You may have seen this today, a great package in the Friday Austin360 print edition and online about 175 things we love in Austin.
The package, led by restaurant critic Matthew Odam, features many of our staffers (me included), each sharing about things we love about living here (or in my case, fairly close by).
Here’s the list I contributed. You can find the whole package here as well as a photo gallery to go with it.The incredible collection of cabinets and pinball machines at Pinballz Arcade make this North Austin institution a great place for a nerd party. With a castle-themed Pinballz Kingdom opening in Buda, South Central Texas is getting arcade love as well. (pinballzarcade.com)For those overloaded on barbecue, Mexican food and burgers, Leaf’s salads provide a green antidote to bloat. You can custom-build or order pre-selected standbys such as the Strawberry Fields or the Capitol City Cobb. (leafsalad.com)Whataburger is always perfect for a late-night Patty Melt or a load of drive-thru breakfast tacos. Great fries and great condiments, many of which are now available in bottled-up form at H-E-B. (whataburger.com)Art exhibits, theatrical and dance performances and cultural events are just a few reasons the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center has become an essential gathering spot for Latinos and all others. It neighbors Rainey Street, making pre-show drinks or food easy to access. (austintexas.gov/esbmacc)Trailers next to bars that bring food to you while you’re hanging out. East Side King is the best example, but there are plenty of others. (austin360.com/foodtrailers)The Visualization Laboratory at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (or “Viz lab” for short), a place where cool events are regularly put on to show off the remarkable display technology. (tacc.utexas.edu/resources/visualization)The nerd culture-meets-pop-culture explosion of ideas and personalities during South by Southwest Interactive. Fest director Hugh Forrest and his crew continue to manage a tricky balance between mainstream tech culture and a strong focus on community good. (sxsw.com/interactive)Consistently funny, entertaining and ahead of the curve, “The Rooster Teeth Podcast” is a good way to keep up with Rooster Teeth’s burgeoning media empire. You’ll laugh and learn more about gaming culture, animation and the art of slo-mo video. (roosterteeth.com/podcast)The spirit of poet founder Raul Salinas lives on in the relocated Resistencia Bookstore, focused on indigenous culture, bilingual literature and arts events. (resistenciabooks.com)Juanita Budd, the executive director of Austin Free-Net, an essential community organization. Free-Net has been helping bridge the digital divide here since the nonprofit was formed in 1995, providing technology tools to those in need. (austinfree.net)