Monday, December 31, 2012

Desegregation of Texas Public Schools

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
The State of Texas instituted a public school system for African-American students during reconstruction. This segregation of students was further established through the 1896 United States Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, which established the legality of the doctrine, “separate but equal.” Desegregation of schools began after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954 that segregated schools were unconstitutional. By 1957, more than 100 Texas school districts had made progress toward desegregation. Throughout the proceeding decades, school districts integrated; in some cases, the Supreme Court provided desegregation plans. While many schools desegregated without incident, others experienced a difficult transition.

The method of desegregation varied from district to district. Some integrated one grade per year; others gave students “freedom of choice,” allowing them to select which high school they would attend. In the end, the movement led to the closing of most African-American schools across the state, including L.C. Anderson High School, a noted institution in Austin. Many of the former school buildings were demolished or left idle, while some were used for various community or educational programs, like Head Start. The closure of these schools affected many residents, since the institutions were often centers of pride for African-American communities. Many of the students from the schools became leaders in their communities, and on state and national levels.

Integration was a slow and often difficult process in Texas, as well as throughout the rest of the United States. Today, desegregation is remembered in Texas as a pivotal event in the civil rights movement, and as the end of the era for African-American schools.


Erected:
2008



Location:
1165 Angelina Street Austin, TX 78702

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Site of John Bremend and Company

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

New York native John Bremond (1813-1866) built a dry goods store at this site as early as 1847. Soon, his dry goods department faced Pecan (Sixth) Street, and the grocery department faced Brazos Street. Active civically, he served as a member of the group that encouraged the eventual construction of the Houston & Texas Central Railway, which was associated with Bremond's brother Paul.

John Bremond, a former firefighter, was instrumental in establishing Austin's first hook and ladder company. His sons Eugene and John, Jr., who were also active in the city's firefighting, joined him as business partners in 1865, forming John Bremond & Company. After their father's death the next year, the sons continued the business. In a back room of the store, Eugene operated a private loan operation that would become the State National Bank, or "Bremond's Bank." He sold his share of the family business in 1870 but continued operating the bank, which received its charter in 1882. John, Jr. Then made his brother-in-law, John H. Robinson, Jr., a partner.

The John Henry Robinson family, proprietors of the J.H. Robinson & Son General Merchandise Store on Congress Avenue, was closely linked to the Bremonds, with three marriages among the children.

The Bremonds' store continued, shifting to wholesale operations after the railroad came to Austin in 1871. In 1905, it became one of the early companies to roast, grind and distribute its own coffee, eventually shipping its products across the state.

The business moved a few blocks away in 1924 and finally closed its doors in 1967. At the time it was demolished in 1979, the two-story limestone building was reportedly the oldest commercial structure in Austin.


Erected:
2003


Location:
115 E 6th St, Austin TX 78701


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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bringing in 2013 in Austin - Dec 31, 2012

New Years Eve is a big evening around the world. Locally we here at 2TourAustin know of at least seven parties where Austinits can ring in the New Year of 2013.
Happy New Year

  1. Austin's New Year
    Dubbed as the cities family-friendly festival, where once again attendees can enjoy an evening of music, art, and of course the annual New Years fireworks display at Auditorium Shores. This event is strictly alcohol-free, in keeping with the family friendly theme. It is also my families favorite event to attend to bring in the New Year, but I am also known as the "Prince of Thrift."

    When:
    starting December 31, 2012 at 5 pm

    Admission:
    Free


    Website
    :
    www.austintexas.gov/department/austins-new-year


    Location
    :
    Auditorium Shores 800 W Riverside Drive


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  2. Stephen F's Bar
    Sponsored by Mumm Champagne, this party provides live Prohibition-era Jazz from the Danielle Reich Band. Attendees will also enjoy champagne, craft punches as well as the New Year's toast.

    When:
    starting Dec. 31, 2012 at 9 pm

    Admission:
    Starting at $65


    Website:
    www.austin.intercontinental.com

    Phone:
    512-457-8800

    Location:
    701 Congress Ave

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  3. W Hotel
    Three parties in one? That's how organizers at the W Hotel is billing their News Years Eve Party. The party will take over the second floor and outdoor terrace, celebrating multiple countdowns by partnering with the W Austin's coast-to-coast partner hotels. The event will have an open bar, food and a performance by Austin-based rock band Quiet Company.

