I grew up in a no-man’s land: 30 years ago, most locals wouldn’t have even considered the old farm near Barr Mansion part of Austin. It was the early 80’s and Austin was a different scene. We would come “into town” on weekends and order tacos at Tamale House, visit the original Whole Foods and eat vegetarian chili at Martin Brothers. That wonderful stretch along Airport Boulevard, which many now consider Central Austin, was countryside and my second home. My grandma had her table at the old Bennigan’s, where she drank Irish coffees after work, and my grandpa, always dressed in a freshly pressed suit, was a regular at the Broken Spoke.
Musician & Co-Owner of The Rattle Inn
By the time you read this, I will be either celebrating or lamenting the passage of my 61st birthday and my 39th year as a resident of Austin, Texas — both significant milestones, for sure! But the one constant in my life, besides change, is my love for music. From an early age, I was blessed with parents who encouraged my siblings and me to study music: at six, I had learned to play the recorder as well as read and write music. At eight, we tried piano, which I wish I played as well today as I did 50 years ago! At nine, I grabbed my sister’s baritone four-string guitar and taught myself the local beer commercial jingle — and that was how my show biz career began!
Will Bryant's Illustrated Love Story
From preteen love to a lasting marriage, a sweet story of how opposites really do attract.
I cannot remember meeting William for the first time. I wish I could say there was a moment in time that crowds parted, our eyes met and my life changed forever, but in all reality the first time we met, he was probably wearing his four-inch-thick glasses and an oversized Michael Jordan jersey, and I was probably rocking some overalls, Reeboks and a scrunchie in my painfully long blond hair. Our relationship began like any other middle school romance. The only difference? Twelve and a half years later, we’re still together.
Most of us are incredibly hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up for not being thin, attractive, successful or intelligent enough. When we fail or make a mistake we feel something has gone terribly wrong. The truth is, nothing is wrong. We’re imperfect human beings living imperfect human lives. This is the way things are supposed to be. Instead of fighting against this truth and making ourselves miserable in the process, we have another option. We can embrace our flawed state with compassion, giving ourselves what we really need to be happy.
TJ Tucker: How a small town boy from West Texas who loved to draw became the creative director for the state’s most renowned publication, Texas Monthly.
I grew up on a ranch in West Texas. One day, when I was six years old, I spied my dad sketching something on a piece of torn cattle feed sack. He’d just formed a partnership with another rancher, and he was sketching out ideas for the new venture’s cattle brand. It was simple: the first letter of each man’s last name — a “T” and an “H,” combined into one symbol. I’d seen cattle brands before, of course, but I’d never really considered their origin. It was an enlightening moment — the idea that you could marry form and content to communicate something meaningful.
He may be on the design team for the 2012 London Olympics Aquatics Centre, but it’s in his hometown that he’s most interested in creating thought-provoking design
When I was born in San Antonio, my parents brought me home to a house designed and built by my father, one of the best architects I know. In my neighborhood, my father designed many of the homes, and no two were the same. They spoke with a modern and radical vocabulary and they are still relevant today.
I often tell people I’m an entrepreneur because I’m unemployable. In college, I would skip class to read Ayn Rand, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ernest Hemingway, and Joseph Conrad or to ride my mountain bike on the Greenbelt. I waited tables at Pizza Nizza (now Austin Java on Barton Springs), so I could save money to feed my wanderlust. I kept taking off on cycling and backpacking adventures around Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, living out of a tent most of the time because I was broke. I made a humble living racing as an amateur cyclist on the U.S. Pro Tour for a couple years and saw a lot more of the back of Lance’s jersey than the front of it. Ultimately, I decided there had to be an easier way to make a living.
Owner, Buyer, + Creative Director, Bootleg Newsprint & Bootleg, A Fine Fashion Fete (1318 S. Congress Ave., in an Airstream); Fashion Stylist
From the bright lights of NYC to the wide-open spaces of the Hill Country and now opening a shoe boutique in an Airstream in SoCo, this stylish dreamer reflects.
For the past few years, I’ve wanted to print T-shirts with a simple slogan: “Austin, Texas: It was better 10 minutes ago.” Whether they’d counter or reinforce the “Keep Austin Weird” manifesto depends on your perspective. To me, it seems like Austin is increasingly leaning more whiney and less weird. And it’s the less weird part that has become known as “Old Austin” waxing whiney. It boils down to this truth: whether you arrived last week or in 1977, whether you were drawn by education or politics, whether you were following Willie Nelson or Micheal Dell, there’s always somebody around to insist you got here too late. Somebody will tell you that you just missed Austin’s glory days.