Local Talent Takes the Stage at The Long Center

There are very few places in Austin that offer the variety of entertainment options provided by The Long Center, a non-profit that serves as a creative resource for the community. More than 80 percent of performances hosted here showcase the talent of local artists. Whether you’re interested in seeing ballet or the symphony, a local singer or flamenco guitarist, children’s theater or Shakespeare, The Long Center truly offers it all and then some (including one of the best views of the city skyline!).

Comprising multiple performance spaces, the building has been renovated over the years to keep with the times. The most impressive space within The Long Center is the grand hall, which seats more 2,400 people over three levels and features flawless acoustics. Most patrons seem to agree that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Be sure to visit the website for a calendar of upcoming performances!

The Long Center
701 W. Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 457-5100

Sagging, Scratching and Tearing — Oh My! Don’t Let These Common Problems Ruin Your Furniture

Whether you recently invested in a brand-new sofa or you've had your furniture for years, everyone wants to keep their furniture in top condition. Here are some smart tips that will prevent sags, tears, and other common furniture issues in your home.

  • Flip your cushions frequently. To keep your cushions from getting too flat, make sure that you flip them frequently. You can use this trick on chairs, sofas, and anything else with a removable cushion.
  • Turn your mattress. Prolong the lifespan of your mattress by flipping it every six months or so. This will help to keep the springs in place and avoid placing weight on the same spot every night.
  • Keep wood furniture away from heat and sunlight. Wood is very durable, but when it comes to sunlight, things can start fading fast. Try to arrange your hardwood furniture so that it's not in the path of direct sunlight, and avoid placing wooden pieces near a heater to prevent warping.
  • Take coasters seriously. You may think of coasters as a bit of an annoyance, but when it comes to preserving the life of your wooden tables, they're actually very important. Keep a few coasters on hand so that your cold beverages don't make rings on wood surfaces.
  • Only use oil soap for wooden furniture. Cleaning your wooden tables and chairs with any old cleaner may damage their surfaces. Instead, always clean these pieces with oil soap diluted with equal parts water.
  • Dust frequently. It may look harmless, but dust can damage the inside of your rugs, sofa cushions, and on top of wooden shelves and tables. Make sure to take cushions outside and give them a good beating to shake out the dust, and frequently dust wooden pieces using a gentle feather duster or an old rag.

Caring for Furniture [HGTV]

Beware Coffee: A Startlingly Good Cup of Joe

There’s nothing to be afraid of at Austin’s Beware Coffee, a quaint, tiny coffee truck near the University of Texas campus. With only a small green truck and a nearby tent instead of the usual brick and mortar storefront, this is a unique alternative to the city’s numerous other coffee shops. Despite its small size, Beware Coffee churns out expertly brewed coffees, frothy cappuccinos, and ice cream-topped affogatos. For those who like a sweeter beverage, lattes (like the beloved Fantasy Sweet) get a touch of rich, creamy sweetness from the addition of coconut oil and real honey.

The owners are also the baristas at this independent operation, and they really know their stuff when it comes to crafting the perfect cup of joe. If you’re a coffee lover who cares more about the quality of the drinks than the bells and whistles in the shop itself, Beware Coffee is a must-try.

Beware Coffee
2908 Fruth St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 571-3392

Dig Into Vegan Fare Fit for a Meat-Eater at Arlo’s

"Everything in this trailer is vegan, but even if you're a meat-eater you'll be happy here," says one Yelp reviewer of Arlo's. The self-described "curb-side kitchen" shirks all processed ingredients in favor of local, non-GMO, organic grub from Texan farmers. And despite the fact that there's not an animal product anywhere to be found in the kitchen, its vegan fare still appeals to all types of eaters thanks to chefs' creative impulses.

Regulars highly recommend the bac'n cheeze burger, which actually features a patty made from soy in-house, topped with seitan bac'n, vegan cheeze, ketchup, mustard, mayo, and the classic tomato, onions, pickles, and lettuce. You can also grab a barbecue burger or chick'n sandwich. Tacos show up on the menu, too, stuffed with either soy or seitan and grilled pico de gallo, chipotle sauce, and lettuce.

Arlo's is parked along Red River Street with an umbrella-shaded, fenced-in outdoor space for eating, so feel free to grab food and stay for a while at the food trailer.

900 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 840-1600

Black Lagoon Art + Yoga: Cultivate Flexibility in an Inspiring Space

Part art gallery, part yoga studio, Austin's Black Lagoon promotes healthier bodies and imaginations in Austin. Not that Austin needs much help staying "weird," but this indie art gallery and fitness studio certainly helps. When it first debuted in 2010, its founders likely had no idea the profound impact it would have on yogis and artists alike—although they probably hoped.

