Out & About
Michael Barnes is the Austin American-Statesman's social columnist. He lives in South Austin with his partner, Kip, two dogs and two cats.
TRAVEL: Texas rivers Nos. 29 and 30 traced. Just returned from West Texas, where Joe Starr and I traced the Pecos and Devils rivers.
CHARITY: Another account of ongoing Austin generosity. The light dusting of guests at Mexic-Arte Museum for the Keep Austin Generous party on Friday gave me plenty of time to chat with Leo Ramirez.
FOOD 1: A long slice of South Austin by the railroad tracks. Thursday night, we met finance and strategy ace James Bilodeau at the Austin Beer Garden on West Oltorf.
POLITICS: The power of the Texas governor. Ran into Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall the other day.
FOOD: Flour & Vine adds a gustatory twist. Smart move: Flour & Vine, which took the place of Hugo's on upper South Lamar, self-consciously caters to the Zach Theatre crowd.
FOOD: Arro strikes clean on West Sixth Street. At first, I sensed familiar social warning signs. Arro, located in the former Haddington's, was open, noisy, warm, inviting.
TRAVEL: We tended to call Texas 21 "the highway of death." The main link between the hometowns for the University of Texas and Texas A&M University was too narrow and confounded by too many off-speed entries.
CHARITY: Citizen Generation is a miracle. Led by Alex Winkelman and a cadre of budding Austinites, it helps answer the nagging question: Who will give in the future?
HEALTH: Charity clinic gives a sneak peek at proposed facility. People's Community Clinic has served a crucial role in Austin's healthcare ecology for decades.
CHARITY: Season for Caring returns with more heart-wrenching cases. My story in Sunday's Statesman (part of series): "At 8 p.
MUSIC: Austin's Carter Beckworth defies labels. My story in Tuesday's Statesman: "Half a lifetime ago, Carter Beckworth made his first recording.
CHARITY: Chris Mugica blessed by Sunshine Camps for life. My story in Monday's Statesman. Early one summer morning in 1985, Christopher Mugica stood in front of Brooke Elementary School with a pillow and an H-E-B bag.
CHARITY: You just knew the food would be good. After all, Qui to the Cure is cleverly named after incredibly modest celebrity chef Paul Qui.
CITY: Much merited Merit Awards. Preservation Austin is a precious resource. Its annual Merit Awards luncheon at the Driskill Hotel always delivers a better understanding of our social, cultural and physical past.
SHOPPING: It's already Christmas at the Palmer Center. The Junior League of Austin does nothing halfway.
POLITICS: A primer in presidential politics. Political reporters and writing partners Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, despite their demurrals in Austin on Monday, have changed the way presidential elections are perceived.
DOWNTOWN: I'm betting that, not since New Year's Eve 1999 have so many revelers gathered in one Austin place.
F1 Party No. 5: Globetrotters play differently than you and I. At the U.S. Grand Prix, they leave the track late in the day, dine in town, take a long siesta, then go out.
F1 PARTIES: Austin learned from last year's Formula One socializing. From my column in Friday's Sports section: "Last year proved a learning experience for Austinites previously clueless about Formula One and its social scenes.
SPORTS: Subject to infinite changes, this is my Formula One social schedule for this weekend. Thursday: 11 a.
NIGHTLIFE: Twenty-six years ago, the host expected a dozen people to show up. Instead, more than 40 joined the first Prime Timers party in Boston for mature gay and bisexual men and their admirers.
CHARITY: The news behind the news. Saturday at Hilton Austin, the Austin Children's Shelter made all kinds of news.
CHARITY: People are attracted to charity events for disparate reasons. Friday at the Four Seasons Hotel, I ran into charity professionals, such as Boys and Girls Clubs of Austin's highly respected Mark Kiester, inveterate charity volunteers, like Rusty Morrison, and charity backers like auto dealer and relative newcomer Carl Barnett.
MEDIA: A family of leaders for KLRU. When President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, he said: "We dedicate this part of the airwaves to the enlightenment of the people.
CHARITY: Well Aware now fixing water systems as well as building them. We've written about Austin-based charities whose work spans the globe -- Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Cambodia, India, Burundi, Ethopia, Uganda, among other places.
HOSPITALITY: Toasting the grande dame. The Driskill Hotel has stood at the corner of East Sixth and Brazos streets for 127 years.
