A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 22, 2008
San Francisco of the South (Austin nickname)

The city of Austin has been called the “San Francisco of the South” (or “San Francisco of the Southwest"). Austin, like San Francisco, is a city whose residents have liberal attitudes. Austin, like San Francisco, is also gay-friendly.

Another reason that Austin has been called “San Francisco of the South” is that Texas has attracted many California residents with Texas’s lower housing costs and no state personal income tax. Austin literally does have many residents from the San Francisco area—especially transplants in the high-tech field.

Wikipedia: Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Situated in Central Texas, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 16th-largest in the United States of America, as well as the third fastest growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, Austin has a population of 709,893. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Greater Austin metropolitan area with a population of 1.6 million people.

Austin was selected as the No. 1 Best Big City in “Best Places to Live” by Money magazine in 2006, and the “Greenest City in America” by MSN. Also, according to CNN Headline News and travel and leisure Austin ranks #2 on the list of cities with the best people referring to the personalities and attributes of the citizens.

Residents of Austin are known as “Austinites,” and include a mix of university professors, students, politicians, lobbyists, musicians, state employees, high-tech workers, blue-collar workers, and white-collar workers. The main campus of the University of Texas is located in Austin. The city is home to enough large sites of major technology corporations to have earned it the nickname “Silicon Hills.” Austin’s official slogan promotes the city as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to its status as home to many musicians and music venues. In recent years, many Austinites have also adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird”; this refers partly to the eclectic and progressive lifestyle of many Austin residents, but is also the slogan for a campaign to preserve smaller local businesses and resist excessive commercialization.

Wikipedia: San Francisco, California
The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 14th most populous city in the United States, with a 2007 estimated population of 764,976. One of the most densely populated major American cities, San Francisco is part of the much larger San Francisco Bay Area, which is home to approximately 7.2 million people. The city is located on the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Francisco Bay to the east, and the Golden Gate to the north.

In 1776, the Spanish settled the tip of the peninsula, establishing a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush in 1848 propelled the city into a period of rapid growth. After being devastated by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt.

San Francisco is a popular international tourist destination renowned for its steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture, and famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the cable cars, Coit Tower, and Chinatown. The city is also known for its diverse, cosmopolitan population, including large and long-established Asian American and LGBT communities. While the climate includes chilly summer fog, the winters are mild.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
The city itself is very relaxed. There are a lot of active people biking and running all the time. We have been called the San Francisco of the Southwest. Austin traditionally has been a very liberal town, kind of like Berkeley, California. People are very laid back. 

Google Groups: alt.transgendered
Newsgroups: alt.transgendered
From: (Russ Williams)
Date: 1 Feb 1993 13:36:07 -0600
Local: Mon, Feb 1 1993 3:36 pm
Subject: Re: hostile experience

I agree completely this was not a typical Austin event.  Although Texas has a bad-ass redneck bigot reputation (which is undoubtedly well deserved in many of its areas), Austin itself is a wonderfully diverse place. One of our local religious right media nuts recently bemoaned how Austin is becoming the “San Francisco of the South”... so we must be doing something right! grin

Google Groups: alt.sex.bondage
Newsgroups: alt.sex.bondage
From: (Stan Schwarz)
Date: 23 Jul 1993 13:08:23 -0500
Local: Fri, Jul 23 1993 2:08 pm
Subject: Another Austin ‘Munch

Since we had over 25 people show up for our ‘munch two weeks ago, we have decided to do it again.  We are doing our best to live up to Jack Chambers’ description of Austin as “the San Francisco of the South”.

Google Groups: alt.sex.bondage
Newsgroups: alt.sex.bondage, ba.motss, soc.motss, alt.personals, alt.personals.bondage
From: (Stan Schwarz)
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 1994 14:17:36 GMT
Local: Fri, Jan 21 1994 10:17 am
Subject: Re: Dungeon needed

Seriously, I am looking for something like this too. I am in Austin, TX [San Francisco of the South, according to some radio evangelist], and our little social group here has outgrown having parties in houses. 

