Hey, YOU'RE From Austin, Aren't You?

Dear Invisible Internet Friend Who Is So Beautiful And Smart And Knowledgeable About Austin,

I love you. Did you know that? I do.

And you know how sxsw is coming up?

[Hi. For those of you who are still kind of new around these here technology/blogging parts, there's this ginormous show in Austin every year called South by Southwest, or SxSW if you want to really seem like you know what you're talking about. See?]

And you know how like, everyone who's everyone will be there?


So that would explain why I will be in San Francisco.

HOWEVER. A lot of BlogHers will be there, in Austin, and dude -- they totally wanna hang out. With YOU.

They said so.

They just....uh....they're kind of wondering....any idea where they you ya'll should go?

In all honesty dear, sweet, brilliant, gorgeous IIF, I have the task of trying to find a fun, casual, dining/bar spot that will accommodate up to 50 BlogHer babes and dudes on the night of Friday, March 9 from 8 p.m. onward. Seems like Austin has a bunch of places like this, except we have two sort of "challenges"...

1. The spot can't be overrun with live music (ya'll will need to hear one another), and

2. The place would ideally be within walking distance of the event.

And um...seeing as I have never been to Austin (I've barely been to Texas) and that all of this is a wild guessing game for me, I'm sort of wondering if perchance you might be willing to help me secure a viable location?

I'll totally buy you a virtual drink. Or like, 82.




  1. Well, I'm not from Austin but, as the saying goes, I got here as quickly as I could.

    Since you asked me for this a while ago, and I didn't get back to you, I will now try to address my rude lack of reply. You have a few (actually, a lot of) choices:

    Guero's on South Congress, walking distance from 6th street. Likely not to have a loud band but more of a restaurant than a bar.

    Hotel San Jose. Has this patio/courtyard and would be the prefect place for all y'all to hang out, but call now, as likely 2009 SXSW is already likely booked out there. If you have the cash, this is the coolest, non pretentious hotel in Austin.

    The lobby of my office building. No, I am not kidding. I work in the office side of the Omni hotel at 6th and Brazos, and the lobby has a decent if slightly anonymous hotel bar (the margaritas, though, will stop a truck, so what more could you ask for?). However, huge space, and stumbling distance from everything. Likely to accommodate everyone in your group easily.

    Ranch 616. Coolest restaurant in Austin, always someone playing live Pasty Cline. But you'd have to see if they can accommodate a group of your size. If you go, eat the fish tacos and make sure you order a silver coin, though not if you plan to drive anywhere afterwards.

    Habana, close to the action, on 6th near I35, and multi-level with lots of space. Downside is it might be a music venue. Cool place, good food. Also, they serve mojitos that will stop a SuperDuty.

    The Ceder Door. A dive, in the best possible way. Has a patio big enough for everyone in your group, but likely you just have to arrive en masse, as they won't book it out for a party. Arrive early, drink a lot.

    Mother Egans. Cool Irish place, close to the action, but still a bit of a walk from the core, maybe 10 minutes. Laid back, likely Celtic music.

    I would guess the easiest is to arrange a reception in the lobby of the primary hotel y'all staying at, and just use the hotel bar. Easy, if not quite tres Austin cool.

    Finally, there's a Finnish band called The Crash playing. I can highly recommend them if you are looking for some mean pop licks from someplace where you wouldn't expect them to originate.

    Have fun and remember, down here in Texas, you don't wear the hat unless you have the boots. Don't be all truck and no ranch.

    Love your IIF from ATX (via Helsinki, Tampere, and Toronto)

  2. your fellow connectican (is that a word?), my friend the panty boy we will call "trisha" ... just bought property in Austin, and has some really good friends there. He's planning on going to South by Southwest. He may be a good resource for you - or at least able to pass you along to someone who is. If you don't have his contact information, let me know.

  3. The Green Mesquite on Lamar and Barton Springs. Cheap/good BBQ and beer and nice casual outdoor seating (picnic tables) and probably not super busy on Friday night, you could have the whole backyard.

    I love El Sol y La Luna on South Congress, they are only open until 10 pm, but if you call, they might stay open late for you guys. Run by the sweetest people.

    Z'Tejas is right on 5th street and is more upscale. I never liked the food there, but it's the place that people get taken to when they are interviewing for an engineering job, non threatening to anyone and I think they'll be super professional helping out with an event.

    I love Austin, I don't live there anymore, too bad you aren't going!

    Good luck finding a place!

  4. God - and the Hotel San Jose is sooo pretentious! :P

  5. K -- Please, please excuse this bizarro hijack, but D'Arcy? Is it possible that you went to a Pearl Jam concert with a gaggle of women in Toronto a decade ago?!


