HEART OF TEXAS
A photo essay from the stateâ€™s geographic center
SOM E S H A L L PA S S
Hueco Tanks in far West Texas
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CO N T E N T S | F E AT U R E S
MAY DRINKS WELL WITH OTHERS Two friends hit the Hill Country wine trail
P. 44 TAKE COMFORT 19th century bowling alley turned boutique B&B
P. 48 HEART OF TEXAS Life in the geographic center of the state
P. 52 SOME SHALL PASS Hueco Tanks in far West Texas
P. 62 SWIMMING HOLE HIDEOUTS Five places to beat the heat
P. 66 CORAL AND CONCRETE A visit to Santa Cruz del Islote
P. 68 Hueco Tanks, just outside of El Paso. Photograph by Derek Gill.
12 MAY 2017 |
Photography by Alexandra Valenti
CÉLINE DRIES VAN NOTEN CHLOÉ LEMAIRE LOEWE ROSIE ASSOULIN MARNI SIES MARJAN THE ROW ISABEL MARANT MONIQUE PÉAN SAINT LAURENT CO BALENCIAGA PROTAGONIST NAK ARMSTRONG ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO PROENZA SCHOULER ULLA JOHNSON ACNE STUDIOS BROCK COLLECTION RAQUEL ALLEGRA KHAITE FERNANDO JORGE GOLDEN GOOSE TOME ALEXANDER WANG SIMON MILLER PLUS MANY MORE LAMAR • THE MENS SHOP • SOUTH CONGRESS BYGEORGEAUSTIN.COM
CO N T E N T S | DE PA RT M E N TS
Life + Style
Social Hour p. 20
Texas Travel By the Numbers
COLU M N p. 76
S T Y LE PICK p. 78
Community + Culture
Compiled by Evan Ross
TH I N K S PACE p. 80
COLUMN: KRISTIN ARMSTRONG p. 27 LOC AL LOVE p. 30
TEXAS’ NATIONAL RANK IN MILES
PROFILE p. 32
OF ROADWAY AND RAILROAD
TRIBEZ A TALK p. 34
MILLION VISITORS TO TEXAS IN 2015
THE LENGTH, IN MILES, OF THE SEAWALL SIDEWALK IN GALVESTON, TX, THE WORLD’S LONGEST CONTINUOUS WALKWAY
Food + Thought
MILES OF ROADWAY IN TEXAS (WHICH IS 280,972 MILES MORE THAN IN CALIFORNIA,
K AREN ’S PICK p. 84
WHICH HAS THE SECOND MOST MILES OF ROADWAY IN THE UNITED STATES)
CONVERSATION p. 86 DINING GUIDE p. 88
TIMES YOU COULD CIRCLE THE EARTH WITH TEXAS ROADS
Arts + Happenings
MILES OF I-10 IN TEXAS
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDARS p. 38
MUSIC PICK p. 39 ART PICK p. 40
HOURS IT TAKES TO DRIVE ACROSS
EVENT PICK p. 42
TEXAS PER GOOGLE MAPS
RATIO OF VEHICLES TO PEOPLE IN TEXAS IN 2014
REGISTERED PERSONAL BOATS IN TEXAS IN
84 40 14 MAY 2017 |
A Look Behind !…! p. 92 tribeza.com
2013, RANKING IT 6TH IN THE COUNTRY
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S A MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO ALL THINGS AUSTIN, WE’RE EXCITED
to share our first-ever travel issue, featuring some of the great places just outside of our regular beat. We drove Highway 290 toward Fredericksburg and sampled worldclass wineries. We spent a night at Camp Comfort, an old German bowling alley converted into a charming B&B. And we went to the geographic center of the state to explore life in small towns like Brady, Eden, and Llano. As photographer Matthew Johnson notes in his photo essay, “Heart of Texas,” some of the best trips aren’t to the most popular destinations; they’re to the places that don’t make the glossy travel brochures or have shops stocked with t-shirts and magnets. I think he’s onto something. As a traveler, I love exploring places that don’t cater to me or any other tourist—I like the perspective that comes from glimpsing another way of life. This past year I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a number of weekends visiting friends who live on a ranch in Medina County. While it should take just over two hours to get there, it typically takes me three or four. Let’s just say I favor the scenic route. I like to stop at the general stores, pick up the local paper, and meet the people who make these Hill Country towns their home. On one of those trips I was intrigued by a story I read in the Bandera County Courier—an interview with Bandera’s only taxi driver. He shared a story that can only happen in small town Texas: the day he spent exploring his hometown with a visitor from China who spoke no English. After a phone call to American Airlines, the taxi driver was on the phone with a translator who helped him figure out where this man wanted to go: a dude ranch and a Mexican restaurant where he ordered one of everything, plus a margarita. It’s a beautiful story of the sort of hospitality Texas is known for, and of the profound impact that traveling (and travelers!) can have on our lives; the Chinese tourist probably went home with fond memories of the warm welcome he experienced and the taxi driver is still talking about it years later. While big cities and well-known tourist spots often attract the most visitors, I believe that the small, lesser-known places often have something far more special and authentic to offer. Such is the case with this issue’s single sojourn out of Texas, to an island off the coast of Colombia called Santa Cruz del Islote. Built entirely on a coral reef smaller than The University of Texas at Austin baseball field, it is thought to be the world’s most densely populated island. To find a place to stay, you first have to find a guy called Freddy—but it’s worth it. I hope you enjoy our travel issue—and if you find yourself inspired to wander, may the road rise up to meet you and the wind be ever at your back. Your friend on the scenic route,
16 MAY 2017 |
The Best of YOUR Texas Travel Photos As we began work on our first travel issue, we recognized there was an untapped resource for some of the most interesting, unexpected Texas travel photos out there—you, our readers! Over the course of the month, your inspiring shots poured in, making us yearn to pack up for an epic road trip, exploring our way across the state in search of the incredible things your images captured. It was tough to narrow them down, but Kenneth Simpson’s photo of Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park stood out from the rest and we decided to make it our cover image. “My wife and I arrived at Big Bend shortly before sunset,” Simpson told us in an email. “It was her first time to the park, and I knew she would fall in love with Santa Elena so it was our first stop. Because it was so hot and late in the day, we had this viewpoint all to ourselves. We sat on the hood of our rented jeep and watched the setting sun light up the canyon walls, and it was just magnificent. We were back early the next morning to take it in again.” Stunning, right? Be sure to head to tribeza.com to see more of the photos we received along with the inspiring stories that accompany them. We hope they pique your sense of wanderlust as much as they did ours.
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SOCIAL HOUR TRIBEZA 16TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION Tribeza celebrated its 16th birthday with a party at Mohawk Austin on March 22. Guests enjoyed live music by March Music Pick Jackie Venson while delighting in delicious bites from Geraldine’s. Along with a slice of birthday cake, friends commemorated the celebration with photos from the Oh Happy Day! photobooth.
2 1 3
TEXAS ADVOCACY PROJECT LUNCHEON AT JULIET On March 25, Juliet Ristorante partnered with Texas Advocacy Project in support of their Handbags for Hope drive. Guests enjoyed brunch al fresco and a Bloody Mary bar sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka and Bloody Revolution. A raffle with prizes from ToddPilates, Zoe Comings, Hotel San José, and many more helped to raise donations for Texas Advocacy Project.
TRIBEZA 16TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: 1. Nikki Hickman & Katherine Shappley 2 . Alexia Zamora & Kristen Chin 3. Dusty & Melanie Johnston 4 . Derek Van Wagner & Jackie Venson 5. Cameron Breed & Wende Parks 6. Jeremy Medina & Cameron Lockley TEXAS ADVOCACY PROJECT LUNCHEON AT JULIET: 7. Felicia Wright & Nicole Bertram 8. Seema Chawla, Monica Shah & Anuradha Koli 9. Nitu Gill, Jeremy Rathke & Jose Paez 10. LouAnne & James Verrier 11. Ginny Biveus, Lindsey Martin & Amy Young
20 MAY 2017 |
The Center for Child Protection combined fast cars and philanthropy last month raising more than $183,000 to benefit Travis County child abuse victims. More than 100 event participants experienced the world-famous Circuit of The Americas track, navigating their own car around the 20 turns or riding shotgun in a hyper-exotic car. Participants received one-on-one instruction from professional drivers and were given the opportunity to drive a Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2, Porsche 911 Turbo S, McLaren 570S, Audi R8 V10 Plus and more.
AUSTIN UNDER 40 AWARDS On April 1, 750 Austinites joined the Young Women's Alliance (YWA) and the Young Men's Business League for the 19th Annual Austin Under 40 Awards at the JW Marriott. Guests enjoyed a VIP cocktail hour, live entertainment during the ceremony, including comedian Lashonda Lester, followed by dinner and dancing. Local musician SaulPaul was awarded the honor of 2017 Austinite of the Year. The annual gala raises money for Austin Sunshine Camps and the YWA Foundation and is presented thanks to title sponsor, Lexus of Austin and Lexus of Lakeway.
RIDE.DRIVE.GIVE: 1. Jaysen Maurice & Mark Lischka 2 . Dan Cotrino & Sonja White 3. Jay, Abhay & Maya Misra AUSTIN UNDER 40 AWARDS: 4. Adam Nyer & Guest 5. SaulPaul 6. Guest & Jay Bath 7. Teresa Granillo, Amy Mills & Heather McKissick 8. Evan McCall, Miranda Shore & Hal Williams tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
TRIBEZA APRIL ISSUE RELEASE PARTY On April 5, Tribeza and friends celebrated its April Outdoors Issue release at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum. Guests grooved to beats from DJ Chino Casino while sipping drinks provided by Deep Eddy, Hops and Grain Beer, and Mighty Swell Cocktails. Untouched Poetry created on-the-spot personalized poems which lucky guests took home at the end of the evening.
DSACT COCKTAIL BASH The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas held its seventh annual Cocktail Bash — its largest ever, with more than 200 attendees — at 800 Congress on Wednesday, April 12. The event, which included music, games and a silent auction featuring donations from numerous local businesses, supports DSACT's programs, services and resources for individuals with Down syndrome and their families throughout Central Texas.
GROUNDED IN MUSIC 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT Grounded in Music held its 10 Year Anniversary Benefit on April 12 at the Gibson Guitar Showroom. The event was hosted by musician Kathy Valentine (member of the iconic band the Go-Go’s) and featured performances by The Peterson Brothers, Suzanna Choffel, and Grounded in Music students. The musical benefit helped raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Austin.
TRIBEZA APRIL ISSUE RELEASE PARTY: 1. Michele Abbaticchio & Alex Hopes 2. Kayhan Ahmadi & Meredith Smith 3. Rachel Turner & Carly Young DSACT COCKTAIL BASH: 4. Jordan Hagemann, William Mullican, Jack Shepherd & Gracie Eudy 5. Mike Bradley, Allie McCann, Dr. Sheri Ravenscroft, Elizabeth Bradley, Carolyn Miles & Dr. David Bank GROUNDED IN MUSIC 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT: 6. Karen Morgan & Guest 7. David Messier & Andrea Villarreal 8. Lucy Frost & Greg Barr 9. Christee Albino & Brittany Hoover
22 MAY 2017 |
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Southeast Asia is one of travel photographer Anna Mazurek's favorite places to photograph. She says travel photography involves a lot of patience and a bit of luck. The monsoon rains stopped long enough for her to click the shutter over these rice fields in Thailand. K R I S T I N ' S CO L U M N
LO C A L LOV E
T R I B E Z A TA L K 34 tribeza.com | MAY 2017
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K R I S T I N ' S C O L U M N | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
Time Traveling By Kristin Armstrong Illustration by Heather Sundquist
EC AUSE I HAVE BEEN DIVORCED
for more than 13 years I have been admittedly stingy in sharing the vacation time I have with my kids with anyone else. I don’t have them all the time. I alternate Thanksgiving and Spring Break. I have the odd years and their Dad has the evens. I only get from the start of winter break through Christmas afternoon. They pass between their Dad’s house and mine throughout the summer. My friends with teenage kids are just now starting to feel the sands of time slipping through the hourglass, but I have felt it for as long as I can remember. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
K R I S T I N ' S C O L U M N | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
When my kids were little, I would hoard our vacation time like they hoarded candyâ€”keeping them all to myself, counting my stash, and savoring the sweetness. Sometimes, I would share them with my parents, but mostly I kept them for myself. We would road trip to cabins on a lake, drive to the coast, rent a house in the Hill Country, or visit our home in Santa Barbara. I would scoop their sleepy bodies into car seats and start driving before sunrise, just to get some miles covered before my darlings were awake and noticed the passage of time (and asked about it, every five minutes). I can still remember my tired eyes looking in the rearview mirror at their beautiful faces stuck with thumbs or pacifiers bent at odd angles, asleep in a row. My whole life was riding in that backseat. This year was my last spring break with Luke. His Dad has the next, and then he is off to college. It makes no sense to me how quickly we got from car seats to college visits. People warned me about this warp speed passage of time, but I thought they were overly attached or nostalgic. I am now both. As much as I want to, I can no longer hoard my children on vacation. For some reason, their idea of fun is no longer the four of us crammed into two beds in a hotel room, ordering room ser-
I SHOPLIFT MEMORIES, STEALING BRIEF MOMENTS OF CONNECTION WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING AND SLIPPING THEM INTO THE POCKET OF MY HEART.
28 MAY 2017 |
vice and watching animated movies. Times have changed. They want to be with their friends. And if I want to be with them, I have to get with the program. Luckily I love their friends, or this transition would be even more difficult. So I share them. I make travel plans with other families and I see my children here and there for meals or whenever they run out of money. I alternate between a blind eye and an eagle eye, trying to discern which of their shenanigans require reins and when they can roam. I used to spend my vacation slathering their little bodies in sunscreen and ordering chicken tenders, fries and Sprite. I worried most about sunburns and counting their small heads above water in the pool or bobbing in the waves. My favorite time of the day was early evening, coming off the beach, bathing my sandy people, dressing them in clean pajamas, then pouring my wine and having dinner. Now they get ready to go out just when I want to stay in. I worry about curfew, trying to stay awake until everyone is accounted for. I have to corral and cajole them just to get a single family photo to mark our trip. I shoplift memories, stealing brief moments of connection when no one is looking and slipping them into the pocket of my heart. We enjoyed our last spring break with Luke. It was safe and happy, with a modicum of mischief, a few moody moments, the usual infighting, limited eye-rolling and complaining, and issues with cellphone data usage. My best friend always reminds me that we endure all those moments for a chance at the rare onesâ€”the peaceful moments of connection, the shared laughs, the priceless gems of gratitude: Thanks, mom. I had a great time. I know our travels together will become our foundation, something solid to build a larger structure of memories with additional floors for more people and windows to view the passage of time.
