V R ATX
MAKING WAV ES
On the technology behind Austin’s NLand Surf Park
LIFE IN 3 D
How some former NASA employees are reshaping how things get made
N O. 192 | M A K E R S
Exploring new landscapes of virtual reality at Capital Factory’s VR Lab
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CO N T E N T S | F E AT U R E S
AUGUST VR ATX Exploring new landscapes of virtual reality at Capital Factory’s VR Lab
P. 40 MAKING WAVES On the technology behind Austin’s NLand Surf Park
P. 46 LIFE IN 3D How some former NASA employees are reshaping how things get made
ON THE COVER: Samantha Snabes and Mike Strong of Re:3D with the Gigabot printer. Photograph by Robert Gomez.
10 AUGUST 2017 |
P H OTO G R A P H B Y R O B E R T G O M E Z .
Photography by Minta Maria
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CO N T E N T S | DE PA RT M E N TS
Life + Style
Social Hour p. 18
Surf ’s Up, Austin
S T Y LE PRO FI LE p. 64 S T Y LE PICK p. 66
Community + Culture
To accompany our interview with engineer Ion Eizaguirre about making the wave at NLand Surf Park, journalist Derek Van Wagner made a short video documenting his experience of making it onto the wave. See it at tribeza.com.
LOC A L LOV E p. 68
COLUMN p. 24 PROFILE p. 26 TRIBEZ A TALK p. 30
Food + Thought K AREN ’S PICK p. 72 FEATURE p. 74 DINING GUIDE p. 80
26 Arts + Happenings
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDARS p. 34 MUSIC PICK p. 35 ART PICK p. 36 EVENT PICK p. 38
72 @ TRIBEZ A
36 12 AUGUST 2017 |
A Look Behind !…! p. 88 tribeza.com
OR OUR MAKERS ISSUE THIS TIME AROUND, WE FOCUS ON SOME OF THE EXCITING
ventures of Austin’s burgeoning tech scene, which is what originally brought me to this city eight years ago. I moved here after graduating from college when the startup I was working for was accepted into Capital Factory. Participating in that business accelerator was invaluable, especially because it made accessible a large community of successful entrepreneurs whose advice helped steer the company in the right direction. Since then — when the inaugural class of startups took part in a 10-week summer program — Capital Factory has grown tremendously, which suggests to me that Austin is becoming an increasingly exciting place to be in tech. This issue, we chatted with Capital Factory’s Ambassador of Emerging Technologies, Brance Hudzietz, to learn more about its new virtual and augmented reality lab, now open to the public. See page 40. I remember thinking shortly after I arrived for that first summer that, although Austin seemed like an exciting place to be, there was no way that I would want to live in this city long-term. I had grown up in San Diego, five minutes from the beach, and I had it in my head that I’d feel like a fish out of water if weren’t on a coast, close to the ocean. It wasn’t long though before I realized that Austin’s lakes would fulfill my need to be close to water. And I’m now thrilled that we also have a giant lagoon with first-class waves, making Austin perhaps the unlikeliest surf destination in the world. To learn more about the technology behind the waves, we talked to Ion Eizaguirre, an engineer from Spain who helped bring NLand Surf Park founder Doug Coors’ dream to fruition. See page 46. Finally, when it comes to technological innovation, there are perhaps few things more exciting than 3D printing, a technique that is already being used to make buildings for a fraction of the cost and time of traditional methods. In Austin, we visited Samantha Snabes, one of the founders of Re:3D, a company that has manufactured a printer called the Gigabot, which is being used by its customers to make everything from lightweight, custom-fit casts to a replica of Palmyra’s Tetrapylon, a structure in Syria destroyed by ISIS. See page 52. Enjoy our Makers issue.
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This is me riding the Inside wave at NLand Surf Park. Photo by Danielle Chloe Potts.
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706A West 34th Street Austin, Texas 78705 ph (512) 474 4711 | fax (512) 474 4715 tribeza.com Founded in March 2001, TRIBEZA is Austin's leading locally-owned arts and culture magazine. Printed by CSI Printing and Mailing Copyright @ 2017 by TRIBEZA. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of the publisher, is prohibited. TRIBEZA is a proud member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. S U B SC R I B E TO TR I B EZ A VISIT TRIB EZ A .COM FOR DE TAIL S
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SOCIAL HOUR SUN-KISSED WITH BUMBLE Sunday, July 9, Bumble hosted a pool party at the W Austin WET Deck during their weekly Sunday Soundwave. Guests enjoyed Bumblebranded pool accessories, poolside cocktails and tunes by DJ Bird Peterson.
ESPEROS SOHO GRAND OPENING PARTY
SUN-KISSED WITH BUMBLE: 1. Raj Kottu & Mikaela Berman 2. Katy Gallion, Mauricio Sierra & Isiah Alexander 3. Rachel Holtin & Kelsi Kamin 4. Zach Casler & Shayda Torabi 5. Mara Agrait & Gordon Tine ESPEROS SOHO GRAND OPENING: 6. Sam Lee, Danielle Lee & Valerie Meek 7. Jeff & Alexis Bradley 8. Michele Skelding, John Arrow & Natalie Yerkovich 9. Amanda McArthur & Jennifer Rose Smith 10. Riane Yates & Bethany White
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P H OTO G R A P H S B Y B A I L E Y TO K S OZ & L E O N I D F U R M A N S K Y
On July 11, ESPEROS SOHO celebrated the grand opening of their new flagship store in Austin’s 2nd Street District. While shopping the new collection, guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed light bites provided by Deep Eddy Vodka and Fresa’s. With every purchase made, ESPEROS makes a donation through its foundation which funds education for children in the developing world.
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2ND STREET SOCIAL 2nd Street District held its 2nd Street Social on July 13 to gear up for the fifth annual White Linen Night. With a map in hand, guests dropped by Austin Cocktails sip stops, including Luxe Apothetique, Teddies for Bettys, Hemline, Sikara & Co. and Authentic Smiles, taking advantage of unique specials and discounts for the evening.
YLA 22: ¡AHORA! & CAPRICHO
2ND STREET SOCIAL: 1. Kevin Hsu & Eric Lee 2. Ryan Kuglitsch & Rosie Kuglitsch 3. Corey & Merve Coleman 4. Nicole Ramirez & Tristen Flores 5. Sarah Franklin & Allison Massey 6. Aileen Horgan & Alicia Spaete YLA 22: ¡AHORA! & CAPRICHO: 7. Rebecca Sanchez & Hilda Gutierrez 8. Tiarra Girls 9. Sylvia Orozco, Charles Stuart & Campbell Stuart 10. Paloma Ocampo, Nicole Hazari & Jenn Quaranta
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P H OTO G R A P H S B Y B A I L E Y TO K S OZ & B R E E Z Y R I T T E R
On July 14, the Mexic-Arte Museum held an opening reception for its latest exhibitions YLA 22: ¡Ahora! and Capricho. Guests enjoyed live music by Tiarra Girls, tasty bites from Cool Beans and frozen Palomas from Dulce Vida Tequila. YLA 22: ¡Ahora!, guest curated by Alana Coates, marks the 22nd installment of the emerging Latinx artist exhibition series. Capricho is a project by artist Mark Menjivar that delves into the photographic archives of his late grandfather, Joe Font.
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COMMUNITY + CULTURE CULTURAL DISPATCHES FROM AUSTIN’S CREATIVE COMMUNITY
Griffin McElroy of the popular podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me.” PHOTOGRAPH BY MATT CONANT
CO L U M N
T R I B E Z A TA L K
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C O L U M N | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
Creating Community for Austin Designers By Candice Digby
T STARTED WITH A LATE-NIGHT EMAIL.
As a marketer for an educational institution focused on tech, business, data and design, one of my main jobs is building out our community. One night, I was brainstorming ways to integrate our design programs into the local creative community with my then-boss Danielle Barnes. We knew the key to bringing out the best in our internal community was to get them integrated into Austin’s larger creative class. Danielle had lived in New York and San Francisco, both cities where Design Week events are central to the design scene. When she suggested participating in Austin’s Design Week, I assumed, as an Austin native, that there might still be an event I hadn’t yet discovered—as almost always seems to be the case in this city. We started researching and discovered there was no Design Week in Austin. Austin, with its unique voice and creative culture, didn’t have an official gathering of the inventive, diverse minds and makers that are a huge reason our city is one of the most desirable in the country. That night she sent me an email with an exhaustive list of all the other cities around the world that have a Design Week under
24 AUGUST 2017 |
the subject line “We should do this.” My feeling was immediate: we have to do this. Why this? Too many of the Austin designers I worked with day in and day out were isolated within their respective industries. Even though our city has promising talent in the variety of design fields, there was no sense of community encompassing them. We couldn’t stop ourselves from imagining the fusion: user experience designers working with architects, fashion designers paired with organizational designers, all learning from each other and expanding their craft. Certainly, such collaborations existed, but how could we amplify them? Our guiding vision was born: to create the community, grow the talent, attract new promise, and ultimately cultivate Austin as a world-class design center. What we were looking for didn’t yet exist; it was going to have to be created. I spent my early and mid-twenties in the music industry, and like many, it took me a while to reach clarity around my place, my purpose. I found it though, in creating platforms that help develop and support creatives, whether that be through educational resources, creating a place
to showcase talent, or providing a means for people to support themselves through their art. With Danielle and Amber Atkins of IBM Design, two powerhouse women dedicated to supporting designers and creativity in Austin, we took a leap. It took lots of late nights and weekend work to pull it off, but we were overwhelmed by the support we received from communities and individuals who had been waiting for this. The ideas in and of themselves were inspiring. We involved the community intimately in programming and were rewarded with an array of craft refining workshops, inventive takes on design process, inspiration and resources for contributing solutions back to the problems facing our city, and so much more. After nine months of planning, we launched our first Austin Design Week last November with almost 40 events: workshops, studio tours, panels, evening events and a design installation—all free to the public. More than 800 designers and design enthusiasts participated in the first year. It may seem odd that three non-designers would take this on, but we believe design can radically change our daily lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s in our city’s transportation system, the way in
Middle photo, from left to right: Austin Design Week founders Candice Digby, Amber Atkins, and Danielle Barnes.
which you fill out forms, the clothes we wear, or the spaces we live in. Design, for better or worse, can completely transform our present experiences and influence our future. We saw a need and an opportunity, and we acted. It’s as much action that informs inspiration as it is the reverse. The first year was about making Austin Design Week a reality. This year, as we grow, and as our design community grows, our advisory board has chosen the theme “finding place” for our second annual Design Week. I find it especially appropriate for where we are and where we’re trying to be, as individuals, as artists and creatives, as a community, as a city. Place is so much greater than a location, and design can serve as a powerful compass. What role is design currently taking in our lives, and how will it affect the future? We decide together, as a community. Have an idea? We’d love to hear it. Candice Digby is co-founder and programming lead at Austin Design Week. The second annual event will take place November 6 - 10. Visit austindesignweek.org for more information. tribeza.com
| AUGUST 2017
P R O F I L E | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
Austin-based McElroy makes MBMBaM with his brothers who live in different states.
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Guided by Voices GRIFFIN MCELROY REVE ALS HOW A SIMPLE PODCAST WITH HIS T WO BROTHERS GAINED A CULT FOLLOWING—AND JUST BECAME A T V SHOW By Brittani Sonnenberg Photographs by Matt Conant
A N YO U R E M E M B E R YO U R
childhood imaginary friend? Most of us had one. Mine went by the spunky name of Judy Polly. The rest of her has since faded, but I suspect we nurture imaginary friendships as adults, too. Maybe you’ve got a badass guardian angel. Or you invented a boyfriend so your sister will quit bugging you about meeting someone. Or maybe you, like me, feel like the voices of your favorite podcasters form a circle of invisible intimates. You take long walks and drives with them, and they offer advice and crack you up. Sure, they do most of the talking, but you’re in more of a listening mood with them anyways. What’s it like to be that imaginary friend, the weekly voice in our heads? When my friend Peter mentioned that his buddy Griffin taped a podcast that enjoyed a devoted following, I had to inquire
further. “Devoted following” turned out to be an understatement: “My Brother, My Brother and Me,” (Or MBMBaM, as it’s shortened) now in its seventh year, enjoys a cool 5 million downloads per episode. Like a humble taco truck turned brick and mortar foodie darling, their audio show recently became a TV show. The premise is brilliantly simple: three brothers offer listeners “advice” and opine on burning Yahoo Answers! topics like “Will the Loch Ness monster get into Christian heaven?” The podcast was also conceived as a way for the brothers to stay in touch; they live in three different states. McElroy, who lives in North Austin’s Wooten neighborhood, kindly agreed to meet me at Genuine Joe’s and shed light on the life of a podcast baller. He’s been having a good year. There’s the TV show, a new baby, and, oh yeah, showing up on Forbes’s 30 Under 30 Media list for his work
as founding editor of Polygon, Vox’s gaming site, in addition to his four podcasts (including “Rose Buddies,” a Bachelor “fancast” with his wife, Rachel, whom Griffin describes as “the funniest person I ever met.”). Over a cappuccino and a sandwich, he told me about a childhood steeped in comedy, his biggest podcasting lesson, and the challenges of developing a TV show. I love the brotherly banter of your podcast. Is what we hear on the show what it sounded like at your house, growing up? More or less. We engaged in a kindspirited contest to make our parents laugh. We cracked jokes whenever we were going through tough stuff. Comedy is a central part of our DNA. I have a eight-month-old son, so I’ve been thinking about what cultural stuff I’ll wind up passing onto him. Our dad passed on his love for Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, Second City. It’s how our family communicated. Our dinner table was basically like a sitcom writing room. We’ve tried to mimic that in the podcast. That’s intense. Did it feel competitive? Not in a painful way; it wasn’t like we were keeping score. There was an expectation to come out with something good, not to just make the first obvious joke. I didn’t talk that much as the youngest, I had to pick my moments. We each have our own discrete ways of telling jokes, our own styles of humor. It was harder to make my mom laugh: Dad was always cracking jokes, so her expectations were sky high. tribeza.com
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P R O F I L E | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
How has the podcast evolved since your first episode? In some ways the format hasn’t changed much from the original vision. You can jump in at episode 1 or episode 350. We’ve changed the most; the way we view the world, and our terminology. When we started the podcast, we had a much narrower perspective, and we could be pretty unPC. We never came from a hurtful point of view, just uneducated. A big turning point came after an episode where we talked about “Furries,” and had this attitude that was like, “Isn’t it funny to say mean stuff about Furries?” A lot of people wrote us on Twitter and said, “Hey, I’m a Furry and that sucked. It really, really hurt.” There’s no defense for that. The concept of “Furries” had been abstract for us, but that forced us to realize that these were real people that we’d said horrible shit about. Now as a rule we don’t just avoid punching down, we try not to punch in any direction. You’re
always talking about real people. It’s a subtle thing, but it’s been an important change in how we approach shows. Did that make you feel self-conscious or reined in? How do you navigate expressing yourself versus offending someone? That is the spectrum in comedy. Most comedians are purists; they say, “I have to be able to be as transgressive as I want, I can say whatever otherwise it’s not true comedy.” We come down on the opposite end of it. There is absolutely a merit to creating the most accessible comedy as possible. I don’t buy the idea that you shouldn’t have to apologize, you can’t say anything if you start limiting yourself. That’s not true at all. It’s possible to make comedy that doesn’t attack. Does the intimate nature of podcasting affect how listeners respond to the show? Sure, it’s definitely an intimate medium; listening to a podcast feels like sitting in on a
ALL COMEDY TEAMS ARE BUILT ON THAT TRUST; WE CHEATED OUR WAY INTO IT BY GROWING UP TOGETHER .
conversation. We can be very prolific because it’s not that difficult to make. If you’ve followed our show from the beginning, you’ve listened to 350 hours of us talking; that’s like the equivalent of 350 standup comedy specials. It’s a huge time investment. As a result, fans of podcasts tend to be more hardcore. What’s it been like to translate the podcast to a television show? We were determined to avoid artifice. Our podcast is totally unscripted, and we wanted the show to be that way, too. Otherwise it would have been as weird as watching an unscripted episode of “Friends.” It took two years for us to find a model that felt right, and it was hard work once we started taping, with ten-hour days. I had imposter syndrome, and I felt really nervous. We were doing something that no one had really done before, and I worried it was going to be bad. But the stuff we wound up cutting was when we forced it; it worked best when we stayed true to the podcast. Is it difficult to work with your brothers? No. When we started, we agreed that if it ever got in the way of our relationship, we would bail. It’s only been a benefit. We know we can trust each other, and it’s just gotten easier and easier. All comedy teams are built on that trust; we cheated our way into it by growing up together. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
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T R I B E Z A TA L K | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
Handmade MISSION When it comes to looking good while doing good, Esperos Soho has got it in the bag. Sales from the brand’s premium handmade leather and canvas totes, backpacks, and briefcases help fund children’s education in developing countries through partners such as the Nobelity Project. Designed locally and made in the US, Esperos Soho opened their flagship store in the Second Street district in June.
AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO WHAT’S BUZ ZING AROUND AUSTIN By Nicole Beckley
DENIM DELIVERED Finding a pair of jeans you absolutely love is never easy. Searching for the perfect fit, Kelly Ernst came up with a new solution — connecting a delivery service to denim. Redenim provides a selection of jeans hand-picked by a stylist and shipped directly to your door. Try three pairs in the comfort of your home and keep what you like best. REDENIM.COM
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Creators of INDUSTRY
Looking for a way to connect creative individuals across industries, in 2016 Ashland Viscosi started Creatives Meet Business (CMB), an organization offering resources and special events for makers, artists, designers, and a wide array of creative business owners. “Austin is a phenomenal place to test concepts and ideas and to tweak something until you get it ‘just right,’” Viscosi says. Often the right idea might just need to find the right person to help take it to the next level. For this, Viscosi hopes CMB events can provide a way to build those necessary relationships. “Our community is full of very honest and well-intentioned people that want to help others create and build their projects,” Viscosi says. Keep an eye out for the three-day Creatives Meet Business Experience event, offering workshops in storytelling, digital marketing, and social media in September. CMBATX.COM
LOOT TO LOVE
Since 2011 brides, realtors, and party planners looking for event staging materials have sought out Loot Vintage Rentals for temporary styling pieces to make a room pop. Now, Anna Crelia and Rhoda Brimberry’s rechristened Loot Rentals is launching Loot Finer Goods, a brand of vintage and one of a kind items including wall hangings, furniture and home décor. From teak tables and leather sofas to Turkish hemp rugs and African mudcloth pillows, the collection promises unique items and handmade goods that can’t be found elsewhere.
Refined IDEAS It’s rare that the answer to a business question is “bugs.” But for the makers of GrubTubs, bugs are the key ingredient in their food waste recycling concept. Founded by Robert Olivier, GrubTubs uses insects to help transform wasted food from restaurants and food trucks into animal feed for farmers. So far, the idea is a hit – with GrubTubs winning the City of Austin’s [Re]Verse Pitch competition in December 2016, and a WeWork Creator Award, along with the top prize of $360,000, in June. Go bugs.
“In the creative world people get stuck working at home in their home studio and they don’t end up talking to a lot of people and they don’t know who to ask questions to,” explains Hayley Swindell. After closing her fair trade product subscription box company, The Hip Humanitarian, Swindell went back to the drawing board, ultimately dreaming up The Refinery — a downtown creative-focused coworking space set to open this fall. “I think Hip Humanitarian could have been a success if I had just had a community and resources at hand,” Swindell says. Now, backed by Dan Graham’s Notley Ventures, Swindell is crafting the supportive space she’d wished she’d had, which includes two floors of co-working, a photo studio, kitchen, event spaces, and a retail storefront for makers looking to test the market. Working with architect Michael Hsu and interior designer Claire Zinnecker, Swindell says, “If you’re a lifestyle blogger you’re going to want to live here and take photos of everything.”
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BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
ICE BALL 2017
saturday, august 26 JW Marriott downtown austin Join Big Brothers Big Sisters for Austinâ€™s brightest gem, the 2017 Ice Ball Gala. Come spend an evening that makes a lifetime of diďŹ€erence for a child. BBBS serves nearly 1,000 children each year, but for every child we serve, there is another child on our waiting list longing for a mentoring relationship of their own. Your support of Ice Ball allows us to provide life-changing services to even more children and families in Central Texas.
