Contents AUSTIN LIFESTYLE MAY/JUNE 2011
AN OASIS FOR ENTERTAINING FOR WESTLAKE HOMEOWNERS, SOCIALIZING IS JUST PAR FOR THE COURSE
Brenda Audino is a Certified Wine Specialist and among only a handful of sommeliers in the Austin area who are accredited by the International Sommelier Guild. Additionally, Brenda has broadened her wine knowledge by traveling extensively throughout France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand as well as all of the major wine producing areas in the United States. Kasandra Cruzcosa is a lifestyle, editorial and commercial photographer who specializes in the use of natural light. She lives in Austin, holds a BBA in marketing and loves all things creative. In the past year, Kasandra has photographed many local businesses for the upcoming edition of Crave Austin. Find out more about her work at www.kasandra cruzcosa.com and view her portfolio of Austin images at www.picturesofaustin.com. Rebecca Fondren is a commercial photographer specializing in food and product photography. She studied Political Science at the University of Texas, and in early 2007 taught herself photography. Her clients include The Salt Lick BBQ, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Uchi: The Cookbook, Texas Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Google. Coles Hairston is an award-winning, Austinbased location photographer. He produces dynamic images for clients including Fortune 500 companies, national companies, design firms, Texas architects and more. His work has been published in numerous books and magazines such as Southern Living, Texas Monthly, Texas Architect and Unique Homes. Check out his portfolio at www.coleshairston.com. Jerry Hughes is an award-winning portrait and wedding photographer, best-selling author, inventor, speaker and world traveler. His fashion photography has been in Vogue and corporate clients include IBM, Proctor & Gamble and Ford. Jerry also teaches one on one and online workshops on how to use your digital camera, creativity and Photoshop at Precision Camera. For classes, visit www.easyphotoclass.com or to contact Jerry, visit www.artiststudio12.com.
Jason Kerkmans contributes to magazines such as Men’s Journal, Men’s Health and Outside, among others and is a regional editor for Texas Golfer magazine. Kerkmans’s most memorable interview was with Sandra Day O’Connor—but that will play second fiddle the moment this new father gets to ask his daughter her first question.
T H E
B E S T
It took years for Daniel Ramirez to discover his true passion—the city of Austin. Now in his sixth year in his beloved town, he is a graphic design consultant, a director of communications and a writer and contributor to several magazines. Daniel, a champion of live music at any time of year, claims that he only works to support his music habit. Follow his blog at www.austinlifestylemagazine.com. Katie Schnack is a freelance writer and reporter in Austin. Her work has been featured in Redbook magazine, Thrillist.com and SeeSawAustin.com. After getting a BA in broadcast journalism, she worked as an associate producer for an NBC affiliate in South Florida, writing the evening newscasts and editing video. Happy to now be living in Austin, Katie spends most of her time typing at a coffee shop, discovering new restaurants, walking around Town Lake and working on getting her first book published. Learn more at www.kschnack.com.
E V E R Y T H I N G
Shawn K. Lively
Veronica Meewes graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she studied writing, art and sociology. She works at Helping Hand Home for Children and moonlights as a freelance writer and photographer when she’s not in the kitchen, supervised by her dog Chef. She primarily pens food, drink and feature articles which have also appeared in the Austin-American Statesman, Edible Austin, Eat & Drink Austin, Soundcheck magazine, Scion magazine, Whole Lifestyle magazine and the Austinist.
Sophie Block, Amber Groce,
Kait Miesch CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Jason Kerkmans, Veronica Meewes, Daniel Ramirez, Katie Schnack, Donna Woodwell ART & PRODUCTION DESIGN
Creative & Sons
www.creativeandsons.com CREATIVE SERVICES / WEB DESIGN
Daniel Ramirez CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Kasandra Cruzcosa, Andrew Dorer, Rebecca Fondren, Robert Godwin, Coles Hairston, Jerry Hughes, Daniel Ramirez VIDEOGRAPHER
SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Jane Rash For advertising information, please e-mail email@example.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTIONS email@example.com Subscribe online at www.austinlifestylemagazine.com JOB INQUIRIES firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
A true Renaissance woman, Donna Woodwell is an astrologer, hypnotist, writer and entrepreneur. She owns Four Moons Astrology, consults with clients from across the country, launched the Astrological Society of Austin and served as membership director for the largest US astrology organization. She can be reached online at www.fourmoonsastrology.com.
Austin Lifestyle is Austin owned and operated and published by Texas Lifestyle Media, Inc. © and ™ 2011 Texas Lifestyle Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
we promised to evolve and embrace our changing city and allow Austin’s spirit of individuality to thrive through our content. With this issue, we hope you feel we’ve made good on our promise. Continuing an annual theme, Destination: Austin 2011 is much different than our 2010 issue, with a painting by Austin’s own Kathy Womack on the cover. Where last year’s article featured many of Austin’s most authentic happenings, the goal this year was to provide our readers with a guide that truly reflected the essence of Austin here and now (including the exciting new developments and personalities influencing its scope). We trust that visitors, newbies and veterans alike will want to keep this issue around to inspire future expeditions. In our cover story, writer Katie Schnack delved deep into the heart of what is attracting transplants and visitors and what is keeping veterans rooted. The conclusion: just about everything! From long-time staples to fresh ventures, far-out frolics and tech savvy scenes, this guide presents an assortment of Austin activities for a full spectrum of interests: Serenity Seekers, Free Spirits, Green Gurus, Culture Connoisseurs and more! Delight in your newfound obsessions or get a taste for what the city is really all about as you explore roads less traveled. You’re sure to find something you were destined to do. Amidst all the activity, you may be drawn to the large population of funky fashionistas reinventing the rules of style—and most importantly, want to know where to find it. Many unearth their treasures in Austin’s thriving community of vintage vendors. To jump-start your style makeover a surplus of shopping destinations are highlighted in our A*Style section. AL’s Vintage Shopping Guide will have you feeling like a seasoned vintagista as we clue you in on the hottest Mid Century Modern meccas, psychedelic boutiques, one-of-a-kind antique baubles and everything in between. If the vintage flair leaves you yearning for more aged indulgences, broaden your horizons with a trip to the “Wine Country of Texas.” Sprawling over nine million acres and hosting over five million visitors annually, the Hill Country American Viticulture Area evokes the picturesque landscape of Tuscany while upholding southern charm and hospitality. Sommelier Brenda Audino gives a lesson From Vine To Wine with a tour of the area, which skirts our city limits and beyond, in our A*Taste section. Many established residents inevitably play host to the plethora of out-of-towners hoping to partake in the Austin lifestyle. Architect Jim LaRue and builder Matt Shoberg created An Oasis for Entertaining in our home feature. With spectacular views of the Austin Country Club’s golf course, spacious and inviting design and a myriad of recreational activities, visitors won’t ever want to leave. While embracing the ever-changing landscape and infusion of personalities, one thing remains constant: Austin’s got soul. And despite the numbers, statistics and top this-or-that lists, this is one trait that cannot be conveyed through words. So, Austinites (you do want to be called that, right?) in this issue we ask you to participate in the cultivation of your own destiny. You’re here aren’t you? Jump on in; the water’s nice!
BRENDA LADD; STYLING: MOSS
N OUR JANUARY/FEBRUARY ISSUE
Noteworthy happenings, reviews and openings that highlight the best of everything Austin has to offer
Cool Concert Cure-Alls for Melting Music Mavens
How soon the triple digits slip our minds each spring and summer when Austin’s outdoor music offerings are in full bloom. Before delirium sets in, grab a cooler and some lawn chairs and cope with the heat the best way we know how – a refreshing dose of live music.