L O C A L L OV E | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
LOCAL LOVE PL AN A MINI-GETAWAY THIS SUMMER, NOT TOO FAR FROM YOUR OWN BACK YARD. E XPLORE THE BE AUT Y OF HILL COUNTRY, SLEEP UNDER THE STARS, OR ENJOY AN AF TERNOON OF K AYAKING AT ONE OF THESE MANY CAMPING ARE AS, ALL LESS THAN THREE HOURS AWAY. By Nicole Beckley
PEDERNALES FALLS 1 hour from downtown Austin Hike and bike along the Pedernales River. Wander the trails along the falls, or ride your mountain bike on the tough 10-mile Juniper Ridge trail. Reservations recommended. Fees: $26 per night. 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636
INKS LAKE 1 hour 15 minutes from downtown Austin Make a splash in the lake with open water swimming, or by renting a kayak or paddle boat. Families can take advantage of easy trails and fishing. There are 125 campsites with electricity and 22 cabins with bunk beds. Fees: $29â€“$61 per night. 3630 Park Road 4 West, Burnet, TX 78611
30 MAY 2017 |
LOST MAPLES 3 hours from downtown Austin With its expanse of trees, Lost Maples is a prime spot to admire fall foliage or find some summer shade. Bring your fishing gear and cast a line into Can Creek, or set up camp near the flowing Sabinal River. The 30 campsites offer water and electricity. Fees: $26 per night. 37221 F.M. 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885
ENCHANTED ROCK 1 hour 40 minutes from downtown Austin Lace up your boots to tackle the 425-foot granite rock and explore 11 miles of trails at this beautiful hiking destination. Rock climbers can also climb in certain areas. There are 35 campsites available. Reservations recommended. Fees: $25 per night. 16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
PACE BEND PARK 1 hour from downtown Austin Take in a Hill Country sunset and the view of Lake Travis at this popular camping and boating area. Expect to encounter wildlife, including foxes and whitetail deer, along the hiking trails. There are 20 campsites available with electricity hookups and shower access. Reservations recommended. Fees: $20–$30 per vehicle. 2805 Pace Bend Rd. North, Spicewood, TX 78669
GUADALUPE RIVER STATE PARK 1 hour 30 minutes from downtown Austin Walk beneath the cypress trees along the Guadalupe River and watch for birds, including the golden-cheeked warbler. Their 85 campsites offer water and electricity. Reservations recommended. Fees: $27–$31 per night. 3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, TX 78070
CANYON OF THE EAGLES 1 hour 30 minutes from downtown Austin Nestled on Lake Buchanan this nature park is a prime location for viewing the stars. RV campers can get a spot in the RV park, and two locations are available for tents. (There are also guest rooms available if glamping is more your style.) Fees: $25–$45 per night. 16942 Ranch Road 2341, Burnet, TX 78611
MCKINNEY FALLS STATE PARK 20 minutes from downtown Austin Onion Creek provides a refreshing place to dip your toe in the water and hike along the falls. The 81 campsites offer water and electricity. Fees: $26–$30 per night. 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744 tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
P R O F I L E | C O M M U N I T Y + C U LT U R E
Loving Long Distance ANNA MA ZUREK ON TR AVEL AND LIVING WITH LESS
By Brittani Sonnenberg
HEN IT COMES TO CASUALLY COM-
petitive dinner party conversation about travel, you do not want to go up against Anna Mazurek. Sure, you might have spent a few weeks camping in Iceland. And that ghost story from your Big Bend vacation six years ago is pretty great. But have you photographed the Dalai Lama? Twice? Traveled to 46 countries? Lived in five of them? Visited the Taj Mahal more often than most people visit their cousins in California? Luckily, Mazurek is not out to make you feel lame about where you haven’t been: she’s all about stoking your urge to go where you heart desires. Her travel blog, travellikeanna.com,
32 MAY 2017 |
growing up. I began traveling in college, when I spent a semester abroad in England. Before that, I’d only flown twice. I was terrified, but the way I dealt with my fear is the way I’ve dealt with all kinds of fear since: you just focus on the tiny next step. So I only thought as far as getting on the plane. I could manage that much. And I haven’t sat still since I took that first step. A lot of people think traveling alone would be lonely or dangerous. How do you handle it? I prefer traveling alone. I hate waiting around on people to do something. It’s hard enough to get your friends to commit to dinner, let alone to plan a major trip! At some point I decided I wasn’t going to let my friends’ schedules hold me back: I wasn’t going to cancel a trip because a friend couldn’t make it. Now I just tell friends where I’m headed, and if they want to join me, great! I love the freedom of that. You meet tons of people when you travel. I trust people more when I travel: you have more in common with fellow travelers than you often do with others in your hometown. On my last trip to South America, I met some Australians that I traveled with for two months; it was wonderful. But being alone has never bothered me. When I first got started as a freelance photographer, I lived out of hotels for a year and a half. Your camera can be a shield or an entrance ticket.
is packed with inspiring advice about budgeting, accommodation, and handy guides. Her jaw-dropping Instagram feed is a vacation in itself. But as Anna would say: forget living vicariously. Figure out how to grab that dream for yourself, and don’t let go. I snatched an hour with her at Brentwood Social House. True to her minimalist predilections, she sipped water while I picked her travel-guru brain.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the road? Traveling in India and throughout Asia has been my biggest learning experience. It’s an attack on the senses: bright colors, beauty, poverty, kindness, and heat. It taught me to embrace minimalism: separating my needs from my wants. I learned a lot about Buddhism, too, which has made me much calmer. These days I don’t kill spiders, I take them outside; I see all life forms as living beings.
When did you fall in love with travel? I always wanted to travel, to be the girl with the cool stories from abroad. My aunt was a big inspiration: she traveled all the time when I was
Tell me more about becoming a minimalist. How has this philosophy evolved for you? People have so much stuff. When you travel, you’re a slave to your luggage. Even now, I have to
travel with 30 pounds of camera gear. I used to be the girl with two enormous suitcases, the kind of girl guys would have to help in the airport. I began paring down to the bare necessities, and now I travel light. It makes you feel a lot more free.
“ T HER E ’S A CL A R IT Y T H AT COMES FROM BEING 5,000 MILES AWAY FROM HOME , AWAY FROM T HE PEOPLE T H AT MOST IN FLU ENCE YOU. T HE T IMING W ILL N E V ER BE R IGH T. YOU J UST H AV E TO GO.”
A lot of people fantasize about a life like yours. How have you shaped your work around travel? When the recession happened, in 2008, and magazine work dried up, I was forced to make a change. I figured it was life telling me to go travel, to go do those things that I wanted to do. It’s another way to think about ambition: how are you going to find a way to do what you love? Some people say travel is running away from your problems, but travel itself doesn’t help you solve anything: you still have to confront yourself when you’re abroad. There’s a clarity that comes from being 5,000 miles away from home, away from the people that most influence you. The timing will never be right. You just have to go. You learn self-reliance, even as you learn to be open to spontaneous connection. When people find out that I’m a travel blogger and photographer, they tell me lots of little stories. Sometimes travel has represented the happiest or most important times of their lives. Sometimes not traveling has been their deepest regret. When I went to get travel vaccinations for South America, a doctor opened up to me about how much he regretted turning down the opportunity to be a doctor on a cruise ship. Their regret becomes my inspiration. The thing preventing most people from traveling are their priorities. You can always arrange things differently. You can learn how to shift your spending to afford travel. You can learn how to be in your element. When I travel now, I move where I’m inspired to go: I take photos, I climb things, I wait for the light to turn just right. I’m not a fan of the package tour. I like going rogue. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. See Mazurek’s photography at annamazurekphoto.com, get her advice at travellikeanna.com, and follow her on Instagram at @annamazurekphoto tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
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
TALK AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO AUSTIN’S HIDDEN GEMS By Nicole Beckley
A Taste of South America Get a taste of South America in South Austin. Serving up confections like alfajores, empanadas, and pastaflora (sweet tarts), Café Nena’i brings the culinary treats of Argentina and Paraguay to the Montopolis neighborhood. The café, which opened in February, also offers a quick trip to Cuba with their cafecito and colada espresso drinks. CAFENENAI.COM
Inspired Staycation A!er living and traveling internationally for years Elizabeth Alderson settled in Austin to raise a family. She had twins in 2013, and when her mother and motherin-law would visit, she’d send them out on guided tours to explore the city. “They would come back and have all these fun stories about everything they did in Austin—all the places they saw,” Alderson says. Inspired, she too hopped on the tours, but felt like they were overlooking Austin’s quirky side and hidden gems. The same year she launched Austin Detours. Now, oﬀering a variety of tours, from Hill Country wineries to classic Austin music venues, the tours are always focused on creating a fun atmosphere. “Everybody ends up becoming friends,” Alderson says, “I feel like that’s how it should be.” AUSTINDETOURS.COM
34 MAY 2017 |
Moving Pictures Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Cine Las Americas film festival presents five days of international independent film. Highlighting films created by or featuring Latinos and indigenous peoples from the Americas, Spain and Portugal, the festival features dozens of full-length and short films, music videos and animation. Opening night kicks off with “Me Estas Matando Susana,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle,” “The Motorcycle Diaries”) and runs May 3 through 7. Catch screenings at the Blanton Museum of Art, Mexican American Cultural Center, and other venues. CINELASAMERICAS.ORG`
ANYWHERE I LAY MY HEAD If spending the better part of a year traveling around the globe sounds like the stuff of daydreams, for writer and podcaster Tsh Oxenreider it was how she, her husband, and their three kids (all under age 10) spent 2014–15. Looking for a way to give their kids a more global perspective the family charted a course through some 30 countries, stopping for longer periods in Thailand, Australia, and France. “I think a lot of people have this idea that you can’t travel with kids,” Oxenreider says, “But honestly, kids open up a lot of doors that you wouldn’t expect if you were going by yourself.” In her new memoir “At Home in the World,” Oxenreider chronicles their travels and relays her biggest takeaway from the journey: “You appreciate home when you’re not there and you appreciate being out in the world when you’re at home.” TSHOXENREIDER.COM/ATHOMEIN THEWORLD
Travel back in history to the early days of Texas with Ben Milam Whiskey. Named for a leader in the Texas revolution, the spirit is the brainchild of Marsha Milam, who sought to honor her relative in the best way possible, with a good stiff drink. Try a glass at Shady Grove or savor the flavor at the newly opened Blanco tasting room. BENMILAMWHISKEY.COM
Fresh Roast As any world traveler knows, the best way to jump start a morning in a new place is with a solid cup of joe. That deep love for a warm mug spurred the creation of Atlas Coffee Club, a subscription service that brings hand-selected coffees from around the globe right to your door each month. Since fall 2016 Atlas has sent out colorful bags inspired by native textiles packed with coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia and beyond. “There’s 50-plus countries that produce coffee,” explains creative director Jordan Rosenacker, “And they all have unique flavors and personalities and profiles, so we kind of like to think we’re operating as caffeinated tour guides.” ATLASCOFFEECLUB.COM
| MAY 2017
ARTS + HAPPENINGS WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO The West Austin Studio Tour is back! This month, go meet the artists whose work infuses Austin's creative culture. PHOTOGR APH COURTESY OF BIG MEDIUM
A R T S & E N T E R TA I N M E N T C A L E N DA R
E V Etribeza.com N T P I C K| MAY 422017
C A L E N DA R S | A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Entertainment MUSIC PIXIES May 1 Stubb’s BBQ
BRIAN WILSON May 13 & 14 ACL Live
TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS May 2 Frank Erwin Center THE BAD PLUS May 3 Stateside at the Paramount NEW FOUND GLORY May 4 & 6 Mohawk Austin SIX GUITARS May 4–7 Rollins Studio Theatre IHEARTCOUNTRY FESTIVAL 2017 May 6 Frank Erwin Center JMBLYA 2017 May 6 Circuit of the Americas KINGS OF LEON May 9 Austin360 Amphitheater
DAMIEN ESCOBAR May 14 One World Theatre LA SANTA CECILIA May 16 Paramount Theatre THE B-52S May 18 ACL Live CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN May 19 Stubb’s BBQ CONOR OBERST May 19 ACL Live TRAIN May 20 Austin360 Amphitheater NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK FT. PAULA ABDUL & BOYZ II MEN May 21 Frank Erwin Center KEHLANI May 24 Emo’s Austin
THE XX May 10 & 11 ACL Live
TYCHO May 12 Stubb’s BBQ
JOE ELY BAND May 12 Antone’s tribeza.com
CINE LAS AMERICAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL May 3-7 Various Locations
POPOVICH COMEDY PET THEATRE May 6 Paramount Theater
MOVIES IN THE PARK: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN May 4 NW District Park
MOMMA’S BOY May 12 Frank Erwin Center
FEMME FILM FRIDAYS: MIDDLE OF NOWHERE May 5 Bullock Texas State History Museum TEXAS FOCUS: SACRIFICE May 15 Bullock Texas State History Museum MOVIES IN THE PARK: ALADDIN EN ESPANOL May 18 Dove Springs District Park BRIDESMAIDS PUB RUN + SCREENING May 23 Stateside at the Paramount SUMMER CLASSIC FILM SERIES: CASABLANCA May 25 Paramount Theatre HOW DID THIS GET MADE? May 27 Paramount Theatre
JETHRO TULL May 31 ACL Live
CHEVELLE May 12 Emo’s Austin
38 MAY 2017 |
INDEX FEST May 13 Austin American-Statesman
AN EVENING OF AWARD WINNING SHORTS May 2 Alamo Drafthouse Village
MADAME BUTTERFLY May 4 & 7 The Long Center SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS May 4–28 Zilker Hillside Theatre NUNSENSE May 5–28 The City Theatre Company
ALICE (IN WONDERLAND) May 12–14 The Long Center GUYS AND DOLLS May 26–June 25 Austin Playhouse SOMETHING ROTTEN! May 30–June 4 Bass Concert Hall IN THE HEIGHTS May 31–July 2 ZACH Theatre
COMEDY DAVID SEDARIS May 1 The Long Center STEPHEN LYNCH May 4 Stateside at the Paramount LA FRONTERA FINAL May 6 ColdTowne Theater ALI SIDDIQ May 10–13 Cap City Comedy Club CHRIS ROCK May 14 & 15 Bass Concert Hall JOHN HEFFRON May 17–20 Cap City Comedy Club
WHOSE LIVE ANYWAY? May 21 Bass Concert Hall AUSTIN SKETCH FEST May 22–28 ColdTowne Theater
CHILDREN JJ’S ARCADE Through May 7 Zach Theatre DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS DREAM BIG May 10-14 HEB Center at Cedar Park LITTLE TEXANS May 11 Bullock Texas State History Museum PLAYING POSSUM: A TRICKSTER TALE FROM MEXICO May 13-21 Rollins Studio Theatre GEOLOGY WALK & FOSSIL HUNT May 13 Seider Springs Park
P H OTO G R A P H B Y D U S T I N CO N D R E N
OTHER TASTE OF MEXICO 2017 May 3 Mexic-Arte Museum VIOLET CROWN SPRING FESTIVAL May 6 Brentwood Park HERBDAY May 6 Case Mill Homestead
COME AND SEND IT FEST VOL. 2 May 6 Crux Climbing Center PECAN STREET SPRING FESTIVAL May 6 & 7 East Sixth Street CINCO DE MAYO 2017 May 6 & 7 Fiesta Gardens Park 2017 CRAWFISH CRAWL May 6 & 13 Waterloo Ice House AUSTIN FASHION WEEK May 12–21 Various Locations 70TH BIRTHDAY SPLASH: PARADE & PLUNGE May 13 Barton Springs Pool MAIFEST May 13 Austin Saengerrunde and Scholz Garten MOTHER’S DAY POP UP SHOP May 13 Hotel San José 512 BREWING CO. TAP TAKEOVER + BLACKHEART BAZAAR May 18 The Blackheart RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR May 20 & 21 Fair Market LIFE TIME TRI CAPTEX May 29 Lady Bird Lake
ROBERT ELLIS By Derek Van Wagner
The White Horse MAY 20, 8 P.M.
Robert Ellis is a strange breed of musician. I've seen him jump from blues to rock to jazz in a matter of minutes, then he'll turn around and sing the hell out of a George Jones tune. His Texas drawl seems to melt all over his songs and fits in places where you would never find your average country singer. While his notable voice and sharp attire might grab your attention, his piano playing and guitar picking will make you stay until the close of the show. He has a variety of stage set ups and can entertain a crowd solo, but if I had to put my money on it, I would say he is bringing his full band (pedal steel and all) to his shindig at The White Horse. After opening for sold out shows with bands like Alabama Shakes and the Old 97’s, The White Horse might be a change of pace for Ellis, but if you ask me, it's an absolute treat to catch him in the rowdy confines of East Austin's finest honkytonk. Side note: Ellis's performance is part of Aaron Franklin's new festival, Hot Luck, in which a variety of pitmasters and chefs will offer tantalizing food alongside the music. If chasing BBQ and quality music isn't a good way to spend your weekend, we don't know what is! tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
A R T S P I C K | A RT S & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Arts BILL MILLER May 2–June 11 Yard Dog Art Gallery JOYCE HOWELL: SOLO SHOW May 6–27 Wally Workman Gallery WHAT A BLOODY MESS Through May 7 grayDUCK Gallery LIFE AS WE KNEW IT May 12–14 Art.Science.Gallery WEST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR May 13 & 14, 20 & 21 Various Locations
WEST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR By Khortlyn Cole
Various West Austin locations MAY 13–14, 20–21, 11 A .M.–6 P.M.
