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Asher Price
4 hours ago - News

New podcast examines Black Austin

Exalton and Wilhelmina Delco, left, are interviewed in their home by Richard Reddick and Lisa Henderson, right, for the podcast Black Austin Matters. Photo courtesy KUT.
Exalton and Wilhelmina Delco, left, are interviewed in their home by Richard Reddick and Lisa Thompson, right, for the podcast Black Austin Matters. Photo courtesy KUT.

"Two things I like to do in private: chicken and watermelon," Austin civil rights organizer Chas Moore says on a new podcast. "Being in Austin ... it's just a conscious thing I have about not wanting to do that in front of white people."

Driving the news: The poignant admission comes on "Black Austin Matters," a new KUT podcast hosted by Richard Reddick and Lisa Thompson — UT professors who talk with other Black Austinites about their perspectives on the city.

Nicole Cobler
4 hours ago - Business

New boutique hotels latest sign of Austin's rebounding travel industry

A photo of a bed in a hotel room.
Thompson Austin guest room. Photo courtesy: Hyatt Hotels

Hoteliers are placing big bets on Austin and a U.S. pandemic recovery.

Driving the news: Two new (and similarly named) hotels opened their doors last Wednesday — Thompson Austin and tommie Austin — the latest sign that the city's hotel industry is making a comeback.

Asher Price
4 hours ago - News

Where to get tasty falafel served up in Austin

Food on display from Sosa food truck
Dressed-up falafel and dolma from Sosa Foods, a mediterranean food truck. Photo: Asher Price/Axios

You can get falafel everywhere from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles, but the best might be dished out of a food truck tucked into a South Austin light industrial enclave.

Details: Because this is Austin, the spot is home to both a Tesla service shop and a pair of beach volleyball courts.

Asher Price
Jan 14, 2022 - News

An exhibit of contemporary Black artists at the Blanton

A corner of an art installation at the Blanton.
Installation view of "Assembly: New Acquisitions by Contemporary Black Artists." Photo courtesy Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin

Hanging in one corner of a temporary exhibit at the Blanton flashes a neon blue-and-orange sign that looks like something from a roadside bar.

"I will light you up" blinks alternately with "I will light up your life."

  • The first phrase is what Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia shouted at Sandra Bland during a 2015 rapidly escalating traffic stop that led to Bland’s death in police custody.
  • The latter plays on Debby Boone's 1977 song "You Light Up My Life," later recorded by Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.
Asher Price
Jan 14, 2022 - Sports

University of Texas football poised to hire former rival coach

Head coaches Steve Sarkisian and Gary Patterson shake hands after a game in 2021
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian meets TCU head coach Gary Patterson following Texas' 32-27 win over TCU in Fort Worth in October. Photo: AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The University of Texas Longhorns are poised to hire a long-time coaching rival to their football staff.

Driving the news: UT late last week posted a job for "special assistant to the head coach."

  • Spotted this past weekend in Austin was Gary Patterson, long-time coach of the TCU Horned Frogs.
  • UT athletic director Chris Del Conte is close to Patterson, having held the same title previously at TCU.
Nicole Cobler
Jan 14, 2022 - Business

Austin's big year for VC funding

Data: PitchBook & NVCA; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Despite the pandemic and labor shortages, Austin's venture capital industry in 2021 continued to boom.

The big picture: Startup funding flowed in Austin last year, delivering 387 deals valued at a record-setting $4.9 billion — or 211% growth compared to the previous year — per data from PitchBook.

  • The investments range from seed money to later stage rounds, a sign Austin serves to benefit brand-new startups as well as growing companies.
Asher Price
Jan 13, 2022 - Business

Rosen's Bagel Co. opens Austin brick-and-mortar

A display of Rosen's bagels.
Bagels having a conversation about which of them is yummiest. Photo courtesy Rosen's Bagel Co.

A new bagel joint is flinging open its yeasty doors.

Driving the news: Tom Rosen, owner of beloved bagel peddler Rosen's Bagel Co., officially opens a brick-and-mortar location on North Burnet, just outside the Domain, Thursday.

Nicole Cobler
Jan 13, 2022 - News

Austin's blood bank seeks donations amid nationwide shortage

A photo of empty chairs at a blood bank
Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Central Texas, along with the rest of the country, is facing a blood supply shortage, and the area's blood bank, We Are Blood, is pleading for immediate donations.

Why it matters: COVID, winter storms, staffing challenges and more have disrupted the nation's blood supply. In recent weeks, blood centers across the U.S. have reported less than one day's worth of blood for certain blood types, according to the Red Cross.