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North, South, East, West | NORTH

Come on in—Austinites in every direction share their secret spots and stories of the 'hoods they love most.


The Eddings Family’s Windsor Park

by Shannon Eddings

I believe my exact words were “I don’t care where we look, but I will not look in that neighborhood just off Cameron Road.” This statement was made about six weeks before we purchased our first home, four years ago, in Windsor Park—a wonderful midcentury neighborhood just east of the interstate and north of 51st. Oh and just off Cameron Road. My hesitation had to do with the busyness lying just west of us on 35. We met as students at UT, had lived in Hyde Park for years, and couldn’t imagine leaving the campus area.

This neighborhood is so centrally located and full of character. I’m a huge fan of the ranch-style midcentury homes, and Sam loves the big trees, big yards and smaller houses. Our neighbors are so charming. Next door to us is Natalie, who has lived in the ’hood since the 50’s when her house was built and the neighborhood began. She’s 97 now. She remembered our names instantly and welcomed us to the ’hood as she walked outside to her ride (in her burnt orange suit, complete with matching earrings) to go to the UT women’s basketball game. And she is just the beginning. It’s sad to watch the older folks move on, but this past year or two our neighborhood has seen a lot of younger families moving in. It’s wonderful to have so many friendly faces on our morning walks—both old and young. Our neighbors are so loyal and friendly, and they are one of the best parts of the ’hood.

We also love seeing people fix up houses and bring new life to old homes while staying true to the original look. It’s happening all over right now and is so fun to see. With a brand-new “green” H-E-B store opening this summer at Berkman and 51st and the new Austin Children’s Museum opening at Mueller, I can only imagine that more good things will come for our neighborhood. We plan to stay put for a long time.

Sam and Shannon have been in Austin for 12 years and currently live with their kids, Porter and Dottie, and their beloved but neglected dog, Atlas, in Windsor Park. Sam owns a business called Gasket Guy of Austin, and Shannon owns a business called Clapping Tree Design that is focused primarily now on interior design and consulting.

Shannon's Top 10

  • Contigo (2027 Anchor Ln.)—Where else can you get a well-crafted cocktail, a country pâté, and a thoughtful and delicious vegetable dish? Not to mention an awesome patio and the best burger and fries in Austin. Glad this one is nearby.
  • Tino’s Greek Café (1201 Barbara Jordan Blvd.)—These are all over town, but we eat here all the time. Sam is Greek and it’s a great, reliable fix when we want it.
  • House Pizzeria (5111 Airport Blvd.)—We love the roasted olives and the “blue” pizza; with Stilton and port reduction, it’s almost like a dessert. Sam used to work for Live Oak Brewing, so local draft beer is an important part of our life; they’ve got it. Do not forget the roasted olives.
  • Paco’s Tacos (1304 E. 51st St.)—We love this neighborhood spot. Good tacos, good salsas, friendly people, cheap beer.
  • Mueller Greenway & Trail—Who doesn’t love to run at Town Lake? The Mueller Greenway is quieter, less crowded and closer. The wildflowers are beautiful right now, and the sculptures are unexpected. This is where we get the sweat out.
  • Texas Thrift Store (5319 N. I-35 Service Rd.)—Cheap and big. One of the few real thrift spots left.
  • Komé (4917 Airport Blvd.)—Casual, good sushi and Japanese pub fare. Komé is a fun spot to share small plates at night and they serve a mean ramen and gyoza at lunch.
  • Nomad (1213 Corona Dr.)—You can’t talk about Windsor Park without talking about the Nomad. It’s not a scene, not trying to be anything in particular, just a great neighborhood bar within walking distance, and they have Live Oak on tap. It’s a win-win.
  • Mrs. Johnson’s Donuts (4909 Airport Blvd.)—We like to take our three-year-old in his pajamas to get donuts on Saturdays. Paleo diets are all the rage these days, but a dozen donuts now and then never hurt anyone.
  • Target (5621 N. I-35)—We hate to love it, but let’s be honest—we buy a lot of diapers.

Marti, Sanaz + Kiyah’s Allendale

by Marti Bier

We were both part of the mid-90’s wave of migrants to Austin. So, before “all the new people” came, but after “all the old people” were here. We both came to Austin to go to UT and have probably cumulatively lived in more parts of Central Austin than most people live in a lifetime (that whole moving-every-six-months thing never seemed to get old—until it did). We’ve been through each phase of adult life here—undergrad, struggling-first-time-jobbers, grad school, marriage, and now we’ve started a family. Every chapter has shown us more and more amazing things about Austin, and neither of us can ever imagine leaving.

