Archive for the ‘Oz-tin’ Category

So, here’s where I show that I am definitely, definitely not a tech/media person.

I’m bracing myself for SXSW (South by Southwest, for the uninitiated). The movies! The music! The meeting of great media minds! The huge crowds of really cool people clogging my streets, my work, my restaurants, my bars! I know, I know, SXSW is the epicenter of all that is fresh and awesome, but it’s also a tourism nightmare for an everyday girl just trying to get to work downtown on time. Even the media juggernaut itself seems a little conflicted about its gravitational pull – Canada’s National Post called SXSW a “massive, unavoidable media beast,” a quote which is prominently posted at the top of SXSW’s website. So I think I can be forgiven for my total, complete, utter lack of interest in anything about the media festival except when it will be over.

My first spring in Texas, I took a week off and walked the streets downtown during the SXSW Music Festival. It was grand, and I highly recommend doing it once in your life provided you do not hate crowds of hipsters and aren’t afraid of running into some famous people you idolize. Even if you are, like me, it is definitely an experience you should have once. Note how I keep emphasizing once. I’ve actually even had this experience twice, but once was as a tourist when I was in college and didn’t hate crowds and was a hipster so it hardly seems to count.

So anyway, I’ve had my SXSW experience. I know that it would be good for Pittsburgh if it were a tourism giant and brought people in huge droves for style-making events like SXSW, but for the people who actually live there, I like that its forward-thinking ways remain a well-kept secret. And as for the music, you’ve got the Steel City Blues Festival – just right.


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“Just like Penn Mac!”

Quipped my husband as I put my head in my hands and slowly shook it, not believing the ridiculousness around me. This is it, friends. This is the ultimate symbol of why Austin is bullshit and Pittsburgh is not. I snapped this BlackBerry shot while we ate at an Italian place yesterday:


Note the handpainted-looking signage, the shaped ceiling, the exposed brick, and the delectable array of hanging meats and cheeses.

It’s all fake. Fake fake fake fake.

The ceiling is green molded composite, that map looks like a placemat, and the meats and cheeses are plastic. PLASTIC. 

That place has been open for probably two years. It’s in one of the ubiquitous mixed-use properties in Austin, built to look old and urban, with shabby-chic overpriced pseudocasual restaurants and boutiques on the first floor and faux vintage brick veneer condos on top.

It’s part of this stupid place.

This is running dangerously close to not being funny anymore. Stop treating me like I’m an idiot, Austin. I know The Triangle isn’t vintage urban loft space, and I know those prosciutti are plastic.

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Hip sexy wine bar, Austin, TX, Friday February 6:


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