Block off the two middle weekends in May, because you’ll be busy! Big Medium, the Austin nonprofit devoted to supporting and promoting contemporary art in Texas, once again invites you to check out the jaw-dropping talents of local artists through the sixth edition of their West Austin Studio Tour, also known as West. Once again, more than two hundred private studios and galleries found within the boundaries west of I-35, east of Mopac, south of 183 and north of William Cannon are swinging open their doors and welcoming the public to observe, shop and mingle. As with the group's phenomenally successful East, West is a free, self-guided event providing the rare opportunity to meet the makers—local artisans whose work infuses the creative culture Austin is known for. In addition to artist studios and galleries, West encompasses a number of pop-up shows, temporary exhibits, workshops and performances. The tour's free catalog provides all the details including a handy map of the warehouses, empty homes, libraries, small businesses and other unconventional venues where the art happenings take place. Now, gather your bearings, grab your map and go west! And be sure to stop by some of our favorites including Women & Their Work, Austin Art Space and ART on 5th. See west. bigmedium.org for a comprehensive list of artists, locations and happenings.
40 MAY 2017 |
RESA WOHLRABE May 13–June 11 ART on 5th MALOU FLATO: WATER Davis Gallery Through May 20 ABBY BAGBY: KINGDOM Through June 8 Women & Their Work NINA KATCHADOURIAN: CURIOUSER Through June 11 Blanton Museum of Art LAKEY: CHAOS TO ORDER Through June 11 CAMIBAart PRIDE & JOY: THE TEXAS BLUES OF STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN Through July 23 Bullock Texas State History Museum
SEBASTIÀN: THE GEOMETRY OF SPACE AND TIME Through June 25 Mexic-Arte Museum MENTORING A MUSE: CHARLES UMLAUF & FARRAH FAWCETT Through August 20 Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
Wally W or k m a n G a l l e ry
1 2 0 2 West Si x t h St reet A u st i n , Te x a s 7 8 7 0 3 wal l y workmanga l ler y.co m 512.472.7428 Image: Prospect (detail), oil on canvas, 35 x 25 inches
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
BARTON SPRINGS 70TH BIRTHDAY SPLASH By Defne Comlek
Barton Springs Pool MAY 13
Who couldn't use a little recharge via Mother Nature this time of year? It's time to jump on every opportunity to break your daily routine with impromptu scenic excursions and sunshine affairs. This month the Barton Springs Conservancy offers a chance to actually jump in to such an affair with the 70th Birthday Splash Parade and Plunge in Barton Springs. Celebrating the anniversary of the opening of the historic Barton Springs Bathhouse, the free, fun-for-all-ages event takes place on Saturday, May 13. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Historic Landmark by the City of Austin and State of Texas, the architecturally significant bathhouse first opened its doors in 1947. Ever since, it has served as one of the city's iconic gathering spots, playing host to generations of Austin locals and tourists who flock year round to Austin's crown jewel in the middle of Zilker Park. A spirited parade to the pool commences at 9 a.m. at the south entrance of Barton Springs and ends with a group plunge in classic Barton Springs style. All marchers are joyfully encouraged to show off their festive flare and panache with water-worthy patriotic attire and gear of their choice. And, in case you need a little extra incentive, your dunk into the cool waters will be deliciously rewarded with birthday cake. BARTONSPRINGSCONSERVANCY.ORG/SPLASH
42 MAY 2017 |
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 AT THE DEN 317 W. 3rd St. (512) 222 3364 Hours: Tu-Sa 10-6, Su 12-5 artattheden.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 CAPITAL FINE ART 1214 W. 6th St. (512) 628 1214 Hours: M–Sa 10-5 capitalfineart.com CO-LAB PROJECTS: PROJECT SPACE 613 Allen St. (512) 300 8217 By event and appt only co-labprojects.org
FIRST ACCESS GALLERY 2324 S. Lamar Blvd (512) 428 4782 Hours: Tu-Sa 10-7, Su 12-5 firstaccess.co/gallery
LA PEÑA 227 Congress Ave., #300 (512) 477 6007 Hours: M–F 8-5, Sa 8-3 lapena–austin.org
ROI JAMES 3620 Bee Cave Rd., Ste. C (512) 970 3471 By appointment only roijames.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
FLUENT COLLABORATIVE 502 W. 33rd St. (512) 453 3199 By appointment only fluentcollab.org
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
GALLERY 702 702 San Antonio St. (737) 703 5632 Hours: Tu–Su 10-6 gallery702austin.com
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
DIMENSION GALLERY SCULPTURE AND 3D ART 979 Springdale, Ste. 99 (512) 479 9941 dimensiongallery.org
GALLERY SHOAL CREEK 2832 MLK Jr. Blvd. #3 (512) 454 6671 Hours: Tu–F 10–5, Sa 12–5 galleryshoalcreek.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
GRAYDUCK GALLERY 2213 E. Cesar Chavez Austin, TX 78702 (512) 826 5334 Hours: Th -Sa 11-6, Su 12-5 grayduckgallery.com
EAST SIDE GLASS STUDIO 3401 E. 4th St. (512) 815 2569 Hours: Tu-Sa By appt. only eastsideglassstudio.com FAREWELL BOOKS 913 E. Cesar Chavez St. (512) 473 2665 Hours: M-Sa 12–8, Su 12–7 farewellbookstore.com
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
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 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 pumpproject.org
SPACE 12 3121 E. 12th St. (512) 524 7128 T-F 10-5 space12.org STEPHEN L. CLARK GALLERY 1101 W. 6th St. (512) 477 0828 Hours: Tu–Sa 10–4 stephenlclarkgallery.com 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 12–5 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
| MAY 2017
DISTANCE FROM AUSTIN
95 MILES TO FREDERICKSBURG, TX
Drinks Well with Others
Two friends hit the Hill Country in search of Texas wine BY LIBBA LETTON PHOTOGRAPHS BY REAGEN TAYLOR
44 MAY 2017 |
S ANYONE IN THE TEXAS WINE INDUSTRY WILL TELL
you, you don’t have to go to the West Coast to find good wine, and the industry keeps growing. Texas is the fi!h largest wine-producing state in the country, with more than 400 wineries across the state generating nearly $2.3 billion annually. Texas wines are awash in serious awards, and in 2015, Wine Enthusiast magazine listed the Texas Hill Country among the top 10 best wine travel destinations in the world. Every year, more than a million people travel to the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg, where nearly 70 wineries and tasting rooms can be found. It’s said that US Highway 290 is the second most-traveled wine road in the country. Just 1.5 hours from downtown Austin, the Fredericksburg area is perfect for day trips. There are a few wineries closer to Austin near Dripping Springs, which you could hit in a half-day, but it’s worth venturing a bit further. I recently spent a kid-free, spouse-free day with my friend Lisa, visiting the wineries and tasting rooms from Austin to Fredericksburg and back. Several years ago I went on a small bus tour of the area with friends, but the unruliness of the group plus the sheer number of us limited the tour to three wineries. Lisa and I, with our designated driver, Yuniecy, planned to make it to at least four. If you’re a wine drinker like I am, you’re most likely used to wines from Europe, Argentina, California, Oregon, and Washington. Here in Texas, growers plant some of the grapes you know—Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc—but the grapes that do best in Texas are those also found growing near the Mediterranean. Eighty percent of Texas grapes are grown on the Texas High Plains, west of Lubbock in the Panhandle. The climate there is hot in the day, cool at night and extremely dry—much like Southern France, Spain, and Italy, producing Tempranillo, Montepulciano, Mourvèdre and Tannat for the reds, and Viognier, Vermentino, Roussanne, and Marsanne for the whites.
Wine Lovers in Crime
When Libba Letton lost her job at age 23, she moved to Paris, where she attended her first Beaujolais Nouveau party standing on a rainy street in front of a small bar, amidst dozens of drunken Parisians dancing to an impromptu brass band. Lisa Hobbs is an Austin appellate lawyer, triathlete, and wine drinker who loves wine from Italy so much that she got married there. Their mutual love of wine was sealed on a long weekend trip with their spouses to the pinot noir-drenched Willamette Valley in Oregon. In addition to three days of drinking wine on that trip, they excelled at photo-bombing each other and doing donuts in the gravel parking lots of various wineries.
2916 Upper Albert Road, Stonewall, Texas 78671 With a full day ahead of us, Lisa and I arrived at Pedernales Cellars at 10 a.m. sharp. Pedernales Cellars is among the prettiest places we stopped—the winery sits at the top of a hill, and from the huge, shady deck out front you can see for miles. Pedernales Cellars is known for its award-wining wines, including its 2012 Viognier that brought home a grand gold that year at the Lyon International Wine Competition in France. The family business started in 1990, when Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken planted their first grapevines in the Hill Country near Fredericksburg, and continues today through the work of their children. Larry and Jeanine’s daughter Julie Kuhlken took us on a tour of their production facility, partially built into the side of the hill, where they make and age the wine. A!erwards, we tasted three whites, two reds and a port. We both really liked the 2014 High Plains Tempranillo; it smelled like berries but was nice and dry. Lisa, wisely, used the spit bucket to pace herself, but I’ve always had a hard time with that. Spitting out wine? Wha? tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
Left: Bottles in barrels at Lost Draw Cellars in Fredericksburg. Right: Andalusia Whiskey’s airy, rustic tasting room feels like a friendly bar with its comfy couches and game area upstairs.
10354 E US Hwy 290, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Next on our list was 4.0 Cellars. These folks have the right idea: three wineries share one big tasting room, so at this spot you can sample wines from Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery, and McPherson Cellars. Their tasting room is the largest I’ve ever seen, with high ceilings and lots of natural light; it could probably hold a dozen guests simultaneously. The property is expansive, with lots of lovely event space and huge 100-year-old oak trees. Brennan Vineyards started in 2001 when Pat and Trellise Brennan planted grapevines in the 33 acres adjacent to their home in Comanche. Lost Oak Winery near Burleson, south of Fort Worth, produces award-winning merlots, among many others. I love the fact that founder Gene Estes’ first winemaking experience was in his parents’ garage in 1963. Dr. Clinton “Doc” McPherson is considered one of the fathers of the modern Texas wine industry and today his son Kim carries on the tradition of producing award-winning Texas wines for Lubbock’s McPherson Cellars. As we arrived at 4.0, our server, Martin, must have overheard me talking (okay, probably shouting) about champagne, because he oﬀered us each a glass of the delicious bubbles as our tasting began, and topped oﬀ those glasses again when we were done. We tasted some sweeter reds as well as a rosé, a Montepulciano, and some red blends which also tended towards the sweet end of the spectrum. I made a mental note to remember Brennan’s Austin Street Red for my Aunt Grace, who, when asked her drink preference, cheerfully asserts “SWEET RED!” Thankfully, Martin also made sure our tasting included food—an assortment of delicious Veldhuizen cheeses from Dublin, Texas, also sold at 4.0 Cellars. A!er our tasting, I got super friendly with a vendor set up outside selling jewelry. Pretty sure by the time we le! I’d shared with her my therapist’s phone number and oﬀered to write a sorority recommendation for her daughter. Clearly it was time for lunch, so we headed into Fredericksburg and had tacos and tamales across the street from the National Museum of the Pacific War.
LOST DRAW CELLARS
113 E Park Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 By the time we were fed, I was still feeling pretty good and my natural extroversion was coming to the fore as we entered the cozy Lost Draw Cellars tasting room in downtown Fredericksburg. Our server David previously worked in radio, and had a personality to match. Troy Ottmers, father-in-law of founder Andy Sides and now in the family wine biz, also joined us. I proceeded to shoot the breeze with them while we tasted, and they obliged with both wine and equally enthusiastic conversation. I was relaxed and happy, and I was feeling like a real native—as if we were speaking a special Texas-only language and we understood each other completely. I don’t even remember what we
The Texas Grape For You… IF YOU LIKE…
Viognier or Roussanne
Vermentino or Picpoul Blanc
Trebbiano or Albarino
Tempranillo, Tannat, Graciano, Touriga Nacional
GSM, Nero D’Avola or Montepulciano
Sangiovese from Texas or Dolcetto
Petite Sirah or Aglianico
Mourvedre or Dolcetto
As we headed back to Austin, Lisa remembered that a friend’s brother had started his own whiskey label, and their tasting room was only five miles out of our way, in Blanco. We said what the hell, and arrived at Andalusia Whiskey distillery around five o’clock.
ANDALUSIA WHISKEY CO.
talked about; I just had a sense of belonging, of comforting familiarity that I’ve only ever felt in Texas. Or perhaps it was the wine. We tasted a white wine and their Arroyo Blush, a sweeter rosé, and three reds. The 2015 Perry is the last wine we tasted, a red blend. It was naturally fermented and unfiltered, giving it a cloudy appearance and a taste I can only describe as big.
RON YATES WINERY
6676 Hwy 290 West, Hye, Texas 78635 Our last wine stop was Ron Yates Winery, sister to Spicewood Vineyards oﬀ Highway 71, which has been making Texas wine since 1992. We spent more time at Yates, as our tasting happened in waves: rather than belly up to the bar like we’d done at our other tastings, we sat out front on the porch that spanned the length of the attractive stone production building. Our servers, Dan and Barry, took turns bringing us our tastings: a rosé, three whites, and five reds. We both liked the 2014 Mourvedre Rosé—it smelled like tart apples and was equally crisp to drink—yum! We also liked their 2014 Pinot Noir (we are big pinot fans). By this time, Lisa and I were feeling good and happy, though perhaps on our way to sleepy, so sitting outside in the fresh air did us some good. Ron Yates is planning to add more facilities over time, including a tasting pavilion, a swimming pool, and a 5,000 square foot tasting room.
