Keep Austin Weird: CultureMap to Invade the State Capital

We at Hair Balls have never been much for the socialite set, but we know that there are a fair number of them in Houston, which is why the existence of CultureMap is not really all that surprising. There needs to be an outlet that covers galas and general hobnobbing with the muckety-muck that isn't a glossy magazine filled with ads for plastic surgery.

What is surprising, however, is the impending launch of, apparently a sister site to the Houston original that will focus on our state's capital. In fact, when you visit the main CM site, you get directed to the Austin splash page first, complete with a big background image of twentysomethings in line outside a food trailer, because nothing says CultureMap like sweaty hipsters jonesing for a late-night cupcake.

We're surprised by the choice of Austin. How are the hippies in Central Texas going to take to CM getting all up in their weirdness?

Granted, the state capital is there, meaning fundraisers for politicians galore. There's always room for coverage of the University of Texas fraternities and sororities, we suppose. But, the lavish caviar of CultureMap would seem to clash with the green tea and granola of Austin.

Why wouldn't they go to Dallas? If there was ever a metroplex desperate for the kind of coverage CM offers, it is Dallas. With all the McMansions in the northern suburbs, there would be no shortage of home-shopping parties for high-end fashion. It's a Shelby Hodge wet dream!

Until then, we await CM's coverage of the Austin sophisticate set and hope that when chairs start flying and fences start falling at next year's South by Southwest, CultureMap will be there to cover couture.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke