WEST: 2018

This year I did both weekends of the West Austin Studio Tour. According to their website, WEST 2018 featured “198 Artist Studios, 155 Exhibitions, 20 Happenings, and 8 Libraries.” With a few exceptions, these locations were west of I-35, east of Mopac, south of 183, and north of William Cannon. That’s a huge swath of Austin—it’s impossible to see everything even over two weekends. So, my strategy for WEST (and EAST) has always been to pick a few places that look interesting and then visit some other nearby spots.

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Texas Memorial Museum

The Texas Memorial Museum is located on north end of the University of Texas campus. It opened in 1939 as a state natural history museum, but was eventually transferred to UT in 1959. Many of their items are donations, bequests, or discoveries by university scientists. This museum is a popular field trip for school children, but I can vouch that adults will enjoy their visit as well.

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MJ&M: 2018

Bill and I attended two benefit concerts as part of the sixth annual charity event called Mack, Jack & McConaughey. Mack Brown, the former UT football head coach, is now a sports commentator for ESPN. Jack Ingram is a singer/songwriter who just won a Country Music Award for co-writing Miranda Lambert’s hit, Tin Man. And actor Matthew McConaughey might be best-known around these parts for his naked bongo playing back in 1999. Daytime MJ&M events included a fashion show and a golf tournament, but we only attended the two evening concerts at the Austin City Limits / Moody Theater.

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HONK!TX: 2018

Twenty-four street bands participated in this year’s HONK!TX, an annual festival of community street bands held here in Austin. I have been able to attend all but one of the eight festivals. For the first time, the Friday evening performances were held at Mueller Lake Park. I liked this location better than those previous Fridays on South Congress. In Mueller, the bands were further apart (but not too far), parking was plentiful, and I didn’t have to worry about being hit by a car while crossing a busy street. My only suggestion is that more food trucks should be invited next time.

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SXSW 2018: The Weird and the Cool

Adiós, SXSW 2018. Overall, it was a good conference. The weather was nearly perfect. Free food was a little scarce, but food trucks were abundant. My Interactive highlight was seeing Bernie Sanders from the third row. I went to ten movies. My favorite was The Dawn Wall. Bill, the serious film fanatic, counted up 28 movies. Here’s what else I discovered this year…

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SXSW: March 17 2018

The final day of SXSW 2018 fell on St. Patrick’s Day. I wandered around the Austin Convention Center, joined friends for lunch at Gus’s Fried Chicken, and then walked across town to the stages at Whole Foods and Waterloo Records. Throughout the afternoon, downtown became more and more crowded as holiday revelers arrived. Bill and I had hoped to see the evening’s world premiere of Isle of Dogs, but we were unable to snag express passes, and around 4:30 PM, we heard that the line was already impossibly long for the 8 PM screening. So Bill headed off to see a different movie and I decided to head home.

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