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Austin

Wheatsville staff starts a petition demanding a livable wage

Wheatsville

Update 10:45AM 5/19: The GM has written a response to the petition. You can read it here 

This past weekend, I spotted a petition going around from the “Wheatsville Staff Solidarity Collective Austin” asking that the beloved Austin co-op grocery begin paying their employees a livable wage. Employees at Wheatsville currently start at $9/hour, and the petition asks that their pay increase to the City of Austin’s living wage recommendation of $11.38/hour. As a person who has worked in the customer service industries, including clothing retail, tech retail and restaurants, the pay disappointed me but did not surprise me. What did surprise me was this paragraph in the petition: “We, the Wheatsville Staff Solidarity Collective, speak on behalf of all the Wheatsville employees who are routinely overstretched and undersupported by shoddy managerial practices and a corporate mentality that prioritizes sales-to-labor ratios far above employee well-being. There is much work to be done in Continue Reading

Austin, Hipstercrite Life

Love The Moth? Check out The Tellers at LIVESTRONG HQ

Austinites!

Are you a fan of storytelling? Do you love The Moth?

Tomorrow night I’m hosting a storytelling event at LIVESTRONG HQ, and I’m super stoked about it.

I had been wanting to put together a night where cancer survivors and non-cancer survivors alike felt empowered to share their stories in front of a receptive audience. With the help of two of my teammates, that wish is now a reality.

The theme is “new kid on the block,” and our guest speakers have ten minutes to share their stories. I can guarantee the night will be filled with a lot of laughs and some tears.

If you’re free tomorrow, stop by 2201 E. 6th St., enjoy food and drinks on us and listen to some kick-butt storytellers.

The event is free and starts at 6:30PM.

Details below and here.

The Tellers LIVESTRONG

Austin, Film, Music, Pop Culture, Writing

A Comprehensive List of Austin’s Best Blogs

(Update: I wrote this blog post in 2012 and just updated as of April 28, 2015)

There are an ass-load of awesome blogs in Austin, Texas.

(I think) I read a statistic somewhere that Austin has more bloggers per capita than any place in the country.

Since I have zero proof that Austin has the most bloggers of any place in America, one fact I do know is that Men’s Health Magazine labeled Austin the #8 most socially networked city in America.

Since we boast such awesome blogging talent, I wanted to create a comprehensive list of Austin bloggers for those interested in the Austin scene. We have amazing writers who cover everything from lifestyle, music, food, humor, travel and dating. Take some time and get to know these great Austinites.

If you don’t see one of your favorite Austin blogs listed that may be because a.) I’m only listing blogs that have blogged within the past six month and blog more than once a month and b.) I’m a jackass, I didn’t know that the blog existed Continue Reading

Yerdle
Austin, Pop Culture, Writing

Could you give up a shopping for 30 days?

Recently I “met,” in the wonderful way that the Internet allows us to virtually meet, some of the folks behind the San Francisco-based startup Yerdle. Yerdle is a free market-style app where users can easily upload photos of stuff they no longer want, “sell it” for Yerdle dollars, and then use those Yerdle dollars to purchase other items for sale. In other words, it’s Craigslist without using real money (the only money spent by the buyer is a $4, $5 or $6 flat rate for shipping).

I got really excited when I learned about Yerdle. Not only is it a avenue for purging items you no longer need, it also makes you reimagine the concept of money. Yerdle empowers the community to establish their own economy, and it’s already grown a large and fervent following.

It can be a little discouraging upon first thumbing through the goods people post, but don’t let that fool you. Once you get the hang of the app, you’ll discover some real gems. A handful of my favorite finds have been a 60s Continue Reading

Austin, Travel

Austin Day Trip: San Antonio Missions Hike & Bike Trail

San Antonio's Missions Hike & Bike Trail along the San Antonio River is probably one of the best trails I've ever been on. It is a beautifully paved & groomed path that is suitable for all ages and abilities. This 16-mile roundtrip trail takes you to four of San Antonio's missions, and you can continue on to the Alamo if you'd like. You walk next to countless wildflowers, old ruins and happy people on the trail, and the missions are just incredible! If you've never done the trail, do it! It's truly a Texas gem.

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I was flipping through the latest issue of Texas Monthly, the Newcomer’s Guide, and was surprised to learn of the San Antonio Missions Hike & Bike Trail. This 16-mile roundtrip trail runs alongside the San Antonio River and stops at four of San Antonio’s famous missions: Mission Espada, Mission San Juan, Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion.

How had I not heard of this trail before?

As an avid walker- we have our own walking group called The Christopher Walkings- I couldn’t believe I had not known of this close-by trail. I later found out that I had not heard of this trail because its completed development is relatively new, or at least not widely publicized in Austin (San Antonio is only 80 miles away, yet Austin and San Antonio are VERY separate cities). I asked my boyfriend if he was game for the journey, and the next day we headed down to ol’ San Antone to check out the path.

