Austin, Film, Pop Culture, Travel, Writing

The Ten Coolest Things That Happened in Austin in 2013

It’s that time of year again- time where everyone makes butt-loads of year-end lists. Considering I have the pop culture-viewing habits of a 68 year-old prisoner in a low-security prison, I’m completely unqualified to create a “best of” list in the fields of film, music or literature. If left to my own devices, my “Top Ten Films of 2013!!!” list would consist solely of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I’m completely out of touch and I’m OK with that. I’M OK WITH THAT.
The one thing I know a little about is Austin. I write about this vibrant city often, and I try to stay on top of what’s going on. So that got me thinking: what if I created a list of the coolest things that happened in Austin in 2013? After that thought, I had a subsequent thought about brie cheese.
Here is my list of some of the most awesome, inspiring and breathtaking events that happened in our city. If I’ve forgotten anything, please let me know in the comments!

hb2 protesters
(photo cred: me)

1.) Austinites came together to fight for women’s rights
Texas’ anti-abortion legislation in 2013 had been both exhausting and disappointing, but the way it stirred Austinites to get off their butts and make their voices heard was truly inspiring. Not only did the drama surrounding HB2 provoke Austinites to stand up- it captivated the entire nation. If you were able to protest down at the Texas Capitol, you got to see first-hand the incredible dedication and passion of so many citizens.  Men and women camped out day and night, and activists were willing to risk arrest and bodily harm to fight for women’s rights. It was truly mesmerizing.

Pit Stop movie

2.) Knockout year for Austin filmmakers
Austin has always been a film town, but this year’s Austin-heavy lineup at both Sundance and SXSW only helped to further Austin’s reputation as a heavy-hitter in the film biz. At Sundance, Austin-based films included Pit Stop by Yen Tan, Before Midnight by Richard Linklater, Prince Avalanche by David Gordon Green, Computer Chess by Andrew Bujalski and the short film, Hellion, by Kat Candler (the feature film version will premiere at Sundance 2014). At SXSW, Austin-based films included Zero Charisma by Andrew Matthews & Katie Graham, The Retrieval by Chris Eska, Getting Back to Abnormal by Paul Stekler, Before You Know It by PJ Raval, The Bounceback by Bryan Poser, Good Night by Sean Gallagher and Rewind This! by John Johnson.

google fiber Austin
(photo cred: AG Beat)

3.) Google Fiber is coming to Austin
In April, it was announced that Google’s fast-speed Internet- Google Fiber- would be coming to Austin. Though Fiber hasn’t launched yet, the news only cements the fact that Austin is one of the nation’s leading tech cities. The news also made Austin’s SMORES (social media whores) cream in their pants.

Austin Pets Alive
(photo cred: Austin Pets Alive!)

4.) Austinites gave $2.8 million dollars to charities in 24 hours.
In March, Austinites gave over 2.8 million of their dollars to local charities courtesy of Amplify Austin. Think about that for a minute. THINK ABOUT IT, DAMMIT! If this doesn’t prove to you that Austin is full of generous and kind people, then I don’t know what does… you cold, heartless bastard. 

Austin rain
(photo cred: Geoff)

5.) It rained! A lot!
Though we’re still only at 40% of water levels for our lakes, we’re considered mostly out of our agricultural drought. Given that two years ago we were in crisis mode, this year’s rain, when not flooding homes, was truly a blessing.

Trader Joe's Austin
(photo cred: CultureMap)

6.) Trader Joe’s opened on Bee Caves Road
Even if you haven’t been to the Austin location of this beloved grocer (myself included), there’s no denying that this is a wonderful addition to the area. I CAN’T WAIT TO STUFF FACE WITH COOKIE BUTTERZ MMMMM.

Austin homeless community
(photo cred: KUT)

7.) Progressive homeless community proposed
Mobile Loaves and Fishes proposed a plan for a homeless community that includes cottages, teepees, mobile homes, a drive-in movie theater, an Airstream trailer hotel and a garden. Community jobs for the inhabitants are also part of the idea. Though the plan still needs approval, it has the support of Austinites like Alamo Drafthouse’s Tim League and Mayor Leffingwell.

austin, tx
(photo cred: me)

8.) Austin finally stopped being number one at everything
For many years, Austin was listed as the number one place to live, eat, sleep or poop in according to publications such as Forbes or CNN. This year, Austin appeared to drop down a few spaces, typically finishing out in the top ten or twenty of lists. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still a belle of the “best of” lists, but maybe the national spotlight is finally dimming a little. And that means LESS PEOPLE MOVING HERE.

ACL 2013
(photo cred: me)

9.) Bands played pop-up concerts after ACL was cancelled
Due to rain that flooded Zilker Park, C3 decided to cancel the last day of the Austin City Limits festival. That didn’t stop visiting acts from performing though. Franz Ferdinand played Infest (formerly Antone’s), Atoms for Peace showed up at ACL Live, The Divine Fits stopped by The Parish, The Lone Bellow jammed at the Belmont, The Mowgli’s hung out at Lambert’s and Lionel Richie crooned in some tech dude’s living room .

Rick Perry Santa
(photo cred: Austin Chronicle)

10.) TIE: Rick Perry announced he wouldn’t be running for governor again AND this picture.
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  • Reply YoSoyCaitlin December 13, 2013 at 9:33 am

    This was very cute and not stupid. Thank you for making a not stupid list. 🙂

    • Reply hipstercrite December 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm


  • Reply Eddy December 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Speaking of notable events in Austin, 2013, can you tell me who won the Louis Black Lone Star award at the SXSW in 2013? Can you? WELL CAN YOU?

    Clever girl!

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  • Reply Bhel December 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Tee hee. Number 10 is great, well mostly the picture, and in particular, Santa 🙂

  • Reply Jerry Sisson December 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

    The tv series “Revolution” began filming in Austin.

  • Reply Weekly watercooler #71 – Four Kitchens January 5, 2017 at 10:26 am

    […] Four Kitchens is located in Austin, we had to share the biggest things to happen in Austin in 2013. Hopefully DrupalCon Austin will make the 2014 list […]

  • Leave a Reply to Eddy Cancel Reply