KGSR's Blues on the Green
For almost forty years, the Kerrville Folk Festival has gathered America’s most beloved and respected singer/ songwriters of varying musical styles. The longest continuously running music festival of its kind in North America, this 18-day celebration takes place nine miles south of Kerrville at Quiet Valley Ranch in the heart of the Hill Country. Go out anytime between May 26 and June 12, pitch a tent and stay as long as you like. If you get your online tickets before May 25, you will receive a discount; and if you’re looking for a free ride, volunteer! www.kerrville-music.com
POPS: COURTESY AUSTIN CIVIC ORCHESTRA; BAND OF HEATHENS: CASSANDRA WEYANDT
BOTG: COURTESY EMMIS COMMUNICATIONS; PATRICE PIKE: DENNIS BENTON;
As Austin’s largest free concert series, KGSR’s Blues on the Green is back to Zilker Park for it’s 21st season. Happening every other Wednesday, June 8 – August 17 at 7:30 pm, this summer staple is for all music lovers riding the slopes of hump day. Unwind from work and bask in the blues stylings of treasured musicians old and new. Cool off with fresh squeezed lemonade, frozen treats or take a dip in Barton Springs Pool. To be the first to learn about the 2011 line-up, join the Blues on the Green Text Alert Club by texting “blues” to 68704. www.kgsr.com
Band of Heathens
Each year the Austin Civic Orchestra continues their commitment to bringing low-cost, quality music to the community. The Zilker Pops Concerts are free, family-friendly performances by the ACO at Zilker Hillside Theater. On Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11 at 8 pm, bring a picnic and friends, and be a part of the popular annual raffle for a chance to conduct the ACO’s finale performance of Sousa’s "Stars and Stripes Forever." www.austincivicorchestra.org
With performances by Sarah Jaffe, Carolyn Wonderland and Quiet Company already under their belt, the 18th season of KGSR’s Unplugged at the Grove is sure to be an outstanding one. Showcasing the best of Austin’s diverse musical community, the series draws hometown favorites and breakthrough acts to perform intimate sets on the Shady Grove patio. Relish in the breeze under the shade of the tall pecan grove and sip away the hot spell with $3 Ziegenbock drafts and $3.50 frozen Jack and cokes. Check it out every Thursday at 8 pm for 25 consecutive weeks (April 14 – September 15) at no cover charge! Text “grove” to 43981 to join the Unplugged at the Grove text alert club for the latest event information, show line up, weather updates and more. www.theshadygrove.com, www.kgsr.com
A * ST YLE |
ST YLE SWAP Perhaps you have a prime selection of vintage and past season trends collecting dust in your closet. The options for consigning, trading and selling lightly used clothing are endless. Recycle those pieces and you won’t have to spend a dime adding to your wardrobe. These are a few of our top picks: La Fleur Vintage
Buffalo Exchange In the past few years, this hot spot has
robe while incorporating mindful editing and reasonable prices. For date night duds that are sure to turn heads, take a nod from Bennett: "She wore blue velvet.” 217 West North Loop Blvd, www.bluevelvetaustin.com
Charm School Vintage Appropriately positioned in the revitalized sector of East Austin where forgotten storefronts are gaining a new lease on life, Charm School Vintage replenishes closets with recycled fashions by making vintage wearable everyday. The uber-stylish selection of must-have clothing, shoes and accessories, makes this a perfect stop for a vintage wardrobe makeover. 2109 Cesar Chavez St, www.facebook.com/charmschoolvintage
Cream Vintage Playful colors and patterns prevail in Cream’s women’s wear assemblage of 60s, 70s and 80s dresses, but when the weather is right fur is the shining star. But men, don’t feel left out: Cream boasts an equally outstanding selection of throwback men’s apparel and a bounty of cowboy boots. Partner that with the convenience of central and south locations housing over 1,500 items total, and Cream is the perfect destination for enjoyable couples shopping. 2532 Guadalupe St and 1714 South Congress Ave, www.creamvintage.com
Flashback Vintage For almost thirty years, Flashback has outfitted Austin extroverts with fun, funky, affordable fashion. You’ll find everything from turn of the century ivory lace gowns to geometric, neon print 80s dresses and all the decades in between. Shop here to make your vintage a true form of expression! 1805 South First St,
expanded, added parking spaces and
(Cash or store credit, not consignment) 2904
increased inventory to accommodate the relentless influx of college students, out-oftowners, bargain hunters and the like looking to find fashion deals. Buy, sell or trade your used clothing; it’s truly a community market as eighty percent of the merchandise is brought in directly by local customers. Guadalupe St, www.buffaloexchange.com
Feathers Boutique Fitting that this nationally recognized boutique namesakes one of the hottest trends in fashion over the past few years – feathers! Its quaint side street entrance feels as though you’ve stumbled upon a hidden closet. As you walk down the hallway entrance, you are pleasantly surprised at the clean display of well-organized racks lining the walls. Wander up and down steps to uncover the alcoves of different styles; you’ll find that your eyes immediately flock to the sections you’ll love. Add the smart mix of glamour, romance, exquisite editing and savvy vintage sensibility and this shop is a favorite among seasoned vintagistas and newbies alike. 1700 South Congress Ave, www.feathersboutiquevintage.blogspot.com
Lovely Austin This quaint boutique is built on the importance of living elegantly and simply, being environmentally friendly, and providing a space where women can come together to buy, sell and trade wonderful goods. Lovely offers designer clothing and accessories consignment as well as consignment opportunities for local artists and designers to sell their goods. 1506 South First St, www.lovelyaustin.com MOSS Designer Consignment If you’re on a budget, this is the type of store you don’t mind eating ramen noodles for as long as you are able to walk out with what is soon to be the newest (well, new to you) most-treasured piece in your wardrobe. Comprised of high-end women’s designer
Gypsies Antiques Created in loving memory of owner Deborah Sierra’s mother and grandmother, this
labels from past seasons that reflect current trends, MOSS is a fashionista’s slice of heaven. 705 South Lamar Blvd, www.mossaustin.com
A * ST YLE |
MODERN VINTAGE It can be hard to find a way to mix your love of vintage and eye for the future. Luckily, Room Service Vintage
these stores lend a hand to the aimless interior designers who yearn for a sophisticated
Congress Ave and 2209 South First St, www. newbohemiaaustin.com
Splendor: A Retrofit Boutique New patrons to Splendor may have been enticed by their stylish and popular feather hair extensions, but once they discover the handpicked, well thought out, trendy women’s vintage pieces (all dry cleaned before making it onto the racks), they’re sure to become devoted shoppers. 100 West North Loop Blvd, www.splendoraustin.com
Prototype Vintage Extraordinary men’s and women’s apparel and standout home design elements flourish here. With an eye for today’s trends, Prototype’s formula puts a modern twist on time-tested vintage styles so it’s a perfect spot to build your fashion foundation with unique wardrobe basics and tone-setting furnishings. 1700 ½ South Congress Ave, www.prototypevintagedesign.com
Room Service Vintage An eclectic mix of vintage pickers vend a constant influx of inventory in this 3,500-squarefoot authentic staple. Whether you’re in the market for an elaborate 60s sofa, an ornate gold chandelier or a set of vintage barware, you will find it here, reasonably priced. Join RSV at a new event each month to celebrate 30 years of business; this May it’s a skating soiree (Check their Web site for more details!). 107 East North Loop Blvd, www.roomservicevintage.com
take on vintage. Howl Interiors A whimsical presence of nature prevails among the diverse collection of handcrafted and reinvented home furnishings at Howl. Owner and designer Barry Jelinski combines classic antiques and modern design, raw and reclaimed materials and playful repurposing to create truly inspired decorative environments. 705 South Lamar
Uncommon Objects As the name suggests, Uncommon Objects is a one-of-a-kind emporium of sublime salvage. Get lost in the labyrinth of oddities, fine relics and curious goods assembled by a collective of seasoned antique sellers. From doohickeys to whatchamacallits and the occasional thingamajig, this fascinating market celebrates even the most bizarre nostalgia. 1512 South Congress Ave,
accessories, reasonably priced gifts and an
Mercury Design Studio You can spend anywhere from $5 to $5,000 and walk out of Mercury Design Studio with a grin. Their unique collection balances vintage sensibility with modern design, understated elegance with exotic details and clean lines with elaborate embellishments. They house original and revitalized vintage furniture and eclectic mix of new inspirations. 209 West
Uptown Modern This funky 6,000-square-foot pavilion is a mecca of Mid-Century modern furnishings. Specializing in highly functional pieces that families use every day such as sofas, dining tables, chairs and dressers, this unique outfit takes true vintage pieces and restores them to their former grandeur. The lengthy, labor-intensive process produces exquisite results that extend the life of the furniture by many years. 5453 Burnet Rd,
Second St, www.mercurydesignstudio.com
North Lamar Blvd, www.spruceaustin.com
Spruce The Spruce team uses savvy upholstery skills to update antique and modern furniture. Their bold, fun use of fabric and cheerful take on design has been recognized nationally. Shop their every changing retail offerings; bring in your own piece to customize; or learn how to transform furniture yourself at one of their weekend workshops. 6607
ROOM SERVICE VINTAGE: COURTESY ROOM SERVICE VINTAGE; HOWL INTERIORS: COURTESY HOWL INTERIORS
the go. You’ll find great vintage snap shirts, cowboy boots and suits with character. And just behind the men’s location on South First, Little Bohemia huddles up even more for the ladies, specializing in party clothes and an abundance of children’s vintage. 1606 South
SOCIAL GR ACES
SafePlace Field Day SAFEPLACE PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY SAFEPL ACE
1 I Heart Tube Socks 2 All-Star Relay Team Winners: Bury Brethren Team Fowl-up 3 AOMA Ninja Turtles 4 The Dartt Bullseyes 5 Chris Coleman, Yellow Cab Team Leader 6 I heart Tube Socks hits the sack 7 Wheatsville Smooth Co-operators 8 Cowboy from Bury Brethren Team Fowl-up 9 Fit and Fearless
SOCIAL GR ACES
Academy Awards Gala LIFEWORKS PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREW DORER
4 6 5
1 Fred & Lisa Smith 2 Marc & Mona Cannon, Brett Barnes 3 Brooke Beaty, Alex Winkelman 4 Jerry Pritchard, JoAnn McKenzie 5 Dan & Melanie Fish 6 Kurt & Lauri Hoff 7 Natasha & Michael Casamassa 8 Jamie Tower, Kerri Lohmeier, Corrine Rotan 9 Laura Granado, Shawn Walker
SOCIAL GR ACES
The Crystal Ball HELPING HAND HOME PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT GODWIN
1 Carol & Tim Crowley 2 Courtney Hall, Ainsley Hall, Tracey Hime, Tish Hall 3 Chandler Jones, Ginnie Jones 4 Claire Susan Crenshaw, Ben Crenshaw 5 Bobbie & Jan Jenkins, Cynthia & Avery Bengtson 6 John McHale, Chris Mattsson 7 Kamaxi Patel, Saima Hirani 8 Evan Sampleton, Allie Mullen, Katherine Mullen, Ryle Edwards 9 Greg & Joan Talley
Steve Berkowitz, md and Christin Cross
Hope Ball THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, America’s number one and number three killers. These and other cardiovascular diseases kill more than 830,000 Americans each year and cost the nation more than $503 billion in direct and indirect costs. In Texas, cardiovascular diseases account for nearly 50,000 deaths annually. In addition to funding cutting edge research the AHA conducts lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocates protecting public health. AHA-funded research has contributed to important discoveries such as CPR, life-extending drugs, pacemakers, bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine and surgical techniques to repair heart defects. The Heart Ball brings together Austin’s most influential leaders from the corporate, philanthropic and medical communities to raise funds and celebrate the American Heart HEART BALL OF AUSTIN Association’s lifesaving work. Heart Ball May 14 Co-Chair Dr. Steve Berkowitz remarked, Hilton Austin “Because it’s so commonplace, virtually www.heart.org/austintxheartball everyone in our community has a personal connection to heart disease or stroke. Having been a cardiac patient myself, it takes on special meaning. It’s like the old saying, ‘the heart attack you prevent could very well be your own.’” The evening’s black-tie festivities will include dinner, entertainment, dancing and an exciting silent and live auction. Funds generated at the event support the AHA’s mission in the Central Texas community. The 2011 Heart Ball of Austin focuses special attention to the critical issue of children’s heart health. Reducing heart-related birth defects, curbing the alarming increase in childhood obesity, and teaching kids about the dangers of smoking are just a few of the issues this initiative supports.
JUVENILE DIABETES RESEARCH FOUNDATION
JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults HOPE BALL suddenly, and can ultimately be fatal. As many as May 14 three million Americans have type 1 diabetes and Renaissance Austin Hotel approximately eighty people are diagnosed per www.jdrf.org/austin day. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump each and every day of their lives. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.5 billion to diabetes research, including $107 million last year. The 12th Annual Hope Ball, benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Austin Chapter, will be held Saturday, May 14 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. This magical evening of hope will feature a cocktail reception and silent auction followed with an elegant dinner, live auction and entertainment by one of the country’s Top 10 party bands, Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes. Austin philanthropists Toni and Tim Clark will be honored at the event for their continued support of JDRF with the Liz and Kirk Watson Founders Award. Wendy’s/Pisces Foods will receive the chapter’s 2011 Community Partner of Hope Award. The event will support the Beta Cell Therapies Program, one of the organization’s most promising areas of research. The 2011 Hope Ball will be a celebration of research and a renewal of the commitment to the ultimate freedom – a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.
