Welcome to The Austinot! We’re glad you’re here. The Austinot is a local blog about the city of Austin, TX and we exist to support all things Austin.
The Austinot was born in a living room, and we’ve always written like we’re talking to a living room full of our closest friends. Even as The Austinot has grown and our community has expanded, our blogger team has stayed approachable and friendly. We hope you feel like you’re among friends whenever you visit our site.
What Makes Us Different
The Austinot is a hyperlocal blog about the city of Austin, TX. By “hyperlocal,” we mean that we only write about businesses, organizations, artists, musicians, and events that were founded here in Austin. So even though that new Trader Joe’s is super awesome, you won’t read about it here on The Austinot. We exist to support and promote the local stuff that keeps Austin weird and uniquely Austin.
We think that our hyperlocal focus sets us apart from other blogs and news sources. Since we only write about local businesses and organizations, we’ll only accept local sponsors and collaborations based in Austin as well.
The Austinot was founded in December 2011 by Eric & Brittany Highland, in anticipation of their move to Austin. Here’s their story:
We started the Austinot for fun, as a hobby, and we had no long-term plan. Heck, even our Austinot.com domain name was chosen on a whim using a random name generator. It reminded us a little bit of “astronaut,” with the connotation of exploring and discovering, so we went with it!
We didn’t even set up Google Analytics to record visitor statistics until a few months later. Imagine our surprise when we were getting 20,000 pageviews in February 2012, 30,000 in March, and 40,000 in April! More than a little shocked, we realized that we were onto something. Since people were reading, we decided to keep writing!
In June 2020, The Austinot transferred ownership to Reena & Scott Weaver in order to continue the vision of publishing the best local content in Austin.
The Austinot Team
Although born in New Mexico, I was raised in Central Texas and consider it home. I was in the Corps of Cadets and Aggie Band at Texas A&M, but don’t hold it against me! I’ve always been drawn to Austin. I love the Austin area and all it has to offer – outdoors, music, and food.
On weekends you’ll find me camping with my family, trying out new breweries, or traveling. I am a sucker for mountains, and love to explore them on foot, bike, or skis. I am obsessed with tacos and eat them for at least one meal per day. But when dining out, I gravitate to local Indian, Thai, or Japanese spots.
I am a software engineer by trade, and most of my experience has been developing autonomous vehicles.
I was born and raised in College Station, TX and graduated from Texas A&M University (whoop!). I have always loved Austin and everything the city has to offer. I love attending concerts and music festivals (ACL is literally my favorite weekend of the year), discovering and supporting small businesses, and trying out awesome new restaurants. So basically, Austin is the perfect city for me! ?
I am also really passionate about non-profits and how we can each do our part in making our world a better place.
Connect with me on Instagram at @_rosegoldreena.
Jersey born and New York bred, I moved to Austin from Manhattan in August 2013. Since arriving, I’ve been rambling about this great city trying to discover every cool nook and cranny Austin has to offer.
Aside from my 8 to 5 as an IT tech, I write TV recaps for Entertainment Weekly, film reviews for two literary sites (as well as my own) and articles for any random place looking for content. I also have three published short stories under my belt with a few more in the works. My hobbies include gaming, hockey, drumming and soaking in Austin’s incredible craft beer culture.
I’m super psyched to be a part of the Austinot team and share my experiences with y’all! (Said un-ironically. Imagine that from a life-long East Coaster!)
I’m originally from Upstate New York, but Austin has been home for the last 12 years. I am passionate about a great many things–a good cup of coffee, writing love letters, Pink Floyd, and sharing home-cooked meals–to name a few. You can usually find me indulging in Austin’s food scene, splashing around in some swimming hole, exploring the diverse and colorful neighborhoods in the area, or catching a live show when I’m able. I get excited easily, laugh a lot, and love experiencing joy in the little things. I’m currently working on expanding my photography and writing, and look forward to contributing to The Austinot!
Connect with me on Instagram.
I’ve always considered myself a nomad or transplant, living all over the country throughout the years. Choosing to live in Austin before ever stepping foot in Texas to join AmeriCorps VISTA was one of the best decisions I’ve made to date. As soon as I left the airport, I immediately saw longhorn cattle and a healthcare professional dressed in scrubs and cowboy apparel. Later, I visited HEB and The Butterfly Bar, slowly taking everything in while thinking of next steps.
Beyond that first day, my appreciation of Austin’s communities, traditions, festivals, cuisines, and venues has only expanded. I’ll never feel that I’ve learned enough or experienced enough, and that is a blessing on its own. The best day would be going for a run around my neighborhood and grabbing Austin Daily Press sandwiches, getting horchata on Riverside, and exploring the unique natural and historic sites the city offers with friends.
I’m one of those people who smiles at strangers on the streets. It’s mostly because I’m from a small town, and that’s just what you do, and partly because I bought Lasik off Groupon to use up my HSA. Pro-tip: don’t go the clearance route on eye care, especially surgery. It may result in blurry vision.
My life has had its fair share of it-sounded-like-a-good-idea-at-the-moment experiences that eventually led me to Austin. The warm weather, yummy food, and live music drew me in. The friendly people, new-to-me discoveries, and active community convinced me to stay. I love sharing new finds with others and hearing about their own.
When I’m not working or cooing over puppy pictures on Instagram, I’m jogging one of Austin’s many trails, eating all the yummy things, and taking advantage of the area’s live music scene and ample green space. Connect with me on Instagram or follow my dog Ernest’s adventures here.
I am Austin born, but was raised as an Army Brat outside of Ft. Hood. I didn’t find my way back to Austin until I attended St. Edward’s University in 2012. At that point, I knew I wasn’t going to be leaving the city anytime soon.
I have been slowly exploring Austin since then and getting involved with fun things that align with my passions. I spend my free time putting together outfits to wear, reading as many books as I can, writing blogs post or novels, and eating at my favorite ramen shop in town. I have a bit of an obsession with giraffes and fashion (not together). And I love getting to do fun things around the city with my friends and family.
I am one of the many transplants from the New York metro area who dreamed of the wild west. So, I started heading in that direction, and ended up in Austin! I have found more of a home than I could have ever dreamed of, and am dumbfounded by all the ways creativity flourishes here.
I have an English degree from Rutgers University, and for a little while after graduating I didn’t think it would be good for much. I started teaching yoga classes and became licensed in massage therapy, and currently have an exciting massage practice. Only recently have I realized that the craft of language has never left me. It’s simply taken myriad forms that, in my pursuit of scholarship, I could not yet imagine.
I love painting (pet and people portraits especially), hoop dancing, throwing darts at maps and traveling wherever they land, and anything esoteric or mystical.
Connect on Instagram: @passageablaze.
The Austinot has had several extremely talented bloggers on our team in the past. Check them out here: Former Contributing Bloggers
Lastly, a huge thank you to Jim Nix of Nomadic Pursuits for providing The Austinot’s gorgeous blog background image!
Thank you all for supporting the Austinot. Our loyal readers and fans mean so much to us and are why we are able to continue publishing articles about hyperlocal Austin. Definitely check us out on social media, sign up for our Best of the Austinot newsletter, and remember to #KeepAustinLocal!