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Latest from Michael Barnes

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See what these preschoolers look like 70 years later
 The tiny tots peer tentatively over a stairway railing. Some appear bewildered. Others look distracted or fascinated or bored. Their teacher, blinking behind studious eyeglasses, stands behind them. She smiles. Perhaps she is proud of her brood at the experimental University Nursery School. Maybe she will just be glad when this Christmas...

Posted: a day ago

The tiny tots peer tentatively over a stairway railing. Some appear bewildered. Others look distracted or fascinated or bored. Their teacher, blinking behind studious eyeglasses, stands behind them. She smiles. Perhaps she is proud of her brood at the experimental University Nursery School. Maybe she will just be glad when this Christmas...
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 day 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: 2 days 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: 2 days 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: 2 days 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: 2 days 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...
The Longhorn Olympian you don’t know
 On May 5, Olympic swimmer Adolph Gustav Kiefer, who attended the University of Texas in 1939, died at age 98. Before coming to Austin, the backstroker won the gold medal in the 100-meter contest during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. You read that right: The Berlin games. His Olympic record stood for 20 years. There, he befriended Jesse Owens,...

Posted: 3 days ago

On May 5, Olympic swimmer Adolph Gustav Kiefer, who attended the University of Texas in 1939, died at age 98. Before coming to Austin, the backstroker won the gold medal in the 100-meter contest during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. You read that right: The Berlin games. His Olympic record stood for 20 years. There, he befriended Jesse Owens,...
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: 3 days 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: 4 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: 5 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: 6 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: 6 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: 6 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...
Austin’s Wooldridge Square was once ‘Soul of the City’
 Today, there are no churches in the immediate vicinity of Wooldridge Square Park.
                  Yet, as Ted Eubanks points out for the “Our Austin Story” series published on the 
                     Engage Austin website, it could have claimed the title “Soul of the City.”
                  
                 ...

Posted: 6 days ago

Today, there are no churches in the immediate vicinity of Wooldridge Square Park. Yet, as Ted Eubanks points out for the “Our Austin Story” series published on the Engage Austin website, it could have claimed the title “Soul of the City.” ...
Renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz coming to Austin
 The Long Center just added celebrated photographer 
            Annie Leibovitz to its fall line-up. She will appear at Dell Hall on Nov. 13. 
            Tickets go on sale July 21 at 10 a.m. The appearance is timed to the publication of her new book, “Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016.” “Annie Leibovitz: Portraits...

Posted: 6 days ago

The Long Center just added celebrated photographer  Annie Leibovitz to its fall line-up. She will appear at Dell Hall on Nov. 13. Tickets go on sale July 21 at 10 a.m. The appearance is timed to the publication of her new book, “Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016.” “Annie Leibovitz: Portraits...
Best loved Austin neighborhoods: Aldridge Place & Hemphill Park
 We cherish these memories of strolling through Aldridge Place and its sibling district, Hemphill Park. Originally published Dec. 16, 2010. Terri Givens, an Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas, was a newcomer to the neighborhood in 2010.
               Her family has since moved away. Julia Robertson/American-Statesman...

Posted: 9 days ago

We cherish these memories of strolling through Aldridge Place and its sibling district, Hemphill Park. Originally published Dec. 16, 2010. Terri Givens, an Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas, was a newcomer to the neighborhood in 2010. Her family has since moved away. Julia Robertson/American-Statesman...
Where is the spring in Spicewood Springs?
 Where is the spring of Spicewood Springs? Way out northwest near U.S. 183, where Spicewood Springs Road turns into McNeil Drive? Or along the narrow, rugged Bull Creek canyon, through which that road winds from U.S. 183 to Loop 360? Maybe up on the mesa where Spicewood Springs Road leapfrogs over to MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1)? None of the above...

Posted: 10 days ago

Where is the spring of Spicewood Springs? Way out northwest near U.S. 183, where Spicewood Springs Road turns into McNeil Drive? Or along the narrow, rugged Bull Creek canyon, through which that road winds from U.S. 183 to Loop 360? Maybe up on the mesa where Spicewood Springs Road leapfrogs over to MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1)? None of the above...
Relax with these summer reads about Texas
 By opening new books, we’ve learned more about the Nueces River, Texas birding, a standout West Texas congressman, the King Ranch and Texas swimming holes. “The Nueces River: Rio Escondido.” Margie Crisp with artwork by William B. Montgomery. Texas A&M Press. Much admired Texas artist and naturalist Margie Crisp made quite...

Posted: 11 days ago

By opening new books, we’ve learned more about the Nueces River, Texas birding, a standout West Texas congressman, the King Ranch and Texas swimming holes. “The Nueces River: Rio Escondido.” Margie Crisp with artwork by William B. Montgomery. Texas A&M Press. Much admired Texas artist and naturalist Margie Crisp made quite...
When a tall tower would have astounded Austin
 Nobody choked on their bagel this morning when they saw this headline: “
            40-story apartment tower set for downtown Austin’s eastern edge” Hardly a day goes by when such plans are not announced. That’ just the world we inhabit. So we decided to steer the way-back machine to a time when our city’s skyline...

Posted: 12 days ago

Nobody choked on their bagel this morning when they saw this headline: “ 40-story apartment tower set for downtown Austin’s eastern edge” Hardly a day goes by when such plans are not announced. That’ just the world we inhabit. So we decided to steer the way-back machine to a time when our city’s skyline...
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