    When
    :
    Starting Dec 31, 2012 at 8:30

    Admission:
    Starting at $175

    Website:
    www.whotelaustin.com/nye

    Phone:
    512-542-3600


    Location:
    200 E Lavaca Street

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  4. Hyatt Regency
    Austin's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community as well as their friends has a bash planned at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Lady Bird Lake. The Susan Arbukle Band will provide entertainment, while attendees enjoy appetizers, a cash bar, champagne toast and a breakfast buffet at midnight.

    when:
    starting Dec 31, 2012 at 8 pm

    Admission:
    starting at $125

    website:
    www.afabaustin.com

    phone:
    512-477-1234

    Location:
    208 Barton Springs Road

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  5. New Years Eve 1984

    New Year’s Eve 1984 at Hotel Vegas. Members of Bad Lovers, the Dead Space, Bobby Jealousy, Dikes of Holland, Holy Wave, Sweet Talk and many more Austin-based bands perform songs from the 1980s.
    When:
    Starting Dec 31, 2012 at 7 p.m.

    Admission:
    $15

    Website:
    www.hotelvegasaustin.com

    Location:
    Hotel Vegas 1500 E. Sixth St.

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  6. Freedmen's
    Freedmen's Craft Cocktails and Finer Foods invites you to ring in the New Year with dinner and drinks at Austin's newest/oldest bar and restaurant. Everything you need for the evening is included in the price of your ticket and the cocktails and bubbly are on the house!

    When:
    Starting Dc 31, 2012 at 8 pm

    Admission:
    starting at $100

    Website:
    http://freedmensnye2013.eventbrite.com/#

    Location:
    Freedmen's 2402 San Gabriel Street, Austin, Texas 78705

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  7. Speakeasy's New Year's Eve Bash!
    Every year since 1997, Speakeasy has been throwing an extraordinary New Year's Eve party for thousands of party goers and revelers alike! Stepping it up a notch in 2012 with a New Years Eve celebration.

    When:
    Dec. 31, 2012 at 9 pm

    Admission:
    Starting at $44

    Website:
    nyebash.eventbrite.com

    Location:
    Speakeasy Bar 412 Congress Ave., Austin, TX, 78799

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

George Washington Carver Branch Library

photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Inscription:
In Feb. 1926 the Austin Public Library opened in a room over a downtown store. Within months, the books were moved to this structure, built at Guadalupe and Ninth St., across from Wooldridge Park. In 1933, with completion of a permanent library facility, the original building was relocated here to meet the request of the black community for its own library. The frame structure was brick veneered and named for black educator George Washington Carver. Directed by Hattie Henson, 1933-43, this was the first branch in the Austin library system.



Erected:
1977




Location:
1165 Angelina Street Austin, TX 78702

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

We here at 2TourAustin would like to wish you the very best and Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Blackshear Elementary

Blackshear Elementary
Photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
Blackshear Elementary School opened in 1891 to provide free public education to African-American children in the community then known as Gregory Town, Blackshear Elementary School was known in earlier years as School No. 3, Gregory Town School and Gregory School. In 1936, it was named for Edward I. Blackshear (1862-1919), a 19th-century teacher and principal who left Austin in 1895 to become head of Prairie View College. Programs and facilities for Blackshear students, including the establishment of a school library in 1934, expanded as the number of students increased. Now serving an ethnically diverse population in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade classes, Blackshear is an important part of Austin's educational history.
Erected:
2001
Photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Location:
1712 E. 11th St, Austin TX 78702


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Friday, December 21, 2012

Carver Library Mural

photo by Kevin Surbaugh


 Artist:
 John Fisher,

When:
1986

Location:
George Washington Carver Branch Library, 1161 Angelina 78702

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bethany Cemetery

Bethany Cemetery
Photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Inscription:
This cemetery was established in the late 1800s when burial space set aside for African Americans in Austin's historic Oakwood Cemetery was no longer available. The oldest recorded burial is that of infant Hellen Moore in 1879. C. W. Jones purchased this land in 1892. The Bethany Cemetery Company, formed in 1893 by William Holland, Henderson Rollins, Allen Bradley and William M. Tears, maintained the site until 1933. In 1976, members of the Bethany Cemetery Association became caretakers of the 6.18-acre graveyard and improved the site, which still serves the area.

Erected:
1997
Photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Location:
1300 Springdale Rd, Austin TX 78721 (near 183 and I-35)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Sixth Street

Probably Texas' best known street, the seven block's of Sixth Street between Congress and Interstate Highway 35 (I 35 or I H 35) are certainly Austin's entertainment district. With a little help from it's many like-minded sister streets, sixth Street is the heart of Austin's live entertainment scene and the capital of third coast music.

Sixth Street (formerly known as Pecan Street) is lined with many historical houses and commercial buildings dating from the late 1800's and early 1900's. The storied old buildings now house numerous bars, a host of live entertainment venues, tattoo parlors, art galleries, casual cafes, upscale restaurants, and of course the elegant Driskill Hotel (probably the most haunted hotel in the country). Live music of every genre abounds. From jazz, blues, and country to rock, hip-hop, beat, progressive, metal, punk and derivations of these, there's something to whet everyone's musical pallete. Great food is a staple on Sixth Street, featuring such regional staples as chili, ribs, and Tex-Mex plus steak, seafood, cajun-cooking, and deli.

