Signs of gratitude: We asked people at Zilker Park what they’re #thankful for

Thanksgiving is a perfect time of year to reflect and to celebrate what is special to us. With the holiday on the horizon, we went out to Zilker Park and asked people what they were thankful for.



Emory, Adam and their dog Kensho were at the park visiting new friends and having a doggie play date. For Thanksgiving, they plan to visit both sides of the family and, of course, enjoy lots of delicious food.



Stephany Pereira, right, from Colombia said she will be spending the holiday with her host family in Austin. This will be her first Thanksgiving in America.



Carson and her three younger sisters, Blair, Avery and Tabitha, spent the day kicking the ball around and laughing together. For Thanksgiving they plan to go to Amarillo to spend time with their grandparents.



Katie and Chris were practicing their handstands at the park. For Thanksgiving, they are going to Katie’s Mimi’s house to enjoy her traditional cooking.




Skylar Smith and Dmytro Ivanyna came out to watch the sunset. Ivanyna, who is from Ukraine, has been in Austin for two years. This will be his second Thanksgiving in America but his first celebrating with Smith and their friends and family.




Peter spent the day playing with his two pups. Peter plans to spend the holiday taking some time to himself and relaxing at home.



Ryan Tyrell and Melanie Weinberger brought their dog Mary out to Zilker. An injured leg couldn’t keep Tyrell inside on this beautiful day. For Thanksgiving, Weinberger says she plans to volunteer with Travis County Victim Services. She said the best way to give thanks is to give back.



Katie Fingerhut gave thanks to her three cats, Todd, Kimba and Charlie. She said she will be going back home to Arkansas for Thanksgiving to visit family.



For the holiday, Edwin De Angel has planned a special family getaway at La Cantera Resort and Spa in San Antonio. After having a baby (not pictured) less than three months ago, the family is ready for a vacation.

Stuck in line on Election Day? This site wants to send you a pizza

You can’t vote for pizza today. But you can eat it while voting.

A classic mushroom and pepperoni New York City style pizza from Home Slice Pizza. 02/04/15 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN
A classic mushroom and pepperoni New York City style pizza from Home Slice Pizza. 02/04/15 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

In case you haven’t heard, this election has brought out voters in droves. Many states, including Texas, have surpassed their previous early voter turnout records, and with Election Day already off to a roaring start, overall numbers are expected to be up as well, the Washington Post reports.

One side effect to all this participation? Long (long) lines. Even with the help of maps that estimate waits at different polling locations, chances are you might have to put in a little time before casting your vote.

PHOTOS: What Election Day in Central Texas is looking like…

However, thanks to Pizza to the Polls you’ll have one more thing to do while waiting that isn’t checking your phone and picking your split ends: Eat pizza! According to the site, Pizza to the Polls wants to “deliver the one thing that pairs so perfectly with freedom” to polling locations that have long lines “full of hungry voters.”

As of noon today, the site, which allows visitors to both report long voting lines and donate to the growing pizza fund, was reporting nearly $20,000 in total donations, and an available $12,500 after the delivery of more than 300 pizzas. The site also lists the cities to which deliveries have been made thus far.

Who says fulfilling your civic duty can’t be as cheesy as it is American? Tweet Pizza to the Polls a picture of your polling location’s line and treat you and your fellow voters to comforting pizza.

ModCloth is opening its first brick-and-mortar, and it’s in Austin

Purveyor of snazzy outfits ModCloth has come to Austin before on its Modcloth IRL tour, but instead of a pop-up shop, we’re getting the brand’s first permanent storefront.

Photo via ModCloth
Photo via ModCloth

The new store opens Nov. 12 on Second Street, according to CultureMap Austin.

“Austin’s style is quirky and a bit retro, but still of-the-moment and centered on creating new trends … it’s very congruent with our styling POV,” CultureMap quotes ModCloth CEO Matt Kaness as saying in a press release. “It’s no surprise that Austin is one of our top online markets and that the local ModCloth community there made our earlier pop-up a huge success, voting resoundingly ‘Yes!’ for us to come back.”

The vintage-inspired women’s clothing brand has come through Austin before, but only temporarily. The pop-up shop in Austin stayed on Second Street from April 8 to May 30, and was ModCloth’s first stop. Apparently ModCloth loved us so much it wants to stay forever. The new store will feature their signature styles as well as their bridal line. Customers can also book an appointment with a ModStylist to help them choose the right fit.

Austin-area home featured in Solange’s new music video

Solange Knowles released her new album “A Seat at the Table” last week. A few days after she premiered two new music videos for songs featured on the album: “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Cranes in the Sky.” Both the album and videos have already been lauded by critics.

