Mode Needs You!

3 02 2009

modeimageOh, dear. We are kind of getting to that point where we really can’t take any more of this economic drudgery… So, sorry to be the bearers of yet more bad news, but it seems as though tough times have fallen upon Mode Apparel.


Seems they are having a big ol’ sale to scrape together some cash. So, if you’ve got some, spread the love. And get some cool threads while you’re at it?

We would really hate to see Mode go. Damn you, economy. I mean really, what’s it going to take for you to get off your ass and get back in proper working order?

Here are the deets straight from the Mode girls (p.s. a la mode means “in the fashion.” I watched Little Miss Sunshine” the other day and that is what I learned from it. Also, that Steve Carrell is kind of attractive. What did I just say? Yeah. You heard me.)

Hello friends a la mode,

As you know this is a bad economy we are living in… wish we had crystal ball but we did not… anyway, mode is unfortunately becoming very close to closing our doors like so many other small businesses in Austin already… we obviously do not want this to happen and we are trying to stay optimistic but we must also be realistic.
So since this is such a shitty economy… we are going to continue our “semi-barter” sale because I know that no one has money. I put the quotes around semi-barter sale because basically we will pretty much take any price for our things (beggers can’t be chosers!!!!)! Anyway, hope you all are not suffering too bad.
Best wishes!!!



Eastside Pedal Pushers: A New Home

22 01 2009


As we’re sure most of you have noticed by now, Eastside Pedal Pushers has moved out of their 6th street locale. We’ve been meaning to write about the bike shop for a while now. We know. Shame on us. But we’re doing it now, ok???

So here’s the story: We took our bike to Eastside a while ago to get some work done. As we’ve said before, we’ve been to many a bike shop in many a city, so we’re not new to the “cooler then thou” ‘tudes of most bike shop dudes. But so far, the guys at the shop were cool, toook the bike and told us we could pick it up the next day. A little later, we got a phone call from the mechanic who had a few questions about how we actually use the bike, how we like the saddle and the stem to be set up, how we like the peddals, all sorts of stuff. It was pretty awesome that they took the time to actually ask us how we wanted things, and it was clear that they really knew their stuff. I’ve never actually had a bike shop do that before, so we were more than pleased.

For instance: I once had a wheel trued at a different shop, but the mechanic failed to tell me that in order for it to be true, there wasn’t any tension on some of the spokes. The wheel folded like a pancake. Not the case with these guys… we picked up the bike the very next day and all was well.

But now, in a controversial and heated move, apparently, they have packed their bags for the greener pastures of their new 1414 E. 5th Street home. While it’s true that noone ever wants to lose their home, we consider ourselves lucky to have these guys still in the neighborhood. We are of the mindset that everything happens for a reason, so we hope that the ESPP guys will be very happy in their new diggs. We actually think it’s a great new spot since it’s close to the ubber bike friendly Progress Coffee. But what do we know.

So what will happen to their old shop? It’s already being repainted and re-vamped into… a coffee shop? These are the rumors, anyhow. We hope they turn out to be a great addition to the area and we will definitely keep you posted.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for a grocery or store of some sort. Or a diner. That would be nice. Or a bakery? mmm. Or maybe a gelatto shop. Oh yeah… um, can you tell it’s getting close to lunch time??


Shop crafty!

17 12 2008


To this day, I still see the word “crafts” and think of pine cone birdfeeders and macaroni necklaces… or doilies and that moth ball smell…  But craftiness has undergone a total revolution these past few years, as evidenced by this year’s Etsy Austin Holiday Bazaar (seriously, Etsy, we write about you guys so much here, can we get a discount or something?!?!). In addition to crafty goodies for the holidays (and for yourself), they are offering free beer, skate demos, bands, and more. So, yeah, this ain’t your mama’s craft fair. Unless you mom’s all cool and stuff.

Here’s the details:

What: Etsy Austin Bazaar
When: Friday December 19 – Sunday December 21
Where: The Broken Neck

We talked to Kristen with Etsy Austin to get the low-down on this weekend’s event.

EA: Is this the first year you guys have done this craft fair?

This is the first year we have done this craft fair.  Team Etsy Austin only recently came into existance in the beginning of October.

EA: What pushed you to organize it? / Why East Austin?

The ladies of Luster Creations brought the idea of doing a fair at the Broken Neck to the first Team Etsy Austin meeting.  The Broken Neck is usually home to punk and hardcore shows, so it’s already a place that supports DIY.  It’s also great for the laid-back vibe of the show – there will be bands playing throughout the weekend, a skate demo on Saturday, and beer donated by Saint Arnold.  It’s kind of like a party you can shop at!  What better way to promote our team and its members as well as Austin culture?

EA: Could you tell me more about the Etsy Austin group?