ARTS + HAPPENINGS WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO
Art by Neta Bomani on display at the Elisabet Ney Museum as part of the Meet Her Hands series. E N T E R TA I N M E N T C A L E N DA R
EVENT P I C K 38 tribeza.com | AUGUST 2017
C A L E N DA R S | A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Entertainment MUSIC BLUES ON THE GREEN August 2 Zilker Park INCUBUS WITH JIMMY EAT WORLD August 5 Austin360 Amphitheater 2 CHAINZ August 6 Emo’s Austin
FOREIGNER August 20 Austin360 Amphitheater THE PIANO GUYS August 23 Dell Hall CODY JOHNSON August 25 ACL Live at the Moody Theater SIMPLE PLAN August 26 Emo’s Austin
SUNSET CONCERT SERIES August 6, 13 & 20 Ernie’s on the Lake BRYSON TILLER August 9 Statesman Skyline Theater BLONDIE & GARBAGE August 11 ACL Live at the Moody Theater BLUE OYSTER CULT August 11 Empire Control Room EDWIN MCCAIN August 12 One World Theatre
CITY AND COLOUR August 29 Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater CARRIE RODRIGUEZ August 30 Rollins Studio Theatre BUDDY GUY August 31 ACL Live at the Moody Theater
HENRY THREADGILL August 12 Scottish Rite Theater
SUMMER CLASSIC FILM SERIES August 1–31 Paramount Theatre
FLEET FOXES August 16 & 17 ACL Live at the Moody Theater
QUOTE-ALONG LABYRINTH August 3, 14, 21 & 24 Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
BUD LIGHT SUMMER LIVE SERIES August 17 Austin American-Statesman
101X SUMMER CINEMA: OLD SCHOOL August 9 Stubb’s BBQ
J. COLE August 19 Frank Erwin Center
MILLENNIAL FILM FESTIVAL August 16–20 Violet Crown Cinema
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TEXAS FOCUS: CLOAK & DAGGER August 17 Bullock Texas State History Museum CAPITAL CITY BLACK FILM FESTIVAL August 17–20 Various Locations
BUILDING THE WALL August 30 – September 10 Oscar G. Brockett Theatre MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Through September 3 ZACH Theatre
COMEDY THEATER ANNIE GET YOUR GUN August 2–12 Rollins Studio Theatre
JIM TEWS August 4 & 5 The Velveeta Room KATT WILLIAMS August 5 HEB Center at Cedar Park
HP LOVECRAFT’S CALL OF CTHULHU August 6 & 13 Spider House Ballroom
THE DIVERSITY JAM August 6 ColdTowne Theater
BRING IT! LIVE August 8 Bass Concert Hall
ROB SCHNEIDER August 11 & 12 Cap City Comedy Club
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING August 11 The North Door FUN HOME August 11–13 Dell Hall MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT Through August 12 Rollins Studio Theatre THE WIZARD OF OZ Through August 12 Zilker Hillside Theater A SHOE STORY Through August 12 Rollins Studio Theatre CHICAGO August 18 – September 10 The City Theatre
JONO ZALAY WITH TIM WILLIAMS August 12 The Velveeta Room BETTYFEST 2017 August 19 Spider House Ballroom JOHN CAPARULO August 23–26 Cap City Comedy Club OUT OF BOUNDS COMEDY FESTIVAL August 29 – September 4 Various Locations
CHILDREN (5–7) SUMMER KIDS SERIES August 1–12 Austin Humane Society
THEATRE-FOR-ALL DAY CAMP August 3, 4 & 8 Rollins Studio Theatre
TRAILER FOOD TUESDAYS August 15 Long Center
BACK TO SCHOOL LOCK IN August 4 Playland Skate Center
LITERARY LIBATIONS WEEK August 15–19 Various Locations
SUMMER FREE FAMILY FILM SERIES August 5 & 12 Bullock Texas State History Museum
BAT FEST August 19 Congress Avenue Bridge
ONCE UPON A WHAAA?! August 5–27 Scottish Rite Theater
AUSTIN PET EXPO August 19 & 20 Palmer Events Center
EXCUSED ABSENCE YOUTH COMEDY FEST August 11–13 ColdTowne Theater
AUSTIN CHRONICLE HOT SAUCE FESTIVAL August 20 Fiesta Gardens
ICE PAINTING August 12 The Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria
SUMMER SOCIALS August 20 Parkside
OTHER AUSTIN DUCK DERBY August 5 Ann Richards Bridge WHITE LINEN NIGHT August 5 2nd Street District AUGUST WINE WALK August 10 Hill Country Galleria AUSTIN ICE CREAM FESTIVAL August 12 Fiesta Gardens SUMMERTIME SUNDAY SUPPER August 13 Lake Austin Spa Resort’s LakeHouse Spa
COME AND MAKE IT August 24 Thinkery 5TH ANNUAL WERK FASHION SHOW August 24 ACL Live at the Moody Theater AUSTIN PRIDE FESTIVAL & PARADE August 26 Fiesta Gardens QUESOFF 2017 August 26 The Mohawk BIG MEGA WORKOUT August 28 Long Center
FLEET FOXES By Parker Yamasaki
ACL Live at The Moody Theater AUGUST 16 AND 17
You’d think that someone trying to “find himself” would probably want to avoid the bedlam of Manhattan, where things and souls are more easily lost than found. But that is exactly where Robin Pecknold, lead singer of the indie-folk band Fleet Foxes, headed. Five years ago—one year after Fleet Foxes released their second album, “Helplessness Blues”—a then 26-year-old Pecknold enrolled in Columbia University as an undergraduate English major. And it’s showing. In June of this year the five-piece Fleet Foxes released their third full-length album, “Crack-Up.” The album regularly references heroes and villains from ancient texts like “Beowulf,” and the title itself is a reference to the 1936 essay by F. Scott Fitzgerald of the same name. While “Crack-Up” is moodier than a Columbia English major and sifts the listener through a haze so textured it will make you see shadows in 3D, it is also full of the harmonies and moments of brightness that Fleet Foxes have created as part of their characteristic “sound.” Pecknold and the band might be grappling with life’s great questions and contradictions, but they’re doing so with the sunrise-like ability to lift their listeners from darkness into a fresh new day. On August 16 and 17 Fleet Foxes roll through Austin for two shows at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Even if a 2,700+ capacity theater isn’t exactly where you’d expect to quench your soul, we have confidence in Pecknold and Fleet Foxes to bring you peace amid chaos. And to put on a great show. tribeza.com
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A R T S P I C K | A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Arts MICKY HOOGENDIJK August 2 – September 7 Women & Their Work TEXAS BIRD PROJECT August 4 – October 7 Flatbed Press & Gallery GORDON FOWLER August 5–26 Wally Workman Gallery MEET HER HANDS August 10 Elisabet Ney Museum TYSON DAVIS August 11 Art.Work Austin
MEET HER HANDS: NETA BOMANI By Parker Yamasaki
Elisabet Ney Museum AUGUST 10, 6:30–9:30 P.M.
For a while the word was “empowerment.” It has also been “matriarchy,” “equality,” and “liberation.” The rhetoric of feminism has changed with each generation that inherits and evolves its message. These days, it’s “boss.” Sophia Amoruso’s book “#GIRLBOSS” has been adapted into a Netflix show. Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” rocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Hey, while we’re at it, who can forget Kelis’s 2006 MTV chart-topper “Bossy?” Around Austin, no one better embodies the message of the contemporary female than #bossbabesatx. Throughout the summer, #bossbabesatx are hosting a three-part “Meet Her Hands” series at the Elisabet Ney Museum. Each summer salon features an exhibit and talk with one Austin-based female artist. Attendees will have a chance to experience the artist’s works and participate in an intimate Q&A session while sipping complimentary libations provided by Argus Cidery. This month the featured artist is Neta Bomani, an East African visual designer. Bomani studied Media Arts and Digital Journalism at St. Edward’s University and has made Austin her base for freelance living and creating. On August 10 join Bomani and the #bossbabes on the banks of Waller Creek to hear her speak about her process, her work, and what it means to be a #boss. The event is free and open to the public with RSVP.
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EN BOLA Through August 12 de stijl | PODIUM FOR ART POP ART OF DISNEY Through August 18 Art On 5th RADIANT Through August 19 Davis Gallery MENTORING A MUSE: CHARLES UMLAUF & FARRAH FAWCETT Through August 20 Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum CAPRICHO Through August 27 Mexic-Arte Museum
GARTH WEISER: PAINTINGS, 2008-2017 Through August 27 The Contemporary Austin SOUTHERN FOLK ART FROM THE VAULTS Through August 31 Yard Dog Art EPIC TALES FROM ANCIENT INDIA Through October 1 Blanton Museum of Art TERESA HUBBARD / ALEXANDER BIRCHLER: GIANT Through October 1 Blanton Museum of Art SCENE BUILDERS Through October 14 Art for the People Gallery
WWG Gordon Fowler Wal ly Wor km a n Ga l l ery
i mage : Headwate rs, Guadalupe (detail ) , o i l o n c anva s pan el , 2 4 x 3 6 i n c h es 1 2 0 2 West 6 t h St reet A u st i n , Te x a s 7 8 7 0 3 wa l l y wo r k mangal ler y.com 512.472.7428
August 26-27 PALMER EVENTS CENTER
legaragesale.net for info SAT, VIP Pre Shop 10-11 am SAT, August 26, 11 am-6 pm SUN, August 27, 11 am-5 pm
All of your favorite boutiques & designers on sale under one roof.
E V E N T P I C K | A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Art SPACES MUSEUMS THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN: LAGUNA GLORIA 3809 W. 35th St. (512) 458 8191 Driscoll Villa hours: Tu–W 12-4, Th-Su 10–4 Grounds hours: M–Sa 9–5, Su 10–5 thecontemporaryaustin.org THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN: JONES CENTER
LITERARY LIBATIONS WEEK By Eli John
Various Locations AUGUST 14–18
Name a more iconic duo than booze and books. I’ll wait. Wine soaks the lyrics of ancient Greece. To the medieval Norse, poetry was nothing less than a kind of mead. And as Hemingway famously didn’t say, “Write drunk. Edit sober.” From August 14 to 18, two dozen bars and restaurants across Texas will continue to celebrate this age-old marriage of alcohol and literature in the second annual Literary Libations Week, hosted by the Texas Book Festival. Intoxication stations in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas will offer cocktails inspired by literary luminaries and their works. In town, for instance, The Dogwood will offer up “A Cocktail of Two Cities,” a boozy concoction of gin, elderflower liqueur, champagne, and bitters. It’ll be the best of times and it’ll be the best of times. Literary Libations Week is an early event in the lead-up to the Texas Book Festival, which takes place November 4 and 5 this year. The participating pubs will each donate a percentage of the profits from their bookish potables to help fund Austin’s seventh annual Lit Crawl, an epic night of literary revelry which, on November 4, will transform unlikely venues throughout Austin into happening hubs of bibliophilic excitement. With the Lit Crawl months away, however, it is a truth universally acknowledged that we’re all in want of a nice drink.