  6. Dana, yup, through a connection of mine in Buffalo.

  7. Dana -

    I am more than amused by how small a world it is.

    Besides, D'Arcy is not what I'd consider "forgettable." *smooch* :)

  8. I've recently become convinced that it's more like 3 degrees of separation. And you two actually know each other? IRL?

    D'Arcy - Jessica and I were JUST talking about you two weeks ago and remembering how thankful we were for your kind hands on our shoulders and your calmness and towering presence after the show. :) I also remember loving your shower curtain. ha!

    Off to email the rest of the gaggle! Thanks K for the use of your space. I guess I'll use this opportunity to pimp you to another group of friends... ;)


  9. Hi Again, Dana,

    3 sounds about right. Truly crazy! Yes, D'Arcy and I know each other IRL, though we initially met online back when I was still on the east coast and newly single.

    Yeesh. That would be SIX years ago now.

    Anyway, continue to use the space however you see fit. And I'm happy to be pimped, though I should really work on getting some non-work content up.


  10. Kiki,

    have you tried asking hotel bars? They're quiet and usually available for private parties - but usually so empty you wouldn't even need to make any sort of reservation.

  11. bahahahaha! Though I don't know any of the parties involved IRL, I was AT that Pearl Jam concert. In Toronto. A decade ago.

    Hold steady, world. You're getting smaller.

  12. julie - that is CRAZY!

    *eyes world suspiciously*

  13. Are you going to look up SK, Kiki?

  14. anon - i thought about emailing her and asking for suggestions, but decided she's probably got bigger things to worry about (two of them!).

    it'd be different if i were actually *going* myself, but alas.

    thanks for thinking of it!

  15. what is the REAL truth behind the johnny versace debacle? and andre rison?

  16. To hijack back the comments section briefly - I am part of the alerted gaggle and I want to say HI D'ARCY! Is it too late to say "thanks again"? Who cares. THANKS AGAIN!

    K - I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! I read quite a bit of it yesterday. Read all parts of your divorce saga in 1 sitting. Really! I am blog rolling ya gal!

  17. Off topic but this is simply bizarre that these two worlds were but one degree of separation. I know K IRL (and while she might have started off as an IFF, most of my communication these days is our once a year, boozy late night dinners when I am in San Francisco).

    I had a good time at that concert and I remember feeling like the luckiest guy in the city, considering that I was with all these very cool women. I don't think I've been able to top that experience since.

    Well, hello to all of you as well. Since Buffalo, I've lived back in Toronto, in Helsinki and in Tampere Finland, and now I am in Austin. Please pass my regards on to the others who were there.

  18. Actual Native Austinite here (a really rare breed since most of the Austin population is made up of folks who came here as college freshmen and never left).

    You've got a pretty good list of suggestions so far. But call and check in advance that there won't be loud music during your event. Venues that aren't normally music venues have bands during SXSW. Grocery stores, ice cream shops, bookstores, etc all have bands playing during that crazy week.

    BTW, if you want to be really hip and cool, you call the event South By, pronounced all in one breath "southby." So in writing, I suppose it should be "SX."

    I'm going to miss the whole mess this year since I'm leaving that Friday for camping in the Big Bend region with a bunch of friends and family. I don't mind a bit except that I'll miss seeing OK Go open for Snow Patrol at Stubb's BBQ. Darn. I was really looking forward to throwing some (freshly laundered) panties at Damien Kulisch.

    Anyone want to rent my 4 bedroom house? I'll give a great rate if you'll do some dog walking and feeding.

  19. Whoever said Cedar Door is a dive is full of it... Clearly they've never been to an *ACTUAL* Austin Dive.

    I have no idea where to suggest you could take 50 people during south by. Downtown is quite busy around that time. I'm not sure that gueros would hold a 50 person party, or the other establishments you mentioned.


  20. Dear Anonymous,

    I guess what constitutes a dive could be quite subjective. But perhaps the others posting here are not quite as cool as you are, as you seem to know where there _real_ dives are, even if you don't offer any examples. Does Antonios up north constitute as a dive? Jamies? Or does it have to be one of those mexican places out near the airport before its enough of a dive for you? Where exactly do you propose a group of 50 women go for a bit of Austin-flavored drinking?

    Thanks for your contribution. Aside from pissing on the other suggestions, did you feel like offering anything useful?

  21. I'd recommend "The Ginger Man" which is a beer place downtown near a lot of the venues. There's other places too, farther away from the venues, but its got like 100 beers on tap and almost always has open seating in the back.

  22. Oh, wait.. dining spot. Rrrright. I'll think about it when I'm downtown at the Spearhead show tonight. (EEE!!! SPEARHEAD!)


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