Archive for November, 2005

Aztec splendor

azteca.jpgTesoros has 21 traditional calendar designs stocked in readiness for 2006, which is just around the corner. So you can take whatever design has been chosen for the customers by the businesses that hand them out as a complimentary end-of-year thank-you or you can head downtown and select the one you like best. Shown is part of one of the splendiferous “Aztec” illustrations. Or choose your patron saint, if he or she happens to be among the most popular ones. The smallest calendars make good party favors or stocking presents. They all go fast.


· FoodHawk, an online restaurant guide for Central Texas, launched recently.

· Rollergirls, a series about roller derby by Austin’s Action Figure, will premiere on A&E January 2nd.

· Last Friday, KLRU’s SXSW Presents aired East Austin Stories, a collection of short documentaries produced by University of Texas film students. My favorite film was the documentary about boxer Ann Wolfe, who runs RPM Boxing.

· Austin band the Kevins (MySpace) has been getting some music blog love.

· Nice Flickr photo of a boy bungying in front of Austin’s nose hair trimmer.

· Envision Central Texas started a Blogspot blog (no content there yet).

· has some tips for getting off junk mail lists and an interactive Google map of mountain bike trails in Austin.

· Everyday j, the blog of Jason Molin, has been quite entertaining lately.

· Austin’s The Sword has signed with Kemado Records. Their upcoming record will be released on February 14, 2006. Catch them at Emo’s December 16th.

· Check out photos from the weekend’s East Austin Studio Tour.

· HGTV producers are looking for Austin homeowners to be featured in its “What You Get For Your Money” show.

Knights errant

onda2.jpgDid the knights shown here, standing over the door at Nueva Onda, wander there from the Saxon Pub? Are they discards? They seem smaller in scale, but, then, the Saxon knight may once have been not so large. The Saxon knight has sometimes been resplendent in silver radiator paint and sometimes has gleamed in bronze tones, as I recall.

From this image, there’s only a sense of their presence, because the photograph is from a toy camera and no matter how many times I try to capture a decent image of the Onda knights, the light’s wrong or I’m standing in the wrong place or something. This morning was no exception. Every time I walk by Nueva O. I wonder about these effigies, but nobody queried thus far has the answer. Somebody out there must know.

When the weather’s cold enough to stop for caldo on the walk to H-E-B, I’ll ask again. That should be soon. Outdoors on the patio, people are already going in for menudo big-time, to fend off the morning chill and perhaps some of last night’s excesses.

Austin Week in Review – 11/18/2005

State employees protest layoffs Ex-TRMPAC treasurer files for bankruptcy Plaintiff in long-running prison lawsuit dies
Construction worker falls 30 feet near UT GSD&M picks up BMW account Former state rep becomes top cable industry lobbyist
SEC launches investigation of Motive Charges against Los Lonely Boys drummer dismissed Clifford Antone returning to club
UT defeats Kansas 66-14 Longhorns land marquee quarterback Attorney declares council intention
Thomas to challenge Wynn for mayor Beauty school mogul found dead Woman dies after tire bounces onto her car
Bartlett mayor pleads guilty, resigns Texas GOP agrees to stop some campaign practices Burnet woman arrested for steamy letters to 15-year-old
Council approves zoning change for Spring Officer fired for fatal shooting of Daniel Rocha APD Union head calls for firing of police chief

A slice in a trice

So the website isn’t yet updated to reflect the opening, but this is the second day of business for Home Slice Pizza. The coupon gets you either a slice for which you’d have otherwise paid $2.25 or else $4 off on an entire pie of your choice (dine-in only). There are several varieties from which to select that slice. On Fridays and Saturdays, the walk-up window will be open until 3:00 o’clock in the morning, a boon to nocturnal denizens of the Avenue. On other nights, general closing time will be 11 o’clock. Every open day begins at 11:00 a.m. Tuesdays the store will stay dark. The crust today was as it should be. And Home Slice makes a New Haven white. Those who know a New Haven white should be happy indeed at the prospect. Next visit, and there will be a next, that’s the one to be sampled.

“Tejano has moved to a new home” part II

Around here, the new home is nowhere. Since late 2004, even so-called “SuperTejano” 1560-AM has gone.

Julian Limon Fernandez (of Los Texas Wranglers) wrote an open letter this fall that I can’t find on line anywhere about this situation, which appeared in print around town, including in La Prensa, as I recall. On Monday, the local daily carried a feature called “Austin radio tuning out Tejano: Interest in Mexican-Texan music fading as Latino market changes, station executive says” (byline Joe Gross) and this has been e-mailed all over town.