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700 Congress Ave. (512) 453 5312 Hours: W 12-11, Th-Sa 12-9, Su 12-5 thecontemporaryaustin.org BLANTON MUSEUM OF ART 200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd. (512) 471 7324 Hours: Tu– F 10–5, Sa 11–5, Su 1–5 blantonmuseum.org THE BULLOCK TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM 1800 Congress Ave. (512) 936 8746 Hours: M–Sa 9–5, Su 12–5 thestoryoftexas.com ELISABET NEY MUSEUM 304 E. 44th St. (512) 458 2255 Hours: W–Sa 10–5, Su 12–5 ci.austin.tx.us/elisabetney FRENCH LEGATION MUSEUM 802 San Marcos St. (512) 472 8180 Hours: Tu–Su 1–5 frenchlegationmuseum.org
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER MUSEUM 1165 Angelina St. (512) 974 4926 Hours: M–Th 10–9, F 10–5:30, Sa 10–4 ci.austin.tx.us/carver HARRY RANSOM CENTER 300 E. 21st St. (512) 471 8944 Hours: Tu–W 10–5, Th 10–7, F 10–5, Sa–Su 12–5 hrc.utexas.edu LBJ LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 2313 Red River St. (512) 721 0200 Hours: M–Su 9–5 lbjlibrary.org MEXIC–ARTE MUSEUM 419 Congress Ave. (512) 480 9373 Hours: M–Th 10–6, F–Sa 10–5, Su 12–5 mexic–artemuseum.org O. HENRY MUSEUM 409 E. 5th St. (512) 472 1903 Hours: W–Su 12–5 THINKERY AUSTIN 1830 Simond Ave Hours: T-Fri 10-5, Sa-Su 10-6 thinkeryaustin.org UMLAUF SCULPTURE GARDEN & MUSEUM 605 Robert E. Lee Rd. (512) 445 5582 Hours: T-Fri 10-4, Sa-Su 12-4 umlaufsculpture.org
A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T | M U S E U M S & G A L L E R I E S
GALLERIES 78704 GALLERY 1400 South Congress (512) 708 4678 Hours: M–F 8-5 78704.gallery ADAMS GALLERIES OF AUSTIN 900 RR 620 S. Unit B110 (512) 243 7429 Hours: T–Sa 10–6 adamsgalleriesaustin.com ART ON 5TH 3005 S. Lamar Blvd. (512) 481 1111 Hours: M–Sa 10–6 arton5th.com ARTWORKS GALLERY 1214 W. 6th St. (512) 472 1550 Hours: M–Sa 10–5 artworksaustin.com AUSTIN GALLERIES 5804 Lookout Mountain Dr. (512) 495 9363 By Appt. Only austingalleries.com AUSTIN ART GARAGE 2200 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. J (512) 351-5934 Hours: Tu–Sa 11–6, Su 12–5 austinartgarage.com AUSTIN ART SPACE GALLERY AND STUDIOS 7739 North Cross Dr., Ste. Q (512) 771 2868 Hours: F–Sa 11–6 austinartspace.com BIG MEDIUM GALLERY AT BOLM 5305 Bolm Rd., #12 (512) 939 6665 Tu-Sa 12-6 bigmedium.org
CAMIBAart 2832 E. MLK. Jr. Blvd. Ste. 111 (512) 937 5921 Hours: Tu–F 10–5, Sa 12-5 camibaart.com
FLATBED PRESS 2830 E. MLK Jr. Blvd. (512) 477 9328 Hours: M–F 10-5, Sa 10-3 flatbedpress.com
LINK & PIN 2235 E. 6th, Ste. 102 (512) 900 8952 Hours: Sa-Su, 11-4 linkpinart.com
ROI JAMES 3620 Bee Cave Rd., Ste. C (512) 970 3471 By appointment only roijames.com
CAPITAL FINE ART 1214 W. 6th St. (512) 628 1214 Hours: M–Sa 10-5 capitalfineart.com
FLUENT COLLABORATIVE 502 W. 33rd St. (512) 453 3199 By appointment only fluentcollab.org
CO-LAB PROJECTS: PROJECT SPACE 613 Allen St. (512) 300 8217 By event and appt only co-labprojects.org
GALLERY 702 702 San Antonio St. (737) 703 5632 Hours: Tu–Su 10-6 gallery702austin.com
LORA REYNOLDS GALLERY 360 Nueces St., #50 (512) 215 4965 Hours: W–Sa 11-6 lorareynolds.com
RUSSELL COLLECTION FINE ART 1137 W. 6th St. (512) 478 4440 Hours: Tu–Sa 10–6 russell–collection.com SPACE 12 3121 E. 12th St. (512) 524 7128 T-F 10-5 space12.org
DAVIS GALLERY 837 W. 12th St. (512) 477 4929 Hours: M–F 10–6, Sa 10–4 davisgalleryaustin.com
GALLERY BLACK LAGOON 4301-A Guadalupe St. (512) 371 8838 Hours: Sa 1-5 galleryblacklagoon.com
LOTUS GALLERY 1009 W. 6th St., #101 (512) 474 1700 Hours: M–Sa 10-6 lotusasianart.com MASS GALLERY 507 Calles St. (512) 535 4946 Hours: F 5-8, Sa-Su 12-5 massgallery.org
DE STIJL | PODIUM FOR ART 1006 W. 31st St. (512) 354 0868 Hours: Tu-Thu, Sa 1-5 destijlaustin.com
GALLERY SHOAL CREEK 2832 MLK Jr. Blvd. #3 (512) 454 6671 Hours: Tu–F 10–5, Sa 12–5 galleryshoalcreek.com
STEPHEN L. CLARK GALLERY 1101 W. 6th St. (512) 477 0828 Hours: Tu–Sa 10–4 stephenlclarkgallery.com
DIMENSION GALLERY SCULPTURE AND 3D ART 979 Springdale, Ste. 99 (512) 479 9941 dimensiongallery.org
GRAYDUCK GALLERY 2213 E. Cesar Chavez Austin, TX 78702 (512) 826 5334 Hours: Th -Sa 11-6, Su 12–5 grayduckgallery.com
DOUGHERTY ARTS CENTER 1110 Barton Springs Rd. (512) 974 4000 Hours: M-Th 10-9, F 10-5:30, Sa 10-2 austintexas.gov/department/ dougherty-arts-center FAREWELL BOOKS 913 E. Cesar Chavez St. (512) 473 2665 Hours: M-Sa 12–8, Su 12–7 farewellbookstore.com FIRST ACCESS GALLERY 2324 S. Lamar Blvd (512) 428 4782 Hours: Tu-Sa 10-7, Su 12-5 firstaccess.co/gallery
JULIA C. BUTRIDGE GALLERY 1110 Barton Springs Rd. (512) 974 4025 Hours: M–Th 10–9, F 10–5:30, Sa 10–2 austintexas.gov/department/ doughertygallery LA PEÑA 227 Congress Ave., #300 (512) 477 6007 Hours: M–F 8-5, Sa 8-3 lapena–austin.org
MODERN ROCKS GALLERY 916 Springdale Rd. #103 (512) 524 1488 Hours: Tu - Sa, 11- 6 modernrocksgallery.com MONDO GALLERY 4115 Guadalupe St. Hours: Tu - Sa, 12- 6 mondotees.com OLD BAKERY & EMPORIUM 1006 Congress Ave. (512) 912 1613 Hours: T–Sa 9–4 austintexas.gov/obemporium PUMP PROJECT ART COMPLEX 702 Shady Ln. (512) 351 8571 Hours: Sa 12–5 pumpproject.org
STUDIO 10 1011 West Lynn (512) 236 1333 Hours: Tu–Sa 11–5 studiotenarts.com VISUAL ARTS CENTER 2300 Trinity St. (512) 232 2348 Hours: Tu–F 10–5, Sa 12-5 utvac.org WALLY WORKMAN GALLERY 1202 W. 6th St. (512) 472 7428 Hours: Tu–Sa 10–5 wallyworkman.com WOMEN & THEIR WORK 1710 Lavaca St. (512) 477 1064 Hours: M–F 10–6, Sa 12-6 womenandtheirwork.org YARD DOG 1510 S. Congress Ave. (512) 912 1613 Hours: M–F 11–5, Sa 11–6, Su 12–5 yarddog.com
FREDERICKSBURG AGAVE GALLERY 208 E. San Antonio St. (830) 990 1727 Hours: M-Sa 10-5 agavegallery.com ARTISANS AT ROCKY HILL 234 W. Main St. (830) 990 8160 Hours: M-Sa 10-5:30, Su 11-3 artisansatrockyhill.com FREDERICKSBURG ART GALLERY 314 E. Main St. (830) 990 2707 Hours: M-Sa 10-5:30, Su 12-5 fbartgallery.com INSIGHT GALLERY 214 W. Main St. (830) 997 9920 Hours: Tu-Sa 10-5:30 insightgallery.com LARRY JACKSON ANTIQUES & ART GALLERY 209 S. Llano (830) 997 0073 Hours: M-F 9:30-5, Sa 10-5 larryjacksonantiques.com THE GALLERY AT VAUDEVILLE 230 E. Main St. (830) 992 3234 Hours: M 8-6, W-F 8-6, Sa 8-9, Su 8-5 vaudeville-living.com WHISTLE PIK 425 E. Main St. (830) 990 8151 Hours: M-Sa 10-5 whistlepik.com
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Robin Emmerich painted this neat backdrop. She recently started making yoga pants with her art on them.
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V R ATX
EXPLORING THE NEW LANDSCAPES OF VIRTUAL REALITY AT CAPITAL FACTORY’S VR LAB BY CIARÁN DALY PHOTOGRAPHS BY WARREN CHANG
“AUSTIN REALLY IS THE PERFECT CENTER FOR VR,” SAYS BR ANCE
Hudzietz, the Ambassador of Emerging Technologies at Capital Factory. “It’s got this rich history in gaming, it’s got SXSW film and music, you’ve got the creative scene here, you’ve got art, and you’ve got this bustling tech scene. VR is at the center of all that. You need developers and game designers, but you also need filmmakers and artists who know how to tell a story. You put them all together and VR kind of pops out.” That’s the thinking behind a new virtual and augmented reality lab in downtown Austin, which opened at Capital Factory last December. Capital Factory describes itself as a cross-industry start-up “accelerator” which aims to give tech entrepreneurs the resources they need to grow their businesses in size and scale. It’s a hub for networking, co-working, and industry events. Kitted out with the newest headsets, games, films, and motion sensor equipment, Capital Factory’s VR Lab hosts the cutting edge in virtual and augmented reality technology. From Oculus Ri!s to HTC Vives, they’ve got it all—even one of those treadmills that let you run around forever in VR—and it’s now open to the public. tribeza.com
| AUGUST 2017
From Oculus Rifts to HTC Vives, Capital Factory’s VR Lab has the cutting edge in virtual and augmented reality technology.
Having helped run the VR Lab for nearly eight months, Hudzietz is on the frontlines of this burgeoning technology as it develops—a perhaps enviable job. “I get to talk to cool people and play with toys all day. No arguments there,” he laughs. “I liken Capital Factory to a gym,” Hudzietz explains. “You’ve got all the equipment to get strong, but you still have to do the work yourself. We try to create that atmosphere by getting cool people in the door—investors, customers, other developers, and entrepreneurs who can help each other along the journey. We get them all together and hopefully cool stuﬀ comes out of it.” Virtual reality technology may still be in its infancy, but many industries are already looking for ways to integrate VR into their work processes. Bringing together tech developers and creatives of all stripes, virtual reality sits at a cultural and technological crossroads. It’s an entirely new form of media technology, and its adoption by entrepreneurs and professionals is integral to its successful development and practical applications. It could very well change the world as we know it in the next ten years. “We noticed this huge appetite for VR in Austin, but like with any new technology, the scene is fractured. At Capital Factory, we want to be this lighthouse for VR and bring everybody together, so in December, we launched the VR Lab,” Hudzietz says. “VR really has a lot of potential to improve existing practices and processes, and it starts with educating people about what is possible with the technology. Thankfully, VR is fun to educate people about— you get to put on a headset and play around with ‘Rick and Morty.’” With investors, government oﬃcials, and CEOs of big companies visiting Capital Factory all time, it seems like the perfect place in which to promote VR. Yet, the VR Lab quickly outgrew its VIP status, as visitors to Capital Factory demanded to try it out for themselves. It’s open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, and is regularly packed with school groups and individual members of the public. The visitors are all there for diﬀerent reasons, united by a fascination with the new tech’s potential. “Kids are coming in and they want to play games with it. People in healthcare are coming in and want to know how they can use it in surgery. There’s construction, engineering, and architecture groups that are like ‘we wanna be using this in design and we wanna be doing it right now.’ That’s why I think the technology will continue to gain momentum.” The estimated value of the global VR market sits at around $960.9 million, and it is predicted to grow exponentially in the next five to ten years. While the companies developing the hardware aren’t conducting any major marketing campaigns, it is initiatives on the ground, such as the VR Lab, that are driving growth by giving entrepreneurs and the public a chance to become more familiar with the hardware.
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The Capital Factory VR Lab is open daily between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
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“ I ’M NOT A BIG GA MER—I ’M A H UGE MOV IE BU FF T HOUGH . T HER E ’S T HIS N EW FIELD C A LLED V IRT UA L CIN EM A . IT ’S A K IN D OF PA SSI V E EX PER IENCE W HER E YOU ’ R E IN A V IRT UA L EN V IRONMEN T A N D DIFFER EN T STOR IES A N D E V EN TS A R E U N FOLDING A LL A ROU N D YOU. YOU C A N WA LK IN A N Y DIR ECT ION A N D IN T ER ACT W IT H IT. T H AT TO ME IS MIN D BLOW ING . IT ’S K IN D OF LIK E A ‘CHOOSE YOU R OW N A DV EN T U R E ’ STORY, BU T A ‘CHOOSE YOU R OW N A DV EN T U R E ’ WOR LD.”
