By Nicole Beckley
Summer is prime pool time, which means scouting the best spots to take a dip — and if you can do it with a drink in hand, even better. Dive in and belly up at the Westin Austin Downtown’s Azul, the city’s highest hotel rooftop pool and bar, open to the public. Knock back a Coconut Cooler or Strawberry Sherry while admiring the skyline doing some chaise lounge laps. Take the plunge during public hours Monday through Thursday from 3 – 9pm, and Sundays starting at 11am. Cue Blue Hawaii: Mark your calendar for their Luau and Pig Roast on June 26. For more information, head here.
While the burgeoning Seaholm neighborhood continues to develop, a new piece of public art has blossomed there. With Golden Afternoon, 36 stainless steel flowers connected by fiber-optic cables adorn the wall to the parking garage just below Seaholm Plaza. Made by Urban Matter Inc., and inspired by Texas wildflowers, the piece utilizes five motion sensors to trigger different responses from the lights in and along the flowers. The result? An interactive experience from the plaza to the level below. Who knew parking could be so pretty?
The idea was simple — to get a few friends together to tell stories in someone's backyard. “We did it one time and afterward people were like, this is so fun, when are we going to do it again?” John Brewster said.
Three years later, Backyard Story Night, the brainchild of Brewster and Meg Mattingly, has outgrown a single backyard and now attracts hundreds to hear free storytelling every other month. Adopting East 4th Street bar the Scoot Inn as their new venue, Backyard Story Night invites anyone to tell a five-minute story. The organizers are often as surprised as the crowd. “That’s part of the fun of it,” Brewster explained, “We’re enjoying it just as much as everybody else.”
The storytelling trend is growing, with Hyde Park Storytelling and Beyond Our Backyard also regularly holding story nights. Brewster’s goal is to spread the practice of storytelling itself. “It’s such a simple thing and nobody owns storytelling. It’s just part of humanity,” said Brewster.
Thanks to the Austin Parks Foundation, primo outdoor workouts are available for free around the city. The foundation helps sponsor complimentary fitness classes, including yoga for adults and kids, in neighborhood parks like Dick Nichols and Wooldridge Square. Check their website for schedules and weather updates.
“Some of the earliest books I read were historical fiction and I found them particularly transporting and magical,” author Stephen Harrigan said. With his latest novel, A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, the Michener Center Faculty Fellow takes a look at the life of a young Abraham Lincoln through the window of a fictional friendship. Published in February, the work caught the attention of the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation, naming it the 2016 Mayor’s Book Club selection.
Harrigan hopes that some of the book’s deeper themes of ambition and the meaning of friendship will resonate with Austinites. “I think most people at some time in their life are desperate to make something of themselves and not quite sure how to go about it and that’s a problem that Lincoln had, just along with all the rest of us.”
Ever wonder what it’s like to climb up the ladder of a fire engine? Or perform emergency CPR? Each year the City of Austin hosts a free 12-week series, CityWorks Academy, where participants get a behind-the-scenes look at what makes the city run. Highlighting different departments each week, the program lets participants experience goings on at the Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, City Hall and Homeland Security. Applications for the program open in July.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more