Austin

aka The ATX, the City of Ideas, Silicon Hills

Soviet Kitsch

Lee | July 9th, 2014
From the Russian House's New Years Eve party.

From the Russian House’s New Years Eve party.

I was ready to write this place off without ever trying it, The Russian House, where they have over 100 kinds of infused vodkas, and provide their patrons various Russian garb to wear, like fur muffs, etc. Sounds cheesy, but oh no! As I sipped my Elderflower and Orange vodka and relaxed on some cushions on their breezeway room that is the perfect balance between inside and outside I decided this is my new spot for meeting friend in a central locale.

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Viva Old Vegas!

Lee | May 5th, 2014
El Cortez, one of the oldest hotels in Vegas.

El Cortez, one of the oldest hotels in Vegas.

May I recommend if you get to Vegas you take a quick drive straight down The Strip past all the new mega casinos and hang a sharp left after the wedding chapels and burlesque shows and head straight for the heart of Old School Vegas, Freemont Street. Actually, stop at the Peppermill Fireside Lounge for a cocktail as big as your head and some romantic neon ambiance. Read More

TRUE CRIME

Lee | May 4th, 2014

TOTL

The recent craze for HBO series True Detective, has me pining for more of one of my favorite television crime dramas of all time, Top of the Lake, directed by Jane Campion. While True Detective plays with the occult and nihilist philosophy 101 in order to spin a basic cowboy detective romp as a something deeper, stranger and more meaningful, Top of the Lake is truly, an unusual and fresh spin on the genre.

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Austin Texture

Lee | May 4th, 2014
Shibori dyed silk scarf from Miranda Bennett Studio

Shibori dyed silk scarf from Miranda Bennett Studio

It’s summer in Austin and it’s time to strategically engineer every piece of clothing to be as feather-light as possible. It’s about to be 105° for 70 days straight, y’all. This is when I turn to light silks and cottons and consider a strong accent piece instead of layers my favorite stand-bys.

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Radical Modularity

Lee | May 3rd, 2014

Ara2

For several months I’ve been getting more and more excited for the possibility of a smart phone that will be modular, allowing users to switch out components like batteries, screens, even your camera and processor, making it easier to fix and upgrade your phone. Could we be moving towards a future where planned obsolescence isn’t a notion any longer?? Probably not, but consumers will have the option to buy products that can be fixed instead of discarded and that may change things.

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Michelada Time

Lee | April 30th, 2014
Michelada at the Hotel San Jose in Austin, TX

Michelada at the Hotel San Jose in Austin, TX

Not long ago Micheladas, the Mexican beer cocktail likened to a bloody mary made with beer in place of vodka, were the exclusive purview of tex-mex restaurants. Although recipes vary the most popular version consists of a salt-rimmed glass of beer seasoned with spices, fresh lime juice and clamato, a mix of tomato and clam juice.
Recent years have seen this refreshing drink sneak onto the drink lists of some of the most respected “mixologists” in Austin. North Austin’s Nomad bar uses Sriracha, fresh garlic, and a dash of horseradish for a refreshing twist. Even the Hotel San Jose is in on the game with a version using Worcestershire, Tobasco and a hit of fresh ground pepper. Even my friends in the Northeast aren’t balking at the thought of clamato any longer, so you know something this tasty is gonna go far.

 

Hotel San Jose patio, perfect for a beer cocktail.

Hotel San Jose patio, perfect for a beer cocktail.

Nerd Words

Lee | February 11th, 2014

TYPE 3

It’s the 21st century and typography is hip, and understandably so. Talking typography gets just about every creative I know fired up. People have very dearly held opinions on the topic, and ever since the 2007 documentary Helvetica the history and design behind typefaces has garnered a wider appreciation.

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The Reason Prohibition Was Repealed

Lee | February 10th, 2014
Peche 2

The absinthe fountain at Peché, a bar specializing in pre-prohibition era drinks in Austin, TX.

On my first trip to Europe in my early twenties I timidly smuggled a small bottle of Absinthe, wrapped in dirty t-shirts, into my backpack to save for a classy and daring drinking experience back in my dorm room with my duly impressed college friends. Needless to say, even with a sugar cube and a lighter, we thought the stuff was disgusting.

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Refresh Your Digital Wallpaper

Lee | February 10th, 2014
Desktop 3

Awesome desktop wallpaper by artist Mary Kate McDevitt

One of my go-to blogs for inspiration and new cool stuff is The Fox is Black and one of my favorite of their features is the Desktop Wallpaper Project. Every couple weeks they publish the artwork of an artist designed specifically as a desktop for your PC, smartphone or tablet.

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New Country Outlaws

Lee | February 9th, 2014

Moonpies

Any survey of the new Austin country music scene would be remiss in leaving out that band of long-haired young cowboys Mike & the Moonpies.  They’re somewhat of a sensation around here. With just about every band member sporting some combination of long hair, a mustache, mutton-chops or all three, they certainly look the part of Outlaw Country legends reincarnate.

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Make-up for Thinking Women

Lee | February 9th, 2014
Lisa Tippi

A Tippi Hedron look as re-created by make-up artist Lisa Eldridge

I can get nerdy about pretty much anything. Recently I had my first experience as a bridesmaid and leading up to the wedding I got pretty nervous that I had really never learned much about cosmetic application beyond a swipe of eyeliner (and even that was iffy). I decided I needed to take matters into my own hands and luckily I found a make-up artist who is also a history, vintage and fashion nerd of the best ilke. She’s a smart lady, one who believes less is more but who isn’t afraid to play with colors and shapes. Lisa Eldridge was my ideal tutor in the fine art of make-up and I finally learned what to do with an eyeshadow brush.

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Tequila Trend

Lee | December 5th, 2013

._DRINK_TNT_1 DRINK_TNT_1

For many years tequila, in my mind, was inextricably linked to the ritualistic, and slightly gross, party routine of salt on the back of the hand, lick it, swig some tequila, and swiftly suck on a lime to stop the burn of that cheap liquor burn. Slowly, I’ve come around to the smoothness of good tequila’s sipped or mixed into a freshly made, and not-too-sweet margarita. And with tequila bars popping up, it looks like the rest of the world has too.

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Who are the ATL Twins?

Lee | December 5th, 2013

PPL_ATL_Twins_1

Sure, I mean the ATL Twins had recognition as the side-show attraction to James Franco’s Alien in this year’s Spring Breakers. They’d made a minor splash with a 2011 Vice feature that chronicled their unorthodox lifestyle, which includes sharing a bed, a profession, and their women. But it wasn’t until they started popping up at this years New York Fashion Week that it seems they’d truly arrived.

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The French Diet

Lee | December 5th, 2013

FOOD_garance_dore

It’s not that it’s a French food fad, it’s a French-way-of-life movement. It emphasizes quality over quantity and food as an integral part of our social and personal lives. It has less to do with Frenchifying to loose weigh, as emphasized in French Women Don’t Get Fat, and more to do with slowing down and learning to appreciate the finer things.

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Train Traveling Video Art

Lee | December 4th, 2013

TECH_Aitken_1

Doug Aitken seems to be the very first ever cross-over video artist. Aitken is well known for his large scale, sometimes building sized, video installations that usually employ crisp images of human subjects whose interactions form  loose narratives. His work is cinematic, very pretty, and generally accessible. What he’s best at is creating a buzz around it, and with the Station to Station project he’s teamed up with Levi’s to do a  cross-country, cross-disciplinary moving art installation and traveling festival featuring a pretty impressive line-up of established musicians and artists.

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