HEART BALL: BASTAS PHOTOGRAPHY; HOPE BALL: COURTESY JUVENILE DIABETES RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Heart Ball of Austin
BY JASON KERKMANS / PORTRAIT BY JERRY HUGHES
Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr When Chief Kerr, as she’s now known within the Austin Fire Department, started her career in fire fighting, the shower room at her first station not only didn’t have a lock on the door, but there was also a window looking in. Being the only female fire fighter in her department didn’t stop Kerr though. The 12-year veteran physical education teacher and coach may have started her career in the fire department later than some, but as a fourth generation fire fighter, it was meant to be. And as the fire chief for the City of Austin, Kerr continues to balance her life on duty and off with the same zeal and enthusiasm that helped her rise through the department ranks. When she’s not coordinating the work of the 1,200 Austin firefighters, serving the community or working with the city’s elected officials, there’s a good chance you can catch Kerr golfing, swinging a tennis racket or riding her bike in the Hill Country, because it’s doubtful you’ll ever find her doing nothing. What’s the hardest part of being a fire fighter in Austin? It’s the balancing act. As the chief, the hardest part is maintaining the balance in an organization of 1,200 people, and for the line firefighters, I think it’s the balance between their personal life and their professional life. And the easiest? The easiest thing for me is coming to work. There’s hardly a day I can remember that I haven’t loved to come to work in 27 years. I just asked one of the line firefighters what was easiest about the job and he agreed: he loved coming to work. Even though I have not been a line firefighter in 20 years, that hasn’t changed. What from your 12 years as a coach and PE teacher did you learn that you still use today? I learned that I always needed to be willing to listen to what someone had to say and treat them with respect and dignity. Being a fourth-generation firefighter, did you ever want to be anything else? When I was getting out of high school, women didn’t have that many choices. We were expected to be teachers, secretaries or homemakers, but the one thing I would love to have done is fly an F-14 off an air craft carrier. I always loved Top Gun. What is the best thing that has ever happened to you? Bar none, the best thing that’s happened to me is becoming a firefighter. I tell all our recruits when I swear them in that this is the best day of the rest of your life. Who is one person you would like to meet? I would like to meet my great grandfather. He was the first in the four generations of firefighters and I’d like to meet him at this point in my life. How do you want to spend your next day of free time? There are two things I want to do: I want to spend some time on the golf course, and I want to head to the beach to read a good book.
What does living in Austin mean to you? It’s wonderful to live in a city where everyone else wants to live. It’s a dynamic, energetic city and for me there’s such tremendous support and engagement from the people who live here. What is your favorite place in Austin? Why? My favorite part is downtown. I love the energy and there’s so much to do: Lady Bird Lake, hike and bike trails, tennis courts, golf courses. There’s anything you could want to do, and almost all of it’s within a walk or short cab ride. One-day: golf, ski, tennis, or go for a bike ride? Why? My answer is yes. What is Austin's best-kept secret? Do we have one? We’re so open about who we are as a community that I think we all want to share the places we all love. What is the greatest fire danger Austin residents face? I think they’re all related to human behavior. We can reduce the risks to the community and the responders through education and encouraging each person to do their part. What is your favorite meal? I don’t eat any meat or poultry, which I’m not sure if I should admit in Texas, so Bevo is safe from me. But Italian and seafood are my favorite. For that, I like Vespaio on South Congress. What would be the hardest thing for you to ever give up? My ability to play sports. No matter how old I get, I still want to be active. I used to play volleyball, and as I got older, I became a little more fragile and wasn’t sure I wanted to dive for every ball, so now I play more lifelong sports like golf and tennis. What is the best part about summer in Austin? Air-conditioning!
AUSTIN tatistics and the traffic on MoPac both show it – people are flocking to our city in droves. Since 2009, Austin and the surrounding metropolitan area have grown by more than twenty-five thousand people. And with more than seven million visitors passing through each year, the city seems to constantly be busting at the seams with people from all walks of life. This influx of new faces brings more culture, flare and fresh ideas to our already unique and diversified city. But what is it about Austin that so attractive? Well, there are many reasons. ¶ From its outdoor adventures to urban luxuries, Austin’s allure reaches a wide spectrum of personalities. Recent college grads hope to find refuge in Forbes third-best job market in the nation, while our formative arts scene inspires artists to quit their day jobs and create their own endeavors. Nightlife enthusiasts may be attracted to the nearly two million square feet of restaurant, bar and retail space waiting to be explored; but if fresh air fuels the soul, others are drawn to the miles of trails, parks and lake front beauty Austin has to offer. Food lovers, Bohemian vagabonds, “go green” fanatics…the list goes on an on, and no one characteristic defines each person. It is this fresh infusion paired with the strong population of original Austinites that help make this city what it is today – an ever-evolving, unique and exciting place to live and explore. ¶ So whether you are a new transplant, just passing through, or have been here longer than the Broken Spoke, you can consider yourself lucky to be in one of the most flourishing and stimulating cities in the nation. Now get out and enjoy it! Here’s our guide to the city from a variety of different perspectives; from the eatery obsessed to the technology minded, it’s the best Austin has to offer for every taste. Gratify your interests or expand your horizons, but whatever you do – have fun!
BY KATIE SCHNACK
PHOTOGRAPHY BY REBECCA FONDREN
EAST SIDE CAFÉ 52
ith big name companies like Dell, 3M, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Google and Facebook dotting our workforce, Austin may very well become the next Silicon Valley. The wealth of tech-centered job opportunities makes Austin very attractive to those passionate about the industry. But even the most serious technology devotees like to kick back and have some fun sometimes, right? Flip off that computer, change out of those work clothes and try these tech-worthy events and networking opportunities that are sure to please even the most fervent of workers. Weary in the ways of networking through social media? Go old school style and meet people in the flesh at one of these time worthy events. Meeting once a month at different bars around the city, Austin Tech Happy Hour provides a fabulous opportunity for the technology community to network, socialize and of course...imbibe. Go to www.austintechhh.com for details and get ready to sip and socialize with fellow technology lovers. For an electronic event with a Texas twist try the Austin Tech Ranch Campfire, happening every other Friday. The Austin Tech Ranch is an incubator for early stage technology start-ups. Events like their campfires create an open environment where technology fanatics, entrepreneurs and investors converge in a relaxed setting to discuss the business and learn more about what the ranch has to offer. But if you still want to make your connections in the safe warm glow of a computer screen, head to www.door64.com. Door 64 is a free online community of more than 18,000 Texas technology professionals looking to support Austin’s tech scene. They offer blogs, discussions and information for job seekers as well as a full calendar of events, such as technology fairs and weekly happy hours. If you are the type of tech enthusiast who also delves into the realm of science fiction, then don’t miss the annual ArmadilloCon. This weekend long convention explores animation, science, media and gaming, with a specific emphasis on literary science fiction. The convention has hosted countless numbers of sci-fi authors and experts in its 33-year history. This year’s guest of honor is Paolo Bacigalupi, award-winning author of The Windup Girl. ArmadilloCon is taking place at the end of August, and it is not to late to sign up. Register at www.fact.org/dillo, and get ready to immerse yourself in a world of futurism fantasy. And if you find that you just can’t manage to unglue that handheld device even at mealtime, Google map yourself over to Sagra, just a few blocks from the capitol. This Italian food joint incorporates digital tablet menus in their dining experience. Guests can scroll through detailed descriptions of entrees, click links to YouTube videos of the chef's cooking techniques and even rate their meal at the end. Sagra has a limited number of tablets available for use, but guests can also download the interactive menu right to their iPhone or iPad for personal perusing. Delicious Italian food at the touch of your fingertips.
f you know where all the backyard chicken coops are in the city and where you can shop green, you fall right in line with Austin’s health and environmentally conscious population. From the vast amount of vegetarian dining options to the influx of urban farms, this group is anything but deprived in Austin. You don’t have to travel far outside the city to learn about healthy farming practices. Instead, just venture to one of Austin’s several East Urban Farms. Explore the sustainable practices of a USDA-certified organic urban market farm, on the Boggy Creek Farm tour. Shop their produce every Wednesday and Saturday and delight in taking home food that was sold mere feet from where it was first planted. Or if you want fresh edible goodness delivered right to your door, employ the services of Farmhouse Delivery. Farmhouse Delivery will bring local meat, dairy, eggs, produce and artisanal products to just about anywhere in Austin. You can rest easy knowing your dollars are going towards supporting local farmers and businesses. Bonus: Delivery is weekly or bi-weekly at no extra charge. When the cook’s off the clock, there are a number of local restaurants that support health conscious eating decisions. Set in the warm and friendly atmosphere of an old house, The Eastside Café has been serving up nourishing dining options for decades. What sets them apart from other restaurants is their onsite garden. Chefs step out back and harvest vegetables and herbs that go right into the entrees, like their made from scratch soups or fresh-made pasta shells. And it doesn’t stop at produce; free-range chickens wander the garden and provide the restaurant with eggs. It can’t get much fresher than that! Casa De Luz is an organic, vegan, macrobiotic restaurant dishing out new nutritious eats every day. Pay at the door, help yourself to soup, salad and tea and sit outside to witness the joyful activity in progress on the adjoining Parkside Community School playground. Shortly after, a harmoniously balanced meal will arrive at your table. The campus, burrowed just behind the lively joints on Barton Springs Road, offers more than just healthy food options. In addition to the Montessori school, you'll find natural healing therapies, four rental spaces featuring a wide range of holistic workshops, a market offering balanced foods, and a new onsite organic hair salon providing chemical-free hair services. Casa de Luz is not just a destination, it's a lifestyle. And if you want to learn about growing your own organic goods and better the community while doing so, volunteer for The Green Corn Project. Every spring and fall, volunteers help install organic gardens for the elderly, low-income, disabled or at elementary schools. The
plantings are an educational, fun and family friendly activity that not only teaches about healthy eating, but the importance of helping those in need. The Green Corn project also hosts organic gardening workshops, so you can learn how to grow healthy edibles yourself. Sustainability and green living practice are not just popular with what we put in our bodies, but also in our surroundings. DesignBuild-Live is a sustainable learning center created for those who yearn to honor mother earth in their building projects from start to finish. Take advantage of the their classes and workshops and join them every third Wednesday of the month for their free public presentations. Outfit your green lifestyle with Eco-Wise, a one stop shop for all things environmentally friendly. The South Congress business carries an endless amount of non-toxic, recycled, organic, and earth-loving products for your home and wardrobe. From ecological flooring to organic cotton basics, Eco-Wise is stocked with green commodities to compliment conscious mindsets.
