When Mayor Ron Mullen made his comment about Austin's national media propaganda ("The Isosceles of Texas Is Upon Us," October 1983), his grin was likely based on a realization that INC. was accepting that propaganda as fact.
A helicopter tour was an appropriate way to view Town Lake, formed by "the cool blue vein of the Colorado River" and polluted to the point that swimming is prohibited. The trash lining its banks would ruin the view from ground level. Barton Springs, an aquifer-fed pool long the city's most popular natural attraction in Zilker Park, is now closed for a few days after every rain due to the toxic levels of fecal coliforms. Development upstream of the pool has just begun.
While the freeways do flow most of the time, MCC's view of "no clotted freeways" was certainly not during the daily migrations between the city center and surrounding bedroom communities. An aerial view of the Capitol was also a wise choice. While it once was "dominating a downtown landscape," few ground-level views are not now blocked by the proliferation of flash-cube-like office buildings.
Even with the rampant growth, Austin is still an attractive and livable city with remnants of the qualities that have long made it the city of choice for many Texans. Stating that it can "never become Houstonized," however, is either naive or self serving.