Well, there are plenty of Texas-related Etsy street teams, but, surprisingly (considering the amount of craftiness that happens in this town), no Austin team!  We have around 50 members (or businesses).  We meet once a month and also stay connected via email.  Our goals are to promote each other and encourage creativity, buying handmade and of course, shopping locally!

EA: What awesome goods can we expect to find?

We have about twenty vendors selling all different sorts of wares.  You can except one-of-a-kind jewelry, letter-pressed cards, hand-painted shoes, eco-friendly children’s toys, soy candles, custom belt buckles, handmade purses – I am not exaggerating when I say this is the place to check everyone off your list. If you want a sneak peak you can also swing by our blog,

We are super excited to see an Austin craft bazaar setting up shop on our very own East Side! And right before payday too! Dangerous….



This Weekend, Head E.A.S.T.

20 11 2008

It’s here! You know, that time of year when all the white folks decide it’s OK to come over to our side of the tracks…. OK,  so that’s not exactly true. There are all kinds of people living on the East Side, but it’s sort of funny to me that everyone still seems to be wary of living in our neighborhood, but they sure do come out for freebies like the East Austin Studio Tour. This seems to be one of the major events that really “resurrected” the East Side for many non-residents. As for us, this will be our very first E.A.S.T. and we are rearing to go! We picked up our booklet and map at Whole Foods last weekend and have been perusing the pictures and the Web gossip in an attempt to make some sort of plan of attack. We have decided to share our infinite wisdom with you, fellow readers, in hopes that we can be of some assistance in your very own E.A.S.T. plan. We will probably hitting the streets via bicycle, and we encourage you all to do the same! Many of the locations are pretty close together, so biking just makes sense. Obviously, art is an incredibly subjective thing, so please don’t get all up in arms with us if we lead you to something you aren’t all the impressed with. Our goal is to get out and enjoy our neighborhood and our neighbors and their work. That said, here are some spots we will be attempting to stop by. You can see all of these on their interactive google map!

#4 Bright Studio! 1301 Garden Street: Described in the booklet as “printing, sculpture, mixed media,” but the Web address takes you to printed textiles, t-shirts, and notecards of a crafty nature a la Etsy, which you all know we enjoy. So we’d like to know what else these folks can pull off. And they have an exclamation point at the end of their name. We are intrigued.

#7 Domy Gallery/Bookstore: We just like these guys and have been meaning to stop by lately. No time like the E.A.S.T. Last we heard they have an exhibit of monster drawings up. Monsterific!

#12 Okay Mountain, 1312 E. Cesar Chavez St: Seems their current exhibit features a collective of artists from Kansas City. with an edgy, of-the-wall style, and some wild looking installation pieces, this place looks like it might be an interesting pit stop.

#9 Big Red Sun: If you still haven’t been here, stop by already! Buy a plant or something.

#14a Cesar A Sylva: A local up-and-comer working in oil and acrylic on canvas. Something about his work caught our eye. His paintings have a narrative feel that we are drawn to.

#20 Margot Herster/ flexspace: Photography. We like photography, and her stuff looks interesting. The end.

#25 Jeffrey Swanson: This guy does a bit of everything, from mixed-media, to painting, to photography, and we hear he’s pretty good on the drums too.

#26 Germaine Keller Studio: Um, what??!!  This stuff looks fantastic. Installations, sculpture, architecture/industrial meets nature. It’s blowing my mind right NOW.

Willow Arts, 1617 Willow Street: Looks like a multiple-artist space filled with everything from paintings and photography, to writing and ceramics. Artists include Deanna Miesch, Carrie Kenny, and Jaqueline May.

#31 Jacob Borshard: Cartoons! Of a fantastical  nature, no less.

Artists, I’m sorry if I misspelled your names! I tried my best. For now, feast on these, you art-hungry readers. More to come tomorrow. Maybe.

Discussion: Solid Gold’s Katie Friedman

6 11 2008


One of the first shops we found on the East Side was the lovely little gem, Solid Gold. Filled to the brim with clothes, accessories and awesome gifts, it is incredibly difficult to leave this store empty handed. And store co-owner Katie Friedman is one of the friendliest, hardest working gals we’ve met. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

EA: What brought you to the East side of Austin/ what is it about this side of town that inspired/lured you in?

KF: We really just liked the energy over here-the mix of old and new Austin. It has been interesting to see how fast things are changing and inspiring to be around all of this change while still embracing the roots of East Austin. As business owners, it is really important that we have something special to bring to this community. We think we accomplish both as a place where you can shop for great clothing, home goods, and gifts in your neighborhood, and through our support of East Side charities.


EA: What’s the idea/ reasoning behind your store, and what are some of your favorite pieces you sell? i.e. what’s the artist’s name who did the woodblock bird prints?

