A unique boutique is opening its second location on May 10th, 2012, right across the street from The W Hotel and Residences on Lavaca (the first location is in The Arboretum, and opened in 2009) in Downtown Austin. No, it’s not another fancy dress store or whimsical gift shop. This time, it’s a niche [Read more…] about New Oil & Vinegar Retail Concept Opening Across from The W in Downtown Austin
2nd Street District
Next Sunday, April 22, 2012, from 11am-5pm, is the 2012 Downtown Living Tour. The Tour is a showcase of homes located in Downtown Austin, and is put on by the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (it’s DANA’s only fundraiser, and helps keep the organization chugging throughout the rest of the year). A portion of proceeds this year will also go to The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).
The 2012 Downtown Living Tour has [Read more…] about 2012 Downtown Living Tour – Showcasing Downtown Austin
On Saturday, I walked into Austin Java on 2nd Street, ’bout to get my omelet on. Chillaxin. There I was, standing in line, just looking around, and I realize that every piece of art work on the walls is making an impact on me.
A flyer taped to the wall explained most of the artwork was by Mike Johnston. Life surprised me with these paintings. All of them bringing a smile to my face. They put a skip into my step. 14 pieces in total. Each is repurposed scrap wood.
I purchased every piece in the store.
“Street art” is one of my favorite visual mediums. Bold, unexpected, high-contrast, ironic, symbolic, stylized, comical, etc. Some of my favorite “public art” is found on the Lady Bird Lake train overpass, the Lamar underpass, the wall on Castle Hill, the wall on E 5th Street near Saltillo Station.
I didn’t know about Mike until walking into Austin Java, and that’s part of what made this such a nice discovery. I’m excited to have a collection of local art work that totally vibes with me. I look at it and smile.
As I research and learn more about Mike and his work the more happy I am to be the newest host of these paintings – which will probably be on the walls of our soon-to-be-redone office (you should stop by in a few weeks to check it out). Until then, check out more of Mike’s work here.
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.
It seems that having Armbrust & Brown attorney Richard Suttle as the representative of the hotel developers I wrote about Monday may be a little too hot for some council members to handle.
On Tuesday morning, Council Members Bill Spelman, Sheryl Cole and Laura Morrison seemed skeptical that his clients need almost $4 million in city breaks to help to build a hotel downtown.
Students of city politics should note that the power base at city council has now shifted from Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez and Chris Riley — who are losing defeated incumbent Randi Shade — to the other council members, who are gaining Kathie Tovo next month.
Second Bar + Kitchen is aptly named for it’s Congress Ave @ Second Street location. But don’t think for a second that the food isn’t first-rate (wakka wakka!).
On a whim, I ventured over to Second a couple of Sundays ago (after a morning coffee at the Austonian’s Caffe Medici) and was pleasantly surprised by the food and the atmosphere of the restaurant. I was seated on the second story, which was a small, covered balcony with simple tables and faux grass carpeting: [Read more…] about Second Bar + Kitchen in Downtown Austin
The 2nd Street shopping district is likely to get a jolt from patrons still paying off college loans with a new Urban Outfitters clothing store.
I shop exclusively at Kohl’s, but allegedly Urban Outfitters’ new spot is a big deal because their only other Austin location is not so far away on Guadalupe Street, up near the University of Texas main campus. Perhaps they are targeting the PBS Austin City Limits crowd from shows taped there?
Jokes aside, this is a vindication that downtown Austin is becoming a destination and not in the way of “urban pioneers” loading up on Gatorade and PB&J to venture out of suburbia, like they do in Ohio.
For a number of reasons, Urban Outfitters joins the ranks of business interests investing in downtown Austin.
Cole Broadhead, a principal at Retail Solutions, said the folks at Urban Outfitters “do their homework.”
“Those deals take a long time,” he said. “They do a ton of research.”
If you haven’t made your Cinco De Mayo plans yet – I would check out this event at La Condesa / Malverde in Downtown Austin’s 2nd Street District. It’s a hip spot with a killer vibe, and I always enjoy myself when I’m there. And there’s no cover, so there’s that….
Malverde has long been one of my fave places to go when I’m feeling a bit hip and want to enjoy a swanky view. There’s always good music, good people, and good drinks. The same goes for the restaurant below, La Condesa. The interior finish out of the place is a reason to go to the restaurant in and of itself, IMO.
The event begins at 5pm (appropriately) at La Condesa. There promises to be lots of yummy food and drink to enjoy. Don’t siesta on this fiesta!
Flyer after the jump: [Read more…] about Cinco De Mayo Party Worth Checking Out
Just a week or so ago, The W Austin Hotel in downtown Austin held it’s grand opening. Boy, that place is nice. Jude and I visited the lounge areas and had dinner at Trace (link to Yelp reviews) on our visit. The decor is swank, and the menu is trendy. The dinner menu is separated into five categories: foraged, farmed, crafted, hunted, or shared, and the hotel restaurant has even hired an official forager, Valerie Broussard, to select local produce for the plates.
A little pricey for some plates and a little small on the portion sizes (which, honestly – is to be expected, this is a *fancy* hotel restaurant, after all), but delicious overall. I had the Winter’s Garden salad, the Pumpkin Agnolotti, a basket of fries (from the bar menu – which I don’t have), and a glass of Merlot, all wonderful – the cost was about $35 + tip. Here are the menus – breakfast, lunch, and dinner (they apparently change fairly frequently, maybe seasonally?, – but this should give an idea on food type and price range) To enlarge each image, click once on the image to get to the image page, then click the image again. More after the jump.