There are some barbecue places in Texas where asking for sauce is basically equivalent to walking in and saying, “I don’t even know what barbecue is.” Try that at Kreuz Market, in Lockhart, for instance, and you can season your ribs with extra scorn. (Tip for sauce lovers: bring a bottle of sauce, get your meal to go, and enjoy it at the square in Lockhart instead.) But the fact that Texas barbecue isn’t defined by its sauce didn’t stop Stubb’s—the sixth-largest barbecue sauce brand in the country—from fetching a cool $100 million for its sale to the spice-and-seasoning giant McCormick’s last week.
There’s plenty of talk lately about the future of live music in Austin. The Austin Music Census polled thousands of stakeholders—musicians, club owners, sound technicians, and more—about the current state of Austin music and the prospects they see for the future. The answers that the census compiled paint a bleak picture of a city whose music community is struggling to keep up with the major development that its music culture in part fueled, but the benefits of which they don’t really see. Club owners and performers alike talked about the challenges in getting fans to pay a cover for local music. Meantime, the wages that people in the music industry in Austin earn are hardly enough to keep up with the rent, which could have a large segment of Austin’s creative community looking toward San Antonio.
The rise of Amazon, Netflix, and file-sharing has doomed many of the record, book, and movie rental and video game stores we all once loved, not to mention big-box electronics stores and entire shopping malls. What will fill those holes in the brick-and-mortar retail landscape?
Hey, Houston and Austin: More bad news, y’all. Not only are both cities in the path of a serious tropical storm, but all of you recent home buyers, those of you whose homes are currently at risk of flooding, may have also paid too much for your properties in the first place.
That’s the takeaway from a new list from Forbes that looks at the most overvalued (and undervalued, but we don’t need to worry about that right now) housing markets in the United States. The very first spot on the list? Austin, where the average home price in April 2015 was $341,054. And coming in at #2 we have Houston, where the average clocked in at over $500,000 in May. (Those are averages, mind you, not median prices, which means that they’re skewed by scatterings of exhorbitantly priced homes.)
On a weekday afternoon in late April, Kyle Lagow sits in the living room of his home in a tony north Plano neighborhood wearing a blue T-shirt and orange jogging shorts, the casual attire of someone who finds himself unwillingly unemployed. Lagow is tall, with a physique that harks back to his days playing tight end for Southern Methodist University, an avocation and a school he says he gave up on too easily.
As the cleanup from the flooding that took place around Memorial Day continues apace, there’s a new hazard to consider, at least for used car buyers: namely, how to avoid buying a car that looks great, but that secretly suffers from significant flood damage. As the Houston Chronicle reports, as many as 10,000 cars in Texas are believed to have been damaged by flood water in May:
One salvage lot operated by Copart in Houston has already gotten 2,500 vehicles rendered inoperable by water. With so many trashed cars on their hands, state officials and private groups have to work to make sure each vehicle bears the permanent mark of a salvaged automobile.
“The major concern we have is that we certainly do not want to see total-loss flooded vehicles re-entering the stream of commerce at some point down the road,” said Fred Lohmann, director of operations for southwest region of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
With a little cosmetic work, flood damage can be hidden and a salvaged vehicle can be passed off as an acceptable used automobile “by someone with a little larceny in their heart,” Lohmann said. But water is pervasive, infiltrating each electronic and mechanical part and leaving lasting damage. A once-flooded car is almost guaranteed to break down—possibly in a dangerous place, like on a freeway.
Services like Carfax can tell you if a car has any reported flood damage, but not all damage gets reported. One can be cautious about buying high-risk cars—say, if it was registered in Louisiana by an owner who lived in New Orleans in 2005—but essentially all cars between Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston are at risk right now, which makes things tricky.
Every so often, headlines tell us of a forthcoming pandemic that threatens to wipe out life on earth as we know it—and then, a few months later, those headlines disappear and the fear of the disease du jour wanes. It may have been a while, in other words, since you’ve thought about avian flu, but you really ought to keep it in mind.
Alas, the season is over for the Houston Rockets. After spotting the Golden State Warriors a three-game lead to start off the conference championship series, the team and its hopes for a Rocky narrative–like sweep of the final four failed to materialize, and Houston sports fans have to choose between caring about the Astros and waiting for the Texans.
However, if you need a chance to celebrate the days when Clutch City meant championships, there’s an opportunity to revisit one of the more fascinating moments of that the all-time greatest Rocket (sorry, Moses Malone)
The divide in opinion over the issue of fracking is vast. No one contends that it’s pleasant to live near a fracking site—even the CEO of ExxonMobil sued to stop a fracking operation from being built near his backyard in North Texas. But fracking also addresses a very real need for energy that none of us can deny. (Even if you drive an electric car and live in a solar-powered house, the organic tomatoes in your sandwich made it to the market in a vehicle powered by gas.) The issue is complicated.