Find fun things to doin the Austin, TX area

+ Add A Listing

Michael Barnes

Social Columnist

Michael Barnes writes about Austin's people, places, culture and history. He also writes the Out and About social column and blog.

Latest from Michael Barnes

Moving day: 7:30 a.m., Sept. 14, 1955, when patients were moved from the old St. David’s at 17th and Rio Grande streets to a more modern hospital on 32nd Street.

Ninety years of caring and health care at St. David’s

Austinites Dr. Linda Prentice and Susie Jastrow share a multigenerational stake in St. David’s HealthCare and the St. David’s Foundation.Ninety years ago, Prentice’s grandfather, Dr. Joe Gilbert, co-founded St. David’s Hospital. Later, he was joined by Prentice’s father, Dr. Joe Thorne Gilbert, who worked there for several decades, often as ...

Laura and Phillip Brown were only 24 when they opened the big Vince Young Steakhouse near the Austin Convention Center.

How Phillip and Laura Brown learned customer care

In June 2010, Phillip and Laura Brown got married. The couple, both 24, had trained for careers in the hospitality business and planned to open a small meat and cheese shop. Jim McIngvale, Laura’s father and owner of Houston’s Gallery Furniture, had other plans. He announced in a speech at ...

Richard and Maria Zuniga at First Edition Literary Gala for Texas Book Festival.

Danielle Crespo preps you for Formula One parties

Curious about the Formula One parties this week? Ask Danielle Crespo. The Texas State University graduate, 29, tracks all the socializing around the Circuit of the Americas races. You can scan her crisply aligned calendars, news and party notes at SuitePass.com and AustinRaceEvents.com. Crespo, who works by day for a ...

Book jacket for Richard Pena’s “Last Plane Out of Saigon.”

How Richard Pena landed on the ‘Last Plane Out of Saigon’

In the early 1970s, Richard Pena couldn’t catch a break. Or maybe he really did. Just barely.In 1972, the Austin lawyer — his family doesn’t use tilde over the “n” in Pena — was among the very last American draftees sent to the Vietnam War. It was going badly for ...

Written remarks about why some paupers left the Travis County Poor Farm in 1891, recorded in the Poor Farm Ledger, 1890-1900. Housed at the Austin History Center.

Life down on the Travis County Poor Farm

The entries for 1891 in the thick ledger pose as many questions as they answer.“Runaway (Bad Boy).” “Taken Away by Husband.” “Without Leave (No Good).” “Old Age.”These remarks appear next to names in a leather-bound book, filled out in two spidery hands and preserved at the Austin History Center, for ...

Sean Gaulager and Tamara Becerra Valdez at La Dolce Vita for the Contemporary Austin.

Food, arts, books, schools, sports toasted at Austin affairs

The Longhorn football team’s revived hopes and the mammoth upcoming elections were among the topics most frequently discussed at these and other social events last week. Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis great Andy Roddick borrowed a jean jacket for the occasion. That’s because his wife, Brooklyn Decker, and her gala co-chairwoman, ...

Lois Kim, director of the Texas Book Festival and a ‘recovering academic.’

Lois Kim ties it all together at the Texas Book Festival

Lois Kim describes herself a “recovering academic.”The director of the Texas Book Festival, which returns to the Capitol area this weekend, did time in graduate school. She emerged with a doctorate in English. Yet Kim decided to skip the traditional job search, which might have landed her at some isolated ...

Austin Mayor A.P. Wooldridge with city leaders in Wooldridge Park. Photo from Austin History Center PICA 10029.

Not Austin’s first swing at single-member districts

On Jan. 13, 1840, Austin held its first election for mayor. The city’s population was 553. Edwin Waller, whom Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar had appointed to build the fledgling city, took the mayor’s spot. Later that year, when Waller’s short term ended, Thomas William “Peg Leg” Ward was elected ...

For many years, Richard Moya, the first Hispanic Travis County commissioner, has enjoyed breakfast at Joe’s Bakery on East Seventh Street.

Trailblazer Richard Moya reflects on a life inside and outside office

The long Economy Furniture Company strike played a pivotal role in the 1970 election of Richard Moya, the first Hispanic Travis County commissioner.“The strikers walked the picket line, then came back to help my campaign,” Moya, now 82, recalls. “A week before the election, John Treviño got six kids to ...

Barnes: A social weekend away from the ACL Fest

Barnes: A social weekend away from the ACL Fest

This column took the weekend off from the Austin City Limits Music Festival but still found several ways of socializing in the Austin manner.PGi Office PartyPGi once occupied the top floor of the Frost Tower. But the owner of La Zona Rosa coveted those offices, so a swap was arranged.So ...

 
 

Austin360 Videos

Editor's Picks

A Giant Dog

A Giant Dog

The rapidly rising indie rockers headline night two of Hotel Vegas' anniversary bash.

Latest A-List Photos

A-list: Holla Qween at Cheer Up Charlie's, 10.30.14

A-list: Holla Qween at Cheer Up Charlie's, 10.30.14

A-list photos of Holla Qween at Cheer Up Charlie's on October 30, 2014.

A-List photos of the Housecore Horror Festival at Emo's on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

A-List: Housecore Horror Festival, 10.26.14

A-List photos of the Housecore Horror Festival at Emo's on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

A-List photos of the Housecore Horror Festival at Emo's on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

A-List: Housecore Horror Festival, 10.25.14

A-List photos of the Housecore Horror Festival at Emo's on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

A-list: Austin Film Festival 'Flarsky' Script Reading, 10.26.14

A-list: Austin Film Festival 'Flarsky' Script Reading, 10.26.14

A-list photos from the Austin Film Festival 'Flarsky' Script Reading on October 26, 2014.

A-List: B.o.B with Kevin Gates at Stubb's, 10.24.14

A-List: B.o.B with Kevin Gates at Stubb's, 10.24.14

A-List photos of B.o.B with Kevin Gates at Stubb's in Austin on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014.