First of Continue Reading

Austin

Humans of Austin: Philomela

Austin

This is Philomela.

This is not her real name; it is her poet name.

“Philomela, of Greek mythology, had her tongue ripped out, but she continued to sing,” Philomela explained to us.

I complimented her on her shirt, and she asked if she could sit with us. “Are you two artists?” she inquired. We explained that one was a filmmaker and the other was a writer. “Oh, I could tell that you are both artists. I’m writing a book about my lovers,” she said. “I’m not trying to sound morbid, but I’m 87 years old, so I need to finish it soon.”

Philomela then began a whirlwind conversation about Chekhov, Kurosawa, Roberto Rossellini. “Have you read the great Russian novelists?” she asked. “They’re brilliant.”

‘Brilliant’ was a word she used often; “I don’t mean to boast” she used as well. “I was a great beauty in my youth, but look, now my teeth are breaking.” We assured her that she was in deed beautiful; her beauty had caught our eye. Philomela had previously Continue Reading

Austin, Pop Culture, Travel

Ten Free Venues to Check Out During SXSW Music

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, Texas; 6 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via National Geographic)

Bandelier National Monument

 Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico; 11 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via me)

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas; 1 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; 6-hour drive from Austin via Most Beautiful Pages

Padre Island, Texas

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas; 4-hour drive from Austin (via me)

Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona; 12 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Geoff)

Saguaro National Monument

Saguaro Nation Park, Arizona; 13-hour drive from Austin (via Geoff)

Monahans sand dunes

Monahans Sandhills Sate Park, Texas; 6-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake State Park, Texas; 5 1/2-hour drive from Austin (via Texas Parks & Wildlife)

Sabine Nation Wildlife Refuge

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana; 4-hour drive from Austin (via U.S. Fish & Wildlife) 

Cafe Du Monde
Austin, Hipstercrite Life

“Excuse me, are you Jewish?”

Sometimes I’m that person who loves going to Whole Foods on Sunday morning, New York Times in tow. I feel as though I should apologize for it, or at least make fun of myself for it, but in truth, I look forward to this time to people watch, eat well, read or strike up a conversation.

Today I sat next to man who was also reading the paper. We got chatting about newspapers- “Did you see that they revamped the New York Times Magazine?”- and about three exchanges in he asked, “Are you Jewish?”

I laughed and nodded my head yes.

“So am I. I can tell,” he said.

I quickly added that I’m non-practicing, but that I’ve been interested in exploring the culture. My culture.

“Don’t worry- most Jews are that way,” he pointed out.

“My family is from Eastern Europe. My Grandmother was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, and I think it scared her,” I explained. “My grandma raised my mom without religion and so on. My mom and I would like to reconnect with our roots.” This is something I’ve been Continue Reading

Austin, Film, Pop Culture

Sundance is coming to Austin with free, public screenings

Sundance Film Forward Texas screening

 

Since its inception, Sundance has worked diligently to showcase thought-provoking films from up-and-coming talent. This mission was amplified in 2011 by the creation of Sundance Film Forward, a touring program of the Institute’s most culturally relevant films. Each year, Film Forward brings eight films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the globe, offering free screenings and workshops and fostering dialogue around the societal issues the selected films present.

This coming Monday and Tuesday, February 23rd and 24th, Film Forward will be in Austin screening two features: Imperial Dreams and Little Accidents. Imperial Dreams, the Sundance 2015 audience award winner written and directed by Malik Vitthal, demonstrates in gritty detail the daily challenges, big and small, that ex-convicts, particularly people of color, face after leaving prison. In Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents, the first-time filmmaker tenderly imagines the gamut of emotions one small Appalachian Continue Reading

Austin

GIVEAWAY: VIP Tix to One by One Texas

One by One TX

This weekend, my friends over at Citygram are co-presenting One by One Texas, a three-day event showcasing the best in Instagram photography, food and drinks from Austin’s hottest upcoming restaurants and a delightful BBQ smorgasbord.

And Citygram, the very fine ladies and gentlemen that they are, would like you and a friend or lover to be their Very Important Persons.

What do you get with VIP status?

You and your bff/lover will get:
-Tix to the preview party this Friday 7-10PM where you can try food from Italic, Wu-Chow, Juniper and Bribery Bakery, and drinks from The Esquire Tavern, The Brooklynite, Italic and Juniper.
-Live screenprinting and free shirts from Kong Screenprinting.
-Early access to the photo gallery.
-BBQ lunch this Saturday 12-5 courtesy of Black’s BBQ, Micklethwait Craft Meats, Freedmen’s and Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ.
-There’s also an ass-load of cocktails, panel discussions, local vendors, music and all the wonderful stuff that makes Austin, Austin.

For Continue Reading