Far West, Austin, Texas
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Northwest Hills, and its most densely populated central area, Far West, is a combination of west Austin homes, business offices, and apartments that reflects the needs of a growing central city. Professionals and their families live in close proximity to students and young people; medical professionals drive their cars to work as students take the University of Texas shuttle of Capital Metro buses towards Downtown Austin.
The central artery in the Northwest Hills area is Far West Boulevard, named for the steamboat Far West which was used in the Sioux War, which runs west from Loop 1 as the landscape gradually shifts from office buildings, restaurants, and public schools to expensive single-family homes. The commercial area between Loop 1 and Mesa is the heart of the neighborhood, with both local and national businesses bustling at all times. Just off the boulevard is where most of the apartments are located, and where most of the students live. Streets like Wood Hollow and Greystone are heavily populated with complexes, but are lined with trees. On Hart Lane, just south of Far West, is the neighborhood's Murchison Middle School, an AISD school known for the large outdoor track and enormous hill along Far West where hang-gliders can be seen practicing on the weekends. A no-fly zone is imposed over the field when the school is utilized as a polling place during elections held on Saturdays.
Many of the homes in the area just beyond Mesa Drive exemplify the west Austin style: large, single-family homes with large garages on lots with landscaped yards and mature trees. The most common design features are limestone and brick, and homes are interspersed with small pockets of commercial space near the major thoroughfares. Many homes in this area also have swimming pools.
The Far West Peace Bridge of Hope and Understanding (commonly known as simply The Far West Peace Bridge) spans the MoPac expressway and is the gateway to Northwest Hills. It is the site of many significant and historic political rallies. Over the years it has become popular among local politicians and is considered key to the Congressional District 10 elections. Local maxim suggests that the political candidate that controls the peace bridge, controls the moral high ground and political destiny.
Far West Boulevard ends in a neighborhood near Ranch Road 2222 & Loop 360, though as of July 28th, 2013, it appears it may be connected to 2222 soon.