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f you consider tie-dyed your “best color” or regularly howl at the moon from the waters of Barton Springs, you may qualify as an Austin “free spirit.” From long time locals keeping the psychedelic sentiments of the 70s alive to young dreadlocksporting lovables embellishing the streets of South Austin, Austin is truly a place where you can kick back and feel free to be you. “Far out” never got so close to home with these attractions. Held annually in celebration of the depressed yet beloved donkey in Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore’s Birthday Party is the epitome of eccentric extravaganzas. Every April since 1963, the festival draws elaborately costumed participants to Pease Park for some laid back fun in the Texas sunshine. The event is a colorful spectacle of face painting, hula-hoop twirling, maypole dancing, drum circles, live music and more. But besides being utterly entertaining, the party serves a higher purpose as a fundraiser for local non-profits. So put on your Bohemian best and dance the day away for a good cause. If all this talk of birthdays leaves you pining for an outing in your birthday suit, head to Hippie Hollow, the only clothing optional public park in Texas. Located about 30 minutes from downtown Austin, this 109-acre park is tucked in the basin of Lake Travis. The steep rocky shoreline provides a perfect alcove for swimming and sunbathing, with a swimsuit or without. Boasting spectacular views of Lake Travis and its wooded surroundings, Hippie Hollow provides the opportunity to literally let it all hang out. Wandering through a park or even downtown, it is not unlikely for one to stumble across the rhythmic beats of a drum circle at any given moment. Several groups of drum enthusiasts gather regularly at various parks, churches and public places to foster a sense of community through music. Visit www.drumcircles.net for more details and group schedules. And to get your drumming skills up to beat, visit Drumz on Kerby Lane. Offering a wide selection of authentic hand drums and classes for a variety of skill levels, Drumz is a percussionist’s paradise. Every full moon if you listen closely you may hear a faint howling in the passing breeze. No, Austin is not plagued with a werewolf infestation; rather it is the full moon frolics of your fellow Austinites attending the Barton Springs Full Moon Howl. Each lunar cycle, swimmers flock to the natural fed spring to swim, listen to live music and of course, howl ardently at the moon. The party begins at 9 pm, when pool admittance is free. The crowd is an energetic mix of young and old, all looking to have a good time and let out some loud yelps. The ritual happens year round, although some moon howls are defiantly warmer than others. No matter the season, Barton Springs will always be a consistent 68 degrees so jump on in, throw your head back and show the moon what you’ve got.
ustin has been ranked one of the fittest cities in America by the likes of Forbes, Shape and other national publications. Fresh-air-fueled Austinites activate their brawn in the miles of hike and bike trails, ample spring-fed swimming holes and lush greenbelt scenery. If sweat and dirt are two of your most sported accessories, get your blood pumping as you explore these dynamic outdoor attractions. An urban oasis just south of Lady Bird Lake and sprawling westward along the Capital of Texas Highway, the Barton Creek Greenbelt is eight miles of hike and bike trails lined with sheer cliffs and shaded by lush vegetation. Put a spin on your hike by checking out these two natural hot spots that are bound to make you feel like you have stumbled on one of Austin’s best outdoor secrets. On a sweltering summer day, park at Gaines Creek Trailhead Access and follow the trail a half mile northwest to Twin Falls. If the water is high, this popular swimming destination becomes a greenbelt oasis. Continue up the trail another mile and a quarter and explore Sculpture Falls, another hidden gem that is often less crowded than Twin Falls. With its soothing rapids and plenty of rocky nooks for sunbathing, Sculpture Falls is an excellent place to cool off and relish the natural side of Austin, all within the city limits. With nearly 200 miles of well-surfaced trails, Austin leaves you no excuse not to get on that bike and get rolling. For an easy ride, try The Veloway, a 3.17-mile long, 23-foot wide paved path that winds through Slaughter Creek Metropolitan Park. The asphalt loop is exclusively for cyclist and rollerbladers, allowing for uninterrupted cruising. If you’re looking to take your wheels off the pavement, The Austin Ridge Riders Mountain Bike Club hosts free group bike rides every Sunday at 1:30 pm, launching from Walnut Creek Park. Beginners are welcome and they promise to leave no peddler behind. Don’t forget your helmet! When the summer temperatures hover around the 100’s, swimming often seems like the only outdoor activity feasible. If you have
taken one too many laps in Barton Springs or Deep Eddy, head 30 miles southeast of the city to Hamilton Pool, a historic swimming hole in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. When the creek is full, a 50-foot waterfall spills over limestone outcroppings to create a peaceful and picturesque way to cool off while appreciating one of nature’s masterpieces. If adrenalin is a key component to your outdoor lifestyle, rent a Seadoo and spend the day zipping across Lake Austin. Sun and Fun Rental, located next to Hula Hut, just added these fun watercrafts to their fleet, giving you a whole new way to experience Austin’s outdoors. Rent one for an hour or the entire day and cruise for miles, admiring the stunning Hill Country views or iconic 360 bridge. Sun and Fun Rental also offers pontoon, party barge and wakeboarding boat rentals so gather up your friends, some cold bottles of champagne and drift off into the alluring Texas sunset for a luxe water excursion.
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f your dreams at night are hazed with thoughts of hollandaise and hash browns, or nothing makes you swoon like local organic goat cheese, you may be a foodie. With more than 200 different restaurants in the downtown district alone, the options for finding a good bite to eat are endless. Add to the mix the city’s support of local businesses and the thriving food trailer frenzy, and you have a foodie’s mecca. Whether you want to cook your own gourmet meal or are on a never-ending quest for the best Tex-Mex in the Lone Star State, Austin has everything you need to experience a lifetime of meals to remember. Whole Foods on Sixth and Lamar is an Austin staple. Being the nation’s flagship store at an enormous size of 80,000 square feet, it offers so much more than a health infused shopping experience. Take your culinary skills to a whole new level with cooking classes at its onsite culinary center. From honing your knife skills to learning how to make a Mexican street taco, the classes cover a broad spectrum of gastronomic interests. Local chefs also come in to share their cooking secrets, so you can learn how to transform your own daily dinners into restaurant worthy delights. Overwhelmed by Austin’s endless amount of eating options or just looking to discover something new? Go on a culinary adventure with Austin Eats Food Tours. These three-hour walking tours hit six to eight local eateries each. They offer four tour itineraries to choose from, each covering a different food saturated sect of the city. Take the South Congress tour to see what keeps Austin weird and full, or choose the downtown option for some urban eats and farmers market finds. Come hungry, leave happy and rest easy knowing at least you walked some of those delectable calories off along the way. If dessert is on your mind, get your sugar fix at the iconic Quack’s Bakery with one of the best cupcakes in town. Tucked away in historic Hyde Park, Quack’s has been dishing out treats since 1983. The original location on The Drag, called Captain Quackenbush’s Intergalactic Dessert Company and Espresso Café, was Austin’s very first coffee house. They have since relocated and thankfully simplified the name to become the delectable confection-serving joint that it is today. With nine cupcake flavors to choose from at an extremely reasonable price, like the double chocolate with cream cheese frosting or the vegan lemon, Quack’s is bound to have just the thing to satisfy even the strongest sweet tooth. For a low cost way to savor gourmet edibles, have a picnic at Central Market on North Lamar and 38th. A self-proclaimed food lover’s hot spot, the company employs actual ‘Foodies’ to walk the store and give out delicious advice to any hungry shopper. Offering endless organic and local options, food enthusiasts are bound to find something to pique their palate's interest. Roam the aisles and pick out anything your stomach desires, making sure to browse their collection of more than 2,000 different types of wine to create a perfect pairing. Then head outside to the peaceful and charming park that surrounds the store, lay down a blanket and feast on your savory edibles – an extremely delicious yet affordable way to indulge in the finer foods in life.
rom filmmaking to the ballet, theatrical performances to live music, Austin’s art scene is always vibrant and flourishing with new creative expression. Whether your tastes are classic or off the wall, Austin has the range of creative outlets needed to quench anyone’s thirst for cultural stimulation. Experience art after dark at The Blanton Museum’s B Scene events. Held the first Friday of every other month, B Scene is an art-infused social experience taking place right inside the gallery. The party includes live music, free snacks and a cash bar, creating a whole new way to experience the museum. All Blanton exhibits remain open for B Scene, so grab a glass of merlot and lose yourself in the world of fine art. For a unique and cost-friendly way to experience the city’s art scene, take a self guided Austin Art Yard Tour. In the true fashion of “keeping Austin weird” several city dwellers have turned their lawns into their own personal creative expressions including Austin's Tower of Junk. From detailed mosaic sidewalks to hundreds of strategically placed brightly colored bowling balls, you’ll marvel and applaud these imaginative lawns. Visit www.austinartyards.com more details and locations of the artist’s homes. If you want to expand your artistic aptitude, consider taking art classes at Laguna Gloria. Laguna Gloria, a historic Italiante-style villa on the shores of Lake Austin, was the original site of the Austin Museum of Art. The breathtaking home was built by Texas legend Clara Driscoll in 1916 and now offers a unique infusion of art, history and nature. They conduct adult classes in painting, drawing, pottery and much more. And after your artistic instruction, browse through Laguna Gloria’s luxuriant 12-acre grounds sprinkled with sculptures or tour their indoor galleries. East Austin has an ever-growing arts presence, and The Vortex Theater falls right in step. Located on East Manor, The Vortex has produced hundreds of new works since its 1989 beginnings. A selfproclaimed haven for alternative performances, The Vortex strives to premiere groundbreaking works that provoke thought and dialogue about current issues. The Vortex also recently opened The Butterfly Bar on their property, serving beer, wine and coffee nightly. The decor emulates a 1920’s ambiance, complete with an antique bar, large patio and fire pit, allowing for the show to go on long after the performance has ended. For a theatrical experience on a larger scale, Austin also has a number of venues that are incessantly producing show-stopping performances. The Zach Scott Theater has been entertaining Austin for 78 years, making it the oldest continually operating theater in Texas. From main stage plays to popular musical productions, Zach pumps out more than 500 shows each season that are sure to delight
theater enthusiasts young and old. Or check out what is showing at The University of Texas Performing Arts Center. The venue
houses student productions and Broadway tours alike, creating a buffet of top-notch cultural experiences year round. Explore the creative sectors downtown has to offer with one of Austin’s newest events, I Art Congress. Taking place the second Thursday of every month, I Art Congress is a themed succession of open houses along Congress Avenue featuring a number of museums and galleries. Cultural staples like The Austin Museum of Art and the Mexi-Arte Museum keep their doors open for the event, as well as smaller venues like the Authenticity Gallery, which features works from local artists. And if all the art appreciation leaves you ravenous, stop at one of the several restaurants and bars along the way that participate by offering I Art Congress food and drink specials.