So, what are the biggest obstacles facing the development of the home VR market right now? “Price,” Hudzietz explains. “To get into home VR, realistically, it’s going to cost at least $2,000. The headsets are between $400 and $700 and you need a powerful gaming PC to run them. That’s pretty prohibitive for widespread home adoption. Obviously, as the technology gets better, the price is probably going to drop a lot, so I think you’ll start seeing more and more headsets that don’t require connection to a computer. Once those cost less than $500, you’ll see more widespread home adoption.” Any rapidly developing technology is bound to have some teething problems, and VR is no diﬀerent. “I’m not gonna lie—I love the technology—but it also frustrates the heck out of me sometimes!” Hudzietz says. “Since it’s developing so rapidly, VR hardware is buggy, bulky, and kind of cumbersome. Obviously, what we’ve seen in the lab is that people love it. Every time someone gets in the headset, their mind is blown. They come away from it saying, ‘holy cow! I had no idea this was possible!’” Many people had their first taste of VR using basic headsets like Google Cardboard, released back in 2014, which allowed people to view static panoramic videos in 360 degrees. Hudzietz contends that the technology has
come on in leaps and bounds since then. “VR has changed so much since I started doing this even a year ago,” he says. “There have been a lot of improvements in room-scale VR, which oﬀers six degrees of freedom. I can look around, up and down, but if I start walking forward, the character in the virtual environment walks forward too. It’s a far more immersive experience. I can interact with the environment, bend down and look under the table. I can walk around something. That’s been the biggest jump—the mass adoptions of systems like the HTC Vive or Oculus Ri! and their quality is what’s changed the most in the last year or so.” Hudzietz predicts that we’ll see a lot more adoption of augmented reality (AR), which uses camera technology to provide us with hybrid digital visualizations of the physical world. Rather than being transported elsewhere by a headset, AR provides an additional layer of information about your current surroundings. “Pokémon GO was a cool example of AR—you’re walking around in the real world, but you’re also seeing this Pokémon overlay,” Hudzietz says. “It’s a goofy example, but its mass adoption shows that there’s a lot of potential there. AR also has a lot more potential in industry than you’d think. Imagine a worker repairing a car. He can take his tablet, iPad, or iPhone, and by waving it over the car he can see all the broken parts that need to be repaired. We’re showing oﬀ this technology in our lounge as well. All this technology… it’s really on the cutting edge. The stuﬀ coming out two weeks ago is diﬀerent from what came out a month ago.” To help boost the early adoption of VR and AR by industry, Capital Factory also opened up a new ground floor events space in May fitted with VR infrastructure. “Now, any event—whether it’s related to healthcare, education, or design—is VR accessible. It’s awesome that there’s more and more access to VR, because people want to do it, but you just need more headsets and more time. That’s what Capital Factory is doing. We’re giving people more headsets and giving them a more consistent amount of time in which to try them,” Hudzietz says. With today’s VR experiences taking place so publicly, social and multiplayer VR seems like the logical next step up—enabling you to experience the virtual world with others, turning VR into a communal experience. This principle is quickly becoming visible in new practices utilizing the medium, which Hudzietz thinks are set to take oﬀ in the next couple of years. “I’m not a big gamer—I’m a huge movie buﬀ though. There’s this new field called virtual cinema. It’s a kind of passive experience where you’re in a virtual environment and diﬀerent stories and events are unfolding all around you. You can walk in any direction and interact with it. That to me is mind blowing. It’s kind of like a ‘choose your own adventure’ story, but a ‘choose your own adventure’ world.” tribeza.com
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46 AUGUST 2017 |
MAKING WAVES THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND AUSTINâ€™S NLAND SURF PARK BY DEREK VAN WAGNER PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIELLE CHLOE POTTS tribeza.com
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hat does it take to create a near perfect wave in the center of the Lone Star State? With the nearest ocean hundreds of miles away, let’s just say it was no day at the beach for NLand founder Doug Coors. Start by finding and purchasing 160 acres of land near Austin during a real estate boom. Next, assemble a crew of skilled engineers passionate about surfing. Then, convince the Spanish company Wavegarden to share some of their proprietary secrets to making artificial waves. Once you’ve gotten this far, build an incredibly expensive facility that may not work unless all the measurements and specifications are exactly right. Fill your man-made lagoon with 14 million gallons of rainwater and spread the news to the impatient public. Along the way, you’ll need to repair any mistakes and leaks in the system, while navigating the treacherous depths of city and municipal codes that regulate businesses and bodies of water. Finally, open your doors to North America’s first inland wave surf park, all the while holding on to the hope that if you build it, they will come. To better understand exactly how the wave was made, we spoke to Director of Surf Operations Ion Eizaguirre, an industrial engineer from Spain who has spent the last three years working on the technology behind Wavegarden and moved to Austin specifically to work on the launch of the NLand Surf Park. 48 AUGUST 2017 |
To begin with, what is Wavegarden? Wavegarden is a Spanish engineering firm that creates an authentic surf experience that is fun, safe, and accessible. The company was founded more than ten years ago. In the beginning, there were three or four engineers. Now we have about 30 employees, most of them engineers. Explain to me in non-engineering terms, how is an artificial wave created? In the middle of a lagoon, you build a structure called a wave foil that looks like a snowplow. The snowplow is installed on something like a skateboard, which is pulled by a cable. Basically, we’re pulling a skateboard with a snowplow on top of it from one side of the lagoon to the other, and then again in the opposite direction. There’s about a one-minute lapse between waves. What’s happening in that time? We need the water to settle down before we create the next wave or else it won’t have the same quality. To that end, we have a system that anticipates the backwash and water movements. The water moves through a wide channel in the middle and to the outskirts of the lagoon, removing energy in the process. Usually we wait around 50 seconds to one minute for the water to calm, and then we’re ready to run the next wave. Did you model the NLand wave a"er any particular surf break? We follow some waves but, at the end of the day, we’re not designing only one wave but three. The Reef wave is perfect for experts. Some of the pro surfers who’ve tried it say it’s similar to Lower Trestles in San Diego, California, where you have a pretty nice wall to do all sorts of tricks. We also have the Inside wave, which is a little easier than the Reef, and the Bay wave, which is ideal for beginners.
Director of Surf Operations Ion Eizaguirre moved to Austin from Spain to help engineer the wave.
The Reef wave is perfect for experts. Some of the pro surfers whoâ€™ve tried it say itâ€™s similar to Lower Trestles in San Diego, California, where you have a pretty nice wall to do all sorts of tricks.
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Pro surfer Parker Coffin dropping in on a wave.
How do you describe the Reef wave? The Reef is an advanced wave; it’s fast, it’s powerful, and it’s aimed at surfers who want a high-performance experience. It lasts for over 30 seconds and you can do more than 14 turns in one wave. A!er two or three Reef waves you get exhausted because each one is so long. It’s really a worldclass wave, being longer than the waves you typically find in the ocean. Tell me more about the diﬀerence between your waves and the ones in the ocean. With the Reef, we create a peak right in the middle. When you’re surfing in the ocean, you try to go to the open space of the wave, to the outside. Here, you catch the wave and rather than going to the outside, you’re surfing against the peak, back to the inside where the wave typically crashes in the ocean. It usually takes one or two waves to figure out the diﬀerence. Why was Austin picked for the surf park? It was a strategic decision; the Gulf Coast is pretty close, so there are actually a lot of surfers here. People wakesurf on the lake or they drive to the coast, but they don’t have the opportunity to surf these types of waves very o!en. This area is growing with lots of young people who create a sporty, healthy culture. You see everybody stand-up paddling on the lake, running, and hiking. And there are people moving here from places like California and New York who’ve been surfing a long time. There are so many reasons why Austin was an appealing spot for the surf park. Was the climate a factor?
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This is the Reef wave.
SIZE OF THE LAGOON, IN FOOTBALL FIELDS
MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF WATER IN THE LAGOON
WAVES CREATED EVERY HOUR
WAVE DURATION, IN SECONDS
Yeah, here you can surf all year long without a wetsuit. There aren’t many places around the world where you can do that. How long did it take to build NLand and what hurdles did you have to overcome? It took between two and three years, refining everything and making improvements. Whenever you do anything for the first time, you face problems. For example, during construction, unexpected things happened while installing the machine and doing the tests. Then, once we opened, we didn’t know how many people to expect. It’s been a learning process. Now that we’ve been open for nearly two months, we feel confident, but we’re still learning every day.
I’ve heard that these are sustainable waves. What does that mean? Well, the lagoon is filled with rainwater, collected in our reservoir at the south end of the property. The water is gathered there and then pumped into the lagoon through a filtration system. Also, the construction was environmentally friendly — the only concrete poured was on the central channel, where the machinery is installed. On the rest of the lagoon, we simply compacted the soil. So one day, if you wanted to remove everything, the land will be as it was before. And, finally, the most important aspect of our sustainability is the energy consumption. This is an electrical and mechanical system and the energy consumption is pretty low. tribeza.com
| AUGUST 2017
LIFE INHOW3DSOME FORMER NASA EMPLOYEES ARE RESHAPING HOW THINGS GET MADE BY NICOLE BECKLEY PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT GOMEZ
Peer into a crystal ball and you might see a future where your furniture, décor and even your house itself has been created by a 3D printer. How far in the future? Some of it is happening now. While working at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston and volunteering abroad with Engineers Without Borders, Samantha Snabes and Matthew Fiedler began talking about what it would be like if people in various corners of the world could make their own stuﬀ. “The maker movement was just starting and Matthew had one of the early open source printers at his house,” Snabes says. “He was like, man, this is going to be the next big thing. He was teaching all of us to print at night.”
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Snabes started polling NGOs, asking what people would make if they had a 3D printer. People wanted to produce prosthetics and tools, larger objects than what small consumer printers could accommodate, and they wanted a printer with a smaller price tag. Fiedler began working nights and weekends in his garage and in eight weeks produced what would become the Gigabot, a large-format 3D printer the size of a chest of drawers (or as Snabes says, “toilet-sized”). In 2013, they debuted Re:3D’s newly created Gigabot on Kickstarter and at SXSW, where it caught the attention of TechCrunch. “It was on TechCrunch literally within an hour or two of going live and we hit our funding goal in 27 hours,” Snabes says.
Co-founder Samantha Snabes and one of her colleagues, Mike Strong, pictured here with the Gigabot, a decidedly large â€œtoilet-sizedâ€? printer. tribeza.com | AUGUST 2017 53
HOW RE:3D'S PRINTING TECHNOLOGY IS BEING USED GRENEKER From there orders rolled in, and while Fiedler built bots in his garage, Snabes would make deliveries — to Los Angeles, northern Michigan, or the Appalachian Mountain region of Kentucky. “I would personally deliver them and shake these people’s hands,” Snabes says. “[They were] a microinvestor in our company.” Since then, Re:3D has grown to a team of around 20, working in their E. 5th Street oﬃce, and in their Houston factory, and they’ve won a number of awards, including the second largest prize at June’s WeWork Creator Awards. And their technology has been adopted by Fortune 500 companies, universities, hospitals, vet clinics, and DIY enthusiasts. About the people using their machines, “I’d say they’re problem-solvers,” Snabes says. “I think the underlying thing is that they know they need a printer. It’s like a complement to their CNC or their laser cutter, or they have a very specific problem that they’re trying to address.” To address these problems, or work on any creation, 3D printing begins with a Computer Aided Design (CAD) file and slicing so!ware. The model
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LA-based custom mannequin-maker is 3D printing the human form.
CREATIVE COMMONS #NewPalmyra
A reproduction of Tetrapylon, this column structure was destroyed by ISIS in Syria.
THE FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Bones
The Chicago museum replicates animal skulls and skeletons.
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE (FLL) THUNDERBOLTS
Automatic Pet Feeder
Robotics students modeled and created a sensor-based feeder.
This Mexico-based startup prints custom-fit, lightweight plastic casts.
