CITY: A promise for tomorrow: ‘Austin’s Waller Creek.’ From my story in the Statesman: "It all started with a column published in this newspaper. A walking survey of Waller Creek from its headwaters in the Highland neighborhood to its silty mouth on Lady Bird Lake included some excerpts from Joseph Jones’ meditative "Life on Waller Creek." Walter Wilkie, a recent transplant from New York, read that column. Intrigued, he ordered a copy of the out-of-print 1982 book by the late University of Texas professor. Wilkie soon discovered what this columnist had not bothered to mention: Jones could have used a forceful editor. A man of independent means, Wilkie tried to obtain rights to Jones’ book in order to publish a trimmed edition about the urban creek that runs below his downtown high-rise. After failing to land the rights, Wilkie, with the help of some literary heavyweights, instead backed "Austin’s Waller Creek: Promise for Tomorrow."" http://shar.es/VeCJo
MUSIC: Joseph Choi swerves from sports to arts to management. From my story in the Statesman: "As a young boy in Hawaii, accomplished pianist Joseph Choi was all about sports — soccer, basketball, volleyball, anything he could get his hands on. "Dad was a soccer player," says the former Austinite, 23, now studying in New York. "He encouraged me to play and was my coach all those years. I tried to skip piano lessons to play outside. The weather in Hawaii was just so beautiful. The big instrument was, however, never far away. He started to play the piano at age 5 and took his first lessons at 6. "I loved the sound of the piano," he says. "Some pianists want to play other instruments, like the cello or the oboe, but the piano is still for me." Choi performed his first recital at age 7 and his first full solo recital at the University of Hawaii — Beethoven, Ravel, Liszt — when he was just 12." http://shar.es/VeCDP
FOOD: Best Austin BBQ spots. From Matthew Odam’s story in the Statesman: "People think Austin, they think barbecue and Tex-Mex. Been like that for years. But our dirty little secret here in the capital is that for decades if you wanted the best barbecue in Central Texas, you had to get in your car and drive to Lockhart or Taylor or Luling. Austin was near some of the best barbecue in Texas, but it wasn’t home to it. That’s changed. Just as the greater culinary scene has exploded in recent years, barbecue also has flourished, fueled by the ascendance of Aaron Franklin and the reappearance of John Mueller. Propelled by an army of trailers and entrepreneurs, Austin’s best barbecue joints have earned a place at the table with some of the best in the state. Below I offer my list of the 10 best barbecue spots in Austin, all of which have opened in the past eight years. The group doesn’t include esteemed places in Hays or Llano or Caldwell counties. Because you no longer have to leave town to find the best barbecue in Austin." http://shar.es/VeY33
NUPTIALS: It’s wedding season. Attended two at classic Austin venues. Lawyer, writer and dear friend Jeff McCrary wed public relations specialist Levente Smith during a movie-mad celebration at One World Theatre. Respected lawyer and social advocate Toya Cirica Cook married Stephen Todd Bell, who introduced the Norwegian Wedding Bowl Ceremony at an Umlauf Sculpture Garden. I met new friends at each event, but also caught up with leading lights such as Elizabeth Christian, Kristin Marcum, Richard Hartgrove, Eddie Bernal, Craig Hella Johnson, and Gregory and Kim Vincent, as well as Dennis Karbach and Robert Brown, who will be married during a California ceremony soon. One thing I really liked about both Austin weddings: They allowed plenty of time for mingling in between the presentational ritutals.