Sixth Street draws an eclectic bunch including endless streams of mostly single UT students, the YUP's, the burb's, some interesting street folk,and lot's of out of town visitors. It's not uncommon to spy some celebrity type taking in the sights on 6th. From film folk to politicians, to music men and women, Sixth Street rubs elbows well. Dress code, yeah right. You'll see cowboys and punks, surfers and suits. On Halloween anything goes, and during Mardi Gras, everything goes !

Going West from the entertainment area, West Sixth Street offers another surprise with antique stores, art galleries, hair salons, restaurants, and lot's of eclectic shops.

Sixth Street is Austin's entertainment showpiece, and deservedly so. Great events like the Austin Mardi Gras celebration, SXSW, The Republic of Texas Bikers Rally, the Pecan Street Festival and Sixth's Street infamous Haloween celebration all make for great times with great people


photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Inscription:
Originally named Pecan Street on Edwin Waller’s 1839 plan for Austin, Sixth Street served as a farm to market road entering the city from the east. Bringing together a diverse ethnic population, it became a center for Austin’s 19th century development.

A major thoroughfare since its beginning, the street served as a stagecoach route, with the Bullock Hotel at the corner of Pecan and Congress Avenue as a stage stop. The street’s flat terrain and its distance from the occasionally flooding Colorado River contributed to its appeal as a site for commercial development. Shops, saloons, stables, wagon and lumberyards lined the street, with the owners often residing above their businesses. Development continued through the 1880s along Pecan Street, which was renamed Sixth Street in 1884.

Sixth Street contains Austin’s largest concentration of Victorian commercial architecture. The 20th century brought many changes to Sixth Street, and some early structures fell into disrepair. Restoration efforts begun in the 1960s revitalized the area and brought recognition of its role in Austin’s past. Sixth Street was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.






Erected:
1989


Location:
115 E 6th St, Austin TX 78701


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts on the Sandy Hook Elementery Shooting

The more I learn about the deadly shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the sicker I feel.
Yesterday, we learned of a second plot at a nearby high school. We learn that the students that became victims were all first graders, ages 6-7 years old. Not only that every victim, whether adult or child was shot at close range multiple times. The news hasn't said so, but it sounds like they were execution style.
I cannot understand why anyone would shoot anyone, let alone a group of 6-7 year olds. Especially in such a close, personal and hatefilled way. What kind of sicko would do that? What do authorities know about the shooter? Why did he hate his mom so much that he had to murder 20 first graders and six adults?
----------
My name is Kevin, and that's what I think. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Brackenridge Hospital


photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Inscription:

When Edwin Waller surveyed the Austin townsite in 1839, he set aside this block, in what was then the northeast corner of the city, for a hospital. The site lay empty until 1884, when the City of Austin and Travis County jointly opened a 20-bed, two-story facility known as City/County Hospital.

During the early 1900s the city purchased the county’s share of the hospital and assumed full responsibility for its operation. In 1912 Dr. Robert John Brackenridge (1839-1918), a retired physician, worked for the passage of a bond election that allowed construction of a new, 45-bed facility, which was completed in 1915. The 1884 building was razed in 1927, and two years later the name of the hospital was changed to honor Dr. Brackenridge. Since then, expansion of facilities and services has meant quality medical care for citizens of Austin and the surrounding area.

Over the years, the hospital staff has cared for victims of the 1918 influenza epidemic, the mid-20th century polio outbreak, and the 1966 sniping attack at the University of Texas. As the state’s oldest continuing public hospital, Brackenridge was the site of the first intracranial and open-heart surgeries and of the first kidney transplant in central Texas.

Erected:
1984


Location:
601 E 15th St, Austin TX 78701


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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Driskill Hotel

The legendary Driskill Hotel is an Austin, Texas landmark. The historic hotel is located in the business district and is convenient to the capitol building, convention center and the entertainment district of Austin.
The lobby of the grand hotel sets the tone of elegance, with three story columns framing a marble floor and stained glass dome ceiling. The elegant hotel is rumored to be haunted by multiple ghosts. If you believe in such things. Those who do, believe that the Driskill is among the most haunted hotels in the United States. With ghost stories about the hotel including the story of a young girl playing with a ball, a jilted bride and the cigar smoking original owner.



photo by Kevin Surbaugh




Inscription:
Built 1885-86 by Col. Jesse L. Driskill (1824-1890), cattle king who moved to Austin in 1869. Brick dressed with limestone. Had three grand entrances – one the largest arched doorway in Texas. “Ladies’ Entrance” was on northeast, bust of Col. Driskill is over south arch, busts of his rancher sons on east and west. Rich furnishings were selected by Col. Driskill, who leased out his hotel – southwest’s finest when it opened, Christmas 1886.