STUMP ARMOUR Prosthetics
Created by an amputee, this “foot” provides mobility options.
rendering of the final product — for instance, a sur%oard or a floral vase — is put on a micro SD card that’s inserted into the Gigabot. The machine’s bed starts as a blank canvas, heated to help the print stick. Spools of printing material, commonly corn-based PLA plastic or nylon, are pulled in, melted and distributed over the bed in the designed pattern. The first layer provides the foundation and the print gets built up layer by layer. For something like a small vase, the printing time would be a couple of hours. “Really 3D printing is just putting things together,” Snabes says. Through this process, Re:3D is also seeing new tools and companies being built. For instance, MediPrint’s Novacast. “It’s a cast that would be custom-fit for every situation,” explains Re:3D’s Mike Strong. Using measurements taken by the doctor, a customized, easily removed cast is printed with patterned air holes for breathability. “It’s like the hottest startup right now in Mexico,” Snabes says. Or the locally made Stump Armour. Created by an amputee who’d lost both legs, the kneecap-sized bowl is a modified “foot” that allows mobility in situations where traditional prosthetics can be more cumbersome, like
climbing a ladder or carrying heavy objects. When it comes to what 3D printing can create, “really you’re only limited by your imagination,” Snabes says. The flip side of that is that there are few checks on the emerging industry. “There’s a lot of dialogue that still has to happen, particularly in the realm of safety and policy, and just real science,” Snabes says. As 3D printing finds its way into homebuilding and hospitals, and consumers explore what they can build, which could include weapons, new rules will have to be defined. “On the technical side, it’s scaling very fast, but I think culturally, people haven’t wrapped their minds around it. With the self-driving car, it’s out on the road, we’re going to have to figure it out... And with [the 3D printer], it’s not just a hobbyist tool anymore,” Snabes says. While it might be a while before we live in a 3D printed house, the technology is moving fast and Re:3D is a startup on the ground floor of a new industry. “We taught some kids at the Thinkery and brought some stools and every hand went up when we said, ‘who wants to sit on a 3D printed stool?’ They all wanted to sit on it,” Strong says. We’re ready to pull up a 3D printed chair. tribeza.com
| AUGUST 2017
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into hubs of collaboration and opportunity. Coworking spaces offer the latest technology, like ultrafast wi-fi and device labs, along with amenities ranging from nap pods and massage chairs to organized social and educational events. CHECK OUT OUR GUIDE TO SOME OF AUSTINâ€™S BEST PLACES TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR NETWORK.
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Austin’s locally owned South Lamar coworking space is a community of small businesses, bootstrappers and thought leaders. Featuring blazing Google Fiber gigabit Internet, all-inclusive stocked kitchen with espresso, cold brew, beer, wine and more. Meeting rooms and event space are available for rent to the public. Inquire about trial day passes to experience the ‘Cove.
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| AUGUST 2017
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LIFE + STYLE HOW WE LIVE RIGHT NOW
One of Rachel Pruettâ€™s hand-embroidered cameo necklaces, available at Poppy & Fern. ST YLE PROFILE
ST YLE PICK
LO C A L LOV E
| AUGUST 2017
STYLE PROFILE | LIFE + STYLE
Making a Splash with KOVAS Swim FASHION DESIGNER K ATIE KOVAS MAKES CUSTOM, DATAMOSH-INSPIRED SWIMSUITS By Mary Bryce Portrait by Victoria Stevens
One-piece suit featuring a unique datamosh pattern available for custom order at kkovas.com.
USTIN-BORN FASHION DESIGNER K ATIE KOVAS OFFI-
“ W E C A N BE
cially launched KOVAS Swim last year and took part in AusWA LK ING PIECES OF tin Fashion Week with her first collection of suits, which she A RT,” SHE SAYS had been working on since graduating from Moore College T HOUGH T F U LLY. of Art and Design in 2014. “ W E ’ R E A LL SPECI A L Kovas, who is now based in Brooklyn, New York, says she’s inspired by the ENOUGH TO city’s party culture and likens her swimsuits to little disco balls. To create her unique prints she uses a digital technique called datamoshing. “It inFEEL T H AT WAY.” volves destroying pixels and creating glitches,” she explains. “It’s like when you’re watching TV and something goes wrong, but it’s beautiful.” Kovas made her first swimsuit for a colleague who was looking for a sexy but modest suit for a family vacation. Together, they came up with a print based on a piece of art she really liked. The result: the first of many datamosh-inspired suits. After Kovas posted a photo of that suit on Instagram, she started getting requests from all of her friends and eventually she was getting orders from all over New York City. “People would request suits and give me directions like ‘I want to accentuate my bust, but cover my belly.’ ‘I need something that covers my tattoo for my cousin’s beach wedding, but I don’t want to look matronly,’ and so on.” As a former competitive swimmer, Kovas applies her understanding of what people want in a swimsuit to create a colorful and unique line that is flattering to a wide range of body types. “I grew up with this idea that to be sexy is to have a sexy body or show off as much as possible,” Kovas says. “But it’s really more about confidence and being comfortable. That’s what I’m going for with my suits.” With her second collection of suits, which she debuted at Fashion Week Brooklyn this spring, Kovas has continued to develop her datamosh-inspired prints in styles that speak to her clients, such as her popular one-piece suit with a low back and what she refers to as the “cheeky butt.” She’s also begun work on a resort collection of pieces that complement the suits, such as kimonos and cover-ups. Kovas says she wants to create long-lasting pieces that can easily transition from the city to the pool. Indeed, wearing a KOVAS suit feels more like wearing a piece of art, which is her goal. “We can be walking pieces of art,” she says thoughtfully. “We’re all special enough to feel that way.”
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STYLE PICK | LIFE + STYLE
Donâ€™t try this at home!
Hats Off to The Hatter MEET CHRIS ROBERTS OF ASPEN HAT TER By Lauren Schulze Photographs by Seth Beckton
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’VE BEEN WEARIN’ A HAT EVER SINCE I WAS
little and it’s just been kind of part of me,” Chris Roberts says, recounting the genesis of his hat shop, the Aspen Hatter. An Austin native, Roberts had been a musician in Aspen, Colorado, playing gigs at bars around town. Every so often, he’d look for a new hat to change up his look, but he always came up short. “They only made one style,” he says. Realizing that the hat industry wasn’t producing the inventive styles he sought, he took it upon himself to fill the void. Roberts started styling his own hats about a decade ago: he’d buy hats in standard styles, then cut, reshape, and alter them to make them his own. When he’d wear his revamped hats, strangers stopped him on the streets, asking him where they could get their hands on pieces like that. He got the question so often that he decided to make a business out of it. Walking into the Aspen Hatter, you may notice
“ONE CUSTOMER WILL BE A PROFESSIONAL RODEO COWBOY AND THE NEXT ONE WILL BE A MODEL FROM L .A .”
a commonality tying the hats together—the basic backbone of Roberts’ designs—but they’re all different: playing with the hats’ color and shape and embellishing them with feathers and ribbons, Roberts has an expansive toolkit for imbuing each hat with its own character and charm. Deviating from traditional styles, he creates bespoke hats that suit his customer´s needs and reflect their individuality. The shop is worth a visit: the tools and machines are on display and all the work—from construction to styling—happens there on the floor. Roberts understands the versatility of style and works directly with each customer to create the perfect hat that reflects their vibe. “One customer will be a professional rodeo cowboy and the next one will be a model from L.A.,” he says. It’s an engaging and personal process. No matter what kind of individual you are, if you’re a fan of hats, the Aspen Hatter is your guy. tribeza.com
| AUGUST 2017
LOC AL LOVE | LIFE + ST YLE
LOCAL LOVE HOW DO YOU ADD SOME GLITZ AND GL AM TO YOUR EVERYDAY ST YLE? THESE TALENTED JEWELRY MAKERS CRE ATE THE PERFECT PIECES TO PUNCTUATE ANY LOOK
STITCH AND STONE
By Nicole Beckley
$15–$48 The fun and funky vibes of Stitch and Stone show through jewelry-maker Michele Leiser’s use of colored tassels, beautiful gems, and unique charms. Beyond the everyday, brides and bridesmaids can have custom pieces made for their special occasions. Find them at the South Congress Market. PRICE RANGE:
CLAIRE SOMMERS BUCK
$22–$160 Looking to global influences, Claire Sommers Buck channels ancient Egypt and vibrant Morocco in her collections, handmade in her East Austin studio. Oxidized brass, antique bronze, and pops of gemstones make the ancient feel contemporary. PRICE RANGE:
$24–$198 Embracing bold geometric designs, Nina Berenato and her team of craftswomen handmake signature pieces like long beam earrings and stonestudded gold cuffs. View the latest offerings at the recently-opened flagship store at the Domain. PRICE RANGE:
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$29–$179 Since 2003 Edson Enriquez and Anne Rutt-Enriquez, the husband-wife team behind Limbo, have created a line rooted in sustainability and minimalism. Morphing organic shapes into elegant silver bracelets and dangling gold earrings, find the handsoldered pieces at their South Congress storefront. PRICE RANGE:
PRICE RANGE: $39–$1,250 With a love of colorful geometry, Melissa Borrell crafts silver bubble rings, pendants of interlocking rectangles, and flexible topography necklaces. Look for select pieces created with a 3D printer. MELISSABORRELL.COM
POPPY & FERN
$38–$68 Bits of colorful life pop from Rachel Pruett’s handembroidered cameo necklaces. Whether it’s a red octopus stitched into a vintage brass frame or a floral bouquet surrounded by carved wood, her tiny canvases are works of art after Wes Anderson’s own heart. PRICE RANGE:
CLEMENTINE & CO.
$22–$408 Inspired by nature, Emily Clementine Spykman crafts fine objects from copper, brass, silver and gold for everyday wear. Dragonfly bangles and feather-shaped earrings are handmade locally to add a touch of organic whimsy to any outfit. PRICE RANGE:
| AUGUST 2017
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FOOD + THOUGHT A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON OUR LOCAL DINING SCENE Still Austin Whiskey Co. PHOTOGRAPH BY DANIELLE CHLOE POTTS
K ARENâ€™S PICK
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| AUGUST 2017
K AREN'S PICK | FOOD + THOUGHT
The Beer Plant A VEGAN GASTROPUB FINDS SUCCESS IN A CURSED LOCATION By Karen O. Spezia Photographs by Mica McCook
AR AH AND R AY MCMACKIN MUST BE MAGICAL WIZ ARDS.
They took a chronically jinxed restaurant space and turned it into a bona fide success. Even more amazing, it’s vegan. The Beer Plant is their miraculous creation. With a 100% plant-based menu and over 40 beers on tap, their popular gastropub has been packing them in since its September opening. For two decades, its Tarrytown location suffered from constant turnover (perhaps due to its landlord’s morally-imposed restrictions, but that’s a whole other story…). Restaurant after restaurant tried and failed. So when The Beer Plant opened last fall, Tarrytown neighbors waited for its inevitable collapse. But something unusual happened: it didn’t. Almost immediately, the crowds arrived. And a year later, they’re still there. And it’s not just vegans swarming The Beer Plant. It’s also beer lovers and non-vegans; a surprising cross-section of nearby neighbors and folks from
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across town who’ve found their way to this quiet corner of Tarrytown. It took the McMackins almost two years to transform the space from yet another defunct coffee shop into a rustically hip destination. The vegan menu is a creative spin around the globe with influences from Mexico, Asia, and Europe. But the signature dish is all-American: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, a delicious riff on America’s favorite bar grub. Tender cauliflower florets are fried in a spicy tempura batter and served with the classic accompaniments. They’re so addictively tasty that I prefer them to the chicken variety. The Ploughman’s Plate is another yummy starter, piled high with home-baked bread and a variety of vegan cheeses, spreads, and pickled veggies. Nachos are topped with oozing queso and savory quinoa chorizo and the skillet of Mac-n-Cheese is bathed in creamy cashew cheese sauce. Of course, there are veggies like roasted shishito peppers, jewel yams, green beans, and broccoli, served with a choice of dipping sauces.
T HE PLOUGHM A N ’S PL AT E IS A NOT HER Y UM M Y STA RT ER , PILED HIGH W IT H HOME-BA K ED BR E A D A N D A VA R IET Y OF V EGA N CHEESES , SPR E A DS , A N D PICK LED V EGGIES .
