Chanel Dror and Eric Tarlo's Perfect Night Out
My Austin story is a typical one. I first arrived as an eager UT freshman, then fell in love with the city and thought I’d stick around for a while after graduation. With that, my personal progression of nightlife revelry was quintessential as well: frequenting “Dirty 6th” while I could still stomach it, moving west as an enlightened upperclassman, then reaching what I consider to be true local status by heading out to the newest (or oldest) dives and hotspots, both in and out of downtown.
Ever since the W landed itself on the corner of 3rd and Lavaca a year and a half ago—and with it, an updated, originally contentious, Austin City Limits studio— going out has been turned up a few notches. While Eric and I have yet to reach the zenith of Austin social-dom as ACL donors, we’re fortunate enough to have some great friends at KLRU and Moody Theater who make it possible for us to take part in one of Austin’s proudest attractions each month. I’ll never forget our first taping together: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on a Monday evening, while the studio was still on campus. We danced until the very end, marched behind the brass band all the way to the freight elevator in true jazz parade fashion and then spotted ourselves on PBS four months later. It was simply incredible.
Since the studio moved to neighbor the trendy W hotel, our ACL routine has changed from a long queue outside the communications building with two complimentary beers to one that’s quite a bit more special. Since Eric works downtown, I often take a Car2Go to meet him at The Living Room at the W for drinks (specifically, for back-to-back jalapeño cucumber lemonades). Then, we head upstairs to the venue just before showtime. After 90 minutes on our feet, we’re typically starving by the time the taping ends, and The Peached Tortilla and 24 Diner always hit the spot when it comes to late-night eating downtown.
It can be a tad bit overwhelming to keep up with booming Austin nightlife these days. But we take comfort in knowing that many more nights spent at ACL lie in our future, and that those nights out will undoubtedly be among our best and happiest memories.