“The Texas horned toad has sprung into demand as ornaments for ladies’ hat pins.” —Palestine Daily Herald, May 28, 1909
Today’s Austin music scene is a robustly global brand: South by Southwest, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and even upstarts like Fun Fun Fun Fest and Austin Psych Fest draw deeply international throngs, and Spoon and Gary Clark Jr. are popular pretty much everywhere. The slogan “The Live Music Capital of the World,” it turns out, wasn’t that much of a stretch.
Last February, after Uber, the app-based ride-sharing company, announced its intention to enter the Houston market, local cab drivers crammed into a city council meeting wearing bright-yellow T-shirts with slogans like “Fair Play = Same Rules.” They claimed that Uber, which usually charges less than traditional cabs do, has an advantage because its drivers don’t have to meet the same insurance requirements as most cabbies.
The Grapevine City Council approved spending $60,000 in public funds to erect a four-and-a-half-foot unicorn statue on the roof of the city’s convention and visitors bureau building.
On October 30 San Antonio’s new mayor, Ivy Taylor, stood behind a lectern at Club Giraud, a private dining club situated downtown on the banks of the city’s famous river, and faced a crowd of business leaders. Only hours before, Taylor had pushed through a unanimous city council vote to build a $3.4 billion pipeline that will bring water from Burleson County, 140 miles away, to San Antonio.
Puzzling over what to buy your favorite fifth-generation Texan? Scratching your head over what to send to your Texas relatives who now reside out of state? Wondering what to get the family next door who just moved here from California? Let this roundup of gift-worthy items—inspired by a few of my favorite Texas Monthly features—be your guide.
There’s no sugar-coating it: it’s been a rough year for Texas wine. As I reported in September, late spring freezes wiped out grapes in the High Plains and the Hill Country, two of the dominant growing regions in the state. During harvest, winemakers knew the 2014 vintage would produce mixed results.