CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: With my husband, Steve, at 2012’s State Dinner Gala at the LBJ Presidential Library, which this year hosted the historic Civil Rights Summit; With interior designer Meredith Ellis at our Austin Way dinner at Searsucker in July; Moderating a panel with Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan at last year’s Austin Film Festival; Steve and I were the guests of developer Tom Terkel of Four T Realty and his wife, Colleen, at the Waller Creek Conservancy fundraiser at Stubb’s that ran in conjunction with last year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. This year’s fundraiser returns to Stubb’s on October 8 with Fitz and the Tantrums.
What does it mean to love a city? In Austin, we hear all the time how special we are—another spot on a national “Best of” list, another fawning story from a national publication. When we travel, it’s a given we’ll hear something like, “Oh, you’re from Austin? I’m dying to go there!” And sure enough, more than 100 newcomers are drawn here daily, lured to our green Central Texas oasis by the promise of a fun, accepting city where you can hear live music at the grocery store, eat barbecue that’s better than in your dreams, and go night swimming in Barton Springs under a full moon.
It’s a lifestyle packaged in a university town, state capital, and high-tech mecca, which means a lot of smart and creative people are stuck next to you in traffic (and nothing has brought the city together more than our contempt of gridlock). We cling fiercely to what we love and have a hard time letting go of beloved nightclubs, watering holes, and restaurants. But we’re also deceptively good at welcoming and accommodating new people, institutions, and, yes, growth.
I was attracted to Austin 14 years ago because of my love of music and journalism. But I stayed here because of the people. They are why my husband, Steve, who works at the University of Texas, and I decided to make a home here and raise our son Gabe, now 8.
No matter how successful they are or what they’re going through, the Austinites I encounter every day are incredibly giving, generous, and encouraging. As the editor-in-chief of Austin Way, it will be my privilege to share their stories with you. I hope each issue will remind you why you don’t want to live anywhere else.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERY GOBWIN (LBJ); L GARY MILLER/GETTY IMAGES (SEARSUCKER); ARNOLD WELLS (AFF); JIM INNES (STUBB'S)