6462 N US 281, Blanco, TX 78606 Co-founders Tommy Erwin and Ty Phelps (formerly of Real Ale Brewing Company) greeted us inside the big, open distillery they opened last fall. They directed us down to the end of the bar for a tasting of their three main whiskeys: White Pearl, a white single-malt; Revenant Oak, a peatsmoked single malt aged in American bourbon barrels; and Stryker, a smoked single malt whiskey. Both Revenant Oak and Stryker won bronze medals in the 2017 American Cra! Spirits Awards. Lisa is far more whiskey-savvy than I am, and I shamed her by making the college-kid-doing-cheap-tequila-shots face a!er every sip. She liked hers so much, she bought a bottle for herself and one for my husband, a whiskey and Diet Coke fan. For those who’d just like a cocktail, Andalusia oﬀers those, too, like their Whiskey Hurricane or their Irish Coﬀee. The distillery is on a working ranch, and all of their spent grain is fed to the sheep and cattle. Near the distillery, Erwin and Phelps plan to add a chicken coop and paddocks for sheep and lamb to enhance the farm atmosphere and make the place fun for families as well. The space is big and airy, with an upstairs lo! area with seating and tables for playing games; downstairs in the back is a small library, stocked wall-to-wall with books. And not just any old second-hand books—this library features real literature, from Herman Melville to Kate Chopin. Yes, there’s some James Clavell and Danielle Steel, but still, my inner English major was impressed. You can find more advice, tours and Texas Wine Trail maps online. Be sure to look for upcoming wine festivals and celebrations like the Culinaria Wine and Food Festival in San Antonio, May 18–21. There are also monthly dinner series like the Fischer & Wieser Vintner Dinners in Fredericksburg. Find a designated driver, and happy touring! tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
DISTANCE FROM AUSTIN 95 MILES TO COMFORT, TX
TAKE COMFORT A BOUTIQUE B&B GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU A HAPPY CAMPER BY BRITTANI SONNENBERG PHOTOGRAPHS BY RYANN FORD
P H OTO G R A P H B Y
THE WORLD CAN BE SEPAR ATED INTO THOSE WHO LOVED CAMP
and those who hated it. Even if you didn’t technically go to camp, it’s easy to predict whether you would have made a good or bad camper. How are you with crafts? Group activities? Impressing intimidating adolescent authority figures? Much to my chagrin, I hated camp. I tried to love it; I longed to make perfect lanyards and braid Sally-the-cool-counselor’s hair. Instead, I counted down the minutes to Turtle Time, when you could read antisocially on your cot. Until I discovered Camp Comfort, I’d borne the deep wound of camp inadequacy for years—I’d even come to accept it. But the minute I drove up to the boutique bed and breakfast, perched on the edge of a swirling creek in Comfort, Texas, I knew my camp-hating days were done. I’d booked a onenight stay, but I never wanted to leave. If camp as a kid is all about trying to fit in, Camp Comfort is all about coming back to yourself. In fact, that’s just what owners Phil and Lisa Jenkins did with the property itself, a historic German bowling alley, or “Turnverein,” built in 1860. “It needed a lot of love,” Lisa explains to me in the Social Hall, a whitewashed, light-filled space with soaring wooden ceilings that the couple brought back to life, one hardwood plank at a time. Phil, a builder, repurposed materials from the original structure and the bowling lanes, now the six “alley” rooms behind the hall. Coming from Austin—where historic homes o!en seem to disappear overnight, or get unfeelingly flipped, their interiors stripped of any original spirit, with cheap fixtures slapped on with about as much eﬀect as when I put on makeup in the car—it’s a profound relief to encounter Camp Comfort’s careful reconstruction. Take the gorgeous bathroom doors, created from old floor joists. Or the whimsical triangular sculpture at the back of the Social Hall, which Phil fashioned from two-by-fours beneath the bowling lanes. Or the art adorning the room walls, featuring letters Lisa received from former Verein members when they heard she was restoring the place. Such a project could have come oﬀ feeling like a museum, but thanks to Lisa’s ebullient artistic vision, Camp Comfort’s two cabins, six “alley” rooms, courtyard, and Social Hall are an inspiring blend of Shaker, mid-century modern, and contemporary design. When you encounter true aesthetic authority—a clear, distinct voice—something in you relaxes, and you feel a giddy urge to follow your own instincts. And it seems the entire property is begging you to do just that. There’s the lullaby of the creek, framed by gracious cypress trees. Is it time for a dip in cool water or a nap on the grassy knoll? Or there’s the table under the shady trellis, heaped with Chinese trumpet vine, whose ochre perfectly matches the flirty metal chairs around the fire circle, which reminds you of the s’mores you saw in the Social Hall that you’re dying to try… Or maybe it’s time to draw the shades in your room and snuggle onto the comfy teal leather chairs with a thriller from the bedside table? Or take a soak in the astonishingly deep air-jet tub? The point of being kind to yourself, on vacation or otherwise, isn’t to retreat into blind solipsism, but to remember why you’re here in the first place. My tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
shuttlecocks and camp sports. (Before it became a bowling alley, the original deed referred to the property as a camp.) Phil picked up furniture cra!ing in 2005, when a good friend and furniture-maker was losing his eyesight, and needed an extra hand. “He oﬀered to teach me everything he knew, in exchange for a little help,” says Phil. This philosophy—slowly teaching yourself a cra!, or asking a neighbor how to do it—is all too absent from our service-driven economy, although it’s been crucial to the survival of tiny towns like Comfort. According to Phil and Lisa, that generous ethos still characterizes the unincorporated town. “When a big storm came through, and there were tree limbs down everywhere, neighbors come out to help neighbors,” says Lisa. “It was amazing.” And while the Jenkins were originally drawn to Comfort by the ad they saw for the dilapidated bowling alley, they quickly fell just as in love with Comfort’s inhabitants.
THEY DELIGHT IN SUBTLE CREATIONS LIKE THE SOCIAL HALL CHANDELIERS, MADE FROM WIRE AND GLASS BOTTLES, AN HOMAGE TO SHUTTLECOCKS AND CAMP SPORTS.
best trips have brought me into closer relationship with who I want to be and the work I want to do. Spending time in places that honor creative vision—be it in a café with great food, or a museum with transcendent paintings—nurtures my own inspiration, and Camp Comfort is a case in point. It’s no coincidence that this spirit has driven all of Lisa and Phil’s collaborative passion projects, from the first home they worked on together in Gruene. Most couples have difficulty stringing Christmas lights together without getting into an enormous fight, but somehow Lisa and Phil have found a way to marry their talents while staying happily married. “She has incredible vision,” says Phil. “All I do is try to build what she sees, no matter how many times it takes.” Sometimes it takes a few tries. Like a porch he rebuilt three times. “It’s helped us learn how to communicate,” says Lisa. They’re both autodidacts when it comes to building and design: what they had a “knack” for they’ve now fully given themselves over to. They delight in subtle creations like the Social Hall chandeliers, made from wire and glass bottles, an homage to
“Comfort was founded by Freethinkers [Prussians fleeing religious and political tyranny in the mid-1800s], and a lot of their descendants are still around,” says Phil. “The town has a creative, artistic spirit, and it draws people who are passionate about what they do.” Phil says the locals have been more than welcoming to the bed and breakfast and its out-of-town guests. “A!er a recent wedding party, our neighbors invited everyone from the wedding to join them at their party across the street,” laughs Phil. “The newlyweds loved it!” The Jenkins admit that they’re surprised to still be in Comfort; usually, says Lisa, they move fairly swi!ly from project to project, hungry for new inspiration. But they’ve found plenty at the camp to keep them going: new cabins will be ready for guests beginning in September. One friend, a singer-songwriter, expressed surprise that the couple would even consider moving on a!er all the time and energy they’d poured into Camp Comfort. Lisa paused and put it in musician’s terms for her friend. “That would be like saying you could only write one song,” she said. “Eventually you’re going to be inspired to write something new.” It’s taken a while to hone her own aesthetic, she says, and to find confidence in her unique blend of influences and eras. Ultimately, it comes down to trusting what you’re instinctually drawn to. “I think if you fall in love with something enough to bring it home, it’s part of who you are,” she says. “And that’s going to blend in with the rest of what’s already there.”
LISA AND PHIL’S RECOMMENDATIONS IN COMFOR T AND NE ARBY FAVORITE EATERIES:
Comfort Pizza Wood-fired pies that even the foodiest of foodies will love. High’s Café No trip to Comfort would be complete without High’s comfort cuisine. 814 Bistro Chef Kuykendall’s passion project has drawn rave reviews. FAVORITE PL ACES TO SIP AND SHOP:
Huckleberry’s Go for the drool-worthy home décor, plus beer and wine out back. Hill Country Distillers Raise your spirits with jalapeño and prickly pear-infused moonshine. Eighth Street Market Great finds, displayed in a hip, appealing warehouse space with killer cappuccinos. FAVORITE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:
Hiking at Joshua Springs Prairie loops, lookouts, and bluebird nesting boxes! Mountain biking at Flat Rock Ranch Release your inner daredevil on 1,300 acres of rugged biking trails. FAVORITE R AINY DAY ACTIVITIES:
Touring local wineries Sample the region’s award-winning wines at Bending Branch Winery, Newsom Vineyards, and Singing Water Vineyards. Board games in the Social Hall Whether Monopoly’s your jam, or you’re a Boggle kind of guy, Camp Comfort’s stock of board games has you covered.
| MAY 2017
DISTANCE FROM AUSTIN 130 MILES TO BRADY, TX
Heart of TEXAS Photographer Matthew Johnson explores
small town life in the geographic center of our state
After the teams at the Spring Stampede were introduced and the national anthem was sung, the cowboys took a few minutes to warm their horses back up and get ready for the competition. The sight of 100 riders circling the arena, stirring up dust and getting their game faces on was beautiful. This was definitely a situation where even though I’m shooting with old and slow film cameras, I shot as fast as I could since I never know what I’ll get until the film is developed.
Sarah Brown, 18
“Ranching is part of life around here. The further east you go the more you lose that. A lot of places it’s a lost art, but not around here.”
THE ROAD TRIP HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN IMPORTANT PART OF MY WORK
as a photographer. I find that the most exciting projects begin with a general concept and then simply getting in a car and driving until I find the story (or the story finds me). There is certainly a risk, or maybe even a likelihood, that you will do a lot of wandering without much discovery, but when you can pull it oﬀ you’re likely to be rewarded with more interesting work. I feel the same rules apply to traveling; the rewards are always sweeter when you wander down the side alleys and get oﬀ the beaten path. When Tribeza approached
52 MAY 2017 |
me about doing a photo essay for their first-ever travel issue I was grateful they were willing to give me the freedom to wander. The Hill Country isn’t exactly oﬀ the beaten track, with great vineyards along Highway 290, and popular shops and B&Bs lining towns like Fredericksburg. But to me, a road trip through some of the smaller towns to meet people and capture the everyday things going on in their lives sounded most appealing. One of the things I’ve learned about travel is that seeking out a diﬀerent angle than the same viewing platform that everybody else stands on is worth
Kenny Oestreich, 52
PITMASTER AT COOPER’S
OLD TIME PIT BAR-B-QUE IN LLANO, TX
“I’ve been working here for 21 years and I still get new people coming in every day. Meeting folks from all over is always interesting. It’s a small town, but you just can’t beat it. Everybody knows everybody; I wouldn’t raise my kids anywhere else.”
the eﬀort. Even if the backside of a famous monument isn’t as spectacular as the postcard view out front, you might get lucky and make friends with the security guard and end up getting a private tour. It won’t happen every time, but it will never happen when buying your ticket at the front gate and taking the guided tour with everyone else. A little research revealed that the town of Brady is widely regarded as the geographic center of Texas, so I figured it would be a good starting point for a photo essay on life in the heart of Texas. Driving west from Austin out Highway
The Presidio de San Saba is right outside the town of Menard. Founded in 1757 and operated by the Colonial Spanish Army until it was abandoned in 1772, the old ruins are a nice stop for history buffs touring historic sites in the area like nearby Fort McKavett.
71, I looped through Llano, Brady, Melvin, Eden, Menard, and Mason. Everywhere I stopped I found people with interesting stories. None of the towns had t-shirt or souvenir shops that draw the major tourist crowds, but all of the towns were as interesting—if not more interesting—than the places normally celebrated in travel brochures. I’d always prefer a chance to stumble upon a fiddle contest in a historic theater, a ranch rodeo in a place called Eden, or a conversation with a pitmaster who has been working at a classic Texas BBQ joint for over 20 years, than visit the places everyone else will be rushing to next weekend. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
Dani Carter, 10 FROM QUEEN VALLEY, AZ
“It’s great playing the fiddle. I get to travel around and see friends and work on getting better.”
The Spring Stampede ranch rodeo in Eden brought in cowboys from all over the region to compete in a five-event team rodeo: mugging, sorting, branding, wild cow milking, and goat tying. It was a little rowdy and not quite as polished as a regular professional rodeo, but it was a lot of fun. With about 20 teams that had each put in $500, the winners took home a pretty nice paycheck. Here the cowboys were gathered up right before the start to listen to the official go over the rules.
54 MAY 2017 |
Houston architect Carlos Jimenez designed this ranch house with big windows that frame the grand landscape.
This intersection in Brady caught my eye. It had a nostalgic look to it and I like that you can’t tell if the photo was taken last week or 40 years ago. I can’t imagine a better slogan than, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it” for a general store like this.
Edward Velez, 59 PITMASTER AT TEXAS DEADWOOD BBQ IN MASON, TX
“I got to cooking for a lot of people, just for the fun of it. Every wedding, graduation or birthday party I was cooking and I finally got tired of doing it for free. I started the business and been going at it for about 12 years now. People around here know me as the BBQ guy which I don’t mind one bit.”
Eddy Cowen, 46 FROM KNICKERBOCKER, TX
“I been ranching here my whole life. I love the people around here. It’s always been a good place to live.”
| MAY 2017
As I was walking away after photographing the Brady sign I noticed a couple walking up with their dog. They had him hop up onto it for a picture so I ran back to get a shot. The little guy gave me a perfect look when I whistled.
The posture and look of this couple sitting in the bleachers at the Eden Spring Stampede rodeo instantly caught my eye. The scene just seemed to capture what I imagined life was like in a small town called Eden.
Cap for Landscape? Place Here Tekay, TX
“Ota dit facesciiscit ant for officim erchit ad moloria doluptatur, ommolum re moloruptis ent que nime dolorate offic te con por sequam,"
Susan Grote, 62 FROM MASON, TX, CO-OWNER OF MASON COUNTY COLLECTIBLES ALONG WITH HER HUSBAND, WARREN
“My dad started this place and eventually he was told he needed a new roof. He decided that if he needed a roof he might as well put four new walls up and add another floor. He started adding more and more stuff and before long the second story was full too. People would come in and see something they liked and ask him to call the vendor to see about dropping the price and he would tell them, ‘It’s not a mall, we own it all.’”
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This old abandoned Bethel Chapel was next to a cemetery outside the little town of Katemcy. It was a beautiful spot with graves dating back to the 1800s.
Levi McVey, 3 FROM WINGATE, TX
“The first time I did mutton busting I was a little nervous. This time I wasn’t, I was excited!”
| MAY 2017
Brant Speed, 36 CYCLIST FROM AUSTIN ON REGENCY BRIDGE IN MULLIN, TX
"Riding my bike through the Texas Hill Country and passing through these small towns has always been a highlight of my riding. Being able to ride on the small back roads I get to see things that most folks never get to see: old barns, small farm houses, and the odd rusted out classic truck. Those kinds of things always bring a smile to my face, no matter what is going on in my life.”
Leah Sawyer, 15 FROM WEATHERFORD, TX
“I’m in my family band and we travel around and play fiddle contests all over. It feels great to play the fiddle. It gives me an outlet to share myself with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
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It’s a simple photo, but I found this horse saddled up and resting in the shade before the Eden Spring Stampede rodeo beautiful.
Marvin Green CONCHO COUNTY CONSTABLE FOR PAST 32 YEARS
“Eden is a good place, I know everybody in the county. Nothing much bad ever happens so it’s a nice place to be constable.”
| MAY 2017
I stumbled upon this seemingly random sand sculpture in a park along the river in Llano. I’m sure there is a story behind it, but with no sign and not another soul in sight to ask, its story remains a mystery to me.
The stacks of old National Geographics in Mason County Collectibles were the first things to catch my eye when I entered the store. Dusty and falling over, they reminded me more of what you might find in an old farmhouse or garage than in a store.
Wade Kaiser, 4, with his dog, Quincy FROM SONORA, TX, GOT SECOND PLACE IN THE MUTTON BUSTING COMPETITION
Wade: “Mutton busting isn’t scary, it’s fun to ride!” His mom: “He’s kind of obsessed.”
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Heading out of Eden you see “Y’all Come Back” on the backside of the welcome sign. The people living there probably hardly even notice it anymore, but I’m sure a lot of thought went into deciding to put that sign up. Little details like that always catch my attention; it’s the type of thing that says a lot to me about a community.
Billy Terry, 56 HUNTER, PUMPING GAS AT JACOBY’S FEED AND SEED IN MELVIN, TX
“My grandparents lived out on the lake so we’d always come out here to hunt and fish and have good home cooking. I don’t have any family out here anymore, but I come back to hunt six to seven times a year now. It’s still a special place.”
| MAY 2017
DISTANCE FROM AUSTIN 580 MILES TO HUECO TANKS
SOME SHALL PASS
WHY A VISIT TO HUECO TANKS STATE PARK IS WORTH THE WAIT BY PARKER YAMASAKI
62 MAY 2017 |
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DEREK GILL
Hikers, historians, naturalists and climbers all have something to celebrate in Hueco Tanks State Park.