Erected:
1966

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Location:
604 Brazos Austin, TX 78701


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Carrington-Covert House

Carrington-Covert House


photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Inscription:
Leonidas D. Carrington (1816-97) and his wife, Martha Hill Carrington (1824-59), came to Austin from Mississippi in 1852. He began to accumulate real estate and on Sept. 15, 1853, bought this block from James M.W. Hall, Austin hotelman, and ten days later opened a mercantile store on Congress Avenue. In 1856 Carrington hired John Brandon, a local architect-contractor, to build on this site a Vernacular Greek Revival home, constructed of rough limestone ashlar. The house was completed in the spring of 1857.

The property was purchased by M.L. Hemphill in 1870 and by the John Fields family in 1881. Fields leased the building, 1893-98, to the “Texas Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital”, directed by Dr. Henry L. Hilgartner (1868-1937), and in 1903, sold the site to Frank M. Covert (1865-1938). The head of a prominent Austin family, who lived here until 1936. Later owners rented the structure as a boardinghouse, residence, and nursery until it was purchased by the State of Texas in 1968.

The Texas Historical Commission restored the house in 1972.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Erected:
1972


Location:
1511 Colorado St, Austin TX 78701


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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Drone Mob and Video Contest

Drone Mob and Video Contest
Sat. Dec 8, 2012
Starting at 11 am
Zilker Park
2100 Barton Springs Road

According to organizers this event is the first ever and is to raise awareness of what the organizers are calling increased surveillance of American citizens. As if we all were terrorists. No suspicion of any illegal activity, the government, according to organizers, is watching everyone one of us, with military drones. Whether you agree or disagree with this premise, it sounds like an interesting "family friendly," event to go and see these drones that were once used exclusively by the military, but is now used by police departments, and various federal agencies such as the EPA and others.

In addition, there will be a video contest to find the best video produced at the event. The winner of this contest will receive $1,000.


Video 1




Infowars is announcing the first ever drone mob event on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, in Austin, Texas.Anyone who wants to take a stand for freedom can join the Infowars Crew here in Austin, bring their own drone to fly and grab a ticket for some amazing free giveaways.

Alex is also announcing a $1000.00 prize for the best drone video filmed at the event. Participants will have two weeks to upload their videos to YouTube for consideration. Rules to follow.


Video 2

Friday, December 7, 2012

Waters Park

Inscription:
Waters Park was a multi-ethnic community located north of Austin in the 19th century. The Austin & Northwestern Railroad, which built a line through here to transport granite for construction of the state capitol, built a recreational park in Waters Park, and ran excursion trains for customers. The resort was a favorite site for family outings. Waters Park included several stores, a post office, schools, churches, a cotton gin and homes. The town declined after World War I, and was later surrounded by the growing city of Austin.


photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
1997

Location:
GPS coordinates - 30° 24.916′ N, 97° 42.609′ W.
On Waters Park Road, on the right when traveling south (under a tree near the railroad trusses.
across the street from 12217 Waters Park Road Austin, TX 78759

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Annual Driskill Tree Lighting - Dec 2012

Last night at the world renowned Driskill Hotel they held their sixth annual Christmas Tree lighting. The Driskill rich in history, and not just for its supposed haunting opened on December 20, 1886 to great fanfare and applause from Austin's then 20,000 residents. The Austin Daily Statesman put out an eight-page special edition of the newspaper in a seven-tiered headline to announce that "...The building presents an imposing and inviting appearance, as it looms up like a palace above all the surrounding buildings."

According to its own website; since that time, the "grande dame" of Texas hotels has remained a magnificent gathering place for locals, Texans and others to celebrate the holidays and other special moments of their lives in Col. Jesse Driskill's splendid Romanesque masterpiece.

They are celebrating the Christmas season with the twelve days of Christmas. Featuring events for kids from 1 to 92, starting with the kick-off tree lighting ceremony last night (lighting at 7p), with festivities continuing through Sunday, December 16th.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kopperl House

Morris Kopperl divorced sportswoman Loula Dale for “desertion” in 1912. She loved big
game hunting and even enjoyed risque humor. Neither of which were traits among most women of the time. One can easily say she was no lady, especially with her enjoyment of risque humor.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Inscription:
Built in 1896 at a cost of $4,200, this home was purchased the same year by sportswoman Loula Dale Kopperl (1861-1919). She and her husband Morris lived here prior to their divorce in 1912, and she continued to occupy the home until her death. The late Victorian-era cottage retains its Eastlake style ornamentation in the fine milled-wood detailing and pyramidal roof with crowned deck. It stands as one of the best examples of its style in the city.

