My very best Austin day with Nancy Flores
We recently caught up at Plaza Colombian with Nancy Flores, editor and publisher of Austin Vida, a must-read newsletter and cultural calendar that highlights the stories, events and people of Austin's Latino community.
Here's our condensed conversation:
What's the mission of Austin Vida?
It's about amplifying and celebrating those voices in our community that are not heard.
In traditional newsrooms the stories are from journalists themselves — and across the country, diversity in newsrooms is not where it should be — so I want to flip that, with a community-first approach as one of my main goals.
What's it like shouldering this load?
Every time I feel overwhelmed or think, 'What did I get myself into?’ it's always someone from the community who comes behind me, and says, 'Let's go. Let’s keep moving.' They give me that push to remember why we're doing this.
That always trumps any fears or self doubts, when I hear from someone who says, 'We really need this, and you need to continue.' That's the part that’s gratifying.
Walk me through your perfect Austin day.
A perfect day has to start with a concha — Mexican pan dulce. I love conchas. My favorite is vanilla or the pink kind. Conchas are having a moment of their own — pop art, jewelry and tee-shirts. My little nephew made little concha earrings.
It comes back to a sense of home and nostalgia. I try to eat them on my birthday. I get them at Mi Tradición at William Cannon.
With cold milk or hot chocolate.
And then, for some protein, I'd stop at the Las Delicias Meat Market and get the carnitas. That would be an awesome start to the day for me.
Walking it off, one of the places I like to go to is the Pan-Am Rec Center. The murals there, by renowned muralist Raul Valdez, make it just a special spot because they bring together all kinds of aspects of culture, political activism and music. It's the site of the Hillside Concert Series, which is a really nice place to check out Tejano music and have family fun on the hill with your picnic blanket, with the backdrop of these beautiful depictions of our culture and our history.
What do you do for the afternoon?
With the pandemic, I'm looking at places closer to me, wanting to support them and not take anything for granted. So I might get something to-go, like the Mexican-style shrimp cocktail at Tutty Frutty. And then I might browse the latest at Resistencia Books, off East Riverside. I feel invigorated going to these sorts of places.
For dinner, I have to have rice and beans in some shape or form — doesn't matter if it's black beans or charro beans. That's the ultimate comfort food for me. I might get the ropa vieja at Casa Colombia or Habana. And then for a low-key place to listen to music outside and dance, Plaza Colombian is a way to ease your way back in. They have a lot of great Latin music.
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