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Keep Houston Press Free
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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 austin.culturemap.com, 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?

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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 it...in couture.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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