SCHOOL: Makes you stop and ponder. Friday night, guests got a bigger than expected peek at the new Thinkery, the big, red home of the former children’s museum in the Mueller tract. Inclement weather forced the group’s huge Imaginarium gala indoors to the soaring spaces of the modern think rooms. Because they had time, the guests explored every corner of the unfinished exhibits rather than just passing through. This meant the crowd was divided during live auction, announcements and dinner, but it drove morale through the roof, as a sense of special occasion ruled every inch of the Thinkery. (Not that long ago, Austin had no really credible museums. This one looks like a first-class addition to the growing ranks of tenable cultural spaces.)
CHARITY: The devil is in the details. I debated whether to bring this up at all. Hospice Austin is such a profoundly respected charity. Its Beauty of Life luncheon is a treasured tradition that combines shopping with snacking and taking in a popular speaker, usually from the world of fashion. Friday it was Lauren Weisberger, who wrote "The Devil Wears Prada." Weisberger carefully, modestly and humorously outlined her career from liberal arts major to magazine intern and author of a bestseller turned into a hit movie, as well as scenes from motherhood and susequent novels. All that was fine. But the luncheon has grown too large. So attention is not paid to crucial details. (Heard a lot of confirming complaints about that ex post facto.)
UPDATE: Hospice Austin spokeswoman Melinda Marble responds: "We were thrilled to have more than 900 people turn out in the pouring rain to support Hospice Austin at our Beauty of Life brunch on Friday. We were also thrilled with the rain but wished it would have waited until after our event was over as it caused traffic snarls and valet parking delays. Beauty of Life has grown dramatically since its inception eight years ago. We have been truly overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback we’ve gotten from this event. We are proud and honored that so many people support our mission to provide quality end-of-life care to anyone in our community who needs it, regardless of his or her ability to pay."
BUSINESS: 100 years with the Business League. The Young Men’s Business League of Austin is not the Jaycees, Junior League or the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce. Yet it is aimed at the same set of motivated movers and shakers. And it was founded in 1913. Lobbyist A.J. Bingham and aptly named wind energy guy Wade Green met me at Dominican Joe to discuss the 250-member group’s Legacy Bash at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, slated for Oct. 10. The polished pair, after braving flash floods to keep the appointment, promised to help connect me with a businessman who remembers the scene 50 or 60 years ago, before high tech and all that came with it hit our economy. (The legendary sleepy college town days.)
FOOD: As Whole Food grows, so does the spotlight. Reported by Brian Gaar in the Statesman. "As it continues to grow into an internationally known brand, Austin-based Whole Foods Market is learning a lesson that has been taught to many up-and-coming corporations before it. The bigger the company gets, the brighter the spotlight — both for good and bad — that shines on it. That’s become a fact of life for the Austin-based natural foods grocer, which is flying higher than ever with more than 350 stores and posting record profits. Nearly everything the company does makes news these days. "In some ways, it’s a compliment to how people see our company," said Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb. "I do think we’re a leader in the food industry and people look to us in that respect. And so when we take a step or a make decision, it gets reported on."" http://bit.ly/15eWPKD(And so it should be.)
SPORTS: Under the spreading oak tree, a boardwalk trail awaits: Reported by Ben Wear in the Statesman: "With the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk project entering its stretch run, a new problem has cropped up. Actually, the sizable oak tree has been standing in the way of the project throughout the years of planning and construction for the $20.7 million job. However, city project manager David Taylor says, only in recent weeks has the full implication of the tree’s awkward location become clear to him — and the need to do something about it. That something, Taylor said, will not include felling the oak, which might or might not qualify as a "heritage tree" under the city of Austin’s tree protection ordinance. Trees with a diameter 24 inches or greater meet that standard and cannot be removed without the permission of certain city officials or boards laid out in city law. An unofficial measurement by the American-Statesman indicated the tree might be 25 inches thick." http://shar.es/Km4GU(Can’t wait to beat my feet on this boardwalk!)