Browsing Tag



Monkey Town 6 is more amazing than you think

Monkey Town 6

Yesterday I went to Monkey Town 6, the immersive experimental-film-slash-four-course-meal experience currently running at 2416 E. 6th Street.

If you haven’t bought tickets yet, you should before it sells out. (The event runs until February 7.)

I had no idea what I was in for at Monkey Town 6, but it exceeded any expectation I had. Imagine walking into a dim warehouse, a brightly-lit video cube hovers in the distance, sound thundering within. On the cube plays a mosaic of Central Park; below it, church pews and tables line the square. You mingle with other guests, vinho verde in hand, as you take in your surroundings. Upon sitting, plates by Hillside Farmacy and Eden East chef Sonya Cote make their way to your table as a rotation of experimental films from talent throughout the world plays above. Halfway through the evening, local opera singer Liz Cass sings to a silent French art film.

Monkey Town 6


Monkey Town is as New York art world as you can get. In fact, recent guests Continue Reading


Gentrification in Austin in one Instagram photo

I received a message on Instagram to check out an upcoming bar in East Austin. Since I live in East Austin, I was curious and went to the bar’s Instagram account.

And I saw this:

East Austin gentrification
There are so many things wrong with this photo:

-Why does this person think that what he perceives as “run down places” in East Austin are just screaming for a new bar or restaurant? Last I checked, East Austin has an assload of them.

-Why does this person think that the owner of this well-liked and well-utilized neighborhood grocery store is not an entrepreneur? (This is the neighborhood grocery store at Comal & 3rd.) Definition of entrepreneur: A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

-Why does this person think that East Austin “needs” entrepreneurs who could put a little elbow grease into all these “run down places”? East Austin needs saving by people with money, I guess. Forget all the folks who Continue Reading


Notes from Austin’s First Cat Cafe

Blue Cat Cafe

Big Sexy

“See that blue cat over there?” Jacques Casimir, co-owner of Blue Cat Cafe in Austin, Texas, asks me with a hint of pride in his voice. “That’s Big Sexy.”

Big Sexy is indeed big and sexy. At eight years of age and almost 20 pounds, he carries his girth with ease and confidence. We watch as he plops himself onto a coffee table and backs his wide hips between smiling customers, akin to a tractor trailer going in reverse.

His eyes chase the younger cats, all waiting to be adopted just like Big Sexy, as they prance and dart through the brightly colored cafe. Is he laughing at their youthful ignorance, or is he mesmerized by the shiny ball three feet from the table? We may never know.

Casimir confides in me that he hopes Big Sexy will be a permanent fixture at the cafe, alongside Gollum, a sandy-colored, green-eyed fluffball with folded ears, and Balthazar, a soothing tabby who enjoys nesting on Continue Reading


Texas Conference for Women Giveaway

Texas Logo



Last year, I attended the Austin-based Texas Conference for Women with my LIVESTRONG team, and we had a blast.

We heard talks from GoldieBlox creator, Debbie Sterling, the CEO of the Malala Fund, Shiza Shahid, journalist, mom and overall bad-ass, Soledad O’Brien, and my personal favorite, swimmer Diana Nyad, whose tales are as grand as one thousand This American Life stories combined.

(If you have a minute, do yourself a favor and watching Diana Nyad’s inspiring and hysterical talk.)

Between speakers, our team bounced around to various breakout sessions, workshops and roundtables, and we left the conference feeling inspired and empowered.

If you’re a woman or a man who loves women, I highly recommend checking out this year’s event, and lucky enough, I might just have a ticket for you!

The 2015 Texas Conference for Women, located at the Austin Convention Center, features actress Patricia Arquette, journalist Robin Roberts and artist Candy Chang, Continue Reading


As I reflect on Austin seven years later.


I’ve lived in Austin for seven years, and within those seven years my feelings toward the city have oscillated. I’ve fallen head over heels in love, I’ve been heartbroken over change and I’ve been inspired by a new kind of affection. I fall into one or all of these categories at any single time.

In 2012, I wrote the pro-growth article “Austin is Ch-Ch-Changing: Give up the Hate and Embrace the Non-Natives Who Make Our City Great,” but one year later I questioned Austin’s rapid growth with the articleAustin Changing: Why My Love for Austin is Being Challenged.” Sometimes I felt like a teenager girl, yo-yoing between her emotions. Do I love Austin? Do I hate Austin? How do I feel about this complex and complicated city? 

I look back on these articles with both empathy and embarrassment. Look how silly that girl was, thinking she understood Austin! And I know I’ll one day look back on this article with equal sentiment.

It wasn’t until recently, when I was faced with the Continue Reading


Wheatsville staff starts a petition demanding a livable wage


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


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.



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)