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TRIBEZA Talk | September 2013

An Insider's Guide to Austin's Hidden Gems.

Loma Santa: Photos by Michael Muller at Spartan

When Michael Muller isn’t playing music with the instrumental band Balmorhea, he can likely be found photographing his travels and daily observations. Drawn toward individuals and their relationships with places, natural light, and quiet moments often left uncaptured, Michael will be showing a small collection, "Loma Santa," this month at Spartan on South Lamar. The show begins with an opening party on the evening of Thursday, September 12. More of Michael’s work can be seen at inthechoirs.com.

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Hey Sister Coffee! How do I make the perfect pour-over cup of coffee?

  • Pre-wet the filter. This rinses out any papery taste and warms the ceramic dripper.
  • Grind your beans. We use a ratio of 1 gram of coffee for every 11.5–12.5 grams of water, so for a 12-ounce coffee, I like to use between 28 grams and 33 grams of coffee. Try to get the grind to look somewhere between kosher and table salt soft but still a little gritty.
  • Put the grinds in the dripper and give a careful shake to level them out. Get your hot water (between 195 º and 205º) and start your first pour. This is my favorite part. You only want to add a little bit of water, enough to saturate the grinds and not have any coffee drip through. Watch and smell as the coffee starts to react with the hot water. This is called the blooming phase.
  • After 30 seconds, begin your second pour. Be slow and delicate. Ideally, your pour speed should match the thin stream of coffee dripping into your cup. Start your pour in the center and make little dime-size concentric circles outward. Stay close to the center (pouring close to the edges will cause water to slip through without contacting as much coffee).
  • Once your cup is about 3/4 of the way full, start making slightly larger circles without letting the water stream touch the side of the filter. Do this until your cup is almost full, and then let the rest of the coffee drip through.
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Austin Instagrammer of the Month: Gideon Tsang

We're into the Instagram feed of the multifaceted Gideon Tsang, founder of the East side's Vox Vinae church, as well as father, avid cyclist, and photographer. The images Tsang shares are either truly epic—a breathtaking landscape, a team of bicyclists careening down a steep hill, a dramatic hill country sunrise—or blatantly simple—a colorful East Austin corner, a candid profile of a local barista, the carefree laughter of a kid. Collectively, the photos serve as a relevant reminder that it really is all about balance. Of the above image, Tsang explains, "While walking on the Lakeshore beach in Chicago, I saw a lady selling cotton candy. She saw me pull out my phone to take a photo and she blocked her face with the bags. She then asked me if I wanted to hold the cotton candy to take a photo for myself. Of course I did."

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What's in a name? How AMOA and Arthouse became The Contemporary

Last month, the Austin Museum of Art announced that it was scrapping the confusing marriage between AMOA and contemporary sister museum Arthouse, merging the two to create The Contemporary Austin. Design firm Pentagram was hired to rebrand the project, resulting in a sleek new identity fitting for the pared-down concept. Pentagram explains that its san serif solution is meant to target simplicity while highlighting Austin, the bold blue A in the the logo a subtle nod to the "little A" antithesis to the "Big D" of Dallas.

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Two Questions For... Nails Y'all

We are obsessed with Nails Y’all, the amazing nail art project of Meghann Rosales, a cartoonist whose polish designs are smart, unexpected, and perfectly eccentric.

  • 1. How’d all this happen, anyway?
  • I've been drawing comics for about 12 years. My friend and I started playing around with polish a few years ago, and we couldn't find anyone in Austin who could emulate the designs we loved on our natural nails. But the more designs I practiced on her, the more I realized that nail art is a lot like cartooning. In May 2011 I signed up for nail school in order to open my own business. . . . As Nails Y'all, I do parties, events, films, and weddings. Before all of this, I was a public high school history teacher in the South Bronx. My students had amazing nails. Rosales is also currently the in-house nail artist at Paloma Salon.
  • 2. What are the craziest designs you’ve done?
  • In terms of time and detail, I'd say the Monopoly nails and kissing Barack + Michelle Obama nails. I did a set of Richard Simmons–themed nails for local choreographer Erica Nix, who got them for her appearance in his latest infomercial. I hear they were a hit, which delights me to no end. People ask for portraits of husbands, boyfriends, pets, and kids, which are really fun to do. I also made nail decals of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson for my own enjoyment.

Credits

Photography by Jessica Pages & Michael Muller

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