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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

Travel

Hipster City Travel: Is Denver the Next Austin?

“Denver is Austin five years ago,” we heard from no less than five Denverites during our recent trip.

“There are so many jobs.”

“There is so much construction going on.”

“The traffic is insane!”

“Look at all these condos!”

Sound familiar?

We heard these statements over and over as we talked to friends, acquaintances and complete strangers on the sidewalks of Denver.

At first glance, Denver looks nothing like Austin. Though ATX is home to 200,000 additional citizens, the skyline and downtown streets of Denver feel like that of a bigger city. It isn’t until you dig into the individual neighborhoods that you discover the quirkiness that lies within. The DIY attitude and outdoor spirit are alive and well in the Mile High City. And as a recent NPR story pointed out, Denver is the no. 2 fastest-growing city behind Austin, and much like its counterpart, the foodie scene is booming.

It is in public transportation and walkability where the two cities begin to differ, 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) 

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

matthew mcconaughey yoga
Austin, Film, Pop Culture

12 Reasons Why Matthew McConaughey Should be the Mayor of Austin

A few days ago, I posted the picture below with a promise to write about why Matthew McConaughey should be the mayor of Austin.

Matthew McConaughey I keep getting older

photo by Rick Kern for Getty Images

And I’m not talking about in the future. McConaughey should be mayor now. I’m encouraging everyone in Austin to write in Mr. McConaughey come election time on November 4th (or Steven Adler, if you’re not writing in). If anyone would like to join my McConaughey for Mayor campaign, let me know. You get to wear this t-shirt:

Matthew McConaughey clothing line

via Just Keep Livin

He’s the best guy for the job, and here are twelve reasons why.

And as my online friend Dannette pointed out, he will definitely keep Austin weird.

1.) He’s a native Texan, he went to the University of Texas at Austin and he lives in Austin.
But most important– he winks.

Matthew McConaughey wink

2.) He’s his own hero.
It’s important that your mayor believes in himself. It’s absolutely vital that your mayor will one day build a statue of himself dancing with a Lone Star can in front of the Continue Reading