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Sunny skies, rising rent: How Austin and Phoenix stack up amid rapid growth

Austin and Phoenix are both known for their Town Lakes, warm weather and fast growth. (Visit Austin/Facebook) (Visit Phoenix/Facebook)

When now-Phoenix dweller Danny Anzaldua lived in Austin in 1978, it was a fun place—"Keep Austin Weird" was in its full form, bona fide hippies and "Drag Worms" hung out up and down the Drag downtown and Town Lake was the place to be come summertime.

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Austin vs. Houston: What Texas city is best to live in?

Austin and Houston share states but have distinct differences that set the two Texas cities apart.

Barton Springs vs. bayou. Black Pumas vs. Beyonce. Live Music Capital vs. Energy Capital.

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Compliance, not arrests, planned in enforcing orders, police say
photo by Charlie L. Harper III

Desolation late Thursday night outside the Lucky Duck on East 6th street

At 3 a.m. on Thursday, at the end of a 10-hour shift in what used to be a buzzing downtown district, Austin police Detective Ken Casaday went home shocked.

He had only four calls for service, on a night that normally sees up to 40. Emergency 911 calls across the city were down 81%.

"That's crazy," he said. "It's just an absolute ghost town."

Less shocking, Casaday said, was that there were no arrests, citations or warnings for violators of the new "Stay Home, Work Safe" orders, issued Tuesday, requiring local residents to stay home if possible.

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