Tag Archives: eastside

Blue Owl Brewing

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Originally written for and published by Texas Lifestyle Magazine 🙂

 

Austin and its surrounding towns are becoming a mecca for small-starting breweries, which we are not mad about here at Texas Lifestyle. In fact, we are starting a monthly beer series! Know of an amazing brewery that we need to cover? Let us know!

Blue Owl is first up—tucked away off East Cesar Chavez, they create five sour-mashed beers, and they’re all pretty great. New to sour-mashed? I was too—don’t worry, they’re not eye-popping sour, just a bit more tart than your usual draft.

Sour-mashing is a much faster process than barrel-aged sour beverages, so the product is a taste that’s closer to their natural state.

OK, OK, onto the beers. Blue Owl makes 1) Spirit Animal- a sour pale ale, 2) Little Boss- sour session wheat, 3) Professor Black- sour cherry stout, 4) Van Dayum!- sour red ale, and 5) Dapper Devil- sour raspberry Belgian strong, their winter seasonal.

I’d definitely recommend stopping in for a brewery tour and scratch-off tasting card—it’s an awesome deal and allows you to figure out which sour-mashed is for you. The brewery is super cute, too. I know, I know, breweries aren’t supposed to be “cute,” right? Well, whatever, this place is cute—quaint seating, tiny decorative plants, owls everywhere (not live owls…yet). I’m especially a fan of the small, lit-up patio area.

However, there’s good news for those of you who’d rather enjoy a drink at home—Blue Owl is now canning their concoctions. You should be able to find them at any grocery store, but they sell fast!

Put a new spin on your typical after-work happy hour, weekend BBQ, or nightcap. Blue Owl’s sour-mashed beers are so fresh and unique—you’ll love the change from the ordinary.

Conjunto Los Pinkys: The Sound of Austin’s Eastside

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Originally an article I wrote for Texas Lifestyle Magazine 🙂

CLP

Ever wondered what Austin’s East Sixth Street was like in the 1950’s? Isidro Samilpa and Chencho Flores are two musicians from Austin’s Chicano music scene whose careers started there—and are still thriving with weekly performances in the same area, at The White Horse!

Along with Javier Cruz (bass), Clemencia Zapata (drums), and Bradley Jaye Williams (bajo quinto, accordion, voz), these five make up Conjunto Los Pinkys, a traditional “conjunto” band founded in 1991. Conjunto is a Texas-Mexican style dance music which features the button accordion and bajo sexto. According to their Facebook page, “Many international and regional musical styles are represented in conjunto music, including the influence of the Spanish, German, Polish and Czech, American popular music, Mexican-Norteño ranchera, Colombian cumbia, waltz, redova, shotis, huapango, bolero, mambo and country two-step.”

Sounds like a lot all rolled into one sound, right? Well, that’s what makes the experience of seeing them live—and dancing to their music—so, so, so much fun. Don’t know how to dance? Neither do I. However, The White Horse does have a full service bar and there’s a high chance that an adorably wrinkled gentleman in a cowboy hat will ask you to dance and I dare you to say no. You won’t. Plus, just hanging out around the dance floor and watching other people dance (especially the older couples dressed in their Sunday bests) is a blast.

“The White Horse is one of the last places on 6th Street where this kind of culture now exists,” said bandleader Bradley Jaye Williams. “We are thankful to The White Horse for embracing this musical tradition and important aspect of the conjunto music scene—the community.”

Howdy Darrell, booking manager at The White Horse, said that although they are technically a honky-tonk bar, they wanted to include other genres and bands from the community. On the Sunday tardeada (which means afternoon party in Spanish), he said, “It’s a great get together and an important part of the diverse, eclectic musical community we have here in town.”

Conjunto Los Pinkys have recorded two CDs with Rounder Records and have performed at the Tejano-Conjunto Festival and Fiesta de las Flores in San Antonio, Accordion Kings in Houston, Del Rio Cinco De Mayo and Diez y Seis Celebration, The Johnstown Folk Festival in Pennsylvania, Day of the Dead in Birmingham as well as numerous clubs, dancehalls, weddings, anniversaries, quinceñera parties, and church bazaars.

Want more Los Pinkys? There’s a fantastic documentary that’s been made about them. They’re kind of a big deal. Two years ago, Austin’s local PBS-TV affiliate KLRU TV filmed the band at home, on the job, in the recording studio, and at their weekly Sunday dance at The White Horse for seven weeks. The 26-minute documentary “Tardeadas” has aired around the country and is available on KLRU’s website.

