FOOD: They lined up at 9:30 a.m. For a VIP entrance that did not open until noon. By which time, the line for the general public extended all the way to Butler Park for the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest at the Long Center. Once past the gates, the guests ran — ran! — to stand in line again at the cherished Franklin Barbecue booth. Also mobbed from an early hour were Austin’s La Barbecue and Lexington’s Snow’s BBQ. Meanwhile, one could easily sidle up to sample sweet, tender, smokey bits from Hatfield’s in Rockport or solid, luscious meat from Cousin’s in Fort Worth. Equally inviting were peppery ribs from Opie’s in Spicewood. My fave of faves, though, while circulating among the meat-sated crowd this mild afternoon was the ambrosia from Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew on Burnet Road. Who needs lines?

MUSIC: Are we at Burning Man? One could not find a more entertaining crowd than the droves at the Stargayzer Festival. Fans of LGBTQ musical artists dressed for their parts. Since people-watching is a prime activity at music festivals, this one straight-out delivered. The music at three afternoon stages ranged from punk to pop and electronica. "It’s been difficult," says organizer Brett Hornsby about the weekend’s rainy weather. "But once it cleared up and the sun went down, we had thousands here." Luckily, three of the four stages were covered or indoors. The sense of community on the last of three days at the Pine Street Station in East Austin was palpable. I’m betting that Hornsby brings it back next year.

HISTORY: Two Austin families intertwined. Taken from my story in the Statesman: "Long ago, the families of Jessica Galindo Winters and Adam Winters, who met at Bowie High School and now own Mellizoz Tacos on South First Street (along with Jessica’s father and brother), lived at the same Austin intersection. The couple can trace their respective Austin ancestors back through quite a few generations. Periodically, food service was a shared profession. Yet they were surprised that their families once occupied the same tiny neighborhood at San Jacinto and East First streets near the old location of Matt’s El Rancho. "My father’s great-grandmother had a guest house there for soldiers coming back from the war," Adam says. "We joke that it might have been a brothel." "We get intrigued by the stories our parents share," Jessica says. "Old places they lived, how they played in Waller Creek, that kind of thing." http://shar.es/1aa1Mu

POLITICS: Five candidates vie for District 8 seat. Taken from the Statesman’s extremely thorough coverage of the new council races: "As far back as the 1980s, government officials were planning to fix the "Y" at Oak Hill. People and businesses were attracted to the limestone hills and sweeping vistas of southwest Austin. Congestion was bound to hit the intersection of Texas 71 West, U.S. 290 West and William Cannon Drive. The plan was to widen it. The state bought land along 290, including a strip center with a western-themed front, and cleared portions of that land. And then — nothing happened. In 2014, the Y is a traffic disaster, as is traffic in other parts of the newly formed District 8, the council precinct that encompasses much of southwest Austin. The Y and other projects have been caught up in a tangle of funding losses, environmental complications and what residents consider an underlying lack of political will from a city government they say has shown little regard for suburban neighborhoods." http://shar.es/1aa1IE