Entrees include the Blacksmith Burger, a savory vegan patty topped with caramelized onions and cashew cheddar. The Vietnamese Bánh Fire sandwich is stuffed with zingy crisp tofu and aromatic veggies on a baguette dressed with sriracha mayo. Fish & Chips are reinvented with beer-battered hearts of palm and Pad Thai is made with raw kelp noodles. Weekend brunch features tempting options like Chik’n & Waff les made with chicken-fried seitan and a decadent crepe wrapped around caramelized bananas, candied pecans, and whipped coconut cream. Toasted bagels are smeared with almond cream cheese and cured smoked carrots are dead-ringers for salmon lox. But as the name implies, The Beer Plant is as much a bar as a restaurant. Its rotating 40-tap selection is a draw for craft beer aficionados, featuring some unusual brews rarely found on draft elsewhere. Cocktails are given great attention, too, and there are some very reasonably priced wines. While The Beer Plant is a resounding success, it’s ain’t perfect. The dining room can be painfully loud and the service can be annoyingly inconsistent. But that’s a small price to pay for a tenant that has finally filled this cursed space with great energy, food, and drink. The McMackins have banished the ghosts and cast a magical spell. The Beer Plant’s signature dish, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, are better than the chicken variety.
THE BEER PLANT 3110 WINDSOR ROAD (512) 524-1800 | THEBEERPLANT.COM
| AUGUST 2017
F E AT U R E | F O O D + T H O U G H T
Co-founder and CEO Chris Seals tell us about the need for a local grain revival program
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GRAINS of TRUTH AUSTIN’S FIRST WHISKEY DISTILLERY SINCE PROHIBITION CR AF TS SMALL-BATCH SPIRITS WITH A SENSE OF PL ACE By Laurel Miller Photographs by Danielle Chloe Potts
ORTILLAS AREN’T NORMALLY WHAT COME TO MIND WHEN
tasting whiskey, but that didn’t stop Chris Seals, co-founder and CEO of Still Austin Whiskey Co., from trying a regional white corn in an experimental distillate. “Our goal is to create whiskey with a sense of place, both in terms of flavor and sourcing,” Seals says. “South Central Texas is covered with fields of this corn, which is grown for the local tortilla market—being coveted for its robust, earthy, sweet flavor—and we were eager to see what would happen if we tried making whiskey with it.” Seals says the results of this experiment were remarkable. “The whiskey was rich and complex, with subtle fruity notes. Even without aging, it was surprisingly smooth,” he says. “It was a nice confirmation that Central Texas has a lot of outstanding, regional grain varieties that can be used to make distinctive whiskies. We also learned there’s a need for a local grain revival program to help farmers bring more biodiversity and flavorful grain varieties to market and in the process, tell their stories.” The “we” Seals is referring to are Still Austin’s other co-founders—his father, Cleveland Seals, and couples Andrew and Lisa Braunberg and Sal and Joanna Salinas—and their head distiller, Kris “KB” Bohm. While craft distilleries dedicated to making other spirits have opened around Austin in recent years, Still Austin is the city’s first producer committed to grain-toglass production, which means the crops used in their whiskey are grown less than 100 miles from the distillery. The condensed version of Still Austin’s evolution is thus: Chris, an economist and former consultant, grew up visiting his great grandfather’s Missouri farm, which sparked a love of agriculture. Cleveland, a whiskey aficionado, approached his son in 2013 about starting a distillery. Later that year, while attending an American Distilling Institute whiskey-making class, the Sealses met the Braunbergs and Salinases, who were interested in distilling. Four years and incalculable red tape later, Still Austin has become a reality, opening this summer. It took more than three years to obtain the right permits, but Chris Seals says there was a silver lining. “Being the first whiskey distillery within Austin city limits wasn’t easy—it required a lot of patience,” he says. “But that’s what making and aging whiskey is all about.” tribeza.com
| AUGUST 2017
F E AT U R E | F O O D + T H O U G H T
“ BEING T HE FIR ST W HISK E Y DIST ILLERY W IT HIN AUST IN CIT Y LIMITS WA SN ’ T E A SY—IT R EQU IR ED A LOT OF PAT IENCE . BU T T H AT ’S W H AT M A K ING A N D AGING W HISK E Y IS A LL A BOU T.”
The distillery’s distinctive 50-foot column—part of a custom-made copper-and-stainless-steel Forsyths still from Scotland—serves as a beacon, luring whiskey aficionados and neophytes to The Yard, the 150,000-square-foot “maker’s development” that opened in the St. Elmo district earlier this year. “The developers of The Yard [Adam Zimmerman, Scott Ungar, and Brian Schoenbaum] wanted to create a mixed-use maker’s space with select tenants who would create an experiential and collaborative community,” Seals explains. “They saw that we had a commitment to authenticity, transparency and quality—traits they shared in their vision—and they’ve been instrumental in developing the infrastructure of our facility.” The Yard’s other businesses include a brewery, urban winery, coffee roaster, metal fabrication studio, custom paddle board company, and recycled granite stone fabricator. The Still Austin team decided early on that they wanted to form authentic relationships with farmers and make spirits from regional and heirloom grains, which are open-pollinated, antique varieties bred for flavor and other aesthetic traits. Esoteric varieties like Aztec black corn, Oaxacan green corn, Bloody Butcher red corn, and red winter wheat have been used in Still Austin’s research-and-development (R & D) trials and their existing releases. Bohm, who was an experienced home brewer before he became a distiller in California, had previously worked with local farmers and heirloom grains in a limited capacity, but Texas was new territory. “Andrew did a lot of research on Central Texas,” Bohm says, “and he provided me with information and resources that have helped me grow and understand our local grain economy, which in turn has helped me to create fantastic whiskey.” Developing relationships with farmers can take years, but with Still Austin, “it happened organically,” Seals says. “We met people like James
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Opposite: Some of the Still Austin team with one of the distillery’s many dogs, Katie, owned by graphic designer Dan Oatis.
Brown, a grain mill proprietor at Barton Springs Mill, and Shane Springs [of Springs Deer Farms, in Guadalupe County]. Shane does grain storage for a lot of growers across Central Texas, and he introduced us to the various folks growing the white corn we used in our early recipe development, and things grew from there. Texas has a big agricultural base, and for distillers, it’s just a matter of reaching out to farmers.” It’s also a symbiotic relationship for farmers such as fifth-generation wheat, corn and grain sorghum grower Mark Prinz of Coupland’s Prinz Farms. “We like to support local businesses like Still,” he says, “and it’s always exciting to see products made with our grains. We like business relationships that feel like family.”
What is Grain-To-Glass, Anyway? In industry-speak, grain-to-glass indicates that a distillery has mashed, fermented, and distilled the base ingredients of its spirits. Though an unregulated term, it’s used to differentiate distilleries that source and process their own grains from those that purchase neutral grain spirits (NGS) in bulk. Spirits made with NGS aren’t necessarily inferior (blending and aging are art forms in themselves), just as grain-to-glass spirits aren’t always better; it’s also impossible to make an exceptional spirit from inferior raw ingredients. What grain-to-glass distilleries offer is transparency in sourcing and support for family farms. If they’re sourcing heirloom grains or other crops, plant biodiversity is an additional benefit. There are many reasons why distilleries might opt to use NGS: It can be difficult for small farms to meet supply and demand, and the cost of grain and storage can be prohibitive, while some spirits are made with base ingredients that only grow in specific regions. The bottom line: Be a savvy consumer and ask questions, but drink and purchase what you enjoy.
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F E AT U R E | F O O D + T H O U G H T
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“ PROHIBIT ION W IPED OU T T HE CU LT U R E A N D CR A FT OF M A K ING SPIR ITS . W E ’ D LOV E TO SEE T HE CIT Y BECOME A PL ACE W HER E CR A FT DIST ILLER IES C A N BLOSSOM A N D T ELL A STORY.”
Collaboration and community are the other core values upon which the distillery and The Yard were founded. “We created a whiskey lab with a custom, 100-gallon pot still so that we can do R & D and collaborate with our neighbor makers,” Seals says. “We’re using The Austin Winery’s Chenin Blanc to make a local brandy and plan to work with St. Elmo Brewing to create whiskey made from craft beer. We wanted a space where friends and neighbors can get involved. That’s one of the things we love about Austin— people are friendly and like to collaborate.” That collaboration extends to the public, through production and workshops. Still Austin does all its grain milling, mashing, fermenting, barreling and bottling in-house. Anyone is welcome to work the bottling line on a volunteer basis, but if you’re looking for a more immersive experience, Still Austin has DYOB (Distill Your Own Barrel) workshops for people interested in learning the art and craft of whiskey-making. High-rollers can also throw down ($2,500, to be exact) for Still Austin’s STASH program, in which participants can store their own 53-gallon barrel of bourbon at the distillery and access Bohm’s maturation notes as it finishes.
Fermenting and aging spirits takes time, and Still Austin finishes theirs in charred new American oak barrels. Part of their business model, however, is releasing their New Make Whiskey—a term for spirits taken straight from the still. While many distilleries sell unaged spirits For their opening, Still like vodka to generate revenue while their other Austin created, in addition products age, Still Austin has a different philosoto their signature Blue Label, two intriguing makes phy. Their New Make Whiskey isn’t about making called Mother Pepper and a quick buck. “It’s about showcasing whiskey in Smoked Briskey. its purest form,” Seals says. These smooth, clear, grain-forward spirits are made for sipping or mixing in cocktails. For Still Austin’s opening, the team created three new makes: their signature Blue Label, made with corn, red wheat and malted barley, with faint notes of freshly baked bread and caramel; Mother Pepper, made with locally-grown Chile pequin, smoked Serrano and aji amarillo peppers, which yield a spice-forward kick with a warm, citrus finish; and Smoked Briskey, a tribute to Austin’s meaty proclivities, made with barley smoked over oak in La Barbecue’s pits. When I ask Seals why—despite all the red tape—it was important that Still Austin open in Austin, he doesn’t hesitate. “Prohibition wiped out the culture and craft of making spirits,” he says. “We’d love to see the city become a place where craft distilleries can blossom and tell a story.” If Still Austin’s whiskey is any indication, they’ve got the makings of a bestseller. STILL AUSTIN WHISKEY CO. 440 E. ST. ELMO ROAD, AUSTIN (512) 512-2182 | STILLAUSTIN.COM
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ALCOMAR 1816 S. 1st St. | (512) 401 3161 Chefs Alma Alcocer and Jeff Martinez serve up some of the city’s best Latin American-inspired seafood. Stop by for lunch, happy hour, dinner or weekend brunch, and start your visit with blood orange margarita and the crab and guacamole.
ANNIE’S CAFÉ & BAR 319 Congress Ave. | (512) 472 1884 Locally minded American offerings in a charming setting; perfect spot for a decadent downtown brunch
GUSTO ITALIAN KITCHEN 4800 Burnet Rd. | (512) 458 1100
Upscale-casual Italian in the heart of the Rosedale neighborhood. Fresh pastas, hand-tossed pizzas, incredible desserts (don’t miss the salted caramel budino) and locally-sourced, seasonally inspired
34TH STREET CATERING
chalkboard specials. Full bar with craft cocktails,
1005 W. 34th St. | (512) 323 2000 | 34thstreetcafe.com
local beers on tap and boutique wines from around the world.
One of the best and most creative full service catering companies in Austin. Acclaimed Chef Paul Petersen brings his culinary experience
and high standards to the catering company
408 E. 43rd St. | (512) 451 1218
and to your event! Call them to save the date and they'll start planning any occasion. We’re coming to the party.
24 DINER 600 N. Lamar Blvd. | (512) 472 5400 Chef Andrew Curren’s casual eatery promises delicious plates 24/7 and a menu featuring nostalgic diner favorites. Order up the classics, including roasted chicken, burgers, all-day breakfast and decadent milkshakes.
