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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

Take a look at the reborn Green Pastures
 Martha Koock Ward remembers the yeast rolls. “Rising, baking, baked and blanketed in a linen napkin lining a basket, revealed, ready for sweet cream butter,” says the Austinite who grew up in her mother’s childhood home, which Mary Faulk Koock turned into the hospitality legend Green Pastures. “The earthy smell of...

Posted: 4 days ago

Martha Koock Ward remembers the yeast rolls. “Rising, baking, baked and blanketed in a linen napkin lining a basket, revealed, ready for sweet cream butter,” says the Austinite who grew up in her mother’s childhood home, which Mary Faulk Koock turned into the hospitality legend Green Pastures. “The earthy smell of...
Green Pastures update honors its past
 Developers Greg Porter and Jeff Trigger — along with revered architect Emily Little — recently put the finishing touches on an update of storied Austin restaurant Green Pastures, which was built primarily from 1893 to 1895 and opened as a dining spot in 1946. The current keepers of the flame of this tree-shrouded shrine on Live...

Posted: 4 days ago

Developers Greg Porter and Jeff Trigger — along with revered architect Emily Little — recently put the finishing touches on an update of storied Austin restaurant Green Pastures, which was built primarily from 1893 to 1895 and opened as a dining spot in 1946. The current keepers of the flame of this tree-shrouded shrine on Live...
Ernest and Sarah Butler give $1 million to Austin Opera
 Major benefactors Ernest and Sarah Butler — who have strategically given tens of millions of dollars to build up Austin’s arts and are the namesakes for the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas — are donating $1 million to support the position of Austin Opera’s artistic director. Earlier this year, not...

Posted: 5 days ago

Major benefactors Ernest and Sarah Butler — who have strategically given tens of millions of dollars to build up Austin’s arts and are the namesakes for the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas — are donating $1 million to support the position of Austin Opera’s artistic director. Earlier this year, not...
Did composer Gustav Mahler know the worst was yet to come in his life?
 Biographically, we know that composer Gustav Mahler was personally at his happiest and most satisfied from the summer of 1903 through the summer of 1904, the period during which he started and completed his Sixth Symphony. Yet this symphony — 80 minutes without intermission and being performed by Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony for...

Posted: 6 days ago

Biographically, we know that composer Gustav Mahler was personally at his happiest and most satisfied from the summer of 1903 through the summer of 1904, the period during which he started and completed his Sixth Symphony. Yet this symphony — 80 minutes without intermission and being performed by Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony for...
How will the federal axe to arts, humanities and public broadcasting affect you personally?
 Eighty programs would lose federal funding under the president’s proposed budget. Among the independent agencies to be eliminated: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  That doesn’t mean that what these agencies do would go away...

Posted: 10 days ago

Eighty programs would lose federal funding under the president’s proposed budget. Among the independent agencies to be eliminated: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. That doesn’t mean that what these agencies do would go away...
The definitive history of Austin’s iconic Armadillo World Headquarters
 This week in “Texas Titles,” we revisit the Armadillo World Headquarters, rediscover a Houston philanthropist, look into a Texas governor’s impeachment, dip into a historical novel and find out about a Texas progressive coalition that beat Jim Crow and Juan Crow. “Armadillo World Headquarters” by Eddie Wilson...

Posted: 10 days ago

This week in “Texas Titles,” we revisit the Armadillo World Headquarters, rediscover a Houston philanthropist, look into a Texas governor’s impeachment, dip into a historical novel and find out about a Texas progressive coalition that beat Jim Crow and Juan Crow. “Armadillo World Headquarters” by Eddie Wilson...