FOOD: Austin drips with fests. Especially in the fall and spring. Save some time next year for the Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival.
MEDIA: How is the newspaper doing? Somebody asks me that every day. Usually, they mean: How is the business holding up in the digital media era?
SCHOOL: Six inspirational UT tales in a row. First came the videos, then the speeches. And, in several cases, the firm voices of support for University of Texas President William Powers Jr.
NIGHTLIFE: Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Candy cloys. Costumes rarely fit my mood -- or frame.
MUSIC: Easing from life with the help of music. Wednesday night, Craig Calvert explained Swan Songs to me.
SCHOOL 1: UT confers Community Leadership Awards. The grand, somewhat austere Mexican American Cultural Center warmed up for the informally formal occasion on Tuesday.
CHARITY: Introvert eases into eminence. My story that ran in Monday's Statesman: "Profoundly reserved as a child, Mary Morrison spent much of her life avoiding the public eye.
HEALTH: The costumes come out early. Just a few days before Halloween, folks dressed up as their favorite movie characters for Back in Brack, which benefits University Medical Center Brackenridge-Seton.
MEDIA: This time, civilized behavior prevailed. Like a veteran teacher faced with a rowdy class, Texas Book Festival chairman Marc Winkelman tried to keep the guests at the First Edition Literary Gala chattering at a very low hum.
FOOD: The air was like wine. Where were the human sacrifices, the strewn tributes to the weather gods?
CHARITY 1: Caritas salutes the Butlers. Among the most prestigious honors in Austin are the Harvey Penick Awards given by Caritas of Austin, which provides well-regarded food service, refugee and social service programs.
SPORTS: Runner, coach and altruist saluted at white-hot eatery. I'd met Gilbert Tuhabonye only once before.
CITY: Momentum keeps rolling. The rollout for the Waller Creek Conservancy has been deliberate and deterimined.
SPORTS: It might be the most glorious gala of the season. The Andy Roddick Foundation has found a new mission: Using tennis as part of a program of essential life couching.
NATURE: Carolyn Long and the Garden of Yes. My story in today's Statesman: "For many years, veteran volunteer Carolyn Long gave standard tours of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
STYLE: Flood. Drought. Flood. Drought. The Central Texas climate cycle is eternal. Yet Austinites are guilty of collective amnesia after a long spell of one extreme or the other.
NIGHTLIFE: Formula 1 race season zooms into view. One mega-fest done. Another begins. The United States Grand Prix won't roar onto the award-winning tracks at the Circuit of the Americas for another month, but the start of the season was toasted Monday night at ACL Live.
(This also was posted on Austin Music Source before the floods.)Saturday afternoon at ACL was marked by two things that didn't happen.
(Originally posted Saturday before the huge floods of late Saturday and early Sunday.) Friday, it rained briefly, but hard enough to tale the edge off.
(Report recapped from Satuday.) "I'm seeing the least amount of neighborhood parking in eight years," says Austin Police Officer Melanie Rodriguez, standing sentinel in the shade on Dawson Road.
"Jazz Fest has a lot to learn from ACL." Shaun Norris and Elizabeth Mills should know. The New Orleanians are regulars at the older music festival, which focused almost exclusively on regional heritage acts when it started in 1970, but now presents plenty of pop, rock and other genres.
They should be called the Lucky Ones. Drew Walker and Taylor Baker are in an Austin band called, temporarily, Taylor Baker.
After a second dose of Pacha Massive at the Zilker Tent -- go with what you like -- I wandered lonely as a cloud around the nearby Art Market.
Rains threaten. We've already felt some sprinkles. The very first second weekend for Austin City Limits Music Festival is likely to turn quite soggy.
Michael Barnes writes about Austin's people, places, culture and history. He also writes the Out and About social column and blog.
A-List photos from Hot Rods for HAAM at Spinners Bar & Grill, 12.14.13
A-List photos from Cage the Elephant's sold out show at Emo's, 12.13.13
A-List photos from Midnight Menagerie at the North Door, 12.14.13
A-List photos of the 12 Bars of Christmas 8th Annual Red Dress Run on Friday, December 13, 2013.
A-List photos from the Dead Milkmen at the Mohawk, 12.07.13.