ne inherent attribute Austin boasts is the city’s laissez-faire attitude. With quick access to gorgeous Texas Hill Country and an abundance of urban amenities, beckoning you to living life outside of your head, Austin takes relaxation to a whole new level. If you love spending the day at the spa or breathing your way through a calming yoga session, Austin has everything you need to unwind, get pampered and live your peaceful lifestyle to the max. The Austin staple for relaxation may very well be Lake Austin Spa and Resort, set on 19 acres of lake front property in the Hill Country. Recently named the Best Destination Spa in North America by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, Lake Austin Spa has everything you need to disengage yourself from the weekly grind. They offer more than one hundred spa treatments, dozens of fitness classes and healthy lifestyle programs from in house experts and visiting guests. Book one of their forty casual yet elegant rooms and stay for the weekend or as long as you like. From cruising the lake on their private boat, indulging in their gourmet meals or soaking in the hot tub, Lake Austin Spa is sure to deliver an unforgettable and tranquil getaway. Formerly known as The Crossings, the fresh Travaasa Austin is an eco-friendly spa and wellness resort adjacent to the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. At Travaasa guests can nurture body and soul with their unique collection of spa treatments, wellness workshops and fitness classes. The location allows for ample outdoor opportunities like equestrian programs, guided hikes and a fitness challenge course. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a spin on the 250-foot-long zip line that will have you soaring over the trees and into a state of childlike bliss. For a quick yet effective way to achieve inner peace, unwind at Black Swan Yoga’s Candlelight Sweaty Yoga class. Black Swan Yoga is donation-based studio located just on the skirts of downtown. They offer a wide variety of classes from dawn until dusk for any skill level. Their Candlelight Sweaty Yoga class is the perfect way to unwind and recharge your body while getting all the health benefits of a workout. With the heat cranked up, lights flipped off and room illuminated by flickering candles, this class is sure to put you into a place of complete quietude. And for an educational experience on the art of relaxation, take free meditation classes at the Shambhala Center, just south of downtown. The center has been serving Austin for 35 years. They are a part of Shambala International, a worldwide community of meditation and retreat centers founded by a Tibetian Buddhist master, artist, author and poet. In addition to the free classes, they also offer public meditation hours and education on Shambala Buddhist teachings and the contemplative arts.
s the city’s population grows, so does its seemingly endless supply of nightlife hot spots, bars and clubs. Whether you crave sipping martinis with friends on a breezy patio overlooking the illuminated city skyline, or want to dance the night away to the sounds of authentic Texas musicians, Austin has just what you need for a memorable night out on the town. Rapidly growing in popularity, The Rainey Street District is one of Austin’s hottest new nightlife destinations. Tucked away in a historical neighborhood on the southeast corner of downtown, the street offers a variety of new bars and restaurants with a laid back feel. Begin the evening at the bar that started it all, Lustre Pearl. Built in a comely historic home, the bar offers a huge sand backyard complete with hula hoops, ping pong and a mouth watering taco trailer. A few houses down is Icenhauers, serving its first drink in September 2010. The dark wood paneled walls and dim retro light fixtures emulate a romantic 1960's atmosphere. And with plenty of outdoor seating, it is a first-rate place to grab a cocktail and enjoy the beautiful Austin weather. When you're itching for a reason to slip on some boots, head to the iconic Broken Spoke to dance the night away with live music performed by some of authentic country music’s best. If you are wary about your two-stepping skills, get there early for dance lessons and you will be spinning around the floor in no time. After a couple of trips to the the Broken Spoke, you will start to recognize dancing devotees. Though many of them are well into their retirement years, they still have the energy and skill to cut a rug with style. If you are lucky (and a lady), the men may politely ask you to join them on the dance floor in true gentlemanly fashion. Since Austin is the live music capitol of the world, catching a show is a necessity. Quickly becoming the hottest place to see live national acts and local heroes is ACL Live at Moody Theater, new home to the famed PBS television program Austin City Limits. Even at capacity, there isn’t a bad seat in the house! For some great music and food, check out iconic Threadgills on North Lamar or visit the south location, Threagill’s Armadillo World Headquarters, which regularly hosts a wide variety of local favorites (even some bands that played at the original Armadillo in the 70s) in their Beer Garden. Antones is another legendary Austin venue famous for helping launch the careers of music legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughn. See who is performing this week to get a great feel for what the city's music scene is really all about. To add a twist to the usual Texas music scene, go underground to The Elephant Room, a dimly lit jazz club tucked away in a basement off
Congress. Lose yourself in the brassy rhythm while you sip on a dirty martini or taste your way through some of their twenty draft beers. If you want to move your nightlife happenings up a notch or two on the classy scale, try checking out some of the bars and lounges hidden in Austin’s swankiest hotels. Stephen F’s Bar & Terrace is a great place to start, located inside the InterContinental Stephen F Austin Hotel on Congress. Stephen F’s is an upscale yet approachable option for a night out, offering forty different wines, fine cigars and specialty liquors. When the weather is right, make sure to take advantage of their large wrap around terrace boasting a breathtaking view of the capitol. The Living Room, located inside the new W Hotel, is another chic nightlife hot spot. Divided into four locally inspired and uniquely decorated sections, the Living Room provides a variety of ambiances to experience. Bask in the warmth of the fireplace room, or sit in the screened porch where you can gaze at the sky and relish in the cooling Texas breeze. For a historical and architecturally captivating experience, relax at the classic Driskill Bar and Grill located in the Driskill Hotel. Cozy up in one of the bar’s several nooks and lounge on the antique Texas-inspired furnishings. AL
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Chairs provide the perfect place to curl up in front of the fire and dry off after swimming or for golf enthusiasts to take a break between holes and watch a game. The fireplace is built from the same Lueders limestone and Oklahoma accent stone combination found inside. Guests relaxing in the heated pool can chat with grill-side friends sinking into the basket chairs, all within perfect view of the 12th hole.
An Oasis for Entertaining FOR WESTLAKE HOMEOWNERS, SOCIALIZING IS JUST PAR FOR THE COURSE BY VERONICA MEEWES PHOTOGRAPHY BY COLES HAIRSTON
Above: Unlike neighboring residences, this Westlake gem required a highly engineered retaining wall to set it flush with the Austin Country Club golf course. As a result, golfer friends can easily glide up in their carts to socialize. The home opens up warmly to the west, simultaneously maintaining privacy and noise reduction from traffic. Opposite, top: The artisan-made steel entryway from Westlake Drive. Opposite, bottom: A pool-side view of the Hill Country.
WHEN THESE WESTLAKE HOMEOWNERS decided they wanted to build their house flush with the green of Austin Country Club, it certainly wasn’t for convenience’s sake. In fact, 16 feet of land stood between them and their ground-level view of the 12th hole. Three months and an intricate retaining wall later, builder Matt Shoberg and his crew were ready to begin construction. While neighboring houses at road level look out onto the fairway, carving into the land allowed architect James D. LaRue to showcase cross-sections of the home while maintaining privacy and reducing the sound of traffic from Westlake Drive. The home opens up to views of the sprawling green, causing the line between interior and exterior to appear quite seamless. A steel and Brazilian walnut entry bridge leads to the spacious and immediately welcoming entryway, whose soaring picture windows fill the space with light and a stunning view of the Hill Country golf course, while golden hickory/pecan blend floors maintain the warmth of the space. It is no surprise that parents have been known to drop their kids off for a party, then find it impossible to leave.
Entertaining and cooking were two of the priorities the homeowners had in mind during the design process. The kitchen, clad solely in Viking appliances with a vintage-inspired range, boasts a 6-by-7-foot-long soapstone island ideal for mingling and tapas. Two full-size wine refrigerators seemed like a more practical and less pretentious way for easy access while entertaining, whether that means hosting an upscale casino night or a golf pool party for the family's 12-year-old son and his buddies. There is appropriately no divide between this gastronome’s dream of a kitchen and the spacious living room, which fits LaRue’s description of “Hill Country contemporary” to a…tee. A mod, slate-hued sectional sprawls before a linear burning fireplace and flat screen TV, while an airstream-inspired coffee table reflects sunlight. Just around the corner, a tactile blend of Lueders limestone and Oklahoma accent stone fit snugly together like Tetris blocks; this same formula can be found framing the outdoor fireplace and providing a backdrop for the pool, while geometric cuts of Jerrel, Texas sandstone cover the home’s exterior.
Clockwise from top: Between the open-air feel of the interior, the framed views of the green, and the warm golden glow of hickory/pecan blend floors, the living room is a portrait of Hill Country contemporary; Recessed walls and gallery lighting were custom-designed with the homeowners' Pop Art collection in mind; the multi-level island is the ideal setting for socializing, with large wine refrigerators within easy reach.
The lower level rec room serves as the clubhouse of the home. Guests can choose from shuffleboard, pool or darts inside, or play a game of ping pong overlooking the green. Decorative lamps light the room with an ambient glow, perfect for relaxing at the bar and exploring the hosts' wine collection.
