Posts tagged ‘Texas’

April 8, 2015

Austin Adventures | SXSW Day Two

Hello Again! It has taken me awhile to get this post up because I’ve been working on this video.
All the footage is from the day I’m talking about below.


This is the most exciting SXSW day, because it’s when Dan’s band Flaamingos played their showcase. Bowerbird and I started the day early, and by early I mean 11:00am, heading for the convention center to pick up my wristband. I was all worried thinking we had gotten a late start on the day, but our Lyft driver assured us we were very early. I ended up having to pay $80 for a music wristband, that I’m still not quite certain what it got me access too. But I got a nifty tote bag, and Dan was told he could pick up a free backpack in the artist suite. I’m all about the free swag and really had to encourage him to take advantage of it. We then explored the convention center and wandered into the screen printed music poster emporium. So many colors, so many designs!! It reminded me of when I interned at Myspace and there was a huge wall, more like a hallway, covered in the screen printed posters from every secret show. I thought this must be where they scouted the artists. Next I followed Bowerbird into the gear section, where he made a b-line for the synths. The sound of people jamming out some smooth jazz filled the air, along with the constant buzz of gear geek chatter. We had to wait awhile till a particular synth opened up for Dan to fiddle with – he was in heaven.

Feeling sluggish from a night of heavy food and beer, we walked to the Daily Juice for some fresh pressed veggies and fruit. It’s incredible how much walking can be done in Downtown Austin and I never felt nervous about falling onto a ‘bad street’. Sadly that is the not the case for Downtown Los Angeles. SXSW involves lots and lots and lots of walking.  We headed to the Under The Radar party at the Flamingo Cantina. I wanted to show my support as I used to intern for the magazine many moons ago. The Flamingo Cantina was off 6th street. This street felt like was the heart of SXSW as everything branches off from it.  The cantina was a tropical themed bar and I had caught the party between sets, it was hot and humid inside, and really captured that Caribbean atmosphere. Bowerbird, claustrophobic and uncomfortable, bailed just as we got inside. I said my hellos, but then got an email stating there were some artists finishing up a mural on Barton Springs.

Oh yeah – I decided to turn this SXSW trip into a work trip by getting some coverage of the POW! WOW! Hawaii and SXSW collaboration for the art blog Sour Harvest. You can read the article on their website now.

The mural was going to be finished up within the next hour or two and seeing a great opportunity to interview the artists, I said goodbye to Under The Radar and started walking toward Barton Springs. As I was exiting the cantina, Dan was in line to get back in. I found that to be a little funny. The walk from 6th street to Barton Springs is 30 minutes, fortunately it wasn’t sweltering, so we just enjoyed the exercise and we were able to see what SXSW was doing on the other side of the bridge.

walk from 6th st to Barton Springs

By the time I interviewed the artist and we got a quick snack, it was time to head back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the band and collect their gear. Playing the Levitation Showcase at Hotel Vegas, although I’ve come to realize they were actually playing in The Volstead room, they had to be there at 5:30 for their 7:30pm set time. Levitation also puts on Austin Psych Fest, a festival with a drool-worthy lineup, fingers crossed Flaamingos plays next year – a girl can dream. The outdoor patio was packed! It felt totally electric in that special psychedelic way. With so many people outside the challenge for Flaamingos was to draw people away from the big bands outside and into their small room. And they did it!! I was totally stoked on the crowd that gathered. It’s quite an accomplishment as they’re not a local band, and they had people watching them instead of Moon Duo 😀 We spent the rest of the night wandering around SXSW east part of 6th street, and just enjoying this unique music experience. I also ate some epic Cajun poutine.

sxsw day two art and music

Honorable Highlight:

At some point, the band and I got a shot at the bar to celebrate. As we were ordering our subsequent drinks, an older gentlemen was standing beside me ordering a beer. He told the bartender he wanted to wipe the top of the cans before they were opened. This reminded me of what my Ba-Chan and Ji-Chan would do as they would have soda collecting dust in their garage before bringing it into the house. I told him my grandparents did this, not to say he was a grandparent, but I totally relate to the clean can tops. He then said, “well you know they just sit in basements where rats crawl all over them pissing and shitting on the crates. It’s disgusting.” With a little more banter and chuckles, I walked away with my drink and he with his clean beers… this gentleman is the singer of iconic post-punk band Pop Group. Did not realize this till he was on stage of course, classic Bekka.