KF: Anya and I came up with Solid Gold as a combination of what we are both doing in the space.

I wanted to focus on interesting design detail, quality construction, and fabulous fabrics, which I think is best showcased in solids. I also wanted my customers to have items from the shop that are their favorite pieces-you know that dress that you reach for a million times because it fits great, looks amazing, will never fall apart or go out of style. I think prints are hard for this because they tend to be trend based and I would rather you get something that you aren’t going to hate in a few seasons or even years…I also want to bring something new and different to the Austin shopping scene by offering unique pieces from new and upcoming designers and artists. Some of my favorites right now are: clothing by Chulo Pony, Peel, dace…woodworks by Sylvie Rosenthal…jewelry from local Tannis Jones (esther designs)…fun home goods from Japanese artist Shinzi Katoh….i could go on and on!

And Anya is the Gold – pretty much because we thought it fit for a day spa. You know, that gold glowy feeling you get after a massage or facial. Plus, I mean, Solid Gold, how can you beat that? It works for us because we don’t ever want to take ourselves too seriously…


EA: What do you like to do/where do you like to hang out on the East side?

KF: Because I am always at the shop I pretty much don’t do anything unless it is in the neighborhood. The Longbranch and Scoot are like cheers-it is so nice to go places where you can see old and new friends. Anya and I have been friends with Kevin (one of the owners) for years and we love to see him so successful and if we need to have a few drinks in support, so be it! The Blue Dahlia, El Chile, and The Redhouse are other favorites. There are so many great new things happening over here all the time it is hard to keep up (but fun trying!). Oh, and if you want the worlds best breakfast tacos go to Chapala on Cesar Chavez. I’m not kidding. The best.


EA: Anything else you’d like us to know?

KF: Um, I guess just come check us out for yourselves. I know we will be happy to find that your new favorite place to shop is just around the corner!

The Dead Will Walk Again — Down East Sixth Street

31 10 2008

“Put on their Sunday best, and walk with unsuspecting Christian men.”

Sorry, we are in a Mountain Goats mood today since we are seeing them tomorrow!! YAY!

But anyway, so yes, yes, it’s Halloween, we know. Hopefully, you’ve figured out something fun to do tonight. Hopefully you’ve got some sort of costume, and hopefully you’re all strung out on candy and goodies. but WAIT! It’s only Friday! We’ve got a whole weekend to fill with fun.  So, as for us, we are totally pumped about the Dia de Los Muertos extravaganza going on Saturday. It looks like a blast. We are so there. Here’s the deets from the Web site:

Festivities take place on 5th Street, between Congress and Brazos, with booths, traditional foods and drink, and entertainment. The afternoon will feature children’s activities and entertainment in the afternoon, and an exciting showcase of live music in the evening! During the evening, there will be also be reprises of the Michael Jackson Thriller dance and contests for the best costumed Chihuahua, Frida Kahlo look-alike, and Guanajuato Mummy.

Free from 2:00-6:00 PM
$5 Adults / $2 Children (12 & under) from 6:00-10:00 PM

PROCESSION (5:00-7:00 PM)

Join Mexic-Arte Museum in its most spectacular Día de los Muertos Procession yet! We’ll go back in time to the Pre-Columbian era, travel through the Colonial and Modern eras, and conclude with a unique, contemporary Austin twist featuring the Guanajuato Mummies and the 25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller with dancing zombies.

The Procession gathers at Plaza Saltillo in East Austin and will include the return of the Frida Kahlo look-alikes, costumed Chihuahuas, Posada Catrinas, portable altars, mariachis, marching bands, folklorico and Aztec dancers, paper maché props, and colorfully decorated cars.

5:00 PM – Assemble at Plaza Saltillo (6th and Comal)6:00-7:00 PM – Procession heads west on 6th Street and turns south on Congress Avenue, ending at Mexic-Arte Museum on 5th Street and Congress Avenue.

Halloween Suggestion #3: 501 Studios “Rockula”

28 10 2008

This ain’t your redneck brother’s backyard Halloween party. This sounds like the East Side’s big bash. They have, like, promoters and stuff. So if that downtown craziness is your scene, but you feel like keeping the party in the East Austin hood, this sounds like your best bet so far.

501 Studios is hosting a high-energy dance party they have dubbed Rockula (we will reserve judgement on the choice of that particular moniker). Be prepared for video projected creep shows, a handcrafted photo set with photographer Victoria Renard, a costume contest, and music (obvi).

Whisky Bar’s DJ Hannibal Beretta will also be on the premises spinning some tunes. Show Me Tiger! plays at 10:30 and L.A.X. takes over at midnight.

Oh, and apparently they’ve recruited Mmmpanadas to serve up some tasty delights. We love empanadas. Little pockets of heaven.

Here’s the full info from their Myspace page.