Stop into The White House this Sunday Funday for some live music, a cold beer, and a Bomb Taco from the food truck in their back patio area. Who knows, maybe you’ll even be brave enough to dance—the accordion starts at five!

About the author: Alysha Kaye is a high school English teacher in Kyle, TX and recent author—her debut novel The Waiting Room is available on Amazon and at BookPeople. When she’s not wrangling 9th graders, she’s blogging, reading, or exploring Austin.

For more, follow her on Twitter @alyshakaye7 or check out her website: http://www.alyshakaye.com

 

The #1 Way to Stay Young

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Three words. Livin’ inda ghetto.

I love, love, love it. Living on the eastside (represent!) completes me. I can get a breakfast taco from a LEGIT, just-moved-here-illegally, mustached taqueria God at any time of the day. I also never have to mess with annoying apartment gate codes because my gate is rigged to stay open at all times. Safe? Well, there are cops and ambulances around regularly, so I honestly don’t worry.

I pay half as much as I would for a place this size in a “nicer” area. I’m close to downtown, super close to my job, and if I was ever in some sort of trouble, I truly feel like I could knock on a neighbor’s door and ask for protection. I definitely live next to some shady people. In exchange, I’d help their kids learn English. That’s when Lifetime would FINALLY contact me. Working titles: The Teacher Next-Door, The Teacher Who Refused to Move, A Project in the Projects. HAHAHA. I don’t live in the projects. But you know Hollywood.

Last night, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning—I thought because of the thunder. But then I heard people partying. Loudly. I guess we Texans really do love our weather, but I didn’t think there was anyone who got wasted in the parking lot (in the intense downpour) and whooped every time lightning struck. This might not have anything to do with livin’ inda ghetto, but it’s awesome nonetheless.

Today I tried to find an alterations shop to fix one of my dresses. You know how you always hear about “fronts”? I’m not gonna lie, when I walked into the hole in the wall shop, the owners definitely looked at each other as if to say, “Oh shit, an actual costumer. What are we supposed to be again, alterations, right? Not cocaine, definitely not cocaine.”

Then we get to one of the best perks about living on the eastside—something no one ever mentioned to me (or else I would have moved here a LOT sooner). There are some FYYYNE-ass people up in hurr. Think about it—everything is cheap. What kind of people are poor (besides the obvious people mentioned above…druggies, illegals, etc.)? Well, there are the starving artists—yummy. The hot, young college boy toys (I can look, OK). The skinny jeaned, scarf loving hipsters, if you’re into that. And then there are young professionals like me who simply refuse to pay $100 more every month just to lower their chances of getting raped. You should see the sexy people at Planet Fitness on East Riverside. It’s very confusing to see so many attractive young people in one place. It’s like college—and it always takes me a minute to adjust and realize, oh yeah, I graduated a long time ago…this is not the quad…none of these people will ever be serving me a cup of trashcan punch. Going to HEB is even better—right when I’m convinced that I’m 18 and I’ve been transported to that tiny HEB right off campus, one of my students pops out from behind the bread aisle. “HI MISS MENDEZ!” Bubble bursted. But so worth it while it lasted—I haven’t felt this young since I was young.

Then there are the hidden gems of bars and food trucks. Eastside is crawling with them. My latest find was The Vortex on East Manor—they have live performances of different sorts. Attached is the Butterfly Bar, which has the coolest 1920’s vibe. And outside is Patrizi’s, the most delicious Italian food truck, with tons of seating and a stage for live music. But can you see any of this from the street? No. There’s a shady lookin’ fence you walk behind and then you’re struck with the awesomeness. As is the story with a lot of bars, restaurants, stores, and food trucks on the eastside. It’s part of the fun.

So basically, if you’re feeling old or bored or stale or lonely or uninteresting, get your ass over here! We are waiting with open, tattooed arms and smiling, gold-toothed, taco-filled faces.

On a serious note, as a post script—the eastside is really not the ghetto. I think it used to be, maybe? But it’s changed a lot. I see more of the hot people I mentioned than the shady people I mentioned, ya feel me? I mean, it’s still not smart to walk around my hood in a skanky dress, but I don’t think it’s 100% safe to do that in any area. That being said, sometimes, when I’m driving down Oltorf, I really forget that I’m in America. Every sign is in Spanish! I dig it though.