In this most recent chapter, parenthood, we’ve found ourselves living in a part of town that we hardly knew existed when we were in college. Last year, as our infant turned to a toddler, we quickly began to outgrow our 900-square-foot first home in the Ridgetop neighborhood and began looking for the place we were going to be for the long haul. Like many Generation X/Y-ers who grew up in the suburbs, we had this strong desire to have more space and good schools for our children, but also like any hip-wanna-be-native-Austinites, we couldn’t stand the thought of moving outside the circle of highways surrounding Central Austin. With the help of our amazing realtor, our families, and hours and hours of visiting homes all over town, we landed in Allandale, the perfect combination of everything we wanted.

Outside of the house we fell in love with, the wide, tree-lined streets, kid-friendliness, walkability, good schools, and proximity to other fantastic neighborhoods and amenities really sold us. Allandale is home to the fantastic Northwest Pool, which is stellar for kids. We’re next door to the Crestview neighborhood, which holds the hands-down, best-ever Halloween block party on the planet. And I’d be remiss not to mention there’s a house a few blocks away, that during the holidays has a light show playing to an amazing arrangement of holiday hip-hop and pop music. We may or may not have visited for at least three nights in a row last winter and danced outside for 30 minutes each time.

We live in a part of town that is seeing a good amount of change, in infrastructure, in businesses and in people. There are people and establishments that have been here since the beginning of time, and there are young families and businesses that have just arrived here. As in all parts of ever-changing Austin, this combination provides its fair share of growing pains, and I know that we will continue to see great things both come and go up here off Burnet Road and Anderson Lane. However, as we further plant our roots here and meet more and more folks that are raising families all around us, I am so excited to be in one of the best parts of town Austin has to offer and can’t wait to be part of the Burnet Road Revolution!

Marti and Sanaz both moved to Austin for undergrad in the 90’s, met and moved away for a year, only to return because they missed Austin so much. Marti is a planner for the City of Austin, helping to make the city she loves more affordable. Sanaz writes in 0s and 1s for the University of Texas System. Kiyah is 3 and a ray of sunshine, and they’re expecting another little person to join the family in December.

Marti, Sanaz + Kiyah’s Top 10

  • Alamo Drafthouse Village (2700 W. Anderson Ln.)—Clearly no one in Austin has ever NOT been to the Drafthouse, but I know not everyone lives within a half mile of one! Seriously, would you ever go see a movie anywhere else?
  • Torchy’s Tacos (5119 Burnet Rd.)—Have you ever fallen in love with a chicken-fried-chicken taco that’s smothered in queso? We have.
  • Northwest Municipal Pool (7000 Ardath St.)—If you can’t live next to a natural spring-fed pool you might as well be in walking distance from the next best thing. NW Pool has a gigantic, shaded kids’ pool that is second to none.
  • Star of India (2900 W. Anderson Ln.)—I love Indian food, and this has been my favorite Indian restaurant in Austin since forever.
  • Terra Toys (2438 W. Anderson Ln.)—I don’t think there’s anything they don’t sell. When I needed dreidels—Terra Toys. Fourth of July sparklers—Terra Toys. It’s really a one-stop shop for all of your random toy (and other holiday) needs.
  • Shoal Creek Blvd.—Is there a better boulevard in Central Austin for all of your recreational needs? I have never seen more runners, bikers and strollers anywhere.
  • Little Deli (7101 Woodrow Ave.)—Quaintest little sit-outside-on-a-summer-evening-with-your-bucket-of-BYOB-and-eat-delicious-pizza neighborhood place in town, located in the heart of Crestview.
  • Monkey Nest Coffee (5353 Burnet Rd.)—This place has everything from delicious sandwiches, beverages and smoothies to GELATO!
  • Phil’s Ice House (5620 Burnet Rd.)—When your kid can play on a playground while you eat a burger named after your neighborhood, how can you complain? And not to mention the ice cream you get at Amy’s afterwards as a reward for an uninterrupted meal.
  • Recycled Reads (5335 Burnet Rd.)—Did you know the public library has a store where you can buy books for REALLY cheap? I’m talking 50 cents per kid’s book!

