1. I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had, describing Moravian buns, Moravian Love Feasts, and kudzu lined highways (and of course the “kudzu I win” game). Most of these conversations include the other person just smiling and nodding and waiting for me to stop. I spot things like Moravian spice cookies, now mass-distributed in William Sonomas across this nation, and I immediately feel conflicted, as I swell up with pride for a local delicacy, then feel my nostalgia tarnishing as I spot something special to one special place and people, suddenly sold everywhere, stripped of its personal narrative and association with childhood memories so that it may reach as many people as Heinz ketchup. I love so much about cities in the North–particularly the very different, less-fried, culinary experiences, but I’ll always be from the Old North State. My fridge will always have Mount Olive pickles and Texas Pete hot sauce. I “live in Philadelphia” and I love the Phillies, but I am not a “Philadelphian.”

  2. Kudzu! That’s one I was definitely forgetting. I’m very unhappy about the overwhelming popularity of Moravian cookies that are now offered in flavors like key lime or chocolate orange. Where are the traditions!?

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