Erected:
1989

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Location:
4212 Avenue F, Austin TX 78751

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wild Christmas Trees on 360

Every year people from all around Austin decorate trees along both sides of the busy highway known as "Capital of Texas Highway," or Loop 360.The trees seem to mysteriously appear as the holidays approach.I first heard of these trees right before we moved here two years ago (in Aug. 2010).  That first year, I stopped by and photographed some of them and was interviewed by a local TV station. Fast forward to now, it is our third Christmas in Austin and my wife and I decided to decorate a tree for ourselves. Below is our tree.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Then here are some of the other trees on both sides of the highway in this picturesque location.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

photo by Kevin Surbaugh



Monday, December 3, 2012

12 Days of Driskill Tree Lighting

Come see a twenty five foot intricately decorated tree come to life and celebrate with performances by the McNeil High School choirs, a full cast of characters, complimentary sweet bites and cider! The Driskill Tree Lighting is this Wednesday from 5pm – 7pm located at 604 Brazos Street in Downtown Austin.

 When:
5:00pm - 7:00pm

Where:
 The Driskill Hotel ~ 604 Brazos St, Austin, Texas 78701 



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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Zilker Holiday Lighting Schedule

This is a reminder that the Zilker Tree will be lighted tonight at 6 pm.

Website:
ZilkerHolidayTree

When:
tonight, December 2   at 6:00 pm

Location:
2100 Barton Springs Road Austin, Texas 78746


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Don't forget the Trail of Lights won't be lighted until December 16.

Website:
AustinTrailOfLights.org
When:
December 16th - 23rd, 2012 6:30 – 10:00 pm each night

Location:
2100 Barton Springs Road Austin, Texas 78746


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Roads around Zilker Park will be closed during this time. So please plan accordingly.

Parking on site at Zilker Park

Approximately 1000 public spaces available
Access to lot from N. Mopac Access Rd/Barton Springs Rd.
Fee is $10 per car (Cash Only)

Shuttle Service to Zilker Park

Shuttles will run continuously from 6:30 – 10 pm each night of the event
Shuttle fee: $2/per person; Under 5 ride for free
Wear your ToL wristband & ride for free! (receive 1 for every $25 in donations to the Trail of Lights)
Two Shuttle Routes:
From Barton Creek Mall – Free parking
From Republic Square Park – Paid lots available

Bike Access

Bike parking available at Zilker Park
No bikes permitted in the Trail

Handicapped Accessibility

Wheelchair accessible parking in Zilker Park
Entire Trail wheelchair accessible (paved road)
Complimentary Golf carts available for disability support (handicapped person & 1 guest only on cart)
Service animals permitted in Zilker Park (No other animals admitted)

Admission:
Free

Friday, November 30, 2012

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

For 37 years the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has been a seasonal celebration of Austin’s distinctive cultural identity, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a haven for people seeking a different kind of holiday shopping experience.
The Armadillo presents an amazing array of original work by artists and artisans, from affordable gifts to high-end art. It’s the city’s favorite shopping party, with live music and a full bar. Gift givers, art collectors and music lovers can grab a beer, dance a bit and have fun while they shop.

This years event (2012) will feature more than 160 artists, artisans and craftspeople exhibiting their latest work. At least three music acts, local luminaries and exciting new talent, will perform each day. The Armadillo will once again be held in the Palmer Events Center.








When:
December 12-24, 2012 11am-11pm daily

Website:
ArmadilloBazaar.com


Where:
Palmer Events Center

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

The Blue Genie Art Bazaar has become an Austin tradition during the holiday shopping season and is a great place to purchase exceptional arts and gifts. They are open seven days a week; 10:00am to 10 pm daily, the event runs from November 27 through December 24 and admission is always free.

All art and gift items for sale at the bazaar have been and is handmade by 130 local artists and craftspeople that are selected through a rigorous jury process. They have thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun, sentimental items. The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is a great way to shop hassle-free, find unique gifts, and support Austin's great local artists.



When:
Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2012 10 am - 10 pm

Admission:
Free


Where:
Marchesa Hall and Theater 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd (across from Highland Mall)


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Downtown Sing Along and Stroll

On Saturday December 1, 2012 Austinits will gather at the steps of the Texas Capital for the lighting of the Capital Christmas Tree, and a sing long with KUT's (Austin's Public Radio) own John Aielli.After which participants then will stroll down Congress Avenue enjoying live music, refreshments and other entertainment. Shops along Congress Avenue will also be open for business during this time.