LL THROUGHOUT EL PA SO SYMPTOMS OF A SCHIZOPHRENIC
American dream are visible. The Senor Dollar store sits just two blocks down from Dollar Tree; a Pronto Lube car servicer out-competes its kitty corner English-language equivalent, Jiﬀy Lube. It’s a city defined by the Rio Grande River to the south and one-third of the El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces region that makes up the western hemisphere’s largest bilingual, binational workforce. Everywhere throughout the city are lines—demographic, political, and property lines, most of them visible and most of them proud. One of the most curious of these lines is the one situated on the side of Road 2775, a 20-minute drive east of El Paso. Every morning, beginning around 6:30 a.m., and continuing to build until around 10 a.m., there’s a line of cars patiently facing the gate of Hueco Tanks State Park and Historical Site. Hueco Tanks is an anomaly in so many ways. Its cultural significance is defined by the interaction of two natural elements: water and rock. The park boundary surrounds four stone hills shaped by wind and water, cradling massive hollows (“huecos” in Spanish) that capture and hold rainwater (“tanks”) long past the monsoon season. The tanks range from footstep-sized puddles to arenas that can hold up to 50,000 gallons of water. The unique availability of water has created a mid-desert oasis for flora, fauna, and human activity to flourish in unique ways. Early human influences date back to 1150 AD when the Jornada Mogollon people began farming at the base of the rock hills. Their residence is marked by the large collection of painted masks, or faces, on the walls of the rocks. A!er the arrival of the Spanish to North America various groups fled to Hueco Tanks—the Kiowa, Mescalero Apache, Comanche, Tigua and the people of Isleta del Norte Pueblo. Their paintings, also on display on the rocks, depict early European influence: horses, weapons, European-style clothing mingling with their vivid illustrated stories of tradition and change. Thousands of years later, in 1970, the state of Texas took over the 860acre recreational area from El Paso Country and opened Hueco Tanks State Park and Historical Site. To protect its ecological and archeological assets, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department issued a Public Use Plan in 2000 that limits the park’s capacity to 160 people in “guided access areas” and 70 people in “self-guided areas” per day and requires every visitor to watch an orientation video. The measure was instated as a way to recover the land and its assets from the sometimes subtle, sometimes elicit deterioration since opening to the public and to protect it for continued access. “The restrictions mean you have to plan ahead a bit—you cannot just roll out of bed and go wherever you feel like climbing or hiking that day,” says Melissa Strong, a climber, ranger, and owner of land outside of the park. “It’s a change from our normal approach to the outdoors, but it helps protect the park, the rock art and artifacts, and the delicate desert environment.” tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
IT WAS, ESSENTIALLY, A GROUP OF SCIENTISTS LOOKING FOR PAINTINGS ONLY THEY CAN SEE ON ROCK WALLS THAT FEATURE LINES ONLY CLIMBERS CAN USE. Strong initially avoided Hueco Tanks because of the restrictions, but her husband’s enthusiasm for the place eventually prompted her to visit, and her relationship with Hueco grew fast. “I started going to Hueco in 2005—became a guide in 2005 and started Wagon Wheel Co-opt [the campsite located on her land] in 2006.” Once she got to know the land she understood the need for its limited capacity, its guide services, and its iconically cheesy orientation video. It’s a cultural site, a naturalist’s site, a climber’s site; it’s highly photogenic and host to a cross-section of outdoorsy and enthusiastic personalities. And all of it is guarded by a man with a clipboard and a walkie-talkie. I visited during a weekend when contemptuous whispers infused conversation throughout the climbing community about a new round of “so! closures” on the rocks. These closures referenced a recent development in the State and Wildlife Department’s eﬀorts to collect and archive the ancient rock art. Throughout this week—which happened to coincide with a widely known climbing competition, the Hueco Rock Rodeo—it had been arranged for an archeologist to visit certain rock sites with an infrared camera to look for and monitor paintings invisible to the naked eye. The list of 25 rock sites would be inaccessible during the monitoring period, and possibly a!erwards depending on the camera’s findings. It was, essentially, a group of scientists looking for paintings only they can see on rock walls that feature lines only climbers can use. Both interest groups are nuanced and passionate, and there have been moments of contention, ranging from sneery remarks within the groups to meetings held within the community to address certain areas of closure and access. In response to the park’s mobilization of preservation, coordinated eﬀorts have been made by climbers to enter the diplomatic dialogue and prove that they are not just a bunch of Dionyses stomping around Apollo’s sacred and orderly grounds. Such eﬀorts include the formation of Hueco Tanks Climbing Coalition in 2008 and active involvement by local branches of national groups like the Alpine Club and the Access Fund. At the end of the day, although one group may be talking about the face of a rock and the other about its features, both are stewards of the mountains. The great majority of people who visit Hueco Tanks, whether climbers, birders, hikers or archeological enthusiasts, do so with a feeling of reverence. The rules, however inconvenient, are most o!en deemed necessary. With their unorthodox approach to access, Hueco Tanks eﬀectively avoids the complaints of over-crowding (think traﬃc jams in Yosemite Valley and shuttle systems in Moab) that much of the West has been plagued by. The paradox of seeking nature in what feels like a herd of three-track-wide sheep-
64 MAY 2017 |
Above: Some late-afternoon sun shines on the Hueco Bolson’s anomalous igneous rock faces. Opposite: Keenan Takahashi reaches out to a piece of rock that only a climber would want to grab.
people on a two-track trail is delightfully absent in Hueco. Designated guides, who tour around a maximum of 10 people at a time, coordinate with one another, and speak into walkie-talkies in codes and coordinates so that no two groups end up in the same area at the same time. What the guides lack in spontaneity they make up for in solitude. Deliberate, well-coordinated solitude. Ted Ayd, a certified guide, lives and works in Baltimore but makes a yearly pilgrimage down to Hueco Tanks for anywhere from two weeks to two months of the year. He first visited Hueco Tanks nine years ago, at a transition point in his life, when he had finally carved out time from his frantic work schedule to focus on his health. “I quit smoking, ran a marathon and thought…now what? I’d always wanted to learn to climb and decided to check into it,” he says. About a month into the sport, a job in El Paso came up that required him to stay in the area for three months. “I hit Hueco the first chance I got, met a guide who I now consider my sensei, and have been back to Hueco every season since then. Hueco oﬀers more than just climbing if one opens one’s heart to what is here.” Outside of Hueco Tanks is a dominant sense of Texas-branded freedom. Outside is access to acres of land, $2 bags of tortillas, free Wi-Fi and someone to make you coﬀee on every corner, bakery items half oﬀ, and the biggest burrito you’ve ever paid $2.50 for. Outside is a city that reminds one that the colors of America are not always red, white, and blue; sometimes they’re red, yellow, and strip-mall white. Inside Hueco Tanks are lists, lines, orientation videos, waivers, fees, restricted access and a 6 p.m. curfew (7 p.m. in the summer). Despite its limitations, Hueco Tanks has something that’s worth it. Inside is a site of some serious naturalist alchemy, a mixture of historical significance, cultural storytelling, spiritual reverence, and physical challenges. The irony that this park is just 30 miles east of downtown El Paso, one of America’s largest border towns (which shares a fence with Juarez, one of Mexico’s largest-and most notorious-border towns) is not lost. In Hueco, we’re the ones on the outside looking in. Beyond that side-of-the-road line of cars and past the man with the sunglasses and a clipboard, there is something worth waiting for. It’s Hueco Tanks in far-western Texas. Where everyone is learning to live together, divided. And getting pretty good at it. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
DISTANCE FROM AUSTIN
67 MILES TO LAMPASAS (LOCATION OF THE FARTHEST AWAY SWIMMING HOLE MENTIONED)
SWIMMING HOLE HIDEOUTS AUTHORS OF “THE SWIMMING HOLES OF TEXAS” SHARE FIVE FAVORITE SPOTS TO BEAT THE HEAT BY JULIE WERNERSBACH AND CAROLYN TRACY
OME JUNE AND JULY, ALL WE WANT TO DO IN TEXAS IS GET IN THE WATER. IN AUSTIN,
we’re blessed with several supreme opportunities for cooling oﬀ, stretching out, and whiling away a chill summer day. As Austin grows, however, some of our favorite swimming holes are so popular, just finding parking can feel like a deep dive into an abyss of lost time and maddening circles. Part of the fun of researching and writing “The Swimming Holes of Texas” was discovering some terrific swimming hole hideouts not too far from downtown Austin. The capital city is within easy driving distance of dozens of awesome spots to kick back and soak up the beauty of central Texas. Here are five of our top picks for places likely to be a bit more laid back than Barton Springs on a Saturday in July. HANCOCK SPRINGS FREE FLOW POOL
Hancock Park Highway, US-281, Lampasas Located on Sulphur Creek in Lampasas, Hancock Free Flow Pool in Hancock Park is one of the oldest spring-fed swimming pools in Texas. The water at Hancock is clear, cold and a steady 69 degrees all year long. It’s like a miniature Barton Springs, with a sweet little picnic area, shallow and deep ends, a lifeguard, and a historic house restored by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Popularized in the 1850s as a health resort, the mineral-rich
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waters attracted scores of people and were known as a veritable "Saratoga of the South." The pool changed hands several times over the last hundred and fi!y years, operated at diﬀerent times by the Baptist Encampment for Central Texans, the city of Lampasas, and Camp Hood, which used it during World War II as a place for soldiers to convalesce. Today, Hancock Springs welcomes swimmers on summer weekends to revive and rejuvenate in a beautifully maintained pool that’s just about an hour outside of Austin.
PACE BEND PARK p
2805 Pace Bend Rd. North, Spicewood This popular spot in the Highland Lakes region of Lake Travis is a short drive out of town that takes you to the edge of the Hill Country. Nine miles of shoreline, limestone cliﬀs and miles of hiking trails make this a satisfying place to explore for a day. At Pace Bend, you’ll enjoy an abundance of designated swim spots: Mudd Cove, Kate’s Cove and Gracy Cove. While Mudd Cove and Kate’s Cove are great for their easy, walk-in access to the water, shade and convenient picnic areas, the view at Gracy Cove is the most impressive. Roped oﬀ from the rest of lake and protected from the wake of speedboats, this deep inlet is tucked away on the western side of the park, where the shore is lined with limestone cliﬀs. Be sure to remember the sunscreen when you’re hanging out at Gracy Cove. There’s limited shade here and you’re more likely than not to pull up to a sunny spot to lounge.
ZEDLER MILL PARK SOUTH
PALMETTO STATE PARK q
TX-80, Luling Across from historic Zedler Mill, on the opposite bank of the river, is a perfect spot to walk into the welcoming jade waters of the San Marcos. This no-fuss, no-muss park oﬀers tons of shade from the ash, sycamore and pecan trees that grow here. On Highway 80, keep your eyes peeled for a Texas Paddling Trail sign; that’s how you’ll know you’ve arrived. The road down to the park is unpaved. Park your car on the grass and head down to the water, where you’re welcomed by that signature green of the San Marcos and a so! river bottom. This is a picturesque spot where the relatively narrow river and abundant shade make for a cozy, easy a!ernoon. A!er your swim, head across the river and check out Zedler Mill, which has recently been turned into a museum and opened to the public. The San Marcos River was an important part of the economic development of this part of Texas. On display are old photographs, tools, and many more personal and industrial artifacts from the mill. You’ll come away with a good sense of water not just as recreation, but as power and industry.
78 Park Road 11 South, Gonzales About an hour and a half south of Austin in Gonzales is one of the most interesting state parks in the region. Developed in an area known as the Ottine swamp, Palmetto State Park boasts a unique landscape, with trails through a rich understory that includes the dwarf palmetto that gives the park its name. This spot is a delight for birders as well, known for being a hot spot on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. For swimmers, Palmetto oﬀers two great places to jump in the water. Spring-fed Oxbow Lake, with its cypress and oak shade is close to the entrance of the camp and popular with campers and day visitors alike. Head deeper into the park and you’ll find the trail near the refectory that takes you down to a crossing over the San Marcos River. A!er swimming and exploring the trails, take a scenic drive up Park Road 11 where it forks le! into Ottine. This beautiful tree-lined road winds up to an overlook you don’t want to miss. At all times in Palmetto State Park, keep your eyes peeled for the storied “Ottine Thing,” the North American Wood Ape (aka “Bigfoot”) hikers have reported experiencing here.
AT ALL TIMES IN PALMET TO STATE PARK, KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR THE STORIED “OT TINE THING,” THE NORTH AMERICAN WOOD APE (AKA “BIGFOOT”) HIKERS HAVE REPORTED EXPERIENCING HERE.
MULESHOE BEND RECREATION AREA
2820 County Rd. 414, Spicewood The best time to catch Muleshoe Bend is during wildflower season. This enormous, 920-acre park is home to acres and acres of our brilliant, beloved Texas bluebonnets. Grab your camera, perfect your pose, and knock out a great day of swimming and your annual bluebonnet photo at the same time. Here at Muleshoe, you’ll also find more than six miles of mountain bike trails and six miles of waterfront curving around big views of the Colorado River. Getting into the water at Muleshoe is a breeze. Walk right into the shallow shoreline from the grassy bank. This is a simple, relaxing spot just about an hour northwest of Austin where you can take in stunning views of the river and those glorious bluebonnets. Camping is welcome here and sites with views of the water are available. With ample space to spread out, trails to explore, horseback riding available, and abundant waterfront, Muleshoe is a central Texas gem. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
CORAL AND CONCRETE 68 MAY 2017 |
Home to anywhere from 800 to 1200 people, Santa Cruz del Islote is thought to be the most densely populated island in the world.
WITH ONLY A FEW HOURS OF ELECTRICITY PER DAY AND NO RUNNING WATER, SANTA CRUZ DEL ISLOTE THRIVES IN THE MOST UNEXPECTED OF WAYS BY TAYLOR SELSBACK PHOTOGRAPHS BY ADAM L. WEINTRAUB
S OUR SMALL FIBERGLASS BOAT BOUNCES ITS WAY ALONG
the San Bernardo archipelago just oﬀ the northern coast of Colombia, Islote seems to appear out of nowhere, rising from the sky-blue waters of the Caribbean like a concrete rainbow. The island, which was built on top of a small coral reef by Afro-Colombian fishermen in the early 19th century, has grown to about 0.004 square miles, which is slightly smaller than the Disch-Falk baseball field at The University of Texas at Austin. While the other passengers intend to stop quickly for a short tour of the island before continuing to Mucura and Tintipan, islands known for their untouched beaches along the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, I’m getting out to stay. I step over their bags, climb out from under the shade of the boat’s blue vinyl roof, hop into the beating Caribbean sun, and onto Islote’s only dock. To the le! several small fishing boats are propped up on old beer bottle crates with various motors, piles of fishing nets, and bricks scattered around. To the right is a bright yellow building missing its exterior wall as if it were a life-sized doll house. Its crumbling stairway leads to nowhere, but a man on the top step holding his arm up and over the water finds it a purpose as one of the few places on the island with cell service. Directly in front of me is a faded tangerine wall with “Bienvenidos al Islote Bendecido” (or “Welcome to Islote the Blessed”) written in black paint. Santa Cruz del Islote has a school, a restaurant, a church that’s currently under construction, and four convenience stores, but it doesn’t have any official accommodation. This is mostly due to lack of space. Home to anywhere from 800 to 1,200 people, it is believed to be one of the most densely populated islands in the world. As I ask around to see if anyone knows where I might be able to stay, two barefoot boys look at each other and simultaneously say, “Freddy.” They proceed to lead me through the village’s only entry point, a cast iron gate with a floral design at its center. The island is a labyrinth of slightly faded, colorfully painted houses with the occasional cartoon character on a wall reminding people not to litter. We turn the first corner and onto the only oﬃcial street on the island. A crowd of children in uniform whisper “gringo” to each other as the boys pull me through a concrete courtyard where they are running around, playing games. We go down a series of narrow passageways between houses whose windows and doors are wide open, oﬀering glimpses into the dark living rooms and kitchens where mothers and grandmothers sweep floors, wash clothes, or avoid the midday sun while most of their husbands are out fishing. ONE BIG EXTENDED FAMILY
Freddy is in his sixties, has short, buzzed grey hair and a permanent smirk on his face. He’s wearing a muscle shirt and a gold chain necklace with a small gun pendant dangling from it. “You know my grandfather was a gringo too,” he says, explaining that his grandfather came from California to work for an oil company some miles south of Tolú and eventually met his wife, Freddy’s grandma, on Islote. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
Now a retired fisherman, Freddy spends his time improving his house with the hope of making it into a more oﬃcial hostel. He tells me that life on the island has not changed much over the years, but access to basic necessities like fresh water, food, and education has improved. “A tanker from Cartagena brings us water a few times per month, a boat with plantains, mangos and cheese comes every 15 days from the mainland, and a boat from Tolú comes to stock the four convenience stores every week,” he says. As he owns his own boat, he also goes to Tolú to pick up construction materials and anything else people on the island might need. Although supplies only arrive every so o!en, the islanders can rely on their neighbors when they need something. “We all help each other out,” says Freddy’s older cousin, who happens to be the only other person named Freddy on the island. “If I don’t have something one day, there is always someone who can help, and hopefully I can one day also help them. We are all one big family.” The older Freddy, or D. Freddy, as he likes to be called, sits behind a green house near the water smoking a cigarette while a man next to him with large dreadlocks shaves his friend’s head with a single razor. D. Freddy is one of several oﬃcial Islote tour guides who lead half-hour tours around the island. At 70 years old, D. Freddy has nine grown children and around 70 nieces and nephews. He says he is thankful for the opportunities that tourism has brought to the island, explaining that apart from fishing or clerking one of the four convenience stores, people work in tourism on their island or on the other islands in the hotels, hostels, and bars. As I make my way through one of the many small passages that wind through the houses of Islote, I meet Juan, a 20-year-old who works at Casa en el Agua, a popular hostel that sits on stilts in the middle of the Caribbean just oﬀshore from the neighboring island Tintipan. Juan is thrilled to have the job, and enjoys meeting all the foreign guests. He sits next to his girlfriend who is five months pregnant and reading a small pocket-sized Bible. “I think many of my friends want to leave the island, to get to see more of Colombia and other countries, but everyone always comes back,” Juan says, and his girlfriend agrees. There is a sense of pride in the voices of the people who claim they have lived on Islote their whole lives, or that they had le! only to return, or how they weren’t born there, but life had guided them to this island and into its big family.
