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!
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.
(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.
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
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
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.
Top: Just Keep Livin’ shirt featuring words of wisdom by McConaughey (these babies can be found at Dillards)
Shoes: Flip flops
Accessories: Bongos, sunglasses
Notes: Clothing optional
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
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
A few days ago, I posted the picture below with a promise to write about why Matthew McConaughey should be the mayor of Austin.
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:
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.
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
I stopped reading Vice last year after I spotted an article titled “The Woman Who Trains Dogs to Have Sex with Humans” on my Facebook feed, so I haven’t actually read the infamous “Reasons Why Austin is the Worst Place Ever” article that wafted through the Internet last week.
I did, however, read many of the responses to the article and saw that people were quite upset by it. And understandably so. Even though I’m sure the article was pure clickbait, it’s always difficult to hear someone trash your hometown or the town you choose to call home.
As much as I don’t care for the city I grew up in (a small town in Central New York), it is my home and I get upset when anyone takes a giant, stinkin’ crap on it (which happens often). It’s where my family is from and where they chose to raise me.
No town is perfect, and Austin is certainly far from perfect.
I’m not blinded by the shining self-love that emits from this city, nor do I wear rose-colored glasses to shield it.
This weekend, we celebrated my boyfriend’s half birthday.
I had a written the story as to why we celebrated his birthday in May instead of on his actual birthday in November, but when I read this post to him, he said, “You don’t have to put EVERYTHING on the Internet.” And because I don’t want him to break up with me, I decided to not tell the story. I love you, Geoff. Please don’t break up with me.
Because we celebrated Geoff’s birthday in May, it enabled us to do one of his favorite activities in the world: tubing. However, his tubing birthday extravaganza had one stipulation: everyone must wear formal wear.
This is why I love my boyfriend. He’s weird as shit. I thought I was weird, but he takes the weirdo cake and devours it whole. You’re awesome, Geoff. Please don’t break up with me.
We rented a house in New Braunfels for the weekend that could fit 12 of us, and we ended up renting a mansion right on New Braunfel’s main drag (and within walking distance to the
Following the news of the tragic death of Kelly (a.k.a. ATX Hipsters) this weekend, Zack Teibloom made me aware of ATX Safer Streets, a coalition of concerned citizens advocating for safer streets in Austin for pedestrians and cyclists.
You’ve probably heard a lot about ATX Safer Streets recently, and maybe you even liked their Facebook page or started following them on Twitter.
I reached out to ATX Safer Streets’ founders Sara LeVine, Joseph Boyle and Butch Dowdy to learn more about who they are and how we can help make Austin a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists.
Now is the time for us to act.
What is ATX Safer Streets?
Sara: We are three volunteers that are committed to improving the safety and livability of Austin through improved late night public transportation options, including buses, taxis and peer-to-peer driving programs and better options for overnight parking. We started with a petition on Change.org in March of 2014 and since then have gained a
Austin is a progressive city in so many ways, but being pedestrian and cyclist-friendly are not two features the city can boast.
On Saturday, I read yet another article about a pedestrian killed by a drunk driver in Downtown Austin. I shared on Twitter that this is becoming an epidemic in our city, and that it needs to change. The next morning I woke up to discover that the pedestrian who was killed was an acquaintance of mine. Kelly, known as ATX Hipsters
online, was a big supporter of bloggers, writers, musicians and social media people in Austin. He shared our blog posts, our music and our stories just because he wanted to. He always went out of his way to say hello to me, and he was a friend to many people.
While police were tending to the crash that killed Kelly, ANOTHER drunk driver crashed
into that very scene (no one was killed). Kelly’s death was one of TWO pedestrian deaths
on Saturday night (the other occurred in the Zilker Park area). These two deaths follow the