One more unique and wonderful thing to do with friends and family this holiday season…
Head on over to the 2nd Street District for another edition of the Holiday Window Walk! Twenty retail windows have been done up by design and fine arts students from our area colleges in beautiful themes on classic fairy tales. It all kicks off tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 8th and will be up through New Year’s. Come by and join the festivities!
Here’s a nice little story on Amanda Ivarra’s blog, Miss A, that tells how this all came to be.
One more unique and wonderful thing to do with friends and family this holiday season…
Tonight’s the night! The big new musical tree will have it’s full debut – thousands of LED lights programmed in time with the holiday music of 10 different Austin and Texas artists! Plus lovely new tree lights up and down Congress Ave…performers: Marcia Ball, Christine Albert and Sarah Elizabeth Campbell …kid’s activities…yummy treats…and photos with Santa at the State Theater!
Festivities kick off at 6:00pm with the KUT Sing-Along at the Capitol steps, followed by the tree lighting at 7:00, and continuing with the Congress Avenue Stroll and activities all along the avenue until 9pm.
Bring family and friends. It’s going to be a lovely evening. See you there!
More info here.
[image courtesy of AustinHelicopterTours.com]
As could be predicted, neighborhoods surrounding Downtown are in high gear with folks excitedly complaining about the new sound of choppers overhead today. In my Travis Heights community in SoCo, our South River City Citizens (SRCC) list serv (and, therefore, my inbox) is filling up with unhappy chatter. I just checked in with the ABIA Aviation “Noise & Emissions Office” (never knew there was such a thing) and the phone lines are on fire.
So I finally couldn’t take it any more and posted the following on our SRCC site. Maybe those of you who agree can share similar thoughts with others.
“My two cents: How about everybody reposition your thinking to something like this…
“Wow! Isn’t it great to have this amazing new event in Austin… positively showcasing our wonderful city to the world… providing jobs to thousands of Austinites, supporting our local businesses, and pouring tens of millions of dollars into our local economy?
“I think it’s all a matter of perspective. I am hearing the choppers too, right along with y’all. But what I hear are the motors of economic prosperity, not ‘noise’. I am perfectly willing to put up with a few days of new Austin Weirdness to receive the benefits of all the good things that come along with it!
“In my mind’s eye, I am picturing every passing helicopter overhead to be carrying a giant bucket of cash — kinda like you see when the choppers are dousing a forest fire with water — and they are over here dumping it all over our city. Kachinggggggg!
“And when you need a break from these new sounds, my guaranteed recommended solution is: a pair of headphones, a soothing classical music playlist on Spotify (or whatever your musical indulgence may be), and a nice hot cup of zen tea.
“We can survive this neighbors, we really can!”
–Fernando of the Hood
[Image: The fabulous Driskill Hotel during the holidays. Photo credit to my pal and part-time Austinite, Trey Ratcliff. Check out www.stuckincustoms.com]
Just gleaned by one of my sources at a secret meeting of townie insiders today. Shhhhh. You lucky DAB mates are seeing it all here first! Be sure to key in on the important operative word: FREE. Mark your calendars now!
Chuys Parade DEC 1 – Congress Ave, Capitol to 1st. 9 AM
FREE — well, donation of a new unwrapped toy really appreciated
Holiday Stroll & Capitol Treelighting – Congress/11th DEC 1 PM
* “Santa” at the State Theater 6-9 PM – FREE
* Christmas Cartoons at Paramount 6-9 PM – FREE
* Sing Along at Capital Lawn 6-7 PM- FREE
* Tree Lighting at top of Congress 7 PM- FREE (sidenote: this will mark the debut of a rare new hi-tech tree that is a giant, artful, musical marvel to behold! trust me on this one)
* Austin Bike Zoo- Et Al festivities Congress Between 10th and 11th 7-9 PM – FREE
* Farmers Market and Gift Market 11th Street 6-9 PM – FREE
* Cookie Decorating 5-9 PM – Upstairs Old Bakery – FREE
* Ornament Make and Take upstairs and Music (Austin Samba School) on the Roof – ARTHOUSE 6-9 – FREE
* Ornament Make and Take on sidewalk – Mexicarte 6-9- FREE
* Live Music Event TBA – Frost Plaza 6-9 PM – FREE
Trail of Lights – Zilker Park Dec 16-23 – FREE!
The tradition is back! Thanks to private donations and Paul at RUNTEX it will be back like it used to be and FREE!
More lights than ever!
Details to follow, there will prob be shuttles etc.
Deck The District – 2nd Street District Dec 15-24th – FREE
A juried Holiday Window Walk and contest.
A great way to stroll some Xmas cheer anytime day or night and vote for fave windows done by college art students!
AUSTIN NEW YEARS EVE Dec 31st. Auditorium Shores 5-10 PM – FREE!!
Family friendly NYE celebration
Music by Del Castillo
Fireworks at 10
Remember that great old Buffalo Springfield song? Well those were the lyrics that started going through my head as I spotted this scene unfolding tonight in the long-vacant retail space in City Hall, at the SE corner of 2nd Street / Willie Nelson Blvd and Guadalupe.
What I do know is the sweet vibe of SXSW is definitely in the air all around Downtown on these 80-degree late February days. The countdown is on: only 16 more days til Austin starts rockin’ off its hinges! And I don’t just mean with music… but also energy, enthusiasm, innovation, creativity, knowledge, adventure, technology. It’s a week when we all can really visualize Austin’s future as a global creative capital.
