3.5 days in Austin. What were we going to do? Traveling to a new city is exciting! There are a million things to see, places to visit, and foods to eat. On my recent trip to Austin, TX, I had to decide what was a high priority ‘must-see’ and what would have to wait until the next trip.
Goal 1: QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY / EAT
The best way to make some quality time with those you care about? Eat food together. I love to travel; abroad and in the good ol’ US of A. I’ve been to art museums, science museums, history museums, national monuments, world heritage sites, gardens, palaces, theaters, natural wonders, and more art museums. Of course, Austin probably has some awesome museums, but this trip was about making the most of the short time we had to visit. Spending time talking, catching up, and laughing might best be done while enjoying food. And when you’re in Texas, ya might as well eat tex-mex, and eat tex-mex we did! Breakfast tacos, lunch tacos, dinner tacos, chicken tacos, pork tacos, brisket tacos, chorizo tacos, avocado and bacon tacos, green chili tacos, do you see a theme? This is a small sample of the tacos that were consumed.
In addition to our taco tour of Austin, we couldn’t visit Texas without consuming barbecue and brisket. Being North Carolina born and raised: barbecue = pit-cooked pork. I am regularly reminded, by my husband, that this is not what barbecue means in other parts of the US. But that bbq discussion is for another day.
Everyone, from the travel guides to the strangers next to us on the plane, suggests Franklins for barbecue. It might be the best in the town, and the next time we’re there it might be on our ‘to-eat’ list. This trip we decided that there is plenty of brisket in Texas, and it would not be a wise use of our time to waste it standing in line. We hopped in the car and drove southwest to Driftwood. Our destination: The Salt Lick. It did not disappoint. Their brisket is YES. And on our way back to St Louis, we discovered a small food stand at the airport that served Salt Lick tacos. Yes, please, I’ll have two!
Oh, we ate our way through Austin, which really means I got to spend a wonderful weekend with some of my favorite people.
Goal 2: SWIMMING HOLE
Have you heard of Hamilton pool? It looks like an amazing place to cool off. Check out some pictures HERE. Sadly the pool was closed while we were visiting due to high bacteria levels. Wah-wah. What was your back-up plan? You ask. Well, it was Barton Springs. After a lovely bike ride along the Colorado River, a COLD 68˚ dip in the springs was a great second choice.
It was a like being in a real life Georges Seurat painting. Only better.
Goal 3: MUSIC
Yes, SXSW is in March, and yes, we purposely avoided SXSW, and booked flights for the weekend afterwards. We didn’t want to spend a whole trip tucked away in music halls, or smashed together with thousands of strangers. We will save that for our next trip to Austin. Dozens of big acts had just passed through for SXSW, but we were hoping to find some great shows that had more of the local flavor. Of course that wasn’t hard to find in a city like Austin. A memorable, musical last night in town, we spent it at the Continental Club, enjoying some authentic Texas Country and Rockabilly from the likes of Dale Watson, Rosie Flores, and James Intveld.
Side note: If you’re in St Louis June 25th, I recommend going to see Dale Watson at Off Broadway.
Goal 4: SEE SOME ‘MUST-SEES’
When we weren’t stuffing our faces or listening to music, we were trying to see as much of Austin as we could: strolling and shopping along South Congress Ave and 1st Street, a whiskey [or 2] at Blackheart on Rainey Street, wandering around the University of Texas at Austin campus [below,left], hiking and biking along the Hike + Bike Trail, watching the nightly departure of the Congress Avenue Bridge Bats, and hunting for the Moonlight Towers. [below,right]
A trip to Austin was 110 hours well spent.
Posted by Sarah Rogers, Architectural Designer
Last week, I hosted a group of young people from the Open Door International Program’s Career Blueprints to give them an introduction to architecture and a tour of the Trivers office.
The Open Door International Youth Mentoring Program is a part of The Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma Family Services Program. The program provides intensive mentoring, group mentoring, theme-based outings and family case management to international refugee families of youth of St. Louis aged 5-14 years old. Open Door families come from all over the world and represent the refugee population of St. Louis. In its first year, the program families hail from Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Egypt, the Chin region of Burma, Liberia, Sudan and Somalia. The Career Blueprint portion of the program is designed to introduce refugee children to the possibility of being college-bound.
We were pleased and proud to be able to introduce architecture to these young men and women. I developed a small presentation showing a number of Trivers projects, both completed and in construction, focusing on before-and-after transformations and the realization of the vision in drawings and renderings to built form.
The youth in the program particularly enjoyed the office tour, with the study models and design sketches on display and the tremendous range of options and finishes in the material library. However, for the younger ones, the cookies provided and the view of the city from 18 floors up trumped all.
Posted by James Roseberry, AIA, LEED AP, CDT, Project Architect
It started with a face...
An angry face. Was it because I was disgruntled? In a way, but not a bad way.
When I first came to work at Trivers, Ashley sat across from me. She had been my Design Thinking TA at Wash U and it was good to have a familiar, friendly face across from me in a new place.
So why the angry face? Because she switched desks. The angry faces continued as I expressed my disappointment of Ashley ‘abandoning’ me.
It really went to show how much I appreciated sitting across from her, even though she would shush me for being too loud, which was understandable considering I would and still do sing songs at random. She was extremely helpful in my learning of Revit and familiarizing me with the firm. It goes to show the close-nit nature of the work environment here.
The angry faces quickly transformed into a plethora of emotional faces. All kinds of goofy faces soon emerged mysteriously on her desk while she was away from her computer.
The post-its multiplied quickly remembering a jury summons, National Speak Like a Pirate Day, the birth of a baby or even an operation on a pet.
Sometimes a catchy song just gets stuck in your head (hence the shushing)…
Some are doodles from my imagination done while waiting for exceptionally large files to load and save.
Others celebrate holidays.
Or remind us of how cold it is outside.
Others are just cute and cuddly, because who doesn't love the adoring eyes of a puppy?
And of course the rest of the animal kingdom had to be represented.
So whether commemorating an event, just being ridiculous, or expressing imagination, Post-Its are not just drab, disposable squares for note taking; they are a simple way to brighten one's day.
So far there are 45 of my Post-Its in our office, and I'm just getting started! You never know, next time you leave your desk, there could be a Post-It waiting for you when you get back.
The end...for now.
Posted by Matthew Skinner, Architectural Designer