70 MAY 2017 |
THIS IS WHERE WE PLAY
With 60% of its population being children, the island is full of life at every turn. I pass a group of teenagers huddled around a plastic patio table where Maria typically sells juice in small plastic bags out of a white styrofoam cooler. The juice stand had temporarily been turned into a card table and any money earned from selling juice seemed to go straight back into the game. “No, you have to get nine, and the royal cards don’t count either,” she says to the teenagers who throw their 100 pesos on top of the table. It is the middle of the day and the sun shines through a black net awning that hangs from four wooden posts and provides a bit of shade to the kids who have gathered around with pockets full of change. Above them is a small cage with a canary, a rare sight on a tropical island where the only animals are pets and the few trees that exist seem to struggle to find room to grow between the cement and crushed white coral on which their tiny Caribbean island is built. The kids race back to school with their earnings. The island’s school has 180 students, who are split into three groups by age and attend classes for two to three hours a day either in the morning, a!ernoon or late a!ernoon. Tatiana, a teacher who works for Colombia’s Ministry of Education, who was there training the school’s four teachers, tells me that this school, like many in the region, lacks resources. The students have very little if any access to the internet, and even though full government scholarships to higher education institutions are available for students of these remote areas of Colombia, as far as she knows no one has ever applied. A six-year-old boy named Manuel in his blue uniform holding a toy gun grabs my hand and leads me behind the school. A group of eight other kids follow. As they rapidly talk in a Spanish I assume only other six year olds can understand, I have no idea where they are going, but their hand gestures make it clear I need to keep up. Through a few more narrow passageways and what seems like someone’s home, we arrive at the waterfront to a small cement wall painted with fish and sea creatures and a sign that reads, “Aquarium $2000.” To the right, three tanks built into the water with cement pillars and black netting for walls hold various fish, a few sea turtles, and a couple of sharks. The children run around the edge of the tanks pointing and shouting out the names of all the diﬀerent types of sea animals.
SEE + DO
Want to get a feel for the San Bernardo islands? Head to the harbor in Tolú and catch an all-day boat tour with Club Nautico Tolumaria. The tour includes a stop on Islote for a locally guided walking tour, including entrance to the aquarium. Be sure to grab an ice cream at one of the island’s four convenience stores. The tour continues to the white-sand beaches of Mucura and Tintipan where you can sunbathe, snorkel, or explore the islands on foot. Don’t forget to pack a lunch and bring some sunscreen! Cost: $35.000 COP / $12 USD
EAT + DRINK
You can’t visit the San Bernardo Islands without trying the fish. Many restaurants serve traditional Colombian dishes such as sancocho (a stew usually containing large pieces of meat, plantains, cassava and other vegetables) and the catch of the day served with a side of rice, beans, salad and patacones (fried plantain chips). Meals typically include fresh squeezed juice or aguapanela (a refined sugar drink). Cost: $12.000 - $18.000 COP / $4–6 USD
ISLOTE: If you feel like being adventurous and getting to know the wonderful people of Islote, ask for Freddy and stay a night in one of his private rooms. Cost: $30.000 COP / $10 USD per night. TINTIPAN: For the backpacker, the budget traveler, or eco-friendly voyager, a 24-year-old house on stilts just off the coast of Tintipan called Casa en el Agua has accommodations ranging from hammocks and dormitories to private rooms. It has its own restaurant and bar, and breakfast, bottomless coffee and free drinking water are included in the price of your stay. Young foreign travelers from all over the world spend their days here swimming, snorkeling, reading in a hammock, or taking off on one of many excursions the marine hostel offers. Note that the hostel does not accept reservations more than one month in advance. Cost: $70.000–$200.000 COP / $24–$70 USD per night. casaenelagua.com MUCURA: If you’re looking for a more luxurious island getaway, Hotel Punta Faro offers beachside accommodation with all the modern amenities. Three meals per day are included in the price so all you need to do is show up and relax. Cost: $700.000 COP / $240 USD per night. puntafaro.com
| MAY 2017
Without warning the children run out of the aquarium and I follow. We end up under a large roof where a few men are building a fiberglass boat. The kids bring me to the edge of the roof, point to its top, and tell me to look up. The entire roof is a solar panel. Until a year ago, the island had been powered by a generator that o!en broke down. Now, with the solar panels, they have reliable electricity from 7:30 p.m. to sometime a!er midnight. The looks in the kids’ eyes are of a wonder and excitement. They are proud of that large roof the way the others are proud to have lived on Islote and I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for them to see those panels arrive one by one on little boats to their tiny island. TELENOVELAS AND LIGHTBULBS
The sun sets behind the horizon leaving an orange haze around Islote. The fishermen return to their families and every square, street corner, and stoop is occupied by children playing. Old men sit in a circle and pass around a bottle of rum. Mothers and their babies sit in chairs out on the street while the smell of cooking fires fill the air, dri!ing up from behind the houses or through the open windows. A group of five teenagers wearing sunglasses, despite the lack of sun, pull out a large speaker and start to blast music near an unnamed convenience store. I’m invited to eat dinner and await the coming of electricity with Freddy’s friend Lorena and her family. Lorena, who lives with her husband, three children, and a granddaughter, has a motherly presence. Her hair is up in a bun and she’s wearing a yellow floral dress as bright as the smile on her face. As the sky grows darker, a cool breeze passes through the houses and not a mosquito can be seen. The sound of water boiling on the fire can be heard just inside the house and then there is light, and a subtle cheer of excitement is heard from around the island. The lightbulb in their house turns on to reveal the baby blue walls, floral paintings, and faded family portraits on the walls. They serve dinner and turn on the television to get their daily dose of telenovelas filled with all the drama, love aﬀairs, and suspense a small island community could ever want. Later as I walk back to my room for the night I can see that all the living rooms on Islote are filled. All eyes are glued to the screens, and for a moment the streets are empty. Not a single person is alone; everyone is together enjoying a small moment of pop culture in an otherwise secluded and remote part of the world. I had come to Islote seeking isolation, wondering how such a small community with few readily available resources thrived in the middle of the Caribbean. Of all the people I met, not one person wished they could leave and never
come back. The children ran freely without fear or danger, the adults took a collective approach to keeping their community safe, and the more fortunate helped those in need. Despite its location, the island didn’t feel secluded or distant at all. It wasn’t barely surviving or on the fringe of society. Its people were one large family. A family who had made a home that provided for everyone, a place in which to work, teach, learn, love, and most importantly, for those who had le!, a place to come back to.
THEY SERVE DINNER AND TURN ON THE TELEVISION TO GET THEIR DAILY DOSE OF TELENOVELAS FILLED WITH ALL THE DRAMA, LOVE AFFAIRS, AND SUSPENSE A SMALL ISLAND COMMUNITY COULD EVER WANT. 72 MAY 2017 |
HOW TO GET THERE?
Fly to Cartagena, Colombia. From Cartagena’s main bus terminal, it’s a 2.5-hour bus ride to Tolú ($25.000 COP / $8 USD). Head over to Club Nautico Tolumaria right across from the harbor where all tour boats leave and get a ticket to your destination ($30.000 COP / $10 USD).
There are four convenience stores on the island. A boat from Tolú comes to stock them once per week. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
512.797.5122 1931 E. 38 1 2 Street
Contemporary townhome style condos / Yards / Attached garages
Anna Hardeman Realtor /GRI/ABR
Noa levy Realtor /GRI
Only 10 remaining/Starting at $385,000
www.eswealth.com | 512.250.2277 Jenny Fleming, CPA
Sara Seely, CFA
LIFE + STYLE HOW WE LIVE RIGHT NOW
It took eight men to install each one of these glass panes at Cove Boutique. PHOTOGRAPH BY JESSICA PAGES
CO L U M N
ST YLE PICK
T H I N K S PAC E
| MAY 2017
COLUMN | LIFE + STYLE
Home is Where You Park It HE ATHER IRVIN HIT THE ROAD FULL-TIME WITH HER HUSBAND, ONE-YE AR-OLD TODDLER, AND T WO DOGS. THREE YE ARS AND ANOTHER BABY L ATER, SHE REFLECTS ON LIFE AS AN RV-ER. by Heather Irvin
’D SAY I DEVELOPED A WILLINGNESS TO TAKE RISKS WHEN I WAS IN
my twenties, living alone in Austin for the first time. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, had no health insurance, struggled to pay my bills, partied like a hussy, and got my heart broken. Nothing worked out exactly as planned and I carried my regrets back to my mom’s house in Waco where I was safe to wallow in my own self-pity for a couple of years. Eventually I got a grip, started socializing again, and I met my husband. We had a daughter, life felt cozy and safe, but we were restless. We needed a change but it would take some drastic measures to escape the “Waco vortex” (it’s a thing). So we came up with the idea to buy a beat-up RV, sell all our crap and skedaddle. It was through that perilous, dramatic departure, and over the next three years that I realized what’s most important in life. Hold onto your mittens, kittens! In September 2013, we bought a Class-A 34-foot 1999 Forest River Windsong for $15,000 from Camping World in New Braunfels. It had
76 MAY 2017 |
40,000 miles on it and all the important stuff worked. We painted the inside, sold both of our cars, paid cash for an old Subaru to tow, and spent the year downsizing. On a whim we entered a lottery for low-income Burning Man tickets and won. Suddenly it all became very real. We had to be in Black Rock City, Nevada by the end of August 2014. When we told our parents our plan to hit the road full-time and travel with our one-year-old toddler, they thought we were nuts. They googled Burning Man, and saw photos of naked people in gas masks and furry boots. Why would anyone leave a stable job, a nice house in a decent hood, and head for a desert full of neon pagan perverts? Had we lost our minds? Yep, but we were going. When we hit the road we started an Instagram account and a blog. We were embarking on a grand adventure and we planned to write about it. We assumed most full-time RV-ERs were retired couples. It was humbling and thrilling to learn there were others like us—young families living, traveling, and working on the road. Some are coders and web designers who travel and
work remotely, some have successful travel blogs and thousands of Instagram followers. New traveling families show up on Instagram every day, excited about their grand adventures, hoping to connect with others like them. Through Instagram, we became Instafriends with other full-time RVERs we met on the road. We all had the same vision—freedom, travel, experience, fewer things, more time, life on our own terms. You’re going to spend most of your time outside, hiking, playing guitar, reading, and watching sunsets. You’ll have time to start writing your memoir. You’ve never been the conformist type, so you don’t need a normal house. You can road-school your kids. Traveling is the best education anyway. I could write forever about all the amazing places we’ve been. We’ve driven more than 20,000 miles and visited almost every national park in the country. But we have never wanted our lifestyle to define who we are or let our egos get wrapped up in the adventure-porn culture of social media. And quite frankly, you’d need to give yourself pep talks to truly buy into the fantasy. It’s important to keep in mind that you can escape conventional living, but life on the road is still real life. You’re not always traveling and you’re not always in beautiful places. You’re smelly goons living inside a box on top of a 30-gallon tank filling to the brim with your own doodoo. Occasionally you’ll need to stay for several days in a creepy RV park to dump your tanks and do three weeks’ worth of laundry. You’re in a town with terrifying, toothless, “Deliverance”-type characters and they probably want to make you squeal like a pig. You won’t see or do half of what the veteran nomads have done and you’ll still burn out. You didn’t think you’d get numb to the beauty of nature, but when it’s been months without a bubble bath and the personal space to groom your ‘70s bush, it can happen. There’s no privacy and if you have kids, your sex life will suffer. Flashback to the time you boon-docked in the middle of a meadow in Hells Canyon, Oregon. You waited until the kids were asleep and slipped outside to reconnect with your significant other with the creepy feeling you were being watched by the ghost of an Amerindian spirit animal. You basked in the light of the super moon, sipped your post-coitus cocktails, and were reminded why you started this adventure in the first place. Living the dream, remember? Like with any other lifestyle, you’ll feel some social anxiety at times. Why weren’t you invited to the Airstream Trailers meet-up in the Anza-Borrego Desert, where the adults drink craft beers and the roadschooled “wild and free” rascals play together in the dirt while drone cameras captured the amazing moment from the sky? You convince yourself
that your invitation must have gotten lost when you were in the Rogue River National Forest and didn’t have cell reception for four hours. It never occurred to you that you don’t have to be invited. You can just go. You’re only human. It’s normal to feel a little envious when you meet others with beautifully renovated vintage Airstreams while you’re living in a dirty bus that smells like dog farts. You could be a source of inspiration for another family just starting their own RV adventure but the rest of your friends and family probably think that you’re pretentious and that it’s just a matter of time before you come crawling back to civilization and relearn appropriate grooming habits. And they’re right! We still have the Windsong, but we just bought a house and plan to settle down. It’s the opposite of what we wanted four years ago. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball, like an unexpected second kid conceived on the road. And we never envisioned how hard it would be to make money and not drive each other bonkers, or how much work it takes to set up and break down camps, move from place to place, handle our own raw sewage, and learn the mechanics of an RV and our car so we could fix it ourselves to save money. Nothing worked out exactly as planned over the last three years, but I don’t regret any of it. Even during the hard times when we were ready to quit, I’ve never felt more alive. We’ve seen more sunrises and sunsets than we can count. We’ve slept in forests and smelled like campfire, hiked through grandeur, swam in lakes, rivers, and the ocean. But our greatest adventure was never a destination. It was the time we spent as a family, figuring out how to navigate through the challenges. We could be in Austin, a national park, or dry camping in the middle of nowhere. What matters most is that we spent an unnatural amount of time together and we still like each other. Now anytime we want to switch it up and leave the comforts of home and the illusion of safety, we know we’ll always land on our feet. Like when we bought the Windsong, I think we’ll always have the courage to just go for it. The future is now! Home is where you park it! Wherever you go, there you are! On Instagram follow us at @restlessnest and follow our favorite veteran nomads @wandrly, @mali.mish, @longmayweroam, and @asolojourner for more road-schooling ideas and travel inspiration. Also, for the best camping spots or places to dump your doo, go to campendium.com or find them on IG, Twitter and FB. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
STYLE PICK | LIFE + STYLE
On Your Mark, Jet-Set, Cove TR AVEL-INSPIRED SHOPPING KEEPS SOUTH CONGRESS IN A PERPETUAL STATE OF SUN-KISSED BLISS by Anna Rachel Rich Photographs by Jessica Pages
TWO-STORY GLASS BOUTIQUE
with gauzy tunics, delicately embroidered shorts and technicolored tassels summons passersby on a sartorial sojourn through South Congress. Gilded bar carts stocked with sunnies and succulents are parked under walls with photos of craggy Mediterranean cliffs. Atop a stack of “100 Getaways Around the World” hardcovers sits a pair of fringed leather Loeffler Randall sandals, just waiting to wander the streets of some far-flung locale. Cove’s breezy pieces might be destined for a languid island holiday, but they don’t look half-bad for Austin’s own balmy clime. Rebecca Yanoff cites the outdoors as a main inspiration for Cove Boutique, which she built from the ground up just over a year ago. It’s only natural that she installed floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing all-day rays to filter in through the stately oaks that stand out front. “It took eight men to install one sheet of glass, but it was definitely worth it to bring the outdoors inside,” Yanoff says. On an overcast Saturday morning, “Here Comes the Sun” echoes optimistically through the store while associates arrange punchy-hued swimsuits next to off-the-shoulder maxis. At Cove, sunshine is a state of mind.
