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Inside Austin

Inside Austin (Jun 20th, 2019)

Friday expect partly cloudy skies with a high/low of 96/79. Saturday expect thunderstorms with a high/low 92/78.

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Hey there! 

I’m looking forward to offering you the best local news roundup this summer. If you see something you like, would you pass it to a friend or post it on your social media? The more readers we get, the more news I get to share. 

If you have ideas or events you want shared here, shoot me an email at Holly@inside.com. 

Thanks so much! 

Here’s what’s happening: 

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1. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport leaders are reminding Texans who fly to update their state IDs or licenses to comply with the 2005 REAL ID Act. These licenses have a gold star in the upper-right corner near the expiration date — without it, you can’t pass a TSA checkpoint after Oct. 1, 2020, no matter where you’re flying — unless you have a passport or another accepted form of ID. The Texas Department Public Safety started printing compliant IDs in October 2016; you can get yours updated at any DPS location by presenting proof of identity, U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. and state residency. — KXAN

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2. Austin has three new coffee shops to give us a morning jumpstart or an afternoon pick-me-up. Plaza Colombian Coffee (3842 S. Congress Avenue) has cold brew and specialty coffee drinks, along with beer, wine, and tapas. SouthBites Coffee Bar and Café (1400 Lavaca Street, ground-level of SXSW Center) features hot and iced coffee and plenty of to-go food options including tacos, salads and pastries. Flamingo Hemp Bodega (515 E. Sixth Street) is a CBD store and coffee shop combined, with espresso, cappuccino and CBD-infused baked goods. — AUSTIN MONTHLY

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3. Throwback Thursday: In the 1890s, Austin jumped on a national trend and purchased 31 electric light towers from Fort Wayne Electric Company. Each tower had six arc lights, which housed a constant spark between two carbon rods. They were so bright they had to be 150 feet above the ground, giving them the name “Moontowers” or moonlight towers. The city felt these towers would reduce crime, but they would also establish Austin as a national leader in technological innovation. The first one was lit in 1894 at 41st Street and Speedway, with others going up the following year. 

Over the years, some towers were lost to accidents and storms, and the city made an effort to preserve the remaining towers. In 1970, the final 17 towers became historic landmarks. In 1976, they were added to the National Register of Historic Places. As electricity became common, cities around the world removed their Moontowers... but not Austin — 14 towers (three are being restored) still light various corners of the city, including the one at Zilker Park, which holds up Christmas lights to make a tree every year. — NEW YORK TIMES

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4. Stay Cool, Austin: The fourth floor Wet Deck at the W Austin (200 Lavaca St.) was made for triple-digit temperatures. W Austin features cabanas, tanning shelves, outdoor showers and a fireplace. Non-overnight guests of the hotel can get a $15 guest pass (must be purchased in advance) for access from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday or $30 for Soundwave Sundays, which happen every week during the summer months from noon to sundown. Soundwave Sundays feature DJ Bird Peterson and performance guests. There also are similar events on Thursday and Friday evenings. — MARRIOTT

We're taking a look each week at pools around Austin to stay cool. Know of a great spot we can feature? Tap the reply button or send me an email at holly@inside.com.

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5. See outdoor spaces at private homes and get inspired on the Outdoor Living Tour put on by the Modern Architecture and Design Society June 22. — CURBED

6. A live taping of Maggie Rogers, “Cool Summer Nights” at the Bullock Museum and the Air Guitar Championships are all on this weekend’s to-do list. — THRILLIST

7. Bishop Cidercade — Dallas-based cider bar and arcade — is headed to Austin, opening a location later this year in the former Joe’s Crab Shack on Riverside Drive. — EATER AUSTIN

8. Friday marks the first day of summer and the Austin-American Statesman is reminding locals to stay hydrated and watch for signs of heat stroke.

9. Austin’s Artbox program commissioned artists to paint the first round of colorful mini-murals around town, with more to come. — KUT

10. GreenPal — an app that connects property owners in need of lawn care with pre-vetted professionals — is expected to launch in Austin within a week. — FOX 7

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Inside Austin was written and curated by Holly A. Phillips. Holly has a passion for storytelling and uses her craft to promote brands around the world. She is a Blogging Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin and is always looking for a new adventure. Keep up with her on her blog Thebitterlemon.com or on Twitter at @orangejulius7.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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