December 2007 Issue

Features

Feature

Everyone’s Poop

Sewerage is the cornerstone of civilization, the sine qua non of urban life, and the best possible window into how we live, what we eat, and who we are.

That Championship Season

Long before the BCS, long before anyone thought to publish insider newsletters for boosters, the Aggies were the best college football team in the nation—for the first and only time. The long-gone glory days remembered.

The Last Resort

After telecommunications tycoon Steve Smith bought the Big Bend town of Lajitas on a whim for $4.25 million, he spent perhaps $100 million more developing what was going to be a five-star, world-class getaway. The desert, however, had other ideas.

Big Red

John Cornyn won a U.S. Senate seat in 2002 by pledging allegiance to George W. Bush and riding a Republican wave to victory. But neither the president nor the wave is as strong six years later, and Cornyn’s bid for reelection may not be either.

Meat Your Maker

From city to country, fancy to down-home, the state’s 38 best steakhouses. Plus: the Japanese beef that everyone should be eating, our favorite butcher shops, and how to grill a ribeye that even your father-in-law will love.

Web

The Filter: Dining

New and Noteworthy

Liberty Bistro, New Braunfels At this patriotic spot in the former city hall, founder Darren Scroggins has concocted a brick-and-mortar civic lesson. Portraits of presidents, and a few first ladies, preside (benevolently, we hope) over the tables, and even the private dining rooms have righteous names: the House, the Senate,…

The Filter: Dining

New and Noteworthy

Liberty Bistro, New Braunfels At this patriotic spot in the former city hall, founder Darren Scroggins has concocted a brick-and-mortar civic lesson. Portraits of presidents, and a few first ladies, preside (benevolently, we hope) over the tables, and even the private dining rooms have righteous names: the House, the Senate,…

Web Exclusive

Aaron Allston

The Round Rock author and former video game designer has just penned his ninth Star Wars serialization, Legacy of the Force: Fury.

Web Exclusive

Recipe for a Perfect Cookoff

What makes for a great steak? Is it grade, aging, type of feed, breed of cow? After personally visiting twenty steakhouses and trying more than fifty steaks for my portion of our December 2007 cover story, “Meat Your Maker,” I still couldn’t decide. Often the expensive ones were the best,…

Web Exclusive

Recipe for a Perfect Cookoff

What makes for a great steak? Is it grade, aging, type of feed, breed of cow? After personally visiting twenty steakhouses and trying more than fifty steaks for my portion of our December 2007 cover story, “Meat Your Maker,” I still couldn’t decide. Often the expensive ones were the best,…

Web Exclusive

Barry Walker

The curator of The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston discusses the museum’s recent acquisitions, from Jasper Johns to Philip Guston.

Reporter

Book Review

Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

There is something irresistibly civilized about the Steve Martin who abandoned live comedy to ply his trade as a writer, first as a playwright (1993’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile), then as a novelist and screenwriter (Shopgirl), and now as an autobiographer, with Born Standing Up: A Comic’s…

Book Review

A Land So Strange

History buffs will know sixteenth-century Spaniard Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca as one of the first Europeans to explore Texas, but even they will find surprises in A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca, by Mexico City native Andres Resendez. Cabeza de Vaca (yes,…

Author Interview

Aaron Allston

The Round Rock author and former video game designer has just penned his ninth Star Wars serialization, Legacy of the Force: Fury. What cachet does your role in the Star Wars franchise afford you in the realm of SF fandom? Reader reactions fall into three categories: eyebrows go up,…

Chris Klassen, Deejay

Klassen, who performs under the name Prince Klassen, was born and raised in San Antonio. Following in the footsteps of his brother, Jason, he started deejaying at house parties when he was only fourteen. He now lives in Austin, where he regularly spins at Beauty Bar, Whisky Bar, and Nasty’s.

Music Review

Solos, Sessions & Encores

If the conceit of Solos, Sessions & Encores (Epic Legacy)—a collection of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s drop-ins on others’ sessions—is somewhat silly, from a marketing standpoint, no one’s laughing. Does an SRV fanatic really need his 45-second contribution to a Marcia Ball song? Apparently. So we get tracks (some…

Music Review

Patty Griffin: Live From the Artists Den

Austin’s Patty Griffin has always branded her work with a certain melancholic restraint, but Children Running Through, released earlier this year, changed that: She loosened up, let the music flow, and scored a real triumph. On the bitterly cold February night of the album’s release in New York, Griffin…

Music Review

Live From Austin TX

For a San Antonio–born musician who once pretended to be British, Doug Sahm made music remarkably devoid of pretense. Because of this, the late Texas Tornado’s genre-bending explorations have only grown richer over time. As part of Austin City Limits’ Live From Austin TX CD/DVD series (New West),…

Music Review

Atlantic Blues (1949-1970)

Ahmet Ertegun co-founded Atlantic Records in 1947 and, by virtue of his taste and big ears, turned it into one of the most influential independent labels in history. Don’t expect the down-and-dirty stuff on Atlantic Blues (1949–1970) (Rhino Handmade), a four-CD collection displaying the breadth of Atlantic’s reach; Ertegun’s…

Columns

Letter from San Antonio

Boom With A View

There’s no stopping the skyrocketing growth of San Antonio—until recently the Land That Time Forgot—and there’s no going back.

Miscellany

Editor's Letter

Meat the Press

I’m not cowed by the idea of admitting to things that put me on the banks of the mainstream in Texas—rooting for the New York Yankees (give me an alternative!), thinking Cormac McCarthy’s books are boring (get a rope!)—so I may as well also cop to the following: The cover…

Roar of the Crowd

Alpine Mystery Slights

You left out one of the best (if not the very best) towns in your story on Big Bend: Alpine, home to Sul Ross State University, the Museum of the Big Bend, cowboy poetry, Gallery Night, balloon festivals, great people, and no red lights [“River Deep, Mountain High,” October…

Contributors

Contributors

Nate Blakeslee “This story was not driven by a bad personal experience. Well, I once had to use a motorized Roto-Rooter at my house, but that had nothing to do with it,” says senior editor Nate Blakeslee about “Everyone’s Poop”, his study of one of the great marvels…

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