Yesterday, on Fiesta Musical, the entire two-hour show on KOOP 91.7-FM was taken up with discussion of this matter. Among the guests were Johnny Degollado and Marcelo Tafoya. I understood them to say that Gonzalo Barrientos is in some way looking into this matter, perhaps from the FCC angle.

It’s reported that La Ley (KKLB 92.5-FM, which frequency was the last full-time Tejano station heard in Austin on the FM band) is the number-one station of any kind among the desirable demographic aged 18 to 34, just as the Univision television network beat out all others nationally for several weeks this summer because of the telenovela La Madrastra.

This week’s Chron (“Beyond Borders,” by Christoper Gray) visits the offices of Border Media Partners, which has been behind many of these changes, at least any of them not carried out by the other big owner in town, Univision.

I hear La Ley all over town and I listen it to myself a lot when I’m on the go, because at some hours it plays lots and lots of banda music, with which I fell in love the very first time I heard it. Lately the former Super Tejano 1560-AM, which at first billed itself as musica inolvidable (unforgettable music), has been calling itself “La Lupe” and to this I also listen at times, because it plays lots of old ranchera music and plenty of Ramon Ayala y Sus Bravos del Norte.

But I and thousands of others here in Austin miss Tejano over the air. Who’s going to broadcast The Hometown Boys? La Tropa F? Michael Salgado? Jaime y Los Chamacos? Even the Kumbia Kings? These are just some of the artists that sound great coming from a radio. And I can’t even find a good on-line streaming station from somewhere else.

Lovejoy’s May Be Closing in March

A post at the Austin LiveJournal community announced that the owner of Lovejoy’s is contemplating closing his business in March after SXSW. Though it’s difficult to tell whether the change is directly related to the smoking ban, according to this Statesman article, owner Joseph Tait said he’s seen a 15 to 20 percent drop-off in sales since the ban began. In an email posted to the community, he writes:


Austin Empty Bowl Project Redux

The family and I attended last year’s annual Empty Bowl Project. It was a lot of fun. We’ve managed not to break the two bowls that we bought last year.

There was a considerable line, so be prepared to wait a bit to pick out your bowl. It did move pretty quickly though and the live music out front helps to distract from the wait. They let people into the Clayways building on Burnet in groups. They’ve got tables with all of the bowls laid out for you to choose and then pay. I think they allowed credit cards, but it may have been cash only. I can’t remember. You’re then funneled to another room where you choose your soup and you’re then herded out to the back yard area where you can sit and eat. The bowls available for silent auction are also laid out for viewing and bidding.

This year’s is Sunday from 11am-3pm. The proceeds from the bowls go to Capital Area Food Bank. I wonder if any of the soups featured in this week’s XLEnt will be available? Several of the same restaurants are mentioned.

Watch, for a free slice

slice.gifThe mysterious storefront where Aqua used to be, at 1415 South Congress, now boasts a Home Slice Pizza sign. The owners say they’ve perfected New York pizza for Austin. The website says that there’ll be submarines as well. Will they bake their own sub rolls? It’s just fine, no matter what, to have sold-by-the-slice pizza, either to walk away with or to enjoy as a sitdown with some beer. The owners, though one’s from New York State originally, are long-time Austinites. View the Queen of Pies animation and get a coupon to exchange for a free slice of pizza. Word was that Home Slice was to open last night. I hope to confirm this, coupon in hand, this evening.

Live blogging the Spring zoning decision

9:20: Arguments from supporters and opponents just ended. Signed supporters (for zoning change to authorize Spring) outnumbered opponents 68-to-28.

9:22: A representative of the Spring developers announced their commitment to donate $100k to maintain the Bouldin Creek Greenbelt and $150k towards an affordable housing non-profit.

9:26: Council Member McCracken motions to support the re-zoning on all 3 readings.

9:35: Council Member Alvarez wavers, but rambles across virtually all of the developers’ talking points to support the motion.

9:37: Council Member Leffingwell solidly affirms that the Spring is the best way to promote density and protect interior neighborhoods.

9:39: Counil Member Kim initially hesitated given the location, but now supports it. Oddly enough, she thinks that the pending downtown neighborhood plan will be an opportune time to revisit the impact of the Spring.

9:40: Council Member Dunkerley quote: “I like height and I like density, and I think this is an appropriate place for both.”

9:41: Council Member Thomas hesitates on approving all 3 readings based on the concerns expressed during the hearing. He expressed particular concerns about the nature of affordability affected by the Spring.

9:43: Mayor Wynn thinks this is a “neat little pocket of a location” and interjects the issue of tremendous energy efficiency gains from such projects on the way to his approval.

9:46: The Spring is approved on a vote of 6-to-1.

I’d be pissed if my ass weren’t so tired after sitting here for 5 hours.

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