STYLE: Allens Boots: The next generation. My story in today’s Statesman: "Two huge dates — one for a movie, the other for a festival — matter to Allens Boots: 1980 and 1987. The venerable Western wear store — its giant red boot is an Austin landmark — opened on South Congress Avenue on Oct. 1, 1977. Three years later, the movie "Urban Cowboy" swept the nation off its feet and made "Texas chic" a global craze in fashion, food and music. Henceforth, boots could be worn with almost any outfit. So, during the early 1980s, Allens — founded by third-generation apparel merchant Steve Allen Greenberg — boomed and expanded to six Central Texas locations. "Business was so crazy — especially for Justin Boots — when shipments came into the south store, we were selling them out of the back of the truck," says the founder’s son, Sean Allen Greenberg, who grew up in the store and embodies the fourth generation of the merchant line. http://shar.es/Eq3O0(Totally charming family.)

CHARITY: Arc of the Capital Area’s Building Bridges Gala. The admirable group provides services to children and adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. Its annual fundraiser, which includes a popular art auction, is also admirably unstuffy, something that I’m sure is helped by the presence of easygoing radio personality Ed Clements. The KLBJ star and his wife recently returned from an eye-opening trip to Italy, they told me, which included an expected glorious time in Tuscany. Pay attention to any local charity blessed by Clements. He only endorses the real deal. (He’s pretty real, too.)

CITY: Waller Creek Conservancy Benefit Concert. Last year, this group advocating a makeover for the banks of Waller Creek ate barbecue and hunkered down in the back of Stubb’s cafe for a concert that helped raise bucks for their cause. Wednesday, the setting was significantly elevated to a refurbished structure behind the venue’s large, general viewing pit, itself set in a natural amphitheater. The bites from chef Tim Love were elevated, too. I ran into powerhouses such as Melanie Barnes, Melba Whatley and Suzanne Booth, but scooted out before the wished-for concert from Blind Boys of Alabama and other prime acts. (I was hypnotized, however, by the huge, horizontal rendering of the proposed creekside improvements. Epic.)

SCHOOL: Live theater as an essential part of learning. In the lobby of the Winship Drama Building the same night, ballet backer Richard Fatheree told me about seeing "The Glass Menagerie" as a student in Oklahoma City. He scored unusually high in his speech and theater class, he says, because of that crucial live theatrical experience. His memory was sparked by the large student crowd for the University of Texas version of the mystery "Dial M for Murder." We each had learned from several audience members that they attended because of class assignments. Nothing wrong with that. Plus, they were privileged to witness director Brant Pope’s immaculate show, classy in ever detail. (Had seen the Alfred Hitchcock flick recently, so my standards — as just another Austin patron — were pretty high.)

TRANSPO: Austin’s secret parking spots. Whenever I find a new, secret, free parking spot in the central city, I smile and think of my good friend, Austin City Council Member Chris Riley. With fairly good reason, bicycle advocate Chris thinks all parking should be paid. As a working reporter, however, I can’t agree. I walk whenever I can and regularly take buses, so don’t count me as a common road warrior. Yet some nights, I must make three or four social events spread out around the city. So I drive. Wednesday night, that would have set me back a total of $36 in prime parking. That’s not smart. Instead, I found three spots on the near east side and hoofed it the rest of the way. (Just try to catch me, Chris.)