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FONDA SAN MIGUEL
2330 W. North Loop Blvd. | (512) 459 4121 | fondasanmiguel.com
Veggie lovers will surely smile when tasting the calabacitas rellenas—baked zucchini filled with corn and white cheese, served with a Jitomate sauce. It’s just one of many vegetarian offerings, including salads, quesos, enchiladas, organic heirloom beans, and tamales made with swiss chard right out of our garden. And let’s not forget the Watermelon Margaritas…
The chic little Hyde Park trattoria offers essential Italian dishes along with a variety of wines to pair them with. Finish off your meal with the honey and goat cheese panna cotta.
BANGER’S SAUSAGE HOUSE & BEER GARDEN 79 Rainey St. | (512) 386 1656 Banger’s brings the German biergarten tradition to Rainey Street with an array of artisan sausages and more than 100 beers on tap. To get the full Banger’s experience, go for their weekend brunch and indulge in the Banger’s Benny, the beer garden’s take on eggs Benedict.
V I S I T T R I B E Z A .CO M TO VIEW THE ENTIRE ONLINE DINING GUIDE
BLUE DAHLIA BISTRO
BUENOS AIRES CAFÉ
1115 E. 11th St. | (512) 542 9542
1201 E. 6th St. | (512) 382 1189
3663 Bee Caves Rd. West Lake Hills, TX 78746
13500 Galleria Circle | (512) 441 9000
A cozy French bistro serving up breakfast, lunch and
Chef and Argentine native Reina Morris wraps
dinner in a casual setting. Pop in for their happy hour to share
the f lavors of her culture into authentic and crispy
a bottle of your favorite wine and a charcuterie board.
empanadas. Don’t forget the chimichurri sauce!
Follow up your meal with Argentina’s famous
2013 Wells Branch Pkwy. #109 | (512) 531 9832 1900 Simond Ave. #300 | (512) 297 2720 Pastry Chef Jodi Elliott puts a fun spin on classic confections. The Mueller location is a Candy Land-esque space where diners can sip on cocktails, beer, wine and coffee.
dessert, alfajores — shortbread cookies filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut f lakes.
BULLFIGHT 4807 Airport Blvd. | (512) 474 2029 Chef Shawn Cirkiel transports diners to the south of Spain for classic tapas, including croquettes and jamon serrano. The white-brick patio invites you
to sip on some sangria and enjoy the bites.
3201 Bee Caves Rd. #122 | (512) 327 9889 | laspalomasrestaurant.com
One of the hidden jewels in Westlake, this unique
1200 W. 6th St. | (512) 322 9226
restaurant and bar offers authentic interior
Executive chef Todd Havers creates “The Experi-
Mexican cuisine in a sophisticated yet relaxed
ence” menu every night at Cafe Josie, which offers
setting. Enjoy family recipes made with fresh
guests a prix fixe all-you-can-eat dining experience.
ingredients. Don’t miss the margaritas!
The a la carte menu is also available, featuring
BARLEY SWINE 6555 Burnet Road, Suite 400 | (512) 394 8150 James Beard Award-nominated chef Bryce Gilmore encourages sharing with small plates made from locally-sourced ingredients, served at communal tables. Try the parsley croissants with bone marrow or Gilmore’s unique take on fried chicken.
CAFÉ NO SÉ
classics such as smoked meatloaf and redfish tacos.
CRU FOOD & WINE BAR
2nd Street: 238 W 2nd St | 512.472.9463 Domain: 11410 Century Oaks | 512.339.9463 CRUaWINEbar.com
South Congress Hotel’s Café No Sé balances rustic decor and a range of seasonal foods to make it the best place for weekend brunching. Their spin on the classic avocado toast is a must-try.
CRU’s wildly popular Ahi Tartare is the perfect
BAR CHI SUSHI
compliment to any of over 300 selections, 80
206 Colorado St. | (512) 382 5557
premium wines by the glass or 15 wine f lights.
A great place to stop before or after a night on the town,
A state-of-the-art wine preservation system and
this sushi and bar hotspot stays open until 2 a.m. on the
temperature control ensure optimal taste and
weekends. Bar Chi’s happy hour menu features $2 sake
appreciation. Toast to Summer at CRU.
bombs and a variety of sushi rolls under $10.
1603 S. Congress Ave. | (512) 942 2061
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ELIZABETH STREET CAFÉ
GOODALL’S KITCHEN AND BAR
1603 S. Congress Ave. | (512) 942 0823
1501 S. 1st St. | (512) 291 2881
1900 Rio Grande St. | (512) 495 1800
Between their full dinner menu, impressive raw bar and craft
Chef Larry McGuire creates a charming French-Vietnamese
Housed in the beautiful Hotel Ella, Goodall’s provides mod-
cocktail offerings, Central Standard at the South Congress
eatery with a colorful menu of pho, banh mis and sweet
ern spins on American classics. Dig into a fried mortadella
Hotel is the perfect place to spend a night on the town.
treats. Both the indoor seating and outdoor patio bring com-
egg sandwich and pair it a with cranberry thyme cocktail.
fort and vibrancy to this South Austin neighborhood favorite.
510 Neches St. | (512) 473 2413
Don’t forget to end your meal with the housemade macarons.
3110 Guadalupe St. | (512) 537 0467
Now an iconic Austin staple, Chez Nous creates authentic
A gastropub with French inclinations, offering a beautiful
French cuisine just a few yards away from bustling 6th
2307 Hancock Dr. | (512) 371 6840
patio and unique cocktails. The beer, wine and cocktail
Street. Genuine, simple and delectable, it is hard not to leave
A café and grocery with both Louisiana and French sensibili-
options are plentiful and the perfect pairing for the restau-
this bistro feeling completely satisfied.
ties by Thomas Keller-trained Chef Sarah McIntosh. Lovers of
rant’s famed steak frites and moules frites.
COUNTER 3. FIVE. VII
brunch are encouraged to stop in here for a bite on Sundays!
315 Congress Ave, Ste. 100 | (512) 291 3327
1204 W. Lynn St. | (512) 477 5584
Belly up to the counter at this 25-seat space for an intimate
500 W. 5th St. | (512) 888 9133
Named one of Bon Appétit’s “10 Best New Restaurants in
dining experience that’s modern yet approachable. This
Southern charm meets delicious f lavors in this downtown
America,” this historic Clarksville favorite has maintained
unique eatery gives three, five and seven-course tasting
eatery. Run by the team who founded Eddie V’s, Fixe serves
the execution, top-notch service and luxurious but welcoming
menus in an immersive setting.
modern Louisiana cuisine with a dash of Dixie.
atmosphere that makes Jeffrey’s an old Austin staple.
626 N. Lamar Blvd. | (512) 708 8800
616 W. 34th St. | (512) 420 8400
2400 E. Cesar Chavez St. Ste. 304 | (512) 220 9421
1914 E. 6th St. | (512) 351 9961
Fresh and inspired sandwiches, soups and salads in a charm-
Uchi alum Nicholas Yanes cooks up northern Italian fair
It’s nothing fancy, but this tiny shotgun-style diner has some
ing refashioned cottage and porch. This local sandwich shop
on the east side. Juniper’s minimalistic menu reinvents the
of the city’s best breakfast offerings. This cafe fuses Ameri-
on 34th Street is the perfect date spot for you and your book.
can diner food with a global touch. Make sure to order their
Don’t forget to check out the daily soup specials!
famous pancakes and burgers!
2402 San Gabriel St. | (512) 220 0953
This cute walk-up kitchen and patio fuses traditional French
2406 Manor Rd. | (512) 524 0688
Housed in a historic Austin landmark, smoke imbues the
and Southern cuisine. Think late night Parisian-style
Whether you’re in the mood for fresh market ingredients or
f lavors of everything at Freedmen’s — from the barbecue, to
burgers with frites or rosemary biscuits and gravy for
a succulent dining out experience, Dai Due has it all. Their
the desserts and even their cocktail offerings. Pitmaster
products are regionally sourced and seasonal, including the
and chef Evan LeRoy plates some of the city’s best barbecue
eclectic drink list.
on a charming outdoor patio.
LUCY’S FRIED CHICKEN
2218 College Ave. | (512) 297 2423
709 E. 6th St. | (512) 614 4972
605 Davis St. | (512) 476 4755
2900 Ranch Rd. 620 N
From the ELM Restaurant Group, Easy Tiger lures in both
Located inside Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s
Straight-up Southern goodness, from moon pies to fried
drink and food enthusiasts with a delicious bakeshop up-
creates a unique, fun experience by combining creative
green tomatoes and the house specialty: fried chicken. Chef
stairs and a casual beer garden downstairs. Sip on some local
cocktails, shareable plates and scenic views of Lady Bird Lake.
James Holmes puts a fun take on our Southern favorites
brew and grab a hot, fresh pretzel. Complete your snack with
Enjoy live bands every night of the week as you enjoy Chef Ste-
and serves them up with inventive cocktails, like the peach
beer cheese and an array of dipping sauces.
phen Bonin dishes and cocktails from bar manager Jen Keyser.
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L’ESTELLE HOUSE 88 1/2 Rainey St. | (512) 571 4588
5408 Burnet Rd. | (512) 514 0664 &
V I S I T T R I B E Z A .CO M TO VIEW THE ENTIRE ONLINE DINING GUIDE
MONGERS MARKET + KITCHEN
2401 E. Cesar Chavez St. | (512) 215 8972
1201 S. Lamar Blvd. | (512) 433 6521
301 E. 6th St. | (512) 474 9898
Chef Shane Stark brings a casual Texas Gulf Coast sensibil-
Famed food trailer turned brick-and-mortar, Odd Duck was
Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s f lagship restaurant, featuring a happy
ity to East Austin by slinging fresh seafood in the kitchen
the first venture from acclaimed chef Bryce Gilmore. Expect
hour with half-price oysters and tasty cocktails, is a local
and at the counter.
seasonal fare and drinks with a Texas inf luence at this
favorite. Don’t overlook the dessert menu, with delectable
NAU’S ENFIELD DRUG
South Lamar oasis.
items such as a brioche beignet and chocolate mousse.
1115 West Lynn St. | (512) 476 1221
OLIVE & JUNE
An Austin institution since 1951, this all-American soda
3411 Glenview Ave. | (512) 467 9898
1917 Manor Rd. | (512) 391 2337
fountain within an antiquated drug store gives guests an
Celebrated Austin chef Shawn Cirkiel created this southern
Salty Sow serves up creative signature drinks, including
unmatched experience founded on tradition. The food is
Italian-style restaurant with a menu that highlights local,
a Blueberry-Lemon Thyme Smash. The food menu,
simple and classic, rivaled only by the scrumptious shakes
seasonal ingredients with dishes like saffron ricotta ravioli
heavy with sophisticated gastropub fare, is perfect for late-
and hand mixed old-fashioned sodas.
and pork meatballs.
A L O O K B E H I N D 5…5 Here, Sir Zoltan David unveils a replica of his “Iris.” The real thing is not actually that big.
From Austin to Smithsonian Earlier this summer, we attended a ceremony in the Hill Country honoring Austin’s Sir Zoltan David, a prolific jewelry designer and craftsman (and yes, a Hungarian knight!), whose “Iris” moonstone necklace was acquired by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The stunning piece will be part of their permanent collection and the centerpiece of the moonstone exhibit. If you find yourself in our nation’s capital in 2018 (or later), be sure to go take a look.
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LONDON GREY RUGS
3001 PALM WAY STE. B | AUSTIN, TEXAS 78758 | DOMAIN NORTHSIDE 512-839-8999 | LONDONGREYRUGS.COM