Direct from my inbox today is a reminder about a unique (and rather unknown) once-weekly lunch spot that I’ve been meaning to share with the DAB community.
There in the 3rd floor dining hall, Culinary Institute trained chef, Ray Trono, serves up a mighty tasty and healthy full MEAL of entree, two sides, desert and beverage for only $8.00 (50-cents more for take out) and served by some very nice folks.
Full details — and the menu du jour — can be found here. Tip: Enter from the little parking lot off San Jacinto between 7th & 8th streets. That leads you into a lobby where you will be directed to the 3rd floor. Just say “Cafe Devine”.
Come on down to Historic East 6th Street, Sunday evening the 11th, and hang with area residents, visitors and business owners as the Alamo Rolling Roadshow pulls into the 500 block of San Jacinto for a fun screening under the stars of the classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Last year, over 800 people showed up!
To prepare for this event as well as the upcoming Old Pecan Street Festival, ACL Fest, and the usual buzz of Fall events in Downtown Austin, 6th Street property and business owners will be out on Sunday morning sprucing up their buildings and the neighborhood.
More info on both events on the 6th Street Austin Blogspot.
See you there!
It’s a warm and breezy Saturday night in Austin on Texas Relays Weekend. We did up a special store window at Wild About Music in Bob Marley + hip hop theme to welcome our 40,000-ish athletes, families and guests to town like every year. Daytime business was great, both Friday and today. But by 6pm things died off to nothingness and never revived by the time we normally close at 9pm. Totally deadsville. Absolutely not the norm for a weekend evening in Spring. So we hit the street to see wazzup. [Read more...]
Once again, KUT and the Downtown Austin Alliance will bring you the annual “Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll.” It’s now become an annual tradition. Last year an estimated 8,000 people attended. This year, with the beautiful weather expected Saturday evening, maybe 10,000 or more?
It’s all happening Saturday, Dec. 4th. KUT’s John Aielli will be on the south steps of the Capitol building leading Christmas carols beginning at 6PM. That is immediately followed by the lighting of the Capitol Tree on 11th Street, at the head of lower Congress Ave.
Then everyone takes a leisurely stroll down “The Main Street of Texas”, Congress Avenue where many businesses will be open late and have decked their halls and display windows in holiday style. One sidewalk-adjacent travel lane on each side of Congress will be closed to vehicle traffic from 11th to 6th streets to accommodate the crowds.
Along the Avenue you’ll discover loads of wonderful live entertainment in office building courtyards and on street corners. Refreshments, children’s activities, shopping, a Bicycle Zoo parade and more are also part of the merriment that will go on for a couple of hours.
There will even be a Santa’s Workshop. And the jolly big fella himself will be found holding court in the lobby of One American Center at 6th and Congress.
As long as you’re in the area, also make a point of taking in a few blocks of Historic East 6th Street too (before the Saturday night revelers show up after 9pm). East 6th looks lovely this time of year with holiday street decorations its entire length, the majestic Driskill Hotel all dressed out (don’t miss a peek inside), and many local businesses are showing their spirit.
What a fine night for a carriage ride around Downtown, too! The horses usually line up in front of the Driskill. (That’s a great photo-op, by the way.)
It is also requested that you share the spirit of the holidays by dropping off a jar of peanut butter at the downtown Christmas tree for Caritas to distribute to those in need.
This event is made possible by generous sponsorships from Whole Earth Provision Company, Goodwill Industries, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum , Ballet Austin, InStep, Louis Shanks Home Furnishings.
(Compiled from information from the Downtown Austin Alliance and KUT. Capitol and caroler photos courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman. Driskill lobby photo in HDR courtesy of Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com)
Thanks to pal and Downtown commercial Realtor, Carl Daywood, I had opportunity to discover a terrific new little eatery in the Sixth Street Historic-Entertainment District. It’s called Carrob’s Cafe on Sabine, between 6th and 7th, essentially behind The Boiling Pot, where the former Texas Picnic Company was housed.
The name Carrob is derived from a combination of the owner’s first names, Carol Mitchell and Robert Barnes, a delightful couple who welcome guests with relaxed down-home friendliness, Austin style. It’s a bright and cheerful space with large windows looking out to both Sabine and Waller Creek.
The menu is basically all-breakfast all-the-time! And since that’s my favorite meal I couldn’t wait to dive in for a sampling. I had a couple of excellent breakfast tacos that were served in toasted tortillas and packed with my choice of 3 ingredients from among 21 selections offered — for only $1.99 each no less! Other options include egg platters, omelets, pancakes, biscuits & gravy and some killer-sounding breakfast burgers and club combinations.
In the drinks department, my iced mocha latte was also delicious and nicely made. The menu has all sorts of yummy coffees, teas, lemonade and sodas.
The full menu can be viewed here with an extra click-through: Carrob’s Menu.
For now, they are only open daytimes, 6 days a week: 7-5 Mon-Fri and 9-5 Sat; closed Sundays. Hopefully Carrob’s will quickly build enough traffic to warrant opening on Sundays too. And they would probably do well from midnight to 4am on Saturday and Sunday mornings if they actively promoted their existence up and down Sixth to the bar crowd to sober up before heading to their cars.
Stop by and check ‘em out with a warm welcome to the neighborhood. I’ll add a photo or two as soon as I make it back by (which will be soon!) and remember to bring along my phone/camera.