Austin’s social scene goes beyond the top financial tier
In a lobby before a concert, the public radio personality cooed: “So now you just write about rich people.” I’m relatively certain this was not a deliberate dig. Nevertheless, a rebuttal seemed in order.
“I’ll write about anybody,” I responded. “If there’s a social connection anywhere in town, I’m interested.”
Truth is, rich people do land disproportionately in this newspaper’s social column. For obvious reasons: They can spare the money and leisure to attend public openings, mixers, nightclubs, concerts, cafes and sporting events. They also contribute their time and treasure to the charities that throw some of the city’s highest-profile parties.
Now, don’t get the wrong impression. Not all wealthy Central Texans give generously. And others, quite honorably, opt to donate privately.
Yet social giving is still the hard currency of the evolving charity scene. It’s about bonding with particular nonprofit groups and setting an example for others.
Just check the affiliations listed in the All-Stars category for the Out & About 500, published on June 27, and still available at austin360.com/outandabout. There’s a lot of public giving going on at that level.
Yet if you browse through the rest of the 500 list, or track the people profiled in this column on Tuesdays, or the folks pictured weekly on this social page, the average income declines steeply. You’ll find lot of otherwise ordinary Austinites there.
Almost all sections of town are represented, even if events in the urban core dominate, mostly for reasons of convenience. The suburbs and exurbs are, of course, harder to document, socially, but it’s not for lack of trying.
Austin, in all its glorious, gorgeous variety, is the Out & About goal. Even public radio personalities on occasion.
Access is also at issue. I go where invitations lead me, for the most part. There’s no reason to barge into granny’s 98th birthday party or Uncle Bob’s rumpus-room poker game, camera blazing and iPhone notebook in hand to record the socializing.
Still, why not cover these parties, too? I’ve said it before: Invite me. I’ll probably come.