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Inside Austin

Inside Austin (Jul 2nd, 2019)

Wednesday expect thunderstorms with a high/low of 89/74. Thursday expect partly cloudy skies with a high/low of 91/75.

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Hey there, 

I’m so glad you’ve become part of the Inside Austin community and I want to keep it growing! So, if you see anything in one of the issues, pass it along to someone who may enjoy it. 

What are some summer events you’re looking forward to? Email me at holly@inside.com so I can feature them in an upcoming issue. 

Now, here’s the latest:

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1. Matt’s El Rancho Tex Mex in Austin filed a lawsuit against The Horseshoe Hill Cowboy Cafe in Fortworth, along with its founder and his LCC over the name of an appetizer: Bob Armstrong Dip. El Racho’s created the dip — which is layers of taco meat, queso, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo — for famous Texas politician Robert Landis Armstrong when he would visit the restaurant in the early 70s and request an item from the chef, which became the now-famous dip. Horseshoe Hill started selling a similar dip of the same name sometime before February 2018 and El Rancho sent cease-and-desist letters, along with verbal warnings. — KXAN

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2. The City of Austin partnered with Ford to launch the “City One Challenge”, which aims at helping East Austin residents have greater access to grocery stores and healthcare providers. The challenge is currently in the explore phase and is asking the community to provide feedback on Austin’s traffic problems through an online portal and/or at community meetings. As the challenge progresses, city leaders and Ford will pick up to two winners and provide $100,000 for their pilot projects. The explore phase runs through August, and the first community meeting is July 18 at 5:30 pm at 8401 Cameron Road. — KVUE

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3. By the Numbers: The SXSW PanelPicker is back to help select programming ideas for this year’s conference and is accepting submissions now through July 19. The PanelPicker allows the public to propose and vote on programming and conference activities and has seen approximately 5,000 submissions each year since its introduction in 2007 — 60,000 total submissions. 

In the end, 30 percent of the final selections are from the public, 30 percent from the SXSW staff and 40 percent from industry experts. SXSW has grown exponentially over the years and in 2018, it’s economic impact was $350.6 million. The first year of the conference was 1987, with 700 attendees. In 2018, 161,000 people came for music, 72,872 for film and 75,098 for the conference — 308,970 total. — STATESMAN

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4. Stay cool, Austin: Head about 30 miles west to Spicewood and visit Krause Springs for several opportunities to cool down. The Krause Family has privately owned the 115-acre property for more than 50 years, and is home to 32 springs, man-made and natural pools (which flow into Lake Travis), and a butterfly garden. The property is listed on the National Registry of Historical Sites, and many Austinites flock to the area for camping and various events. — KRAUSE SPRINGS

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5. It wouldn’t be a proper July 4th celebration without fireworks! That’s why there are 10 different places around the city where you can enjoy festive fireworks, BBQ, ice cream and live music. Some of the events even have dancing or movies after the fireworks are finished. — AUSTIN 360

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6. If you’re looking for daytime July 4th festivities, there’s several parades and celebrations happening as early as 8:30 am. Depending on your event of choice, enjoy floats, carnival games, live music and costume contests all day long. — AUSTIN MONTHLY

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7. Bookworms, mark your calendars — the Texas Book Festival will run Oct. 26-27, and 15 of the headlining authors were just announced, many of whom have New York Times bestsellers. The free event will include 250 famous and emerging writers, journalists, comedians, artists and chefs all taking over downtown. — CULTURE MAP

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8. One of Austin’s two video rental stores, Vulcan Video, has seen recent support from the local film community through a GoFundMe campaign. Vulcan Video (4411 Russell Drive) is home to a large movie archive, including rare 1980’s slashers, foreign films and cult classics. — COMMUNITY IMPACT

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9. Blenders & Bowls and NadaMoo have teamed up to make the perfect summertime treat for any Austinite: The NadaMoo Bowl. It’s acai blended with strawberries, bananas and vanilla milk on the bottom with NadaMoo vanilla ice cream, hemp granola, banana slices and honey on top. Ditch the honey to make it vegan. — EATER AUSTIN

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10. Forbes published a list of the best things to do in Austin. Locals may have been-there-done-that, but I’m happy to see Geraldine’s made the cut for live music and Otoko for those times you’ve got money to splurge on fine sushi. — FORBES

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Holly’s Austin Adventures: July 4 Fireworks Paddle 

This is my fourth summer in Austin. For my first July 4th here, I was content hitting the pool at my apartment complex and watching fireworks from my balcony. But, when I did the exact same thing the following summer, I vowed to do something different the next year — I really needed to get closer to the fireworks. 

So, last summer I reserved a stand-up paddleboard at the Rowing Dock for their festive paddle that puts participants right under the downtown fireworks. It was only my second time on a paddle board, so I was a little nervous. But, I clipped a beverage to my life-jacket and we were off. 

I paddled toward the fireworks launch site, getting as close as possible before the water police pushed started pushing the crowd of canoes, kayaks and paddle boards back. Per Texas law, everyone was wearing a light, but most people also had glowing accessories on, and some of the boats were decked out in festive flags and decor. 

Once we were settled, we all sat on the water, gawking at the fireworks — it’s got to be one of the best seats in the city. Once the fireworks show is over, you have 30 minutes to get back to the dock. Enter: anxiety. I had no idea how far I’d paddled, and given my lack of experience and terrible balance, I’d been gripping the board with every possibly millimeter of my toes and my legs were semi-numb. 

Paddling back to the dock in the near-pitch-black of night sent my imagination to all the wrong places. On the positive side, the water police were out, making sure we all made it back safely. On the downside, their boats made enough of a wake to slosh my paddleboard all over the place, nearly sending me into the Colorado River. 

But, I made it back with plenty of time to spare, and it was one of my favorite Austin adventures. I’m going back this year, but I’m giving my legs a break and I reserved a kayak this time. 

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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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