While the eye is naturally drawn to the multiple framed views of the picturesque exterior, the real stars are the carefully selected and strategically placed pieces of the homeowners’ Pop Art collection, which also served as inspiration for LaRue’s architectural design. Museum ceilings and ambient gallery lighting accentuate the art-centric indoor living spaces. Cherry red accents can be found throughout the house, from appliances to couch cushions to the elevated wine buckets, which appear as guests arrive. The gallery-inspired upper level interior is but one of five areas for entertaining. The Ipe upper deck with matching table and adjacent Viking grill creates the perfect getaway for parents to enjoy a sunset meal together while the kids play in the Lueders stone pool below. The lower deck evokes the complete relaxed affect of a spa retreat. The beautiful heated waterscape by Cool Water Pools looks out across the fairway, while the lower deck provides another grill and basket chairs. The courtyard-facing side of the deck has spacious armchairs facing the fireplace, and a mounted flat screen television keeping score for football fans. Many a golfer friend has been known to pull up in a cart to mingle and relax between holes. For those who stay a little longer than planned, a nearby guest cabana awaits. Built-in steel planters add a green, organic touch to the clean lines created by the stone, wood and steel courtyard right outside
the indoor game room, which has been dubbed the clubhouse of the home. A Craftsman-style pool table and shuffleboard both gleam under recessed lighting, while a half-finished dart game beckons from the wall. Prized band posters provide the wall art, listing legends like Willie Nelson, Iggy Pop, and David Byrne. The entertainment center and couches all look toward an attention-getting cypress root coffee table, and the bar leads out to a ping-pong table also overlooking the golf course. Several of the hosts’ favorite bottles of wine are displayed atop the sleek walnut bar where several minimalist bar stools wait for oenophiles to congregate. From the look of this upscale recreational room, adults can have just as much fun as the kids. LaRue intended to maintain peaceful retreats throughout the rest of the house when designing this mecca for socializing. The layout of the home stacks entertainment areas on top of one another while sleeping areas are isolated in different wings. The master bedroom is connected by a gallery/bridge overlooking the pool and leads into a Zen-infused master bathroom, set against Italian onyx verde tile and coveted Walker Zanger porcelain. A freestanding white vessel tub looks up eleven feet to the ceiling where a chandelier softly lights the space and music floats gently out of surround sound speakers. After the final cork has been pulled and the last dish collected, this must be the best place in the house for a hospitable host to draw a hot, soothing bath and just relax. AL
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Uchi: The Cookbook
KOVICHE This is our version of ceviche. Paul Qui came up with this. This is a perfect example of Paul taking a challenge that I wanted to achieve and making it even better. It’s thin-sliced tomatillo with thin slices of fresh diver scallop and black lime salt. There’s also some olive powder with it. It’s an unexpected combination of flavors but it works amazingly well. Curry Apple Gastrique 16 ounces apple juice 16 ounces white vinegar ½ ounce red curry 8 ounces sugar Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and reduce over medium heat to syrup-like consistency. Black Olive Powder 7 ounces sugar 2 ounces dehydrated black olive* 3 ounces high quality olive oil 10 ounces maltodextrin plus Place sugar into small sauce pan and moisten the sugar with water, heat the
Uchi’s prominence in the evolution of Japanese cuisine has garnered Chef Tyson Cole four James Beard Award nominations, as well as a spot on Food and Wine magazine’s list of “Best New Chefs.” With their first cookbook, released this past February, the team at Uchi invites sushi lovers and novices alike to explore their gastronomic boundaries with some of the restaurant’s most celebrated recipes. We've included a few of our favorites here. Check out our Web site for another excerpt, "Sushi 101."
sugar until it caramelizes and remove from heat. Immediately pour the caramelized sugar onto a silicon baking mat and reserve until completely cooled. In a food processor grind the dehydrated olive and the cooled caramelized sugar until a fine crumb. Place the olive oil into a large, separate bowl and slowly whisk in the maltodextrin until you have reached a powder-like consistency. Add the ground, candied olives and reserve in an airtight container. *You can prepare the dehydrated olive the day before. Place in a dehydrator overnight, or in an oven at 100° F that is turned off overnight. Black Lime Salt 2 ounces dehydrated lime pulp ¼ ounce maldon salt Combine the ingredients and store in an airtight container. Corn Flake Tuile 16 ounces milk 3 ounces cornflakes 1 ounce butter 3 ounces sugar ¼ ounce salt
Preheat oven to 300° F. Heat milk, butter, salt and sugar in a medium sauce pan to a simmer. Add the corn flakes and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Purée the mixture until smooth. While the mix is hot, pour on to a silicon baking mat-lined sheet tray, working quickly, before batter begins to set. Bake 25-30 minutes rotating the sheet pan to ensure consistent cooking. Tuile should be a light, golden brown. 2 diver scallops 1 tomatillo olive oil cilantro sprigs lime juice Assembly: Streak a rectangular plate with the apple curry gastrique. Slice the tomatillo into 1/8 inch slices and slice in half, crossways. Place 6 pieces across a rectangular plate, spaced evenly across. Slice 2 scallops into 3 pieces each, cutting across the grain and place on top of the tomatillos. Season the scallops with the black lime salt, a splash of olive oil and lime juice. Place a 2-inch corn tuiles across the top of each scallop. Finish with black olive powder and cilantro.
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BACON STEAKIE Pork Belly 5 ounces pork belly 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 pinch ground coriander 1 pinch ground juniper corn starch fish caramel (see recipe online) Set up the immersion circulator at 164° F. Mix the sugar, salt and spices together. Season the pork belly well with the cure mix. Seal the pork belly in a vacuum bag. Place the bag in the circulator making sure it is completely submerged. Cook overnight for 12 hours. Remove and let cool. (Note: An immersion circulator is typically a commercial-grade appliance. You can substitute this method by tightly sealing the pork belly in a Ziploc bag and submerging it in a pot of water at the same temperature. You will need to continue to add water through the 12-hour cooking process as it will evaporate from the pot.) Before serving, preheat oven to broil. Heat a frying pan with vegetable oil over high heat. Dust the pork belly in corn starch and
fry until golden. (About 3 to 4 minutes.) Remove and glaze with fish caramel, and place in oven until heated through. (About 5-7 minutes.) Slice and plate. Thai Basil Purée 3 garlic cloves 1 whole shallot 1 ounce Thai basil leaves 6 ounces vegetable oil pinch citric acid kosher salt to taste Peel and rough chop shallot and garlic to a uniform size. In a small sauté pan, gently sweat the garlic and shallots in about 1 ounce of vegetable oil over low heat. Add a pinch of kosher salt to help bring the flavors from the garlic and shallot. While garlic is heating, bring a small sauce pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath for shocking the basil after it is blanched. Quickly blanch basil leaves in boiling water for about 30 seconds, and then immediately shock it in the prepared ice bath. Remove from ice bath and place on paper towels or a kitchen towel to soak up excess water. Place sweated shallot
and garlic, with cooking oil, into a stainless bowl and place on ice bath to cool down. In a blender, purée oil, shallots, garlic, and blanched basil, salt and citric acid. Try to keep oil as cool as possible while blending to keep the purée from turning color. Once all ingredients are consistently puréed, remove from blender and cool down again on ice bath. Reserve the basil purée at room temperature for later use. Shaved Watermelon Radish 1 watermelon radish ice water bath With a peeler, shave the radish into paperthin slices. Place shaved radish into a bowl or container with ice water to shock it and give it a more toothsome texture. Let the shaved radish sit in ice water and use immediately. 1 kumquat, sliced into 1/16-inch rounds 1 Serrano pepper, sliced into 1/16-inch rounds olive oil lime juice salt Thai basil
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Assembly: On a rectangular plate, place a 2-inch strip of fish caramel down first followed by the sliced pork belly. Using a squirt bottle, place three rounds of the basil purée around the pork belly. In a stainless bowl, combine the radish, serranos, and kumquats and dress with a drizzle of lime juice and olive oil and a dash of salt to taste. Top the pork belly with this salad and garnish with Thai basil. POLENTA CUSTARD, CORN SORBET, CORN MILK, CORN BREAD TUILE This came out of a challenge to me and Philip on colors. I love picking a color for a dessert and trying to have every component of the dish fit within that scheme. This was the yellow challenge. Everything had to be yellow. This was a play on corn with a sorbet made from sweet corn juice, a custard with polenta for a nice texture, a tuile made with a take on cornbread, and then a lemon gel for a complimentary flavor that still uses the yellow theme. It’s sweet, salty, cold. You’ll notice most of our desserts have some sort of sorbet element. It just goes with Uchi’s food. It’s light, refreshing and crisp. Polenta Custard 3 egg yolks 2 ounces sugar 8 ounces cream 1 ounce polenta 1 vanilla bean, split Kosher salt to taste ¼ ounce milk Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine polenta, cream, sugar, vanilla bean, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down and let simmer. Frequently stir until polenta is fully cooked. (About 15 minutes.) Taste polenta and make sure bitterness has gone away. If not, continue to cook. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Slowly temper hot polenta mixture into egg yolks and sugar. Add milk to slightly loosen up batter. Pour mixture into desired molds and bake in a water bath for about 25 minutes or until custard has a uniformed jiggle. Refrigerate to set. If needed, after custard has set, freeze to make cutting easier.
Polenta custard, corn sorbet, corn milk, corn bread Tuile
Corn Sorbet 2 pounds fresh corn kernels 2 ounces sugar ¼ ounce white vinegar 2 ounces glucose syrup ¼ ounce kosher salt
Lemon Fluid gel 1/8 ounce agar agar 8 ounces water 2 ounces lemon juice 4 ounces sugar Salt to taste
Purée 2 pounds of corn kernels with a bit of water and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve 8 ounces of the corn ‘milk’. Combine all ingredients and cook over low heat until just before the boiling point. Chill over an ice bath and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instruction. Reserve excess corn milk for later use.
In a medium-sized sauce pan, sprinkle the agar agar on top of the water and let sit for 5 minutes to bloom. Add the sugar to the water and agar mixture and place over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil, and cook at a boil for one minute stirring vigorously. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and salt. Pour into a plastic container and refrigerate to set. (About 1 hour.) Once the mixture has set, place into a blender and blend on high until the lemon gel has a fluid consistency. Remove from blender and store under refrigeration until ready for use.
Corn Bread Tuile 1 ounce polenta 4 ounces milk ¼ ounce butter ½ ounce sugar Kosher salt to taste Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine polenta with milk, butter, and sugar in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Remove from pan once fully cooked. Spread polenta on a silicone baking mat, in 3-inch, paperthin circles. Bake until the tuiles are a golden brown color. (About 8-10 minutes.) Reserve in an airtight container for later use.
Assembly: In a shallow bowl, place an ounce of corn milk along the bottom. Place dots of the lime gel around the corn milk. Place the polenta custard on top of the corn milk. Place a quenelle of the corn sorbet on top of the polenta custard. Finish the plate with a piece of corn bread tuile.
