Families in Downtown Austin Condos

Families in Downtown Austin Condos

Sometimes when I’m chatting with a peer of mine about where they’d like to live, I ask them if they would consider downtown.  A common response to that question is “Well, I have (or want to have) kids….so….” as though that’s the consideration keeping them from a condo. I guess when people think of the demographic of downtown Austin (and, I guess, downtowns in general), they think that high-rises are for singles, young couples, or empty nesters – most folks don’t feel like condo buildings are places where families do or should dwell.

Well, believe it or not, there are lots of families living in downtown Austin that are bucking the stereotype.  I’ve had the chance of over the last several months to interview a few families living in downtown Austin [Read more…]

Craft Cocktail Bar in Downtown Austin: CU-29

Craft Cocktail Bar in Downtown Austin: CU-29

Named after the touches of Copper decorating the interior of the bar, CU-29 is the latest craft cocktail bar to hit the downtown Austin scene.  Located near Brazos Place Condos and across the street from the Omni, this little gem is a great place to order a fancy cocktail after a long day at work. Prices run from about $10 (and up) per drink AND people who live or work downtown ALWAYS get 20% off!

[Read more…]

Free Dance Classes in Downtown Austin This Weekend (Sunday)

Free Dance Classes in Downtown Austin This Weekend (Sunday)

I’ve been taking dance and fitness classes as Ballet Austin for a while (read my review of my first class here) and I love it!  My absolute favorite class is the Cardio Blast, but I take several classes there.  And I found out the other day that they are doing an ENTIRE DAY of FREE CLASSES this Sunday, August 25, 2013!

If you are looking to spice up your workout routine, or just looking for something free and fun to do this weekend in downtown Austin – I definitely suggest checking this out.  Here are the deets:

When: Sunday, August 25, 2013, 1pm-5pm.  Schedule of classes HERE (scroll down). Each class is 40 minutes long with a 20 minute transition time between classes.

[Read more…]

Downtown Wayfinding – It’s All In The Design

Downtown Wayfinding – It’s All In The Design

As downtown residents, we generally know where stuff is, the direction the streets run, and we’ve developed a keen sense for about how far we are from any landmark.

Good wayfinding is an important asset for a city.  It aims to expand localized knowledge into a form that visitors can use.  It’s something that you notice when traveling in other cities.

Or, you find yourself cursing its absence.

A few posts ago, buried in a roundup post, I took aim at the Downtown Wayfinding Program – an effort to standardize street and directional signs – for ceasing to (publicly) display any progress.  City staff reached out to kindly let me know the project was not “on ice” but working towards completing a graphic manual.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I surfed over to the project page recently to find a Wayfinding Master Plan has been published (pdf), which includes a project timeline that contemplates five phases between January 2014 – March 2016 and beyond.

When Staff presented their wayfinding plan to Council last winter, there was some controversy about Austin’s sexy parking “P”.  The mayor, for one, was not a fan of keeping it weird when it comes to parking. (Mayor: I agree with you!).

“It’s supposed to be a signal that’s the same around the country, around the world,” Mayor Lee Leffingwell said of the Austinized logos, KUT News reported. “I don’t see anything to be gained by a little twist, any more than I could see a point of making stop signs triangular instead of octagonal.” [Zing!!!]

Parking Icon

A couple of other points about the wayfinding report which I’m happy to see

  • According to the report, “the intent of the Downtown Austin Wayfinding Master Plan is not to add signage on top of existing conditions, but to remove and replace existing wayfinding signage to create an organized and comprehensive approach.”  This is a signal that Staff is aware of the blight created by more street signs.
  • The batty street sign system for downtown, which sometimes show the street names, sometimes show the “historical” names, and sometimes show the honorary names will be standardized.

current street signs

street signs - future