I have gotten so used to people saying the best thing about Dallas is that "it's not that far from Austin," so used to shrugging off the punchline and trying to steer the conversation to a more productive topic, that I've never though to ask what's so great about Austin, anyway. On Saturday, having only been in Austin a few house, I mention this omission to my new Austinite friends at wedding reception Table 8. Instead of telling me about Amy's Ice Cream (which I have just discovered) or the largest urban bat colony in North America (something I now can't wait to see), the Austinites say nothing about their city; they rush to the defense of Dallas.
"No, no," a handsome law associate assures me. "Dallas gets the best musicals." His girlfriend nods heartily. "The summer I interned in Dallas, we saw all sorts of stuff. Shows coming from Broadway always stop there. We've got other music here, but if you want all that cultural stuff, museums or whatever, Dallas has us beat."
I am caught totally off guard. I don't know what to say. I can hardly keep up with their sincerity, with their praise. And it occurs to me that the best thing about Austin is Austinites. And the closer Dallas gets to them, the luckier we are.