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another guest post from one of our austin friends, tolly of the blog austin eavesdropper! tolly is awesome and i wish we had more time to hang out with her in austin, she’s so much fun :)
The 5 Things I Love About Austin, Texas
By Tolly Moseley
Free spirits. Hippie maidens. Band groupies and mustache-wearing gents. These are our kin here in Austin, Texas, where Free People came to play recently.
When I found out that Austin band The Happen-Ins would be the stars of Free People’s July 2011 catalogue, and that they’d be shooting at some of our favorite clubs in town, I squealed in delight. Where better to celebrate the delicious lazy days of summer than in Austin, a city where even the suited CEO’s loosen their ties for a rock concert? Where you can take your lunch break at a swimming hole, or bust out vintage cowboy boots regardless of seasonality or dress code?
I had an awesome time meeting the Free People girls when they came to town for The Happen-Ins show, and wanted to show them everything there was to see here in Austin. I also want to show you. Here are my 5 favorite things about my beloved city, a place I hope you get to visit sometime:
1. Even when we’re fancy, we’re a little hippie.
It’s true. We can’t resist vintage. The entire zip code of 78704 in South Austin has been officially zoned for the selling of hip, recycled clothing. I’m kidding. But the great thing about Austin is that we never see an occasion NOT to rock a gently used frock, be it SXSW or a gala. So if you’re ever here and have a hankering for vintage, check out some of my faves: Feathers Boutique (for boots), Laced with Romance (for dresses), or tweet my girls Homebody Vintage for accessories/home stuff.
2. We like to play dress up.
Austinites love a good dress-up party. That’s me above, dressed as David Bowie. Isn’t the resemblance striking?
3. We make things.
DIY is huge here. That applies to crafts, food, and even businesses. I wish I could tell you I knit-tagged that whole car above … but I didn’t, it’s the handiwork of Knitta Please, one of our local craft artists. You’ll find her knit-tagged objects scattered about all over Austin, from parking meters to statues, and they reflect how much we adore handmade – not to mention the creative spirits behind it.
4. We can’t get enough live music – ever.
In terms of survival, music is second only to air. For Austinites, I mean. We’re the city who invented Austin City Limits (the show and the music festival), Spoon, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and of course The Happen-Ins! Stroll down Red River at night, by The Mohawk, Club DeVille, Stubb’s, Emo’s … and your ears will fill with honest-to-goodness rock n’ roll, screaming guitars and pounding drums. This city is a music-lover’s dream, and if you’re ever here, chances are a friend of a friend of a friend is playing the same nights you’re in town. If we’re not a musician ourselves, we’re probably dating one.
5. We welcome visitors and vagabonds with open arms.
I have a personal belief that Austin chooses people, and if you’re reading this post, chances are she’s chosen you, too. You can find me here, and if you ever venture down to Texas for a visit, I’d love to show you around. We’ll bask at Barton Springs Pool, eat tofu and/or bacon (we are equally enthusiastic about both), and find multiple excuses to play dress up.
All photos by Tolly except for last one (Austin Motel sign) which is courtesy of Ellen Jo Roberts.
Tucked discretely among Austin’s best restaurants and vintage shops on South Congress, the Hotel San Jose is a peaceful oasis either to stay for a vacation or just to pop in for a drink on the patio. Self-described as a hotel with soul, the San Jose’s décor includes vintage concert posters, cacti, animal printed-throws, crawling ivy plants and lots of sun-dappled shade. It’s extremely zen-like, and makes you feel very much at home – from the tray of Texas-style snacks awaiting guests in the rooms to kitchen in the lobby that serves cocktails and cold water. If you’re on South Congress, you must check it out.
nice touch – a pair of tom’s in the bathroom that you can purchase if interested.
DO: have a drink at the outdoor patio (open to public)
Also – stop next door for coffee at Jo’s – home to the famous “i love you so much” wall, and you may even run into Leslie (an Austin celeb)!