Some Austinites might recognize an Austin-area home and Hill Country landmark in the video for “Cranes in the Sky,” which Vogue reports was shot across the deserts of Texas and mountains of New Mexico.

via Youtube

The Plant at Kyle is, according to its own website, a house and “architectural landmark” located about 30 miles outside of Austin. The house as it stands today (after “beginning life in the 1920s as a shed at the Alamo Cement plant”) was built out of scrapped materials from a soon-to-be-demolished San Antonio cement plant and has won several architectural awards.

The complex claims to house the “world’s largest screened in porch,” which Solange can be seen dancing in in the “Cranes” video.

Recognize any of the other spots in the video? You can watch it in full below:

Stars Hollow meets Austin for ‘Gilmore Girls’ coffee shop takeover

It’s official: Austin loves ‘Gilmore Girls.’

Fans of the coffee-guzzling, fast-talking mother-daughter duo were out in full force on Wednesday morning for the Luke’s Diner takeover of three local coffee shops: Summermoon Coffee Bar, Vintage Heart Coffee and Caffe Medici. Diehards across the country were treated to a free cup of joe courtesy of Netflix, which is releasing its “Gilmore Girls” revival next month.


There was flannel. There were backwards baseball caps. And oh, was there coffee.

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You've been Gilmored! ☕️ #gilmoregirlsrevival

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What cellphone? #lukescoffee #gilmoregirls

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❤️☕️ #starshollow #gilmoregirlsrevival

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A piece of Stars Hollow right here in Austin! #gilmoregirls

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MORE: Can’t get enough GG? Check out photos from the ‘Gilmore Girls’ reunion red carpet at the ATX Television Fest.

Drink up: Texan invents device to ward off wine hangovers

One Texan has answered the prayers of wine lovers everywhere: A solution to the particular horribleness of wine hangovers. It’s a little different from your solution, because it doesn’t involve staying in bed for a day with stained lips.

Sulfites often get the blame for red wine headaches, but experts say tyramine and tannins are probably at fault. (Photo courtesy Fotolia/TNS)
Sulfites often get the blame for red wine headaches, but experts say tyramine and tannins are probably at fault. (Photo courtesy Fotolia/TNS)

“The Wand” claims to improve the entire wine-drinking experience, but especially in so that it prevents the “flushing, nasal congestion, headaches, and hangovers that 75 percent of drinkers experience,” Culture Map reports. The Wand is made up of a short silver stick with a small sack of beads at the end that works by filtering out the sulfites and histamines responsible for wine-drinkers’ uncomfortable side effects.

READ: Wineries in the Texas Hill Country only getting better with age

Because the Wand preserves the tannins present in wine, the taste is reportedly unaltered. That’s some wine science. The device claims to work well in white, red and sparkling wine, although in the case of the latter it also unfortunately filters out all the fun bubbles.

If it’s all it claims to be the Wand could make for the perfect partner on a Hill Country winery tour. Pour yourself a glass and check out the Wand’s website here.

READ: Planned Taco Bell in Austin will serve beer, wine, liquor

5 places The New York Times says you should visit in Austin

In what can only be called an ode to Burnet Road, The New York Times offered some advice on the five places it thinks you should go in Austin.

Related: New York Times’ ‘36 Hours in Austin’ guide totals nearly $2,000; here’s your alternative

The piece begins with a description of an out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new Burnet Road, which it says “for years, was mostly seen as a tatty stretch of car repair shops, old-school food joints, gas stations and derelict business” — but not anymore. The Times says the strip — and Austin — is evolving.

Barley Swine at 6555 Burnet Rd in north Austin. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Barley Swine at 6555 Burnet Rd in north Austin. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Read: The New York Times got a little batty about Texas bats

Here are the five places the publication says you should visit in Austin. Side note: they’re all located on Burnet Road.

Barley Swine First on the list is Bryce Gilmore’s farm-to-table and James Beard-nominated restaurant. The restaurant was also named No. 4 on Austin360’s food critic Matthew Odam’s list of best restaurants before it moved from South Lamar in January.

The Times recommends you order a Basil on Basil cocktail and “don’t miss the too-cute pig face bun, filled with a mix of crushed peanuts, pork and local bananas.”

Lick Honest Ice Creams Just like Barley Swine, another of Austin’s farm-to-table eateries made The Times’ cut. Lick Honest Ice Creams opened up their second Austin location on Burnet Road last year.

“In addition to standbys like dark chocolate with olive oil and sea salt, there are seasonal flavors like back porch iced tea, with black tea and a generous pour of Paula’s Texas Lemon and Grapefruit liqueurs,” The Times says.