History:
The Downtown Austin Alliance has sponsored the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Capitol since 1993. In 2003, the Downtown Austin Alliance joined forces with KUT 90.5 to combine their Sing-Along with the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Website:
DowntownAustinHolidays.com

Schedule:
Sing-Along with KUT's John Aielli
6-7 p.m. at the Capitol Grounds

Tree Lighting Ceremony
7 p.m. in front of the Capitol on the north side of 11th Street at Congress

Congress Avenue Stroll
7-9 p.m. from the Capitol to 4th Street and Congress

Admission:
Free but please bring a $3 donation (or 3 cans of food) for the Capital Area Food Bank

Location:
1100 Congress Ave


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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chuy's Giving to Children Christmas Parade - 12-1-12

Every year Chuy's puts an a Christmas parade with giant inflatable balloons, festive holiday floats,  awesome, yes some might even say spectacular marching bands, children's characters, classic cars and even Jolly ole Santa himself are all included in this great annual holiday event.
Be sure to bring a toy  and at a designated time during the parade procession, the parade will stop and all parade participants will collect the toys from the spectators. The toys will then be distributed by Operation Blue Santa to children in need in time for the holidays. The parade has become a big part of this great cause collecting nearly one-third of the toys collected each year at the parade.
The idea started in 1989, but that is getting ahead of ourselves. To really tell the tale of how the parade started, we need to go back to 1987. That's when Chuy's co-owner Mike Young and KLBJ-FM teamed up to start an annual toy drive at Austin's two Chuy's locations to benefit the Operation Blue Santa program.
Two years later, Mike decided it was time to increase awareness of the toy drive by having a parade. So a couple of weeks before Christmas, volunteer's from Chuy's passed out fliers to everyone they meet downtown. The fliers asked them to bring a toy with them to work and the parade would come by to collect them. The following Thursday, the parade went up one side of Congress and back down the other stopping along the way to collect toys, including; according to the parades website a giant teddy bear, from then Governor Bill Clements.  That year Chuy's efforts nearly tripled the number of toys collected from previous years.
So come on out and enjoy the 24th annual Chuy's Christmas Parade and give to those children who might otherwise do without this Christmas season.

When:
Dec. 1, 2012 11am

Website:
Chuy's Giving to Children Christmas Parade

Location:
Downtown along Congress Avenue from the State Capital to Ceaser Chavez


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Monday, November 26, 2012

Best Selling Author Stops in Austin

Dr. Joel Wallach (author: Dead Doctors Don't Lie) came to Austin on Monday Nov, 19, 2012 to speak to a packed house, who wanted to get control of their health naturally, in the Gymnasium at Promise Land Church (1504 E. 51st).
photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Wallach is 73 years old, but you would never know by looking at him. He studied veterinarian medicine, worked with Marline Perkins (Wild Kingdom) then went back to school to study Naturopathic Medicine.He then began to apply the ideas applied to veterinarian medicine to humans. In a nut shell, he was the first to teach that most health issues could be addressed by nutrition rather than medication. Medication only treats the symptoms rather than the cause. A proper diet with nutritional supplements is the best way to address the cause rather then the symptoms. If you address the cause, that in turn will take care of the symptoms.
He and the nutritional supplements that he developed are the only ones to successfully go against the FDA. In fact he has successfully sued the FDA not once but eight times.
During his talk he discussed cholesterol. He said it had nothing to do with heart problems. Rather, it is like the red warning light on your cars dashboard, it is only a warning of a problem. We don't want to be lowering cholesterol rather we want to find out what the high cholesterol is warning us about.  He told women about the dangers of getting a mastectomy exam. One mastectomy gives off as much radiation as five chest x-rays. Instead he urges women to self monitor themselves, if they develop a tender spot then ask the doctor for a high resolution ultra sound with no radiation.
After this he moved into the proper diet and how it is hard to get the nutrients solely from our food.Which is why we need to be on a supplemental program. Here's the deal veterinarian's have increased animal lives by adding nutrients to their diets yet we as humans eat food that really isn't fit for a dog (for example most of us can  remember when a dogs average life span was eight years, now it's 2-3 times longer). The reason our food isn't getting the nutrients from the soil like it once did. We no longer out ashes from the wood stove on our gardens like we use to.As a result the soil has become depleted from the soil. There are 90 essential vitamins and minerals that we like our animals need to have a long life.Most of which, we can only ensure that we will get from nutritional supplementation. Much of what we have been told i wrong. For example, in the the 1980's only 14% of Americans were overweight. Today nearly 40% of Americans are overweight. Why? Because the medical doctors are telling us to be healthier we need to eat better, so we cut the sugar (as we should) while we eat more whole gains. Stop and think about it for a minute. What do we give cows to fatten them up so we can have that nice juicy steak? Whole Grains! Let's take a clue and improve our diets realistically.
Another problem is we are drinking to much water without nutritional supplements. The water (which we need) is washing the vitamins and minerals out of our bodies. We must add nutritional supplements to keep those needed vitamins and minerals in our bodies. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November in Guatemala

Happy Thanksgiving! 
I was planing to send this email out in time for Thanksgiving, but I've been a little behind these past few days.

The biggest news this month is that our daughter Margaret Sophia was born last week! We named her Margaret after my grandmother who has been such a blessing to us. Both mother and daughter are doing well, but sleep sure has been much more difficult these past few days! We are so grateful for God's wonderful provision and protection throughout the complicated pregnancy. And we are so excited to now hold our little girl in our arms. Please be praying for Yuli as she continues to heal from the C-section that was necessary.

