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Austin sings a big welcome

The residents of Austin, Texas, are happy to have y'all come visit anytime.

Just don't plan on staying.

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This laid-back town has replaced Seattle as the nation's hippest address, and the influx of computer wizards, movie stars, and musicians has sent housing prices skyward.

But that growth also supports new restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions: more than 30 galleries and museums spotlight Austin's art, literature, and history. New performance spaces are springing up.

The "live music capital of the world" has a cable television station devoted to the music scene, while a statue memorializes the late hometown-hero guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. More than 100 clubs feature touring acts and "locals" such as Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Kelly Willis, Jimmie Vaughan, Fastball, and Asleep at the Wheel. Austin also hosts the South By Southwest music convention, dubbed "spring break for the music industry."

Film also is big in Austin, home of the University of Texas film school. Directors Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez reside in Austin, as do actors Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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