10 Tips for Surviving SXSW from the Experts at Rock n Roll Rentals

Tips for Surviving SXSW

Guest article by Lindsey Moringy

SXSW is right around the corner, meaning our beloved Austin is about to explode with film premieres, pioneering technology and–most notably–lots and lots of music. While it may seem like an overwhelming, anxiety-inducing 10 days (don’t even think about trying the line for Franklin BBQ), it can also be a great opportunity to network, learn and experience new art.

Luckily, local legend Rock n Roll Rentals has some tips for making the most out of this year’s SXSW. [Read more…]

10 Instagram Accounts Every Austinite Should Follow

Instagram is taking off this year and Austinites are all over the trend. If you want to see our favorite city in its best light, follow these 10 Instagram accounts and inject your stream with a healthy dose of photos that are local, inspiring, delicious and weird.

#1 @5dollarstories

5dollarstories on Instagram

Credit: @5dollarstories

We see the homeless every day on street corners, outside shelters, under bridges, in parks, you name it. Sometimes we forget they all have stories of their own. University of Texas graduate student Kyle Miller discovers and shares those stories through @5dollarstories on Instagram. He pays each person he talks to $5 for their portrait before listening to and sharing their stories with the rest of us. [Read more…]

4 Places to Have Fun in Austin, 80’s Style

The intersection of 183 and Burnet Road forms the epicenter of a half mile bubble of retro joy. If you were old enough to ride a bicycle in the 1980’s, this list of places to have fun in Austin should tickle the nostalgia center of your brain. Now you can roller skate, sing karaoke, bowl and visit an old school arcade without driving all over town.

#1 Playland Skate Center

Playland Skate Center Roller Skating in Austin

Making it look easy at Playland Skate Center

Playland Skate Center opened in 1973 at 8822 McCann Dr, just past Town North Nissan on southbound Research Blvd (Hwy 183). That’s four decades of roller skating fun. [Read more…]

5 Vicious Vinyl Shops in the Violet Crown

Breakaway Records in Austin, TX

Breakaway Records (Credit: 1138Studios.com)

Guest article by Gino Barasa

There’s a vinyl revolution going on out there and Austin is neck deep in it. What once was relegated to hard core audio nerds and fans of the John Cusack/Jack Black cult classic movie High Fidelity has become – *gasp!* – trendy.

Cool new chic bars and hipster stores not only spin albums, but display and sell them. There’s even an official National Record Store Day (April 18th, get ready!). Every act that rolls through the Moody Theater or the Back Yard has a fat stack of vinyl goodness ready for you to take home.

Why? [Read more…]

Only 24 Hours Long, Amplify Austin Bolsters Area Non-Profits

Amplify Austin

Guest article by Lindsey Moringy

If there is one thing Austinites have in common, it’s that they’re proud to give back to the city they love. It’s easy to see that hometown love put into action by looking at the amount of money donated to hundreds of Austin non-profit organizations each year. One annual project serves as a one stop shop for finding and funding the organizations that speak to you – Amplify Austin.

Created in 2013 by I Live Here, I Give Here, Amplify Austin is a 24-hour campaign to raise funds for over 500 local non-profit groups. Over the past two years, they have helped raise $8.5 million for community organizations participating in the campaign. Can you believe that sum was donated in only 48 hours? [Read more…]

5 Austin Businesses Boldly Reinventing the General Store

Quickie Pickie in Austin

There’s a new trend in Austin, with businesses playing convenience store, restaurant, bar and neighborhood hangout all in one (Credit: gina pina via Flickr CC)

Guest article by Natalie Parra-Novosad

Where can you go to buy locally sourced groceries, hang out with friends, have a fresh cup of espresso, grab a beer, hear good music and eat breakfast, lunch or dinner all under the same roof?

As you try to imagine what sort of establishment might be able to pull all that off, you’re probably thinking it has to be a large location or national chain. Well in Austin, that’s just not the case. Turns out, we have quite a few places that bring all these things together in a one-stop-shop for the surrounding community. You’ve probably heard of a couple of them, like Whip In and Quickie Pickie.

These types of stores/restaurants seem to be becoming a trend in Austin. They’re the result of a conglomeration of concepts from around the world like the American general store, the Indian dhaba, the Spanish bodeguita and others, but with a distinctive Austin vibe. [Read more…]

Target Austin: How To Survive a Nuclear Attack

Target Austin Nuclear Preparation Film

The year is 1960 and Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy is on the campaign trail with a charismatic senator from Texas, Lyndon Baines Johnson. The threat of nuclear war is ever present with families around the country building fall out shelters. The small city of Austin, Texas with a population of 186,545 takes the looming threat seriously as well. If a nuclear bomb were to fall on Austin, would residents be prepared? [Read more…]

Talk to Austin’s Street Furniture Through Hello Lamp Post

Hello Lamp Post Austin LogoGuest article by Lindsey Moringy

Has anyone ever told you that you have the personality of a lamp post? Well that might not be such a bad thing anymore!

A new project called Hello Lamp Post Austin enables residents to have in-depth conversations with objects and local treasures around town – everything from parking meters to buildings to Treaty Oak. For instance, on Thursday, City Hall (the building itself, not a representative) and I were discussing Austin’s biggest claim to fame. I suggested our longest-running music television program “Austin City Limits,” while City Hall was thinking more along the lines of breakfast tacos. [Read more…]

7 Reasons to See a Shipwreck in Austin

La Belle Shipwreck in Austin

Model of the La Belle, currently being restored in front of visitors at Bullock Texas State History Museum

Why does the nation of France have a major claim to sea treasure in Austin? Why is there a centuries-old shipwreck off the corner of 18th Street and Congress Avenue?

The La Belle, a 17th century sailing ship designed for the Mississippi River, is a key artifact from the struggles between European powers France, Britain and Spain for a piece of what would become Texas.

This famous ship that sailed the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, never the Mississippi as intended, doomed the French explorer La Salle’s expedition. The shipwreck was finally found in 1995 after a century-long search, in Matagorda Bay between Corpus Christi and Galveston.

The La Belle is on exhibit at Bullock Texas State History Museum until May 17, 2015. If your interest isn’t piqued already, here are 7 reasons to see the La Belle shipwreck in Austin: [Read more…]

Yard Dog Gallery: Folk and Outsider Art on South Congress

View from the entrance of Yard Dog

View from the entrance of Yard Dog

For almost 20 years, Yard Dog Gallery has resided at 1510 S Congress Ave. When I first moved to Austin and visited the South Congress shops, I was excited to find a gallery space full of intriguing art. Since my curiosity was piqued back then, I’ve always wanted to know more about this space and the artists whose work lines the walls. Last week, I spoke with owner Randy Franklin about what makes Yard Dog a uniquely Austin art gallery.

Defining an Art Gallery

Jan, Randy’s wife, had considered the idea of a Southern Folk Art gallery for a while. Once the perfect space opened on South Congress, they had to act fast to get started. They dove in without a business plan, consulted their folk art book collection and reviewed art shows done in museums in order to track down artists. From there, Yard Dog was born. [Read more…]