78 MAY 2017 |
At Cove, sunshine is a state of mind.
“I wanted to create a vibe that’s true to Austin,” Yanoff says. “I’ve lived here for 15 years and part of why I love the city so much is because it’s casual, but people still have a strong sense of personal style and aren’t afraid to experiment.” From the “Weekends, Je T’aime” t-shirts to the ivory Doma lambskin leather jackets, Cove is a model-off-duty mecca, an ode to Austin’s relaxed attitude. “The 9seed caftan is my goto,” Yanoff offers. “It looks amazing as a beach cover-up, and with a denim jacket as a daytime staple, or throw on a statement necklace and a pair of heels and you’re ready for a night out.” The boutique carries both international labels and designs manufactured here in the United States, including brands like Antik Batik, McGuire, Koch, Boys + Arrows and Zimmermann. Yanoff says the average customer is between 30
and 45 years old, but the bathing suit collection brings in a younger demographic and even her mom shops there. “We really have something for everyone,” she notes. “Ultimately, it’s about keeping things unfussy and approachable—but still cool,” Yanoff says before recalling Diane von Furstenberg’s words: “‘When you pack lightly, you live lightly.’ That’s what inspires me when I think about Cove.” And with the launch of an updated e-commerce site and plans to double square footage with an upstairs expansion in January 2018, you can rest assured Cove will have you (at least, partially) covered. 1318 S. CONGRESS AVE, AUSTIN, TX, 78704 HOURS: MONDAY–SATURDAY 10:30 A.M. –7:00 P.M., SUNDAY 11:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M.
| MAY 2017
T H I N K S PAC E | L I F E + S T Y L E
Departure Lounge THIS TR AVEL AGENCY IS RE ADY FOR TAKEOFF By Anne Bruno Photographs by Warren Chang
Boutique travel agency Departure Lounge's unconventional interior. Opposite: founder Keith Waldon.
80 MAY 2017 |
AY "TRAVEL AGENT" AND PEOPLE OF A CERTAIN AGE RECALL
storefronts populating the busiest streets. Sun-bleached posters in the windows beckoned passersby inside to explore such exotic locales as Miami Beach with all bikini-clad beauties sipping umbrella drinks. Inside one of these storefronts, you'd have likely found a Xerox machine the size of a Car2Go, a water cooler and a fax machine or two. Agents' desks would've been covered with essential tools of the trade: calendars and brochures depicting Mayan ruins of the Mexican Riviera or Australian koalas and kangaroos, three-ring binders filled with airline and cruise ship schedules, and, most important, a multi-line telephone replete with a cushion on the handset allowing the multitasking agent to work the phones while typing reservations into a giant green-screened computer. Enter the miracle of the interwebs and everything changed.
Sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline arrived on the scene and offered those looking for vacation plans an international buffet of do-it-yourself options promising the best deals on the most exciting destinations. Best of all, you could research, compare prices and book a trip from the comfort of your own home, 24/7, all by yourself. Did this sea change in a consumer-focused industry render travel agencies unnecessary or, even worse, extinct? "Oh no, definitely not," says Keith Waldon, founder of Austin's Departure Lounge, a decidedly modern upscale travel agency prominently located at the corner of West 5th and Guadalupe Streets. "But when the business changed, most just moved to the 34th floor of some bland office building so no one knew they still existed." The exact opposite is true with Waldon's street level coffee-shop-cum-wine-bar travel boutique. Here, in a lounge setting instead of an office, yesteryear's water cooler has been replaced by an Italian espresso machine and a bar serving wines from around the world. Large touchscreens adorn the walls and continually display
inspiring images for every type of traveler, from adventure-seekers to spa enthusiasts. In the sunlit open area, regulars and newcomers alike stop in for a morning latte, browsing travel magazines; in the evening they attend destination-themed events where conversations with like-minded globetrotters (and those in the making) are encouraged over wine and appetizers. A meeting room and two cozy booths tucked behind Moorish arches offer private spaces where clients can visit by appointment with a travel advisor. Waldon began his hospitality career while a student at Southern Methodist University, talking his way into an internship with Dallas' famed Rosewood Hotels, where he ultimately worked for 16 years. "I majored in public relations and statistics, so I love using both sides of my brain; it's come in handy in this business. People talk about how innovative our concept is, but what you don't see behind the curtain is just as innovative as what's in front," Waldon says. Because it can be difficult for many people to describe what they really want in travel, Waldon
created a proprietary tool to not only hone in on what a client is looking for, but also discover what their travel personality is (their "travel DNA") as well as the level of compatibility among people traveling together. "It's a fairly simple visual quiz but it actually reveals serious data we use in initially matching the client with the right advisor and, later, in designing their experience,” Waldon says. “The client has a vision but may not be able to articulate it—it's our job to understand that vision and then plan a trip that brings it to life. There's a lot of psychology involved; trust and successful relationships are key to every aspect of what we do." As to who's traveling and how his unusual concept has attracted untapped potential, Waldon explains it this way: "The older, luxury travelers never stopped using advisors and millennials love working with experts because they value knowledge. Both groups see what travel professionals provide at no extra charge—we're paid commissions by our partners with whom we have deep, long-standing relationships." And those relationships, he adds, get clients the best of coveted perks, upgrades and special requests. Waldon notes that baby boomers, in contrast to other travelers, generally think they can get the best deals and most satisfying experiences by doing everything themselves. That's rarely the case, he says, so they often ask for professional help only after learning what their kids or parents got without paying extra. "Regardless of a traveler's age, a piece was still missing," Waldon says. "That Main Street presence does matter." Travel agencies, he decided, needed to evolve in order to reclaim their visible place in people's everyday routines. "When they see you, they're reminded that you provide a valuable service, like so many other professionals they work with on a regular basis." With Departure Lounge, the evolution of a business some thought was on its way out has clearly arrived. Look for locations in Westlake and the Austin airport later this summer, and franchises to follow in other U.S. cities. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
Breaking Ground Soon
Which of Einstein’s theories was recently proven? View this story—and many more—at the Harry Ransom Center.
Now Accepting Reservations Call Now For Pre-Construction Pricing (512) 595-4762
THROUGH JULY 16 21st and Guadalupe Streets www.hrc.utexas.edu FREE ADMISSION
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FOOD + THOUGHT A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON OUR LOCAL DINING SCENE
Don't let the playful atmosphere at Kemuri Tatsu-ya fool you, when it comes to the food, they aren't kidding around. PHOTOGRAPH BY KNOXY KNOX
K ARENâ€™S PICK
D I N N E R CO N V E R S AT I O N
| MAY 2017
K AREN'S PICK | FOOD + THOUGHT
Kemuri Tatsu-ya ENJOY YOURSELF AT E AST AUSTIN’S NEW FUSION FUNHOUSE By Karen O. Spezia Photographs by Knoxy Knox
HAT DO JAMES BROWN, KENNY G, AND LESLIE, THE
Austin cross-dresser, have in common? Not a lot, except they’re all culinary inspiration for Kemuri Tatsu-ya, the playful and terrific new restaurant on the East Side. With their faces prominently displayed on Kemuri’s chinmi snack menu, these pop culture icons guide diners through rarified nibbles ranging from extremely daring to not so much. If James Brown is next to an item, it’s gonna be “nasty”—i.e. very exotic. Meanwhile, Kenny G signals food for the less adventuresome and Leslie’s selections fall somewhere in the middle. And that’s just for starters. It’s all good fun at Kemuri, a Japanese-Texan mash-up that injects seriously good food with a sense of humor. The merriment begins on the cozy front porch, where a whimsical rickshaw-cum-bar welcomes guests with a tasty selection of sakes and beers. Once inside, diners are greeted by cheerful shouts of “irasshaimase!” a customary Japanese salutation. The building has been transformed into a funhouse plastered with kitschy Japanese and Texas roadhouse memorabilia, including trophy heads sporting gold hip hop chains. Out back, vintage Japanese films flicker on a patio wall. Kemuri is the new, younger sibling of Ramen Tatsu-ya, offering the best ramen in Austin—and some would argue, in the country. This latest ven-
84 MAY 2017 |
K EMU R I , ME A N ING “SMOK E ” IN JA PA N ESE , IS HOUSED IN A FOR MER BA R BECU E JOIN T T H AT FE AT U R ES A SI A N-INSPIR ED SMOK ED ME ATS A N D SE A FOOD, A LONG W IT H YA K ITOR I , R A MEN, A N D IZ A K AYA CL A SSICS ME A N T
ture is modeled after Japanese izakayas, friendly gastropubs akin to American taverns or Irish pubs. The menu is a ref lection of chef-owner Tatsu Aikawa’s multi-cultural upbringing: Japanese born and Texas raised. Kemuri, meaning “smoke” in Japanese, is housed in a former barbecue joint that features Asian-inspired smoked meats and seafood, along with yakitori, ramen, and izakaya classics meant for sharing. An homage to its barbecue roots, food is served on trays lined with butcher paper. There are so many creative and tasty choices that it’s hard to pick favorites. But standouts include the Hot Pocketz, bite-size tofu squares stuffed with brisket and melted gouda that are deliciously addictive. The Smoked Mackerel left us swooning—and fighting with our chopsticks over the last morsels. Moist and surprisingly mild, the fish was nestled beneath perfectly crisped skin and garnished with fresh greens, radish and lemon. A drizzle of soy brought it all together. The BBQ Boat was loaded with slices of smoked meats and seafood, and the Guaca-Poke married diced tuna and avocado. Another tasty hybrid was the Sticky Rice Tamale stuffed with chorizo, beef tongue and shitakes. Having a Grilled skewers included roasted nuggets of certified sake sommelier beef tongue, pork belly, or chicken thighs. And around is of course, there’s ramen: beef broth with brisket certainly handy. or a rich kotteri dipping style. Drinks are an integral part of the meal at Kemuri, so come thirsty. General Manager Michael Phillips hails from cocktail stalwart Midnight Cowboy—and there’s even a certified sake sommelier on hand. Don’t miss the carefully curated selection of shochu and sake, especially the bold and funky, Cowboy Yamahai. There’s also local and Japanese beer and a full bar, including an extensive whiskey list. Specialty cocktails arrive in festive novelty glasses or punchbowls for sharing with your tablemates. It all helps lubricate the fun at Kemuri, a wonderful new place that takes its food and drink seriously, but not itself. Kanpai!
FOR SH A R ING . KEMURI TATSU-YA 2713 E 2ND STREET (512) 893-5561 | KEMURI-TATSUYA.COM
| MAY 2017
D I N N E R C O N V E R S AT I O N | F O O D + T H O U G H T
Dinner at the Pipkinâ€™s House OLD FRIENDS AND CO-CONSPIR ATORS CHAT ABOUT THEIR SHARED PASSION FOR NONPROFIT WORK IN KENYA By Turk Pipkin Photographs by Casey Chapman Ross
N THE WHIRLWIND WE CALL MODERN LIVING, IT’S CHALLENGING
to line up friends for dinner on any particular night, but occasionally the stars align. In this case, it was for a group of old friends who share our deep ties to Kenya. And with a couple of newlyweds in the mix, we were all fired up to celebrate. In the dozen years that Christy Pipkin and I have been pursuing The Nobelity Project’s education and conservation work in Kenya, Sarah Evans of Well Aware and Zane Wilemon of Ubuntu have been frequent co-conspirators. Also joining us for dinner were Zane’s wife of just a few days, Amal Safdar, and our great friend from Kenya, Emily Sile-Twitchell, who is also a board member of Well Aware. Between the six of us, we’ve worked with tens of thousands of young people in rural Kenya, building schools and water systems, and caring for those in deep need. Clearly, we had a lot to talk about. Christy and I are not averse to cooking a full meal while friends are having a welcome drink in the kitchen, but this was not a dinner that called for conversation over cooking, so a big poached salmon filet and side dishes were ready for the table when everyone arrived. Close on the heels of a busy workday, we kicked things off with espresso martinis (chill double espresso shots in the freezer so they don’t melt the ice, add Tito’s or Patron, a little Patron XO Coffee Liqueur, Frangelico, and ice, and then shake). Wedding talk was our first order of business. Zane and Amal took turns describing how he’d surprised her a few days earlier by switching their morning workout to a surprise wedding with a quick honeymoon at Hotel Saint Cecilia. The tag-team descriptions were great, but the joy on their faces was even greater. To celebrate, I opened a magnum of The Turk Wine, our big and bold Nobelity Project Cab/Syrah made by Austin Hope and his Paso Robles winery, Treana. Turning wine into water for schools in rural Kenya, The Turk has already funded a number of school water projects, and will soon help fund three more in partnership with Well Aware. As we toasted, I gave Sarah a report on my visit to those three schools just two weeks ago. One of those projects is a deep well, or borehole, as they say in Kenya, so Sarah, Emily and I were eager to discuss our new hydrology report. I thought the report looked good, but Sarah said that they were ordering a second test because Well Aware has never had a failed water project and they want to keep it that way. Better safe than sorry. We were all seated for dinner by the time we began discussing the drought in Kenya and each of our upcoming travel plans. Zane is flying over in a couple of weeks, and even though I’d just returned, Christy and I are returning with a group in a month to open several new projects, including a gorgeous library built inside an abandoned water tank. Emily and I had just gotten a great report from Konyit Primary, a rural
school near her parent’s home that The Nobelity Project helped rebuild from the ground up. A recent report showed improving grades, new infrastructure funded locally and, at long last, power lines connections. Over dessert, Zane caught us up on the re-branding of their nonprofit under the name Ubuntu. Working with Whole Foods, Zazzle and other partners, Ubuntu empowers lives through pediatric health and education programs, with funding from the sale of their Kenyan products. Zane was excited to tell us that Café Ubuntu coffee would be on the shelves at Whole Foods starting in May. Everyone we work with in Kenya is affected by the ongoing drought in East Africa. Toward the end of the evening, we talked about the 100-kilometer camel walk I’d taken across northern Kenya to see the effects of the drought first-hand. Walking with the founders of the Milgis Trust, we were led by 30 Samburu warriors and 45 camels on a six-day walk that included a 5,000-foot climb over a mountain (a severe test for me, the old guy in our group). Sarah, Zane, and Amal were all eager to take a shot at this epic journey, but Emily, who of course knows Kenya better than any of us, looked at us like we were crazy. Suddenly we realized hours had passed. Sarah and Emily had sitters to relieve, and Zane and Amal... well, they’re newlyweds. As we parted, we all vowed to do this again. Maybe we’ll all see each other in Kenya. Turk Pipkin and Christy Pipkin are founders of The Nobelity Project (nobelity.org), which bridges gaps in education in East Africa, Latin America, and the United States. Turk is also the director of three Nobelity Project feature films, “Nobelity,” “One Peace at a Time” and “Building Hope—the Story of Mahiga Hope High School.” Their dinner guests were Sarah Evans, founder and executive director of Well Aware (wellawareworld.org), Zane Wilemon, co-founder and executive director of Ubuntu (ubuntumade.com), Amal Safdar, partner and director at Pershing, and Emily Sile-Twitchell, board member at Well Aware.
WA LK ING W IT H T HE FOU N DER S OF T HE MILGIS T RUST, W E W ER E LED BY 30 SA MBU RU WA R R IOR S A N D 45 C A MELS ON A SIX-DAY WA LK T H AT INCLU DED A 5,000 -FOOT CLIMB OV ER A MOU N TA IN (A SE V ER E T EST FOR ME , T HE OLD GU Y IN OU R GROU P).
| MAY 2017
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.
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.