April 1, 2015

Austin Adventures | SXSW – Day One

Austin Adventure Day One

It’s been a week since I returned from Austin and I feel ready to tackle my recap. This adventure was filled with new and fun experiences which I can’t edit down into less than 600 words. So to help my memory, structure my thoughts, and keep your attention span – I’m going to break this down by each the day.


I flew out of Long Beach airport, which is the most beautiful and relaxing airport ever, on Jetblue. I was a ball of nerves. Concerned about having too many carry-ons, I began shoving my purse into my bookbag, so I’d only be holding one bag in addition to my suitcase. This made my bookbag look incredibly awkward and slightly suspicious. During this feet of space efficiency, a group of guys sat around me all carrying skateboards. Channeling my anxious energy, I asked if they were headed to Austin on a sponsorship. They nodded their heads in an uber cool manner but said little else. Their manager eventually made a little light talk with me, picking up on my nerves, and teasing me about my large carryon suitcase. Then he broke down their arrival which involved one dude predominately wearing his Beats by Dre headphones and another a super sick fur jacket. They were with Supreme NYC. I loved this one fella in a purple hoodie, he rambled on about the shit Tex-Mex and seemed to be extremely health conscious. As he was munching on nuts I informed him about the need to keep up his hydration, my sister told me nuts take more water to digest.


Boarding the plane, I sat next to some nice women and spent the entire flight writing a blog post for Fit and Awesome.  I arrived in Austin around 4:00pm, just as Bowerbird was picking up his badges at the convention center. With no interest in waiting at the airport for an hour, I finally used my Lyft app. I set it up in New Orleans, but never used it. So following the prompts I was totally shocked when it told me my ride would arrive in 1 minute and to be outside. I had no idea where the exit to the airport was let alone where I should meet this person outside. My anxiety really started to bubble. The Lyft driver called me to see where I was and I politely informed him I was riding down an escalator to what I thought was outside. After a little back and forth we figured out where he was to pick me up and I was on my way to the hotel.

My room at the hotel was massive. Prices were inflated for SXSW, so I really wasn’t expecting much. But my room was huge complete with a kitchen, full sofa, large desk area to work, a king size bed and nice bathroom. My only complaint was there wasn’t a bath and the water pressure was merh. I love my baths and water pressure. On every Airbnb review I leave, I end up remarking on the water pressure. At the hotel, I felt like twiddling my thumbs, not sure where to go next and what was happening with Bowerbird, so I waited. At 6:00pm they had a Nacho social, so I headed down there for a snack and some wine. I really don’t recall how I killed time between the airport and when Bowerbird arrived, but together we left my hotel for Downtown Austin around 8:00pm.hoteltime

As SXSW is a series of blocked off streets, you don’t even need to know exactly where to go in order to land in some sort of action. So we drove in a general direction close to the convention center and lucked out, finding a parking spot as another van was pulling away. We then stumbled onto Rainey Street, a collection of houses converted into bars and music venues. There was music to be overheard, but our mission was food. There was a food truck corral we popped into, but we really just wanted to sit and be served. Walking towards downtown I was certain we’d find more restaurant type of establishments. Passing branded experiences like the Bates Motel, the marketing nerd in me was going wild. We were drawn into Gus’s Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken from the scent permeating around the building. I have pretty high fried chicken standards. The best fried chicken I’ve ever had was made by Shug Knights mother (I went to High School with his niece). So I always wonder if I’ll ever get to experience fried chicken that tasted as amazing as Shug Knight’s mother. I finally did! This fried chicken was spicy and flavorful, we later found out the waiters have to sign a non-disclosure agreement and can’t work at another fried chicken restaurant within one year from leaving Gus’s. They don’t mess around with their chicken.