The Rossomando/Williams Family’s Hyde Park

by Michelle Rossomando

We found our house on the annual Hyde Park Homes Tour in 2003. Back then, or “B.C.”–before children–as we call it, we had plenty of time on the weekends to walk around neighborhoods leisurely looking at houses. We had just recently been married on the grounds of the Perry Mansion on Red River and lived around the corner in a 950-square-foot house on Keasbey Street. Thinking ahead to a family, we knew we needed a bigger house and knew we wanted to be in Hyde Park. We loved the family orientation of the neighborhood, its densely knit feel, and the proximity to downtown. We were willing to wait for the right house to come on the market.

There are so many things we love about our neighborhood—the mature trees, the sidewalks, the historic homes and the strong sense of community. We especially love the urban lifestyle and pedestrian orientation. Our house is less than a block from Shipe Park and Pool, which is ideal for our two kids and two dogs. We can also walk to restaurants, grocery stores and coffee shops from our house.

And of course we love the people: eclectic and spirited, Hyde Park residents organize several annual events that we would never miss! Each fall, the Fire Station Festival celebrates the continued operation of our local fire station. We get to thank the firefighters and the kids get to climb inside Engine No. 9. Hyde Park’s Halloween is another family favorite that grows every year. Tips for successful trick-or-treating: Start at the park and work your way down Avenue F until you hit the 4100 block. Cars are prohibited on this entire block and residents spend weeks decorating with lights, ghouls and goblins, hay mazes, and haunted front yards. With everyone in costume, it’s a favorite for the grown-ups as well as the kids.

Although we love our 1912 Victorian-esque home, lack of space and needed updates meant we jumped into a remodel of our house late last fall. Located behind the footprint of the original house and designed within the guidelines of the local historic district developed by the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association in 2010, the addition and renovation is in a more contemporary style, which suits the way we live and highlights the architectural character of the original house in the front.

Now, the house reflects our personality and works for our family. We love living in Hyde Park—Austin’s first suburb—the best kind of community for us.

John Williams is a financial advisor, CFP® with Ameriprise Financial and has lived in Austin since freshman year at the University of Texas. He is co-president of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association. Michelle Rossomando, AIA, is an architect and principal with McKinney York Architects, an award-winning firm specializing in residential design. She was born on the East Coast, but got here as fast as she could, to attend graduate school at the UT School of Architecture. John and Michelle plan to raise their children, Vincenzo and Carmela, and their dogs in Hyde Park.

John + Michelle's Top 10

  • Quack’s 43rd St Bakery (411 E. 43rd St.)—The first coffeehouse in Austin. Cookies and cupcakes for the kids, espresso and dessert for us.
  • Shipe Park and Pool (4400 Avenue G)—Our neighborhood park and the best place to stay cool in the summer. With two kids under the age of 10 we have made Shipe Park an extension to our own backyard!
  • Vino Vino (4119 Guadalupe St.)—Great food, great wine, and the heart of the emerging commercial district on the western boundary of Hyde Park.
  • Hyde Park Bar and Grill (4206 Duval St.)—Get a Bloody Mary and the Fried Egg Sandwich for brunch. Their famous fries are a must-have. Check out the giant fork sculpture in front of the restaurant that stabs a changing display of art by artist Dale Whistler.
  • The Flightpath Coffee House (5011 Duval St.)—Even though the planes don’t pass over on their descent to land at Mueller Airport anymore, it’s still a great place to get coffee. And now you can actually hear your table conversation.
  • Elisabet Ney Museum (304 E. 44th St.)—The former castle-style home and studio of the German-born sculptress now exhibits her work focused on legendary Texans. Admission is free, perfect for our young kids, who can only last 10 minutes in a museum anyway.
  • Avenue B Grocery (4403 Avenue B)—Austin’s oldest continuously operated grocery store, built in 1909. Handmade, fresh deli sandwiches and “old-school” candy for kids.
  • The Col. Monroe Shipe House (3816 Avenue G)—Built in 1892 by the founder of Hyde Park with lumber from the grandstands of the old State Fair of Texas. Hyde Park is known for having a historic home on almost every corner of the neighborhood.
  • Julio’s Café (4230 Duval St.)—Breakfast tacos in the morning, roasted chicken for lunch or dinner. Bring cash. No credit or debit cards accepted!
  • Adams House Bed & Breakfast (4300 Avenue G)—Another Austin Historic Landmark, built in 1911 and converted to a bed-and-breakfast in 1997. A great place for the in-laws to stay, within walking distance of our house.


Photography by Jessica Pages

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