Beauty in all directions

As part of the practice of being in beauty, I sauntered Ladybird Lake during our fall butterfly season. On such a gorgeous day,  walking in beauty came easily. I was surrounded.

Sometimes you just feel like dancing. This town.

West Austin Studio Tour – South

Took a short tour of a couple South venues on the West Austin Studio tour. I’ve been curious about the Space music rehearsal studio on Manchaca Road for awhile.  The Sound : Vision show featured work from the Austin Art Refugees, a roving band of artists I will be following, shown in the gallery below: Hannah Lee, Ann Wieding, Dave McClinton, Patrick Moran and Bart Kibbe.  I had to stop in at David Amdur’s studio to see his new stone and wood carvings and check out the latest addition to the Manchaca Road corridor, Articulture, making art out of life.  More to come next week, when we’ll have another chance to explore more Westside art.

Sunday Saunter at the Blanton Museum of Art

Sunday afternoon with good friends enjoying art and music in the beautiful gallery of the Blanton Museum of Art on the UT Austin campus.

BlantonGalleryI’ve included a photo gallery and posted a video of one of the kinetic sculptures in La línea continua, a selection of approximately 70 works from the Judy and Charles Tate Collection of Latin American art.

Austin Bucket list: Brunch at Fonda San Miguel

Stepping into the courtyard of Fonda San Miguel takes you into another time and place. Awash in rich colors and unique and sometimes unexpected art the setting is certainly a fitting tribute to the fresh and flavorful menu. Laughing_girl
I’ve battled crowds at Happy hour and somehow managed to find a cozy nook, but brunch is the signature dining experience at Fonda San Miguel. I knew it would be impossible to enjoy a light meal when we were greeted by the desserts, a delectable array of sumptuous confections spanning the north side of the table. Dessert We were fortunate to catch Chef Miguel Ravago holding court at the salad and seafood table. ChefMiguelHis running commentary was extremely entertaining, but my prime directive was to determine how I could taste as many savory dishes as possible before I paid homage to my sweet tooth. Savory highlights included the exquisite ceviche, roasted quail, spinach salad tossed in sesame oil, and the nopales. The usual suspects: tamales, guacamole, corn souffle, beans and veggies were all well represented. SeafoodSalad Chef Miguel’s primary residence is London with an eye to opening a restaurant in Paris. He presided over the table with a kind of terrible grace, knowing his power, yet choosing to be kind. Meeting him was certainly a highpoint. Veggies After breathing deeply and sipping my fifth cup of coffee, the moment had arrived. moredessertFortunately, my companions had expertise in the art of fine dining and brunch excess. Afterward, we strolled slowly through the Harry Ransom Center remembering family who had gone to War, so close, yet so far from the warmth and ambiance of Fonda San Miguel.

Barton Creek flowing into Twin Falls

Fall in the Barton Creek greenbelt brings out the butterflies and the Autumn flowers. While there are not as many cypress at Gus Fruh park, the clatter of the sycamore and cottonwood leaves lends an ambient aural texture to a sunny, cool South Austin saunter.

I miss the clouds of monarch butterflies wafting over campus, Ladybird Lake and my back yard, but the few brave travelers I saw this October made me realize how each one was unique.  Some were jaunty, dancing their way south, others seemed very determined and bent on reaching their goal, some had torn wings , a few that flitted merrily through sprinklers.  But they need milkweed, so please consider buying seeds or seedlings to help them in their long trip from Mexico to Canada and back.

What a relief to see and hear the rushing water of Barton Creek. It’s been a long parched summer but autumn in Texas is truly something worth celebrating.

Sneek peak at IEIaustin’s Canopy premier

IEI Austin Gallery @ Immediatag is a new gallery in Austin, Texas featuring contemporary art from emerging, mid career and established artists. The gallery is the latest contributor to the creative community centered around Canopy at 916 Springdale Road in East Austin. It is presented as part of a collaboration between IEI Austin, a design firm focused on sustainability, and Immediatag, a software and services company offering mobile design services to cultural institutions. Join the crowd on Saturday, August 24th for the Canopy premier of IEI’s new show, featuring artists Adela Andea and  Casey Diebold and catch Big Medium‘s 2013 Texas Biennial celebration of contemporary art while you’re checking out the new studios.  A sneak peek of Casey Diebold’s paintings and Adla Andea’s neon sculptures are shown below.

MotoGirlsCarsRhonda Mugshot  OhYeah?LandShark    BlueAortaAdela2 LabyrinthJazz HighwayMoving Parts

South by South Austin 2013

What’s a local to do among the swarm of music crazed SXSWesters? Some of us were here in the beginning – we’re the ones saying it will never be that cool again.  And we’re right, from our perspective.  But there are ways to savor the flavor without getting trapped.  If someone handed me a Prince ticket I would have braved the crush, but I settled for what promises to become a growing South by South Austin fringe escapade, except for a quick walk across Ladybird Lake to see Alt-J and Richard Thompson (links are to music and interviews). Hats off, by the way, to these Brits for their tasty back beats and edgy vocals.  Running into friends, enjoying the serendipity of roaming – a welcome break in the routine – hunting for musical treasure. Anyone notice that the hipsters are getting younger every year?

Heading to South Congress seemed inevitable and given the 25 years I lived and partied in 78704, a homecoming.  It’s more of a circus these days than it used to be, so rather than dive into the fray I found a stool at Enoteca  and savored a glass of white wine.  Then I headed South.  As chance would have it, I found myself at one of my favorite South Austin restaurants, Evangeline’s. Besides some fine cajun family cooking they have good music, but better get there before 6 or you’ll have to wait for a table. Fueled and ready for a few hours of dancing, we found exactly what we were looking for at the One 2 One, dancing to the funky soul sounds of LZ Love .  The last time I went to the One 2 One I saw Sister 7, another great dance band.  Keep this club on your radar, it has a bigger dance floor than most and is a new venture by Danny Crooks, former impresario of Soap Creek Saloon.  South Lamar and Manchaca now boasts The Saxon Pub, the One 2 One and Strange Brew, recently named best new venue by the Austin Chronicle. Then there’s Patsy’s Cafe off Hwy 71 and Sam’s Town Point,  for a trip from hip into classic Austin. I only stayed for an hour at Sam’s but it was truly a Social Logical experience. I have SXSW to thank for showing me the sad, sweet songs by Rebekah Pulley, the soulful funk of transgender diva LZ Love and Brit sensation’s ALt-J and Richard Thompson’s brief appearance behind the fence at Waterloo Records.  To those who want a taste of SXSW without the parking hassle and badges – South Austin might just be a true haven for the weird.