After dinner, we met up with my friend Lauren and her new beau Michael. They took us to a venue/bar which was in one of the converted houses. A cute bar with a twenties flare, I’d like to go back there when it’s not wrapped up in the SXSW craziness. We didn’t stay too long and parted ways as we were all fading from a busy day. With Bowerbird’s show the next day – we needed beauty rest. We walked over to a grocery market that seemed to be away from the chaos of the blocked off streets and requested a Lyft driver. In thirty minutes, we were back at our hotel and off to dreamland.

**The footage from this day was all blurry and wobbly, doubt I’ll be making a vlog (sad face)**

March 16, 2015

Austin Adventures T-Minus 48 HOURS


I’m going back to Austin! Before my road trip in October I had hardly traveled anywhere out of California in my adult life. Except for mini road trips to Arizona and Nevada. My trip to New York last summer was the first time I bought a plane ticket as an adult. Not my first time on a plane, but the first time I looked at a flight schedule to figure out pricing and what worked best for me. Anyways, Bowerbird is playing SXSW and it’s one of those experiences I want to share with him. A craziness I could experience firsthand and not just through road stories. So with a little encouragement and the help of a credit card, I booked my flight to Austin. Bonus, I have friends in Austin, friends flying out to Austin, and Under the Radar throws their own party (former intern). SIDENOTE: I suddenly I have the urge to watch LOSER.

I fly out on Wednesday, just as the music portion of SXSW kicks off. When Bowerbird and I went to Austin on our road trip we felt like we didn’t have enough time to explore. The city seemed to be overflowing with good food, adorable window shopping, and of course great music venues. It will be nice to get ROUND TWO in. I’ve been using the one music venue we went to, Cheer Up Charlies, as a point of reference in figuring out the distance of my hotel to where Bowerbird will be playing and the rest of the SXSW madness. p.s. Bowerbird’s band Flaamingos will be playing a showcase at Hotel Vegas presented by Levitation.

Flaamingos SXSW


Cheer Up Charlies – is an eclectic space, a colorful music venue with a back patio that seems to be carved out of a rock. We totally ended up with an epic Cracker Jack box prize when we went there, as Ted the Block, a side project of musician Winston Goertz-Giffen happened to be playing. Ted the Block is totally weird in a hypnotizing way. He and his girlfriend were also road-tripping, and we made instant friends with this set of creatives. We later met up with them in Marfa, total coincidence so more on that later.

cheerup charlies

FLASHBACK – a vintage clothing store. It’s inside a purple house, and we wandered in while waiting to meet up for lunch with a friend nearby. Being from LA and in a new town, we tended to be extremely early to places.  The clothing and merchandise weaved throughout the rooms of the house. Flashback had really amazing finds I had to fall in-love with and walk away from, like dresses fit for June Carter Cash. I wanted them all.

Flashback Vintage Clothing

MICKLETHWAIT BBQ – One of the well-known and highly recommended BBQ establishments in Austin. It’s a trailer with a smoker next to it! We weren’t very aggressive when it came to the BBQ game in Austin, so we really lucked out in getting some BBQ at Micklethwait. We had gone around 5:00pm for an early dinner, and were met with a sign that read SOLD OUT till 7:30pm.  Later we found out the only reason they had any meat for dinner was because they were hosting a movie night.  We camped out in their parking lot for a few hours patiently waiting.  But the wait was totally worth it! Especially for Bowerbird as he can’t eat anything with refined or added sugar. While on the trip Bowerbird had to miss out on Memphis BBQ, and we avoided most Southern BBQ places because 99% of them use sugar in their rubs or sauces. But Micklethwait rub was all spice and flavor!

Micklethwait Craft Meats BBQ

This time around, I really want to get a picture with the Hi, How Are You alien aka the Daniel Johnston mural. We drove by it in October, but forgot to go back for a photo-op. This time I’m sure there will be a line of tourist trying to snap their picture with the iconic wall. I used to intern at a gallery that at one point represented Daniel Johnston, and there were tons of photocopies of Daniel Johnston drawings in boxes, random boxes. I wish I would have nabbed some – I’m sure no one would have noticed. It was a strange place. Guess I can keep the karma points. Plus, I should just buy a t-shirt and help support Daniel.

I’ll be vlogging, instagraming, blogging (maybe) – we all know how blogging and traveling works for me, and tweeting. So hope you enjoy exploring Austin with me.