Today, it's become a staple of the neighborhood. Exercisers flock to the art gallery for yoga classes amid the masterpieces hanging on the walls. There's a class appropriate for every level of ability, even if you've never stepped foot in a yoga studio before. And with multiple yoga classes offered on a daily basis, you should be able to squeeze in practice even if you have a busy schedule. If you're just interested in seeing the art, make an appointment to check out what's on display right now or attend one of the receptions held at Black Lagoon Art + Yoga.

Black Lagoon Art + Yoga
4301 A Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 534-6719

Mingle with Peacocks at Mayfield Park

It may be tucked away in the heart of a major city, but Mayfield Park still manages to retain an atmosphere of calm. That's despite its particularly flashy residents, about two dozen peacocks. The promise of seeing them sunbathing, tree-climbing, or just meandering around draws many locals to Mayfield Park time and time again. After all, they look a little bit different depending on the season, so it's a new experience each time. Perhaps the best time to visit is late winter or early spring, when the male peacocks fan out their colorful feathers in an attempt to attract the ladies.

Even if you don't spot one of the majestic birds, though, your trip to Mayfield Park will still be well worth the time. Its 21-acre nature preserve contains snaking trails, perfect for a hike or a stroll through the trees. After your hike, stop by the picturesque Mayfield Cottage and Gardens for a glimpse inside the way Austin's elite lived in the early 20th century.

Mayfield Park
3505 W. 35th Street
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 974-6797

Blue Velvet: A Vintage Clothing Store with 20 Years of History

With a long-standing community presence and a loyal customer base, Blue Velvet is considered one of the best vintage clothing stores in a city that boasts quite a few. In fact, Austin’s Blue Velvet clothing store has been in the area for so long, many of the items that came out when it opened are now considered vintage! The prices are very reasonable for the items that the store sells, and the knowledgeable, stylish salespeople are friendly, but not overly pushy.

Blue Velvet offers a wide variety of women’s dresses and skirts, vintage band t-shirts, men’s jackets and buttondown shirts, and a number of retro accessories. From the fedora hats to the rows up on rows of vintage jewelry and sunglasses, this store sells the types of items that you’ll wear for years to come.

Blue Velvet is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Blue Velvet
217 W. North Loop Boulevard
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 452-2583

Franklin Barbecue: Possibly Austin’s Most Buzzed-About Barbecue

If you’re searching for great barbecue in the South Austin area, simply drop what you’re doing and head to Franklin Barbecue. This old-fashioned barbecue joint uses family cooking traditions passed down from generation to generation, but its brick and mortar location is the ideal blend of Austin’s signature eclectic decor and a sleek, modern flair.

The menu is very small, but each dish is so expertly prepared that you won’t even think of anything else. Plates and sandwiches made with chopped beef, pulled pork, sausage, and other smoked meats are served with your choice of pinto beans, slaw, or potato salad, and Franklin Barbecue has sold out of its famous pulled pork every day since its opening in 2009.

Hailed as one of the top barbecue restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit, the New York Times, Southern Living, and many other esteemed publications, Franklin Barbecue is an absolute must-try Austin restaurant.

Franklin Barbecue
900 E. 11th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 653-1187

Little Mama’s Authentic Filipino and American Cuisine: Don’t Miss the Beef Steak

Thin ribbons of beef, seared with whole peppers and chopped onions. This simple recipe culminates in the ever-popular beef steak at Little Mama's Authentic Filipino and American Cuisine. True to Filipino tradition, the dish allows its ingredients' fresh, natural flavors to shine through—no need for tons of added fat or salt. Little Mama's chef takes this straightforward approach to every dish, whether it hails from the Philippines or the U.S.

Taste the proof in another popular dish, the Bicol Express. Name for the region in the Philippines where it originates, the Bicol Express is a coconut-milk-based stew mixed with shrimp paste and teeming with pineapple, pork, and long chilies. The apritada is another traditional stew, but this one features chicken. For something a bit more familiar, you can always go with fried rice, beef stir-fry, or pinoy curry with your choice of pork or chicken.

Little Mama's Authentic Filipino and American Cuisine
2021 N. Mays Street
Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 244-6262

Consignment Stars: Stylish Furnishings for the Thrifty Shopper

Consignment Stars is a consignment furniture store located in the Pflugerville area of Austin. Though the city is filled with a seemingly endless number of thrift and consignment stores, this shop is unique because of its large selection of both new and used furniture.

Consignment Stars’ knowledgeable staff is always on hand to answer any questions about the consigning process or a specific piece of furniture, and the shop carries items for every room in the home. The 10,000-square-foot store hosts beds, couch and loveseat sets, televisions, and even outdoor furniture for exceptionally low prices. If you have your own used furniture that you’d like to sell, Consignment Stars also offers a convenient selling process in which you pocket half of the money once your item is sold.

Consignment Stars is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The shop is closed on Sundays.

Consignment Stars
2405 W. Pecan Street
Pflugerville, TX 78660
(512) 202-3800

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