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From Vine to Wine UNEARTH THE LOCAL TREASURES OF THE TEXAS WINE COUNTRY BY BRENDA AUDINO
Grapevines at Perissos Vineyards I H AV E T H E G REAT PL EASUR E IN MY PO S ITIO N as wine manager for Twin Liquors to visit wineries and vineyards located all over the world. I absolutely love meeting the winemakers, vineyard managers and all the other people that have a hand in making great wine. I find that wine is a visceral experience that provides a link to the place it is grown, allowing me to experience it all over again once I have returned home. You don’t have to travel to far off places to enjoy this experience. You can travel from vine to wine right here in the Texas Hill Country! Bonded wineries are located in every state of the United States with Texas being the fifth largest in terms of production. The Hill Country American Viticulture Area (AVA), which utilizes over fifty different soil types spreading over nine million acres, is the largest in the state and third largest AVA in the United States. The AVA sits on the Edwards plateau with undulating hills and steep canyons. This varying topography is a big reason why road trips to this area are so enjoyable…not to mention the wineries! Texas is a hostile growing area with the high heat, humidity, hail, birds and Pierce’s disease. Like most new viticulture areas, Texas winemakers and vineyard growers started out planting international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. Although these wines are popular and the grapes have the unique ability to grow in most areas, this does BRENDA AUDINO, CSW not mean that they can grow well in all areas www.twinliquors.com and produce the best examples of wine. Texas winemakers are starting to look at successful wine growing areas that are similar in both climate and soil structures and experimenting with the native grape varieties from those areas. Grape varieties of Spain, Southern France, Italy and even Argentina that were grown in Texas have shown early success and excitement amongst wine enthusiasts. On those beautiful Sunday afternoons when you’re hankering for a reason to get out of the house, take a drive to visit some of our local wineries. My excursions usually start off in Fredericksburg visiting my friends at Texas Hills Vineyard and Becker Vineyards. While this wine route is well worth the trip, this time I decided to head off in a different direction, Northwest of Austin towards Bend. The first stop was Alamosa Wine Cellars. Jim and Karen Johnson started Alamosa in 1999 focusing on warm weather grape varieties. The wine tasting room is a focal point of the winery with a wonderful antique tasting bar and massive stone fireplace. The wines poured were a lovely expression of these warm weather grapes. Highlights for me were the Scissortail, a blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne common in the Rhone valley of France. Great minerality and lively acidity make this a terrific wine for a warm Sunday afternoon. The Texacaia is a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Tempranillo. This wine has ripe fruit aromas of blackberry and blueberry with a touch of pepper and spice on the finish.
Traveling the back roads to Tow eventually leads us to Fall Creek Vineyards. Ed and Susan Auhler selected and purchased the site in 1975 making them true Texas wine pioneers. Ed was a rancher and pilot for over thirty years and has a keen awareness to the environment and geological conditions that compose the 400 acres of Fall Creek Vineyards. A tree-lined drive leads to the tasting room where the gracious hosts encourage sipping, shopping and simply sitting on the patio enjoying the afternoon. Fall Creek’s Chenin Blanc is refreshing and slightly offdry with flavors of peach and melon. Ed’s Smooth Red is an off-dry style wine with super ripe flavors of blackberry and juicy blueberry. While the first two wineries have been long time favorites of mine, the next one was a new experience. Driving towards Burnet to the other side of Lake Buchanan, we came across Perissos Vineyards and Winery. The first thing I noticed on the drive leading to the winery were small signs in front of the vineyards rows with the grapes varieties noted of Tempranillo, Touriga, Malbec and Syrah. These are all grapes that grow well in warm places such as Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Australia. The tasting room, while open and inviting, is obviously part of the working winery. The owner/winemaker Seth Martin was on hand to take us on a personal tour of his wines and vineyard. Seth uses the vineyards closest to the winery for experimentation, finding what works and doesn’t work in this climate and soil structure. If the variety works then it gets planted in the main vineyard; if it does not, then it’s on to the next experiment. The Roussanne blend is crisp with just the right amount of spice and body from the Viognier blended into it. The Syrah blend with Mouvedre is smooth with flavors of blackberry, spice, leather and pepper. The Tempranillo/Touriga blend shows depth of fruit with an elegance of vanilla and fresh herbs. The Aglianico blend was a surprise to me. The Aglianico grape they use grows very well in Southern Italy, but I have not seen many examples elsewhere. The wine showed aromas of cola, vanilla, raspberry and fresh herb, and I decided on the spot that this would be great with our Sunday dinner rack of lamb. Consider your own excursion touring and tasting all that the Hill Country wineries have to offer. My experience was thoroughly enjoyable and very educational. Each year Texas Hill Country Wineries offer five special self-guided tours which feature artists, musicians, crafters, chefs and entertainers of all kinds from the Hill Country. The next featured tour will be the Harvest Wine Trail, August 5–7 and August 12–14. Plan your tour in advance or map out your own visit using the Texas Hill Country Wineries trail map at www.texaswinetrail.com; you will not be disappointed!
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Battered Beginnings APPETIZERS WITH A SOUTHERN SPIN It’s tough to know where to begin. But, like most things, you have to start with a great first impression and with dinner, it starts with the first bite. No matter what style cuisine, in the South, fry it up and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Even the classiest of foodies would agree with Austin Lifestyle’s choices for sizzling starters.
NACHO MAMA’S OYSTERS – MAX'S WINE DIVE Taking a Texas staple and twisting every element of it to become something new isn’t always advisable. So, imagine the surprise when Max’s Wine Dive presents a spin on the classic nacho that substitutes fried wontons for the expected tortilla chips, trades out perfectly fried oysters for the standard bean or MAX’S WINE DIVE meat topping, and doesn’t have a hint of queso 207 San Jacinto anywhere near the dish. The result is, quite sim512.904.0106 ply, a lesson in fresh, crispy and addictive food. www.maxswinedive.com Garlic aioli accentuates the delicate oyster and a light habanero salsa ensures that there’s bite in each bite. The fried wonton also leaves you with less guilt, save for the fact that you’ll want to consume these “nachos” in great number. This is how an excellent dinner begins, and if you’re tempted to order more and make it where dinner ends, we won’t tell anyone.
BUFFALO FRIED PICKLES – SECOND BAR + KITCHEN I confess: the idea to cover Austin’s best appetizers came to us while sitting at Second Bar + Kitchen and eating what should be an offense to southerners everywhere. Combining the tangy spice of a buffalo
sauce with the sour crispiness of a fried pickle seems like an idea born of recklessness and perhaps too rebellious to survive. However, after the first bite, we were hooked and only SECOND BAR + KITCHEN discovered kindred spirits wherever we 200 North Congress went. The pickles aren’t in chip form or in 512.827.2750 spear form, but rather cut into planks, then www.congressaustin.com breaded and fried to optimum crispiness before the house made buffalo sauce is applied. Plated with a decadent Gorgonzola cream sauce for dipping, it is spicy and sour, tangy and savory, and all compactly contained. These fried pickles awaken the taste buds with a bang and leave you drooling with anticipation for your next adventuresome dish.
SHAG ROLL – UCHI, UCHIKO Perhaps this seems too obvious, but the number of people who have not tried this prized Uchi staple astounds me. The Shag Roll’s creation is the stuff of legend: a poorly constructed Bond Roll with salmon caught the ire of the head chef, who threw the roll UCHI with abandon. The roll landed in the tempura bat801 South Lamar ter, and magic was born. Lightly fried, sliced and garnished with a touch of squid ink sumiso, each UCHIKO bite could easily be called the perfect bite. The roll 4200 North Lamar #140 is warm from the frying, which makes the flavors burst and melt into one another. The dish was 512.916.4808 so popular that when Uchiko, Uchi’s “child” reswww.uchiaustin.com taurant, was born the Shag Roll remained on the menu while everything else was reinvented. Pair the excellence of this dish with the downright sinful happy hour price and you’re off to a capital night.
BY DONNA WOODWELL
Horoscopes for May & June Ease into the Summer of Love – or as close to it as we’ve come in a long time. The last few years have been so intense that many of us are running on fumes. As the weather heats up, a bohemian melody lingers in the air, smoothing out our frazzled edges. Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life – a stroll on South Congress, a dip in Barton Springs, a concert by Lady Bird Lake. If you relax and tune in, you’ll find answers and opportunities will come to you. Holiday Postscript Mother’s Day is extra crabby this year – take some time to help Mom unwind and she’ll be doubly grateful. Then, get out your lounge chairs and koozies; Memorial Day and Father’s Day are excellent days for kicking back with friends. ARIES MAR 21–APR 20 'X' marks the spot. Your hunt for treasure takes you to places near and far. If you place too many expectations on what you’ll find when you open the chest, you’re sure to be disappointed. But if you learn to enjoy the journey itself, you’ll discover there’s hidden gold strewn along your path. TAURUS APR 21–MAY 20 It’s time for your coming out party, Taurus. This year may have started out slowly for you, but it only gets better from here. Be clear in your intentions, set your mind to the task, and let the magic happen. You have to believe in yourself before other people can believe in you. GEMINI MAY 21–JUN 21 A “Do Not Disturb” sign is a wise investment. The last few months have been go-go-go, but even curious Geminis need to retreat from time to time. Schedule time for yourself and your projects; you’ll be amazed at what you can get done when you escape from distractions. Bonus! You’ll feel better too – even your special someone will notice the difference. CANCER JUN 22–JUL 22 Your compassionate heart is your gift, but beware of losing yourself in caring for others. Make sure you take time to put your own oxygen mask on before you help those around you. Then you and everyone else can enjoy the flight.
LEO JUL 23–AUG 22 It’s opening night; there’s a spotlight on you, and you like it that way. For you Leo, the best work is play. So find some fun in everything you do, and you’ll feel like a kid again. If you’ve learned your lines and dressed the part, you’re sure to steal the show. VIRGO AUG 23–SEP 22 Look around you. What do you see? If you say “Opportunity” you’re on the right track. Take a break from diligently trying to fix things, and get out and explore. When you open yourself to unconsidered ideas, you invite the world to bring you intriguing people and possibilities. You’ll return from your walkabout feeling refreshed and inspired to try something new. LIBRA SEP 23–OCT 22 The game’s afoot! A little sleuthing may be in order to solve your current conundrum. Asking questions is the best way to find the answers you need. Don’t hesitate to do some legwork. Just be your charming self and folks will happily spill their secrets. SCORPIO OCT 23–NOV 22 “That’s not fair!” Such words may ring in your ears, Scorpio, as you and your partner wrangle with resources. If tempers are flaring, the key to resolving such conflicts is respect – everyone needs to feel heard and valued. Take a deep breath, and listen to the other side.