Elias graduated from high school at the end of October, and he is now searching for his first job. So these past few weeks he's been here at home with us, and we've had much more time to spend with him than we normally get. It's been great to have this time with him, and our relationships have grown a lot deeper. He's also been an absolute blessing to us this past week with our new daughter as he's been so incredibly helpful with cleaning and running errands. I really enjoy our time together, and it's so wonderful to watch him grow and mature. Please pray for him as he searches for a job.

Benjamin just celebrated his 24th birthday last week, and he also just started a new job. He decided to work at a cell phone company where a few other guys from Casa Shalom now work. This new job offers more money, but I'm concerned because it also requires longer hours. Our relationship with him has grown and matured a lot these last few months, and we've seen a direct link to how busy he is at work with how stressed he is at home. (In other words, he's just like all of us!) Please pray for him as he decides where to work and how to invest his time.

The house construction continues to progress as well. We're currently working on putting stucco on all the walls and installing pipes and drainage lines. I'm not sure when the house is going to be finished, but the progress continues to move along. I guess I should make a new video soon in order to show all the progress since we poured the roof! 


Verse for November

This month we finished our Bible study on the book of John. I just love this book, and I learn more and more each time that I read it. It's fascinating to see how Jesus interacts with His disciples and other people around Him. The thing that really stood out to me this time was how Jesus acted as a leader. I want to be a good leader to the guys that God has placed in my life, and I want to be a good leader for my family. 

Chapters 13-17 are so rich with great examples of His leadership during the last supper and in the Garden of Gesemane. Jesus serves the disciples by washing their feet. He says hard things to them and does what He knows must be done. He gives them a vision for the future and a plan for the present. He challenges them and comforts them. He spends a long time praying for Himself and for them. And all throughout these chapters there is a continuous theme of love: God's love of Jesus, Jesus's love of them, and their need to love each other.

John the Baptist's attitude about Jesus is exactly what I want and need for my life. It's a great response about how to be a good leader:

He must become greater; I must become less."  
John 3:30 (NIV)

I would appreciate your prayers for me: Jesus must become greater in my life, and my personal desires and attitudes must become less. It's so simple, yet so hard. Thanks for your prayers!


Here are all of the blog posts for this past month:

Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, Margaret, myself and our ministry with these guys. We pray that God also blesses your lives and draws you closer to Him. We pray regularly for you, so please let me know if you have any prayer requests!

Brent & Yuliza


Brent Potter
512-551-4334
Brent@CasaShalom.net
http://www.PottersHome.org

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hyde Park (Austin Convention Bureau Marker)

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
In 1891 this neighborhood was among the first planned subdivisions in the city and the first development involving a design for streetcars.

Hyde Park was the vision of Monroe M. Shipe, who with the Missouri-Kansas and Texas Land Company, established a 36-block area patterned after the exclusive London neighborhood.

Distinctive elements in this district are the home and studio of German sculptress Elisabet Ney, residence of Swiss woodcarver Peter Mansbendel, the Moonlight Tower at 41st Street and Speedway, and the Avenue B Grocery Store, a vivid reminder of a now-rare property within a residential neighborhood.

Hyde Park's "long distance" from downtown (20 blocks) made it "The Pride of Austin" with amenities such as a park pavilion, green space, 2 lakes, and an electric street car that ran to downtown.

Growth, economics, permissive zoning and other factors combined with development pressures eroded much of the historic fabric. Through education, awareness of the benefits of historic preservation, proximity to shopping and access to the University and downtown, the area began a resurgence in restoration and rehabilitation.

Bungalows and Victorian style homes remain in the tree-lined neighborhood along with other styles and materials of differing scales which together demonstrate the enviable desireability of historic preservation here and elsewhere.

Erected:
May 4, 2002 by the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau (Historic Landmark Commission)

Location:
Shipe Park, 44th and Avenue F

Monday, November 19, 2012

Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner



Every year Westover Hills Church of Christ and North Austin Christian Church  team up to hold a community Thanksgiving Dinner in the parking lot of North Austin Christian Church (1734 Rutland Drive). If you don't have anyone to spend Thanksgiving with then stop on by North Austin Christian Church and enjoy a full course Thanksgiving Dinner under the tent. Dinner starts at 11 AM on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22, 2012).


Details:
Thursday November 22, 2012
11 am - 1 PM
at North Austin Christian Church
1734 Rutland Drive (Austin)
in the church parking lot (under the Tent)

Hyde Park

photo by Kevin Surbaugh



Inscription:
 Advertised in 1892 as “The most fashionable part of the wealthiest and most aristocratic ward in the city”, Hyde Park was Austin’s first planned suburb. Encompassing an area bordered by the present streets of Guadalupe, 38th, Duval, and 45th, it was promoted by Monroe M. Shipe (1847-1924), President of the Austin Rapid Transit Railway Co. and the M.K.&T. Land and Town Co.

