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A Funky Oasis

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 08:11 PM

downtown AustinAustin is a city of weird contradictions. On one hand, it's a ramshackle jumble of thrift stores, head shops, fortune tellers, quirky little dive bars, and storefronts offering both bail bonds and Chinese take-out. You'll also find gleaming (sometimes gaudy) new high-rises, wide streets, attractive lofts, plenty of BBQ restaurants, and, as my esteemed colleague Joel mentioned, the headquarters of Whole Foods Market.

And according to a recent report, Austin also has the highest percentage of residents who read or write blogs, with 15% of adults having read or contributed to a blog in a 30 day-stretch last year. Clearly, South by Southwest is a contributing factor: many people at the registration area of the downtown conference center were seen taking advantage of the free wireless access on site this afternoon.

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