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Here Comes the Neighborhood

Three hosts. Three parties. Three ways to bring a neighborhood together.

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Justin David Cox | East Austin

  • What is your go-to record?
  • I have a few — I really love Boom by The Sonics and it gets a ton of play. Same goes for Otis Redding’s Pain in my Heart.
  • What spirit do you try to always have in your house?
  • Generally there is a bottle of Bulleit Rye and a 6-pack of Hops and Grains Zoe handy. Wine is a very rare thing for me, but there is normally a bottle of Le Grand Pinot Noir. It’s inexpensive, easy to find and generally gets a good response from guests.
  • Tell me about your neighbors.
  • I’m fairly new to the neighborhood, but I was lucky to have a lot of friends already living in East Austin and a few are just a few minutes (if not seconds) away by foot. Most of the people in my immediate vicinity are friends I’ve made in the creative community. Jess Rose Clarke and Mason McFee — two amazing creatives I’ve know for a very long time — live a block away. Christie Young, another designer/illustrator I’ve known for close to 10 years, lives in the studio behind them. Sarah Natsumi Moore lives two houses down. She’s a talented commercial and editorial photographer I met through mutual friends. We realized we had both moved onto the same block within a few weeks of each other.
  • Open door dog policy.
  • Dogs are always welcome here — whether its just a playdate with Blue Jean (my Texas Heeler) or as part of a larger gathering.
  • What makes a party a really good party?
  • A good party always comes down to the people, and I’ve managed to surround myself with some amazing friends. If you have a group willing to let their guard down and engage with each other without pretense, everyone is going to have fun and enjoy themselves. I try to make my home an open and inviting place so I love when my friends introduce new people to our gatherings. I’m a firm believer that good people attract other good people.
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Virginia Strama | Mount Bonnell

  • Do you serve a signature cocktail?
  • In my experience, I’ve found that a well stocked bar keeps everyone happy. It’s nice to be able to serve guests their favorite drink.
  • Is there a bottle of wine/rose/prosecco/beer you always have in your fridge?
  • MiMi Rosé is my new summer favorite.
  • What is the last thing you do before guests arrive?
  • Light a candle and hide all my kids’ toys in the playroom!
  • In your opinion, what is the one thing that makes a night special?
  • Good friends.
  • Do you serve a signature appetizer?
  • I always serve hummus and chips and a cheese tray. And adding fresh fruit provides beautiful color and a seasonal touch.
  • You frequently do ladies’ night at Epicerie. what’s your go-to dish?
  • Hands down, the chocolate chip cookies. All the food is good, but the chocolate chip cookies are the best I’ve ever tasted.
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Ann Schneider | Westlake Hills/Barton Creek

  • You and your husband, Bill, own more than 100 acres here. What is your favorite thing about your property?
  • The creek and my horses. I feel like I am transported to another world as soon as I start the walk down to the pastures and the beautiful, crystal clear Barton Creek.
  • What do you always have on hand for guests?
  • A saddle for riding horses, a raft, and a pair of walking shoes.
  • You spend a lot of time with your family. What are some of your favorite things to do together outdoors?
  • We love to cook out, gather around the pool and eat too much.
  • What do you keep in that beautiful basket?
  • The baskets holds lot of goodies and snacks as a respite to the many activities that take place by the creek. An ice cold drink, cheese, crackers and fruit, or Goldfish, depending on the age of the adventurers.

Credits

Photography by Annie Ray

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