Shipe arranged for an electric streetcar line to run from Congress avenue to Hyde Park. He built a lake and pavilion for recreation and had the city’s first moonlight tower erected at the corner of Speedway and 41st Street. He also built the first Hyde Park school and by 1893 forty homes had been built in the neighborhood.

Among the area’s illustrious early residents, whose homes still remain, were sculptress Elisabet Ney; Swiss woodcarver Peter Mansbendel; and horticulturist F.T. Ramsey. By the early 1900s the large Victorian homes in the neighborhood were being joined by smaller bungalows. The lake was drained and the pavilion was razed. Hyde Park was within the city limits of Austin by the 1930s and the streetcar ceased operation in the 1940s. Renewed interest in the 1970s resulted in revitalization of the neighborhood.

Erected:
 1989 (by Texas Historical Commission)


Hyde Park is over 100 years old. Platted in 1891 by the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Land and Town Co., Hyde Park was marketed under the direction of Monroe Martin Shipe as an affluent suburb featuring large, majestic residences. Completion of Shipe's streetcar line in 1891 provided a reliable transportation connection to downtown from the relatively isolated area. Trees were planted, parkland established, lakes created and a theater pavilion erected to augment the pastoral quality of the area, which was marketed as the "fashionable part of the wealthiest and most aristocratic city in the land." The first houses built in the neighborhood were stylistically pretentious examples of late 19th-century domestic architecture. Many of them, such as the Oliphant-Walker House at 3900 Avenue C, were built in the Queen Anne style by locally prominent citizens.

Shipe's vision of Hyde Park as a self-sufficient community led him to provide municipal services, including mail delivery, street lighting, and sanitation, as well as to encourage churches, schools and stores to locate in the neighborhood. Residents early on had access to establishments such as the Avenue B Grocery (4403 Avenue B) and the Hyde Park Presbyterian Church (3915 Avenue B).

Despite these early promotions, however, sluggish land sales prompted considerable changes in marketing strategies within eight years of Hyde Park's founding. Shipe ceased to advertise the area for the city's elite, and instead portrayed it as a neighborhood for the middle and working classes. In response, Hyde Park's architectural character shifted to smaller, more modest frame houses. While fairly steady growth characterized the addition throughout the first decades of this century, its greatest building boom occurred between 1924 and 1935. The preponderance of bungalows in the neighborhood was the result of construction during this period. Popular across the nation from the 1910s through the 1930s, bungalows, such as the Charles William Ramsdell House (4002 Avenue H), often were associated with early efforts in suburban development.

-- from the Texas Historical Commission



Location:
4301 Speedway, Austin TX 78751 (front yard of neighborhood fire station)


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Scofield Farms Park

This is a small park in Northwest Austin, but it has a lot going on. Besides the sand volleyball, you can access hiking trails here or have a picnic and barbeque. In addition the community also holds movie nights in the park.  It truly is a community gathering place for the community it serves.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Amenities:
1 Sand Volleyball
2 Picnic Tables
1Shelter House
1 Multipurpose Field

Location:
12901 Scofield Farms Dr.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Balcones District Park

Balcones District Park is a beautiful park that runs along Amherst Road in Northwest Austin. The park has a popular basketball court, volleyball court, swimming Pool, a playground for the children, and lots of wide open space. You can also go down the trail behind the pool to access a hiking trail, as well as a beautiful natural waterfall when the creek is flowing after rains.

Balcones District Park
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Amenities:
3 Barbeque Pits
19 Picnic Table(s)
1 Playground
2 Basketball Court(s)
2 Volleyball Court(s)
Swimming

Location:
12017 Amherst Drive Austin, TX


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Texas Awaits Response from White House on Seceding from USA

Over the years there has been talk in Texas about seceding from America again. That talk has never been taken serious. That is Until this week. That is because on Friday (Nov 9, 2012) someone named Micah H. from Arlington started a petition on the White House's "We the People" section of the website. By 7am central time this morning (Nov. 13, 2012) there were 58,486 signatures, according to San Antonio's KENS5.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the Republican governor's press secretary, Catherine Frazier, said in an email that Perry "believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it." She added, "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper."
So what will the official White House response be? We will just have to wait and see.

---------- My name is Kevin, and that's what I think. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? follow us on Twitter

Monday, November 12, 2012

Westech 360

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Is it architect or is it sculpture?The front building on this campus includes what is described as an iconic 80-foot sculpture designed by Benar Venet. Venet is a French artist born in 1941 who internationally known with sculptures exhibited on almost every Continent.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh




Location:
8911 Capital of Texas Highway (360 & Great Hills Trail) Austin, TX 78759


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