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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 296 > THE ODD COUPLE

THE ODD COUPLE

Austin in Texas, and Portland, Oregon. They may be far apart but they share a slogan about keeping their city weird. So Attitude couldn’t resist heading off to two of the more curious spots in America…

PORTLAND, OR AUSTIN, TX

AUSTIN, TX

Leslie, the Queen of Austin, was a remarkable homeless person. Up until his death in 2012, he would always be seen flitting between the bars, theatres and tattoo parlours of 6th Street in the Texan capital, dressed in little more than a thong and high heels.

He always made time to unleash a saucy remark on passers-by, who loved having their picture taken with him. Leslie made three attempts to become mayor of the city, once finishing in second place -— and that in the capital of a notoriously conservative state in the south of the USA.

These days there is a memorial plaque on 6th Street to remind anyone walking by that Leslie was the embodiment of weird Austin, a city that has been profiling itself as one of the oddest cities in America pretty much for ever. The slogan “Keep Austin Weird”, which was dreamed up by small independent stores as part of their resistance to the rise of the major retail chains, is now worn with a sense of pride, and even extends to the local tourist agency.

Take Bouldin Creek Cafe, a restaurant in the south of the city. On Sunday afternoons, it’s a popular place to sit and have brunch, preferably accompanied by a stiff mimosa. The crowd is young and diverse, and the interior a hotchpotch of hipster-irony and Tex-Mex. That’s modern Texas for you.

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About Attitude

Troye Sivan and Ian McKellen on the cover! Inside: our all-new look and design featuring Trixie Mattel, Andrew Haigh, Jiggly Caliente, Anthony Varrecchia, and Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman.
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