Mark Matson For American-Statesman ( 4/30/15) The Peached Tortilla, located on Burnet Road, is an Asian fusion restaurant.
Mark Matson For American-Statesman ( 4/30/15) The Peached Tortilla, located on Burnet Road, is an Asian fusion restaurant.

The Peached Tortilla When this Asian-Southern fusion restaurant switched from a food truck to its brick-and-mortar location on Burnet Road last year, we thought it took a bit of its luster away. Nevertheless, The Times found it noteworthy.

“Try the flat, wide rice noodles tossed with brisket and kale for a twist on chow fun, then wash it down with a Margarita de Peached, spiced up with habanero-infused tequila and Thai basil,” The Times says.

Monkey Nest Coffee The Times says “regulars of this 24-hour cafe favor the Spicy Monkey Mocha, laced with cayenne pepper.” For more takes on Austin coffee shops, follow Austin360’s quest to visit more than 100 local cafes.

Uptown Modern This restored vintage Danish and mid-century modern furniture shop is the only non-eatery that made the list. “Snag a Florence Knoll chrome and marble coffee table,” The Times says. “Or Arne Jacobsen swan chairs with original chartreuse wool fabric.”

James Bond is in Austin, and he’s becoming quite the Texan

James Bond’s drink of choice is usually a martini, (shaken, not stirred), but when he comes to Austin, he prefers a Bloody Mary from Guero’s Taco Bar.

Pierce Brosnan has been filming a series for AMC in Central Texas this month, and in his downtime, he’s been exploring all the best that Austin and the surrounding areas has to offer.

According to his Instagram account, he’s been living it up on South Congress, at Guero’s:

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Sunday morning S. Congress …Austin … Great town

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And he got his Texas history on at the Bullock Texas State History Museum:

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Lone star

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And he even had time to play a round of golf at Barton Creek:

Brosnan is playing the lead in the upcoming AMC series “The Son,” a “multi-generational epic tale of the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas family,” according to Deadline. The series is based on local author Philipp Meyer’s 2013 novel of the same name.  

Brosnan replaced “Jurassic Park“‘s Sam Neill, who was originally cast in the role.

“The Son” is scheduled to air on AMC in April 2017.

UT students are sharing wild party stories on Twitter and it’s just what you’d expect

Texas Longhorns fans celebrate a win against Oklahoma Sooners 24-17 in the NCAA college football game at the AT&T Red River Rivalry Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas Texas Saturday, Oct 10, 2015. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Texas Longhorns fans celebrate a win against Oklahoma Sooners 24-17 in the NCAA college football game at the AT&T Red River Rivalry Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas Texas Saturday, Oct 10, 2015. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Have you ever gone to a party and done something you’re not exactly proud of? Well, whatever memory just came to mind may or may not not beat the stories students at the University of Texas had to share on Twitter this week.

The hashtag #utpartystories started trending yesterday, when students began reflecting on some of their craziest nights while attending UT. Let’s just say the full thread is a wild ride.

Though the hashtag can get pretty raunchy, there were some that were all-around amusing. Careful, you might just get a little nostalgic for your own college days.

There was this patriotic tale.

This lucky Longhorn.

A glass for champions.

A night that turned sour.

A date that didn’t go over too well.

There are those strange things you’ll find at every frat party.

The real way to good grades.

Sometimes, things just get a little out of control.

These girls who did partying right.

And then there were also people who weren’t sure how smart publicly posting these stories were.



Study: House Lannister would rule Austin if ‘Game of Thrones’ was real

Photo via “Game of Thrones.”

We’ve all wished at some point that “Game of Thrones” was more than just a fictional world. And every Sunday, no matter how many times you have to remind yourself it’s not real, you know exactly which house you’d pledge your allegiance to.

But if you’re from Austin and you’re not ready to be ruled by House Lannister, you may need to reconsider — at least, according to a study done by FindTheHome.

The real estate database used its data to see where the “GoT” characters would live if Westeros was the United States. They separated the country into seven groups: House Greyjoy, House Lannister, House Baratheon, House Targaryen, House Tyrell, House Stark and Night’s Watch.

It then created demographic, geographic and industry data for each group based off their characteristics on the show. FindTheHome then matched that data with that of regions in the U.S.

The site found that Austin, or Travis County, falls most strongly under House Lannister. But much of Texas would be ruled by House Baratheon and sprinkled with House Taragaryen.

Folks over at Thrillist created their own list of which characters would best fit each state in the U.S. It may not come as a surprise that they chose a Lannister for our great state — but at least she’s tough. Cersei would be Thrillist’s choice, complete with this little blurb:

Aesthetically pleasing debutante, comes from a ton of money. Can be hateful, and you don’t want to mess with her, but also pretty great if you’re on her side. Has no problem going it alone.