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Austin

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

austin
Austin

What Was the Best Thing That Happened in Austin in 2014?

As I reflect back on Austin’s 2014, a mix of happy and sad emotions bubble to the surface. Though it was a fun and exciting year in this  snazzy city, Austin had its fair share of heartbreak as well. Austin is feeling the growing pains of being the #1 fastest growing city in America, and sometimes the aftereffect can be challenging for its citizens.

For me, two of the best things that happened in Austin in 2014 were 1.) The move from a citywide to districtwide City Council (though the election is this year, the switch won’t happen until next year) 2.) the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk expansion. Though I sometimes worry that Austin is growing too big, too quickly, these two events have really enhanced the city.

I asked some of my Austin buddies what was the best thing that happened in Austin in 2014, and their answers were pretty universal. Many were excited about the addition of Uber and Lyft, while others were excited by the boardwalk and Google Fiber.

Check out their thoughts below!

 Kelly Krause

Kelly Continue Reading

aerial silks austin vamps dance
Austin

Why You Should Make Aerial Silks a New Year’s Resolution

So, I didn’t win the Snap Kitchen #21DaysforGood Challenge, but I did learn a lot over the past 21 days. Because of this challenge, I completed volunteer opportunities and physical challenges that I had been too lazy/fearful/forgetful to do. I’m becoming a regular volunteer at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, I’m attempting to walk to work at least one day a week and I’ll being signing up for more aerial silk classes at Vamps Dance in the new year. I also learned that low dairy and low gluten makes my belly less poofy.

In the end, everyone won because Snap Kitchen donated $6,000 to charity!

One of the highlights of the challenge was doing an aerial silks class taught by Tolly (from Austin Eavesdropper). Kelly from SXSW was my partner in crime.

tolly austineavesdropper aerial silks (Here is a picture of Tolly from her website, looking all gorgeous!)

Not only was this wildly fun, but it was also liberating! First, you use muscles you forgot you even had (my hands are so weak!!!). Second, it feels kind of sexy. And not necessarily in a “Mmmm I feel so sexy…LOOK AT ME!” kind of way, but more of a “Wow! I feel really comfortable in my body right now” kind of way. Balancing in the air on thick fabric allows your body to pose in ways that doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable on the ground.

If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting or knowing Tolly, you know that she is a kind and gentle soul to be around. Her patience and encouragement made a somewhat challenging exercise extremely enjoyable. By the end, I felt a huge sense of pride in myself, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time in relation to exercise.

I HIGHLY recommend taking a class at Vamps Dance. Kelly and I are planning on taking more aerial silk classes in the new year! Vamps Dance has two locations: 1601 E. 5th St and 2400 E. Cesar Chavez. This is a GREAT New Year’s resolution.

Also, if you are a fan of aerial silks and Tolly, check out the crowdsourcing campaign for her aerial silks troupe, Rapt Aerial Dance. The groups says, “In founding Rapt, we wanted to create a successful business based on innovative aerial performance, an environment for artistic training, and collaboration with other artists. So we’re fundraising to cover our start-up costs…”

So, please give them a boost and try a class soon!

aerial silks vamps dance(Me, Tolly and Kelly; pic from Kelly)

Austin skyline
Austin

Yesterday a Homeless Man Gave Me Money

Last night, as I parallel parked my car on West 6th Street, between Hut’s Hamburgers and Whole Foods, a tall, older man dressed in black waved his arms at me, implying that I should back my car up.

“A $40 ticket they’ll give you for not being in the lines,” I could hear muffled through my window.

I made sure my car was in the lines and watched as the tall, older man dressed in black cheerfully spoke to the stream of people who walked by.

“Ain’t that a nice sweater you have!” he said to one man who eyed him suspiciously.

I exited my car and walked to the parking meter that stood between the man and I.

I too was suspicious of his jovial nature, and as we made small talk while I tried to purchase a parking sticker for my car with a credit card, I wondered when we’d get to the point he’d ask me for change.

Admitting this makes me cringe, but like most major cities, parking in downtown settings often comes with its share of panhandlers. When I was little, I couldn’t Continue Reading

Snap Kitchen 21 Days for Good Challenge
Austin, Hipstercrite Life

I’m a Challenger for Snap Kitchen’s 21 Days for Good Challenge

Friends, I was asked to partake in a really exciting challenge.

Snap Kitchen, an Austin-based health food eatery, selected me as one of the 21 Texas challengers for their 21 Days for Good Challenge.

From November 1st-21st, Snap Kitchen will be providing us healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner as we work towards our personal goals for the month. In addition, the challenger who does the best job chronicling their 21-day journey will receive $3,000 for the charity of their choice. My charity is LIVESTRONG.

Instead of picking one goal, like losing weight or getting more fit, I decided to aim for 21 goals. On each of the 21 days, I will strive to do something good, either for myself or for someone else. I’ve been filling up my calendar with volunteer opportunities such as dinner service at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, dog walking at the Austin Animal Center, meal delivery through Meals on Wheels and trash pickup through Keep Austin Beautiful. As for personal goals, I’ll Continue Reading

Austin, Fashion/Design, Film, Music, Pop Culture

12 Austin-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

Hey, Austinite!

Still need a costume idea?

Well, I gotta list for you.

Check it: all Austin-themed costumes.

I’ve got costumes for people of all races, ages and genders. Some costumes poke fun, while others are meant to honor Austin’s greatest heroes.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Matthew McConaughey
Top: Just Keep Livin’ shirt featuring words of wisdom by McConaughey (these babies can be found at Dillards)
Bottom: Shorts
Shoes: Flip flops
Accessories: Bongos, sunglasses
Notes: Clothing optional

Matthew McConaughey bongos

source

Romeo Rose
Top: A Renaissance or “Purple Rain” shirt from the Halloween store
Bottom: Printed pants- the more garish, the better
Shoes: Pointed cowboy boots
Accessories: Buck teeth, necklace of your initials, a rose, smarm

Romeo Rose

source

Jeremiah the Innocent (a.k.a. the Hi, How Are You? Frog)
Top: White t-shirt with “Hi, How Are You?” written in scraggily writing
Bottom: White pants
Shoes: Paper mache frog hands and feet
Accessories: Headband affixed with pipe cleaners Continue Reading

Austin

Austin’s Prop 1: Should I Vote For or Against the Transportation Bond?

Project Connect

If you’re like me, deciding whether or not to vote for Austin’s light rail and road bond, Prop 1, has been challenging.

There are countless op-eds, endorsements and disapprovals from Austin publications and citizens to sift through, and just when you think you’ve made up your mind, you read an article that changes it.

I’ve been asking my friends what their thoughts are on Prop 1, and they’ve sent me a slew of helpful articles. My Facebook friends are split 50/50, while my Twitters friends are predominantly against it. I’m still formulating my own decision, though I’m leaning towards no. I do think it is a weak and expensive plan for the city overall, but what I take most issue with is the continuation of segregation in Austin with continued development of north-south routes. I live in a neighborhood where it’s difficult, in good conscience, to vote for a bond that will raise property taxes $200+ for individuals who can barely afford them now. The new route will not benefit Continue Reading