GUSTO ITALIAN KITCHEN 4800 Burnet Rd. | (512) 458 1100
34TH STREET CATERING
Upscale-casual Italian in the heart of the Rosedale
1005 W. 34th St. | (512) 323 2000 | 34thstreetcafe.com
neighborhood. Fresh pastas, hand-tossed pizzas,
One of the best and most creative full service
incredible desserts (don’t miss the salted caramel
catering companies in Austin. Acclaimed Chef
budino) and locally-sourced, seasonally inspired
Paul Petersen brings his culinary experience
chalkboard specials. Full bar with craft cocktails,
and high standards to catering company and
local beers on tap and boutique wines from around
to your event! Call them to save the date
and they'll start planning any occasion. We’re coming to the party.
BAR CHI SUSHI 206 Colorado St. | (512) 382 5557
24 DINER 600 N. Lamar Blvd. | (512) 472 5400
FONDA SAN MIGUEL
Chef Andrew Curren’s casual eatery promises delicious
2330 W. North Loop Blvd. | (512) 459 4121 | fondasanmiguel.com
plates 24/7 and a menu featuring nostalgic diner favor-
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…
ites. Order up the classics, including roasted chicken, burgers, all-day breakfast and decadent milkshakes.
ASTI TRATTORIA 408 E. 43rd St. | (512) 451 1218 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.
88 MAY 2017 |
A great place to stop before or after a night on the town, this sushi and bar hotspot stays open until 2 a.m. on the weekends. Bar Chi’s happy hour menu features $2 sake bombs and a variety of sushi rolls under $10.
BRIBERY BAKERY 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.
V I S I T T R I B E Z A .CO M TO VIEW THE ENTIRE ONLINE DINING GUIDE
1603 S. Congress Ave. | (512) 942 0823
510 Neches St. | (512) 473 2413
Between their full dinner menu, impressive raw bar and craft
Now an iconic Austin staple, Chez Nous creates authentic
cocktail offerings, Central Standard at the South Congress
French cuisine just a few yards away from bustling 6th
Hotel is the perfect place to spend a night on the town.
Street. Genuine, simple and delectable, it is hard not to leave
this bistro feeling completely satisfied.
3407 Greystone Dr. (512) 343 9307
CLARK’S OYSTER BAR
107 W. 5th St. | (512) 343 9307
1200 W. 6th St. | (512) 297 2525
Some of the best traditional Chinese food in town. Fast
Small and always buzzing, Clark’s extensive caviar and oyster
service in the dining room and delivery is available.
menu, sharp aesthetics and excellent service make it a re-
This restaurant boasts an extensive and diverse dim sum
freshing indulgence on West Sixth Street. Chef Larry McGuire
menu for customers to munch on!
brings East Coast-inspired vibes to this seafood restaurant.
CONTIGO 2027 Anchor Ln. | (512) 614 2260
Chef Andrew Wiseheart serves ranch-to-table cuisine and an elegant take on bar fare at this east side gem. Take your
3201 Bee Caves Rd. #122 | (512) 327 9889 | laspalomasrestaurant.com
pick from the exquisite and bold cocktail menu and grab a
One of the hidden jewels in Westlake, this unique
spot on the expansive outdoor patio.
restaurant and bar offers authentic interior
COUNTER 3. FIVE. VII
Mexican cuisine in a sophisticated yet relaxed
315 Congress Ave, Ste. 100 | (512) 291 3327
setting. Enjoy family recipes made with fresh
Belly up to the counter at this 25-seat space for an intimate
ingredients. Don’t miss the margaritas! BULLFIGHT 4807 Airport Blvd. | (512) 474 2029 Chef Shawn Cirkiel transports diners to the south of Spain
dining experience that’s modern yet approachable.
310 Congress Ave. | (512) 472 7555 10201 Jollyville Road | (512) 345 1042
This unique eatery gives three, five and seven-course tasting menus in an immersive setting.
COUNTER CULTURE 2337 E. Cesar Chavez St. | (512) 524 1540
for classic tapas, including croquettes and jamon serrano.
A local Austin favorite with a reputation for
An East Austin haven for vegans and vegetarians, Counter
The white-brick patio invites you to sip on some sangria and
high-quality regional Mexican food, fresh pressed
Culture provides internationally inspired vegan options with
enjoy the bites.
cocktails, margaritas and tequilas. Try the Chile
organic and local food. Daily specials are shared through
Relleno del Mar with Texas Gulf Shrimp, day boat
their constantly updated Twitter feed.
1100 S. Lamar Blvd. Suite 2115 | (512) 628 0348
scallops, and Jumbo Blue lump crab, or Manuel’s
Owned by restaurant veterans Lisa and Emmett Fox,
famous mole. Located downtown at the corner
207 E. 53rd St. | (512) 614 6683
Cantine produces new twists on Italian and Mediterranean
of 3rd and Congress Avenue and in the Arboretum
Located in the North Loop district, Michael and Jessica
classics. Along with the slew of culinary temptations,
on Jollyville Road. One of the best happy hour
Sanders bring craft cocktails and American pub fare to
the restaurant also has an impressive selection of imported
deals in town.
drink.well. with a seasonally changing menu. Snacks to try
liquor and a skilled bar staff.
include fried chickpeas and house-made Twinkies. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
EAST SIDE KING
FOREIGN & DOMESTIC
HOME SLICE PIZZA
1816 E. 6th St. | (512) 407 8166
306 E. 53rd St. | (512) 459 101
1415 S. Congress Ave. | (512) 444 7437
2310 S. Lamar, Suite 101 | (512) 383 8382
Small, neighborhood restaurant in the North Loop area
For pizza cravings south of the river, head to Home Slice
Winner of the James Beard Award and Top Chef, Paul Qui
serving unique dishes. Chef Ned Elliott serves thoughtful,
Pizza. Open until 3 a.m. on weekends for your post bar-hop-
offers out-of-this-world pan-Asian food from across town
locally-sourced food with an international twist at reason-
ping convenience and stocked with classics like the
trailers with fellow chefs Moto Utsunomiya and Ek Timrek.
able prices. Go early on Tuesdays for dollar oysters.
Margherita as well as innovative pies like the White Clam,
Try their legendary fried Brussels Sprouts!
topped with chopped clams and Pecorino Romano.
2402 San Gabriel St. | (512) 220 0953
709 E. 6th St. | (512) 614 4972
Housed in a historic Austin landmark, smoke imbues the
3110 Guadalupe St. | (512) 537 0467
From the ELM Restaurant Group, Easy Tiger lures in both
f lavors of everything at Freedmen’s — from the barbecue, to
A gastropub with French inclinations, offering a beautiful
drink and food enthusiasts with a delicious bakeshop up-
the desserts and even their cocktail offerings. Pitmaster
patio and unique cocktails. The beer, wine and cocktail
stairs and a casual beer garden downstairs. Sip on some local
and chef Evan LeRoy plates some of the city’s best barbecue
options are plentiful and the perfect pairing for the restau-
brew and grab a hot, fresh pretzel. Complete your snack with
on a charming outdoor patio.
rant’s famed steak frites and moules frites.
beer cheese and an array of dipping sauces.
605 Davis St. | (512) 476 4755
123 W. 6th St. | (512) 660 5390
1025 Barton Springs Rd. | (512) 609 8923
Located inside Rainey Street’s Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s
Chef Andrew Curren of 24 Diner and Easy Tiger presents
This chef-driven, authentic Mexican restaurant with un-
creates a unique, fun experience by combining creative
simple, rustic Italian plates. Don’t miss the sweet delicacies
matched outdoor patio dining stands out as an Austin
cocktails, shareable plates and scenic views of Lady Bird
from Pastry Chef Mary Katherine Curren.
dining gem. The chic yet relaxed setting is perfect for enjoy-
Lake. Enjoy live bands every night of the week as you enjoy
ing delicious specialized drinks outside for their everyday
Executive Chef Stephen Bonin’s dishes and cocktails from
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. happy hour!
bar manager Jen Keyser.
ELIZABETH STREET CAFÉ
GOODALL’S KITCHEN AND BAR
America,” this historic Clarksville favorite has maintained
1501 S. 1st St. | (512) 291 2881
1900 Rio Grande St. | (512) 495 1800
the execution, top-notch service and luxurious but welcoming
Chef Larry McGuire creates a charming French-Vietnamese
Housed in the beautiful Hotel Ella, Goodall’s provides mod-
atmosphere that makes Jeffrey’s an old Austin staple.
eatery with a colorful menu of pho, banh mis and sweet
ern spins on American classics. Dig into a fried mortadella
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.
Rustic, continental fare with an emphasis on fresh, local and
1209 E. 11th St. | (512) 628 0168
organic ingredients. Like its sister restaurant, Jeffrey’s,
Hillside Farmacy is located in a beautifully restored
Josephine House is another one of Bon Appétit’s “10 Best
2307 Hancock Dr. | (512) 371 6840
1950s-style pharmacy with a lovely porch on the east side.
New Restaurants in America.” Find a shady spot on their patio
A café and grocery with both Louisiana and French
Oysters, cheese plates and nightly dinner specials are
and indulge in fresh baked pastries and a coffee.
sensibilities by Thomas Keller-trained Chef Sarah
whipped up by chef Sonya Cote.
Don’t forget to end your meal with the housemade macarons.
McIntosh. Lovers of brunch are encouraged to stop in here for a bite on Sundays!
1204 W. Lynn St. | (512) 477 5584 Named one of Bon Appétit’s “10 Best New Restaurants in
1601 Waterston Ave. | (512) 477 5584
1906 E. Cesar Chavez St. | (512) 605 9696 Though it may not be as famous as that other Austin barbecue joint, La Barbecue is arguably just as delicious. This trailer, which is owned by the legendary Mueller family, whips up classic barbecue with free beer and live music.
90 MAY 2017 |
V I S I T T R I B E Z A .CO M TO VIEW THE ENTIRE ONLINE DINING GUIDE
REBEL PIZZA BAR
TRUE FOOD KITCHEN
88 1/2 Rainey St. | (512) 571 4588
7858 Shoal Creek Blvd. | (512) 457 5757
222 West Ave. | (512) 777 2430
This cute walk-up kitchen and patio fuses traditional French
Along with its unique street art interiors, Rebel Pizza Bar
Inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, True
and Southern cuisine. Think late night Parisian-style burgers
delivers updated takes on bar classics including hot wings and
Food Kitchen combines decadent favorites with health-con-
with frites or rosemary biscuits and gravy for Sunday brunch.
waff le fries. But the pizza is the real star of this cozy restau-
scious eating, striking the perfect balance. The restaurant,
rant, like the Get Up Stand Up pie that packs a powerhouse of
located in downtown’s chicest new entertainment district, offers
flavors that will leave you jostling for the last slice.
a full range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Located in the Mueller development, Chef Fiore Tedesco
delivers contemporary Italian cuisine with a strong nod to
1917 Manor Rd. | (512) 391 2337
4200 N. Lamar Blvd. Ste. 140 | (512) 916 4808
the classics. Alongside delicious plates, guests will enjoy
Salty Sow serves up creative signature drinks, including
The sensational sister creation of Uchi, and former home
impressive cocktails, wine and a great craft beer selection.
a Blueberry-Lemon Thyme Smash. The food menu,
of Top Chef Paul Qui and renowned chefs Page Presley
MONGERS MARKET + KITCHEN
heavy with sophisticated gastropub fare, is perfect for late-
and Nicholas Yanes. Uchiko is an Austin icon that everyone
should visit at least once. Try the bacon tataki!
Chef Shane Stark brings a casual Texas Gulf Coast sensibility
to East Austin by slinging fresh seafood in the kitchen and
3800 N. Lamar Blvd. | (512) 428 8444
2201 College Ave. | (512) 852 8791
at the counter.
This Denver original serves up brunch classics with a
This salad-centric restaurant off South Congress has one
NAU’S ENFIELD DRUG
creative twist seven days a week, with two locations on either
of the prettiest patios in town. Along with an inviting
end of Lamar. With friendly service in an updated
ambiance, the salads are fresh, creative, bold and most impor-
diner atmosphere, Snooze is sure to start your day off right.
tantly delicious, with nearly two dozen options to choose from.
fountain within an antiquated drug store gives guests an
unmatched experience founded on tradition. The food is
315 Congress Ave. | (512) 482 8842
6705 Hwy 290 # 503 | (512) 584 808
simple and classic, rivaled only by the scrumptious shakes
Overlooking Congress Avenue, Swift’s Attic draws from
3016 Guadalupe St. Suite 100 | (512) 358 6193
and hand mixed old-fashioned sodas.
global inspirations and serves up inventive cocktails in a
Named as one of the top 20 wine bars in America by Wine
historic downtown building.
Enthusiast, Winebelly boasts an international wine list
1610 San Antonio St. | (512) 474 2796
and Spanish-Mediterranean small plates. The bistro main-
Food+Wine Magazine’s best new chef Michael Fojtasek
1411 E. 7th St. | (512) 628 4466
creates a menu that will leave any Southerner drooling with
Takoba delivers bold, authentic f lavors with ingredients
delight over the restaurant’s contemporary culinary concepts.
imported straight from Mexico. Head over to East 7th Street
500 W. 5th St. #168 | (512) 476 2469
The dessert menu offers a classic apple pie or a more trendy
for tortas, tacos, margaritas and micheladas.
From the curators of Swift’s Attic, Wu Chow is expanding
goat cheese caramel ice cream. Also, do yourself a favor and
THE PEACHED TORTILLA
Austin’s cuisine offerings with traditional Chinese dishes
1900 Simond Ave. | (737) 212 1876
2401 E. Cesar Chavez St. | (512) 215 8972
1115 West Lynn St. | (512) 476 1221 An Austin institution since 1951, this all-American soda
order the biscuits (they’re worth every delectable bite).
5520 Burnet Rd. #100 | (512) 330 4439
This cheerful spot is sure to clear your weekly blues with
12005 U.S. 290 West | (512) 394 7041
friendly staff, fun food and a playful atmosphere. Affordably
Unequivocally some of the best pizza Austin has to offer,
priced, you’ll find culinary inf luences from around the
Pieous brings together the unlikely, yet perfect combination
world with a healthy dose of Asian and Southern options.
tains a local feel with it’s comfortable, laid back interiors.
sourced from local purveyors and farmers. Don’t miss their weekend dim sum menu.
of Neapolitan pizza and pastrami, with all dishes made from scratch. Decked out in prosciutto and arugula, the Rocket pizza is a crowd favorite and a must-try. tribeza.com
| MAY 2017
A L O O K B E H I N D 6…6
What Travel Writers Thought of Austin in 1883 By Anna Andersen While making this issue, I stumbled upon a terrific book of travel writing on Texas from 1883. The authors of the book, “On a Mexican Mustang Through Texas: From the Gulf to the Rio Grande,” remarked that “Texas is the broadest, widest, deepest, and most intensely gorgeous State in the Union” and seemed especially taken by Austin, noting that “the scenery in Austin is the most beautiful and picturesque in Texas.” As the following passage suggests, they also appreciated the more straightlaced qualities of a city that now prefers to keep things weird.
Austin is most emphatically a pretty city, perhaps the prettiest in Texas. In some respects it has advantages over San Antonio. There is, in the first place, the beautiful mountain scenery. Then the location of the city on a number of hills is calculated to please the eye, particularly as these heights are crowned with family residences, the architecture of which is infinitely superior to that observable in the Alamo City. In San Antonio, when a man builds a fine house, he selects a piece of ground to fit the house (that is, of about the same size); and consequently he has to hang the family clothes out on the shrubbery in the front yard, the possible object being to astonish the passer-by with the amount of underclothing the proud proprietor can boast of. In Austin, however, the people do not appear to be so ostentatious (no intentional perpetration of a pun is designed): there appears an unwillingness to inform the public as to the extent and variety of their underwear. Possibly the Austinites do not wear many clothes in summer; but, at any rate, they build their houses on large lots, and have ample room for backyards and clotheslines. 92 MAY 2017 |
New: The Graduates’ Club
Congratulations! We’re celebrating academic success with the Campus series—beautiful mechanical timepieces, made in Glashütte, Germany, for wherever life leads next. And on the back: space for a complimentary engraving. Now available at L. Majors, 2727 Exposition Blvd Suite 110, Austin Texas, 512.473.0078, lmajorsaustin.com.
T R I B E Z A .C O M T R AV E L | M AY 2 0 1 7
The Travel Issue No. 189