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
Enclave for homosexuals: solidarity or gay ghetto?
Unlike other progressive cities, Austin never formed a gay neighborhood

Author: Rhonda Smith, Pamela Ward, Mike Sutter AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Date: June 25, 1994 Publication: Austin American-Statesman Page Number: A6 ${ Word Count: 1492
They first emerged after World War II in port cities such as New York and San Francisco, various close-knit communities where gay men and lesbians chose to live.

In New York, it was Greenwich Village. In San Francisco, the Castro District. In Texas, over time, Houston nurtured Montrose. Dallas, Oak Lawn.

But a central gay neighborhood never developed in Austin, sometimes described as the San Francisco of the South.

The reasons vary from real estate rates to the city’s…

Google Groups: bit.listserv.gaynet
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.gaynet
From: Al Geiersbach
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 94 16:05:23 CDT
Local: Sat, Aug 27 1994 5:05 pm
Subject: Christian American on Austin Partners

>From Pat Robertson’s _Christian American_, July/August 1994,
mouth organ of the Christian Coalition
Austin Rejects Domestic Partners
Liberal Bastion Falls to Pro-Family Grassroots Activists
By Jack Chambers

In recent years, Austin has developed a reputation as being the most liberal city in Texas, and possibly one of the most Liberal in the nation. It is sometimes called, “the San Francisco of the South.’’ But on May 7, Christians and other conservatives in Austin won an overwhelming victory on an issue with major national overtones. 

Google Groups: alt.showbiz.gossip
Newsgroups: alt.showbiz.gossip
From: (Ben Bryant)
Date: 1997/01/12
Subject: Re: Troy Aikman, friend of Dorothy?

Depends on the city.  I had that perception, too when I moved from Germany (military) to Austin.  I discovered that they don’t call Austin “the San Francisco of the Southwest” for nothing.  Coming
from Europe, it really didn’t bug me, but I met a lot of other UT freshmen who were freaked by how “gay” (very) the city was. 

Google Groups: alt.showbiz.gossip
Newsgroups: alt.showbiz.gossip
From: “KerSkine”
Date: 1999/07/10
Subject: Re: The WHOLE story (if you want it)

I realize that Ben isn’t an “important” celebrity to you, but I’m from Austin, where he was a celeb and since Austin is the “San Francisco of the Southwest” I would guess several others here are too.

The Strata-Sphere
Remember, Austin is the San Francisco of the southwest and the gays I know are pretty private people. In other words, they try to live just like anyone else. Why would Edmond want to go public with this information and humiliate his entire family? There is an ulterior motive here with Edmond for turning them over to ABC; be it payola, fame, revenge or part of a plan to out Republican gays.
Left by retire05 on October 10th, 2006

PopeyePete - Review - Austin City Limits Festival 2004
Austin City Limits had a really special feel and atmosphere and it gave viewers a taste of the wide variety of art and music is like in Austin Texas, the “San Francisco of the Southwest”.
Posted 07/25/2007

Free Republic
What happened to the tax cut? (Texas property taxes)
Austin American Statesman ^ | 10/22/07 | Jason Embry , Marty Toohey
Yep, I live in Austin, the San Francisco of the Southwest.
19 posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 7:15:59 PM by Kolb

MuggleNet FanFiction Beta Boards
10-31-2007, 23:02
Austin has been called the San Francisco of the southwest and is noted for being almost aggressively liberal. It’s also noted for the University of Texas.

Houston - City-Data.com
11-02-2007, 08:55 PM
No. Austin, home of former Californians. It’s not a surprise that Austin is called the San Francisco of the southwest.

Phat Phreddy
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Goin’ back to colli’ to colli’ to colli’…goin’ back to colli’, uh, no I don’t think so?
A year and a half later I decided I couldn’t “LIVE” in Oklahoma anymore. I was watching an episode of Oprah (BEFORE she “discovered her spirit) in which she referred to Austin as “The San Francisco of the southwest” because of it’s very large, open gay community. I decided to leave my friends and family behind and move to Austin. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, May 22, 2008 • Permalink