Michael Barnes

Social columnist

Michael Barnes writes about Austin's people, places, culture and history. He also writes the Out and About social column and blog.

Latest from Michael Barnes

George Strait, Ed Sheeran among guests at Louis Messina’s 70th bash
 Christine Messina knows a thing or two about staging events. So when her husband, music Austin titan 
            Louis Messina, turned the big seven-oh, she knew just what to do. She threw a tuneful party at Arlyn Studios and made sure that every detail,
            down to a fantasy candy counter, sang. Beau Bedford, Louis Messina...

Posted: a minute ago

Christine Messina knows a thing or two about staging events. So when her husband, music Austin titan  Louis Messina, turned the big seven-oh, she knew just what to do. She threw a tuneful party at Arlyn Studios and made sure that every detail, down to a fantasy candy counter, sang. Beau Bedford, Louis Messina...
Best Austin coffee shops near Congress Avenue
 Not surprisingly, Congress Avenue, sometimes called the Main Street of Texas, counts more coffee shops than any other 12-block
            stretch of the city. Before we dive into the local outfits, though, we should note that Starbucks operates at least six reliable coffee outlets
            within easy walking distance of Congress Avenue...

Posted: 17 hours ago

Not surprisingly, Congress Avenue, sometimes called the Main Street of Texas, counts more coffee shops than any other 12-block stretch of the city. Before we dive into the local outfits, though, we should note that Starbucks operates at least six reliable coffee outlets within easy walking distance of Congress Avenue...
Best Texas books to read right now
 Texas birds, Texas musicians, Texas media stars, Texas festivals and a guide to the Texas Capitol stack up on our state shelves
            this week. “Book of Texas Birds.” Gary Clark with photographs by Kathy Adams Clark. Texas A&M Press. For some of us, there are never too many Texas bird
            books. This one might...

Posted: 18 hours ago

Texas birds, Texas musicians, Texas media stars, Texas festivals and a guide to the Texas Capitol stack up on our state shelves this week. “Book of Texas Birds.” Gary Clark with photographs by Kathy Adams Clark. Texas A&M Press. For some of us, there are never too many Texas bird books. This one might...
ICYMI: Charles Umlauf, Seymour Fogel created two South Austin gems
 Readers are flocking to this story about old structures renovated by modernists 
            Charles Umlauf and 
            Seymour Fogel, and now cherished by Austinites. READ FULL STORY HERE. The living room of the Umlauf house remains as it was, with its midcentury furniture. Alberto Martínez/American-Statesman Two...

Posted: 19 hours ago

Readers are flocking to this story about old structures renovated by modernists  Charles Umlauf and  Seymour Fogel, and now cherished by Austinites. READ FULL STORY HERE. The living room of the Umlauf house remains as it was, with its midcentury furniture. Alberto Martínez/American-Statesman Two...
The latest volleys in the Tex-Mex food fight
 The American-Statesman’s 
            Maribel Molina recently shared a thoughtful opinion piece, 
            “Perspective: You don’t have to like Tex-Mex food, but you should respect it.” Molina was responding to a provocative article in the Daily Texan, 
            “Tex-Mex might be a pillar of Texas...

Posted: 20 hours ago

The American-Statesman’s  Maribel Molina recently shared a thoughtful opinion piece, “Perspective: You don’t have to like Tex-Mex food, but you should respect it.” Molina was responding to a provocative article in the Daily Texan, “Tex-Mex might be a pillar of Texas...
Catherine Taylor to lead Bullock Texas State History Museum
 The Texas State Preservation Board has chosen museum veteran 
            Catherine Taylor to lead the giant Bullock State History Museum. Catherine Taylor to lead Bullock Texas State Historical Museum. Contributed Most recently director of museum resources at the Nantucket Historical Association, the native Texan also served as...

Posted: a day ago

The Texas State Preservation Board has chosen museum veteran  Catherine Taylor to lead the giant Bullock State History Museum. Catherine Taylor to lead Bullock Texas State Historical Museum. Contributed Most recently director of museum resources at the Nantucket Historical Association, the native Texan also served as...
FIRST LOOK: Unseen video footage of Austin ‘Batman’ premiere
 After reading our 
            story about the world premiere of “Batman: The Movie,” published June 10 upon the death of star 
            Adam West, reader 
            Jim Johnson provided this fantastic Super 8 home movie made by 
            James E. Johnson of the Congress Avenue parade on July 30, 1966. [youtube=http://www...

Posted: 2 days ago

After reading our story about the world premiere of “Batman: The Movie,” published June 10 upon the death of star Adam West, reader Jim Johnson provided this fantastic Super 8 home movie made by James E. Johnson of the Congress Avenue parade on July 30, 1966. [youtube=http://www...
Summer Stock Austin takes on an updated ‘Annie Get Your Gun’
 It wasn’t that long ago that Scott Thompson, magnetic director and dancemaker, was everywhere all the time in Austin. Now he’s back helming the Irving Berlin classic, “Annie Get Your Gun,” for Summer Stock Austin, which combines the talents of high school and college students with those of stage veterans at the Long...

Posted: 3 days ago

It wasn’t that long ago that Scott Thompson, magnetic director and dancemaker, was everywhere all the time in Austin. Now he’s back helming the Irving Berlin classic, “Annie Get Your Gun,” for Summer Stock Austin, which combines the talents of high school and college students with those of stage veterans at the Long...
Salvaging two South Austin gems
 Two barnlike stone structures once stood abandoned in South Austin. One rested on a hill with a view of the city; the other, located farther south, spread out on lush flats near a creek and railroad tracks. Separately in the 1950s, these old buildings were transformed into residences and studios by important Austin artists who were friends...

Posted: 4 days ago

Two barnlike stone structures once stood abandoned in South Austin. One rested on a hill with a view of the city; the other, located farther south, spread out on lush flats near a creek and railroad tracks. Separately in the 1950s, these old buildings were transformed into residences and studios by important Austin artists who were friends...
Doctor leads by example with garden at People’s Community Clinic
 Fresh as mint in an eco-green riding shirt, Dr. John Day steers his bicycle into the parking lot of the spacious new offices of People’s Community Clinic on Camino La Costa. You couldn’t tell it from his dry brow, but he commutes 22 miles round-trip daily from Far Northwest Austin in order to take care of patients. It is clear...

Posted: 4 days ago

Fresh as mint in an eco-green riding shirt, Dr. John Day steers his bicycle into the parking lot of the spacious new offices of People’s Community Clinic on Camino La Costa. You couldn’t tell it from his dry brow, but he commutes 22 miles round-trip daily from Far Northwest Austin in order to take care of patients. It is clear...
Best rivers in Texas: Llano River

Posted: 4 days ago

LLANO RIVER VALLEY – Checking into our Junction motel, we asked the desk clerk about fun things to do in town. She quipped, “When you find out, let me know.”True, for a student at Texas Tech University-Junction like her, this old Edwards Plateau ranching town offers little social...