SAGITTARIUS NOV 23–DEC 21 Sometimes you get to be the grasshopper, and sometimes the ant. This is definitely ant-time for you Sagittarius. Forgo instant gratification and invest your time in things that will pay off for you in the longrun. By practicing self-discipline, you’ll develop a useful skill that will help you in all areas of your life. CAPRICORN DEC 22–JAN 20 Get your groove back. No matter how hard you try nor how many things you check off your list, there will always be more things piling on. If you focus on the enormity of your task, you may lose hope. Instead, take a lesson from kids and critters: learn to take pleasure in what you are doing right now. To a child, even doing the dishes is playtime! AQUARIUS JAN 21–FEB 19 Feeling nostalgic for barbeque or game night? Home is where your heart is Aquarius. Start off the summer by inviting your family and friends over for some old-fashioned fun. Fireflies caught in a jar would make a great nightlight for movies in the backyard. PISCES FEB 20–MAR 20 School is out for the year, but you’re itching to learn something new. Take a class in something that will help you at work or at home, or just in something you’ve always wanted to explore. A fresh way of looking at things may lift you out of your rut.
KEEP AU S TIN WELL
Cardio Choreography Fun Fitness Moves from the Butler Community School BY ROXANNE WILSON
ith Dancing With The Stars twirling towards finale week and So You Think You Can Dance choreographing its way into a new summer season, the fitness frenzy is all about dance. Before you sit on the couch and watch the action play out on screen, break a sweat and hone your boogie skills at the Ballet Austin Butler Community School. Located downtown, one block from city hall, BCS’s purpose is to engage, educate and empower people of all skill levels, economic and cultural backgrounds to adopt healthy lifestyles through dance and regular physical activity. With a wide variety of class selections, including jazz, modern, hiphop, Broadway fit, hula and more (many of which provide introductory and advanced skill level options), I was eager to dive in fearlessly. Upon entering, I could see that Butler was fresh and full of life, with a reception in progress on the first floor, professional dancers practicing in an upstairs studio, and Cookie Ruiz, Ballet Austin’s executive director, giving a tour of the facility. Hip Hop Dance was in full swing so I channeled my So You Think You Can Dance viewing knowledge and took a turn at it. The class consisted of men, women and even teens. The instructor, who looked like Lacy from DWTS and SYTYCD, started us out with a pretty intense ten-minute warm-up to get our bodies stretched and ready to go. But before we started into hip-hop dance, we did sit-ups and push-ups until our abs and arms were fatigued. With the hard part out of the way, it was time to jive. Usher’s newest single filled the room and our instructor began teaching us eight count dance moves. As we stopped and started and repeated the moves, sweat started dripping down my brow—I was getting a circuit workout. My brain was also getting exercise as
I memorized the moves and matched them to the music. Although I was in a room of strangers, we felt like we were all in it together and started to chat a bit during class. The atmosphere made for an unintimidating foray into hip-hop for everyone. The instructor would say, “Pretend you are Usher’s back up dancers… and 5-6-7-8.” That’s all we needed; our game faces turned on and we drilled through the choreography. There is something about accomplishing a dance routine that provokes Baby’s giddy victory moves after Johnny teaches her how dance the first time (in Dirty Dancing) out of me. I found myself doing a version of that victory sashay when we completed the counts. And I wasn’t alone. Before I knew it the class was over and a group of young ballerinas entered the room. When I walked out I not only felt hip and happy, I also knew my body just received a great workout. The one tweak I would suggest is that the instructor uses a microphone. The base-thumping jams made it difficult to hear her cues. If you are looking to shape up you life with some spicy steps, the Butler Community School is a great place to do it. They offer a bevy of classes to choose from, interesting people to meet and a guaranteed workout. For the flexibility to customize your dance or fitness schedule, purchase a BCS Class-Card. Through the use of a Class-Card, you can participate in any or all of the BCS dance and fitness classes. Watch my hip-hop moves in action at www.austinlifestylemagazine.com Ballet Austin Butler Community School | www.balletaustin.org Roxanne Wilson is a Jazzercise instructor and franchisee Follow Roxanne on Facebook www.facebook.com/RoxanneWilsonOnline or Twitter @RoxanneWilson.com
KEEP AU S TIN WELL
Active Beauty Secrets
Tips to keep you looking polished under the summer sun
BY ROCHELLE RAE
love summer and everything that goes along with it: boating on Lake Travis, canoeing on Lady Bird Lake and sipping fruity drinks on a patio. But let’s face it, what is summer really all about? In Texas, it’s sweat. Though we would love to spend our time relaxing in the sun and cooling off with a splash in the pool, unfortunately most of us still have to work, run errands and dash to appointments – all in triple digit weather. We can be in a full sweat by the time we walk from the house to the car; and if you're running from the office to the store getting in and out of the sauna we call transportation, you might as well bring a change of clothes. So how do you survive a long, hot summer without looking like a hot mess? Here are my top five summertime beauty secrets. #1 Start with a primer. It may seem like an extra step in an already busy morning, but you’ll be happy you took the extra twenty seconds. A primer provides a smooth, matte surface for you to apply your makeup and extends the wear. Look for a primer with SPF for added protection. UV rays cause 90 percent of sunspots, wrinkles and other signs of aging. #2 Lighten up your makeup routine. Skip the heavy foundation and opt for a lightweight, oil-free, tinted moisturizer. Look for products with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide is insoluble in water so it will help the product stay on even when you sweat. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help calm your skin on a scorching hot day. Titanium dioxide is a super-concentrated pigment so you need very little to get great coverage. It is also the most pure and effective sun protection – an important step in any Austinite’s daily cosmetic regimen. #3 Go for a bold splash of color on your lips. The hottest trend this summer is super saturated lips in a bright fruit cup of colors, with the citrus shades being the biggest hit of the season. Think orange,
tangerine and apricot (see A*Style Beauty for AL’s suggestions). Paired with super bronzed cheek and eye colors, it is the perfect way to look cool and confident amid the heat. #4 Let’s talk bronzer. You may not be spending your days basking in the sun, but why not look like you have been? Choose a bronzer shade close to your natural skin tone. One shade or two darker than yours will give you the natural, healthy glow of a nice summer vacation, without a lifetime of sun damage. Go too dark and you may end up looking dirty or splotchy; never go darker than you would actually get on a vacation to the beach. Avoid shimmery bronzers which tend to look fake and are more difficult to blend smoothly. Apply bronzer to the areas of your skin where you naturally tan first – for instance: your cheeks, tops of cheekbones, forehead, nose and chin. If exposed, I also like to apply it to the chest and shoulders. Finish off with a pop of a pink blush on the apples of your cheeks to complete the sun-kissed look. #5 Don’t leave home without blotting papers. I can’t live without them. They are cheap, convenient and easy to use. I suggest stashing them in places you frequent, like your purse and car. To remove excess oil and perspiration on your face, just press a sheet or two on your skin to get rid of shine. You can dust on a bit of powder if needed, but always blot first to keep the powder from caking onto sweaty skin. A quick blot will leave you with a nice glow. My final words of advice: Go out and enjoy your summer, soak up the sun and don’t be afraid to sweat! Rochelle Rae is the creator and CEO of Rae Cosmetics, a heat-resistant mineral cosmetic line designed for active women. To learn more about her products visit www.raecosmetics.com.
Harvesting Community KEEP AU S TIN WELL
The benefits of collective gardening BY DANI SLABAUGH
have a vision of Austin to share and it involves your front yard. As I pass through town, I find myself daydreaming about a different landscape, a drastic change in how families use their land. I fantasize about sloping yards terraced with lemon, apple and fig trees. Just beneath their canopies are shrubs of pomegranates and artichokes surrounded by lettuces and carrots. Along the sunny walkway leading up to my neighborhood school, I envision tomatoes and cucumbers pulling heavy on the chain link fence - the children playing, learning and eating the delicious healthy veggies that cover their schoolyard. I dream about Austinites from all corners of the city picking greens for dinner as they head into their homes. Seem overly idealistic? Out of touch? Growing food in our communities with our families and neighbors doesn’t have to be overwhelming or backbreaking. It is a fantastic solution to many of the problems caused by today’s food system and brings communities together in a way that is rarely experienced elsewhere. Anyone who has watched Food Inc. or read The Omnivore’s Dilemma knows that there are some deep-seated problems with our food. Our environment and our health have taken the hardest hit. Growing your own food is not a panacea, but it’s about as close to one as I can think of. As an alternative to our sputtering food system, or even just as a nutritious, delicious supplement to our regularly scheduled groceries, growing a food garden can be one of the most cost-effective, fun, educational, environmentally conscious and healthy things we can do. An established garden on a quarter of an acre can meet an astoundingly high percentage of a family’s food needs, but you don’t have to go all the way “back to the land” to reap the benefits. One or two raised beds can keep you in salad greens all winter or give you more okra in the summertime than you can keep up with (its OK, you may can it or give it to the neighbors!). One bed full of zucchini plants and you’ll be best buds with your whole block. In fact, one visitor to the farmers market claimed that he plowed his backyard less than two years ago and hasn’t been to the grocery store since. I became interested in food production as a young girl in my mother’s garden, eating beans off the vine and raspberries from the bushes. I learned how things grow, go to seed and pop up again the next year. Teaching gardening classes with high-risk AISD students, I’ve had kids lining up and bickering over carrots and spinach, jumping up and down about radishes and mesmerized by composting worms. Think your children won’t eat vegetables? Think again. Plants are talented teachers not just of gardening, but also of nutrition, ecosystems, biology, and even engineering the many systems that affect a garden. Instead of candy and gold stars, we get sugar snap peas and strawberries!
Lawns, in terms of evolution of landscape, are extremely unnatural. Grasses naturally play the role of colonizing bare soil, but give way to shrubs and small trees, then larger trees and eventually a fully mature forest landscape, able to sustain itself. To keep our yards in their immature form, as lawns, the soil is soaked with herbicides and pesticides, much of which washes into our water supply, despite how well we follow directions. They take our time and money, with all the watering, mowing, and fertilizing and I have yet to met a soul who looks forward to spending an hour or more pacing their lawn in the 104 degree sun behind a big, hot, noisy machine. Rather than working against nature to maintain the perfect turf, I want to help people develop their perfect food “forest,” whatever that means for them and theirs; and as they graze on their front yard foliage, they will feel confident, comfortable and happy about their bounty, even if it’s just basil in a pot. Every tomato you pick from the trellis in the backyard is one that wasn’t flown in from far, far away, laced with all sorts of herbicides and pesticides, and maybe even some fish DNA! It’s a tomato that helped to restore the soil to health and balance. It’s also a tomato with a guaranteed human rights record and a whole lot of educational and nutritional value. Gather some like-minded friends, some adventurous neighbors or some curious children and start digging! Dani Slabaugh food-scapes Austin yards through her comapny, Yard to Table Gardens. For more information visit www.yardtotablegardens.com or find them on Facebook.