Friday, June 1, 2012


Austin is a slacker town.

Slacker according to the Merriam Webster dic:


: a person who shirks work or obligation; especially : one who evades military service in time of war
: a person and especially a young person who is perceived to be disaffected, apathetic, cynical, or lacking ambition
And according to the urban dic:

A person who does anything they can to avoid doing work. A person who doesn't do a big project till the last night, and then does it half-assed and turns it in. A person who writes urban dictionary definitions instead of studying for his finals. A person who would rather smoke weed and play video games all day than do anything else.

Some people say slacker like it's a bad thing. Those ppl should go work in Chinese factories if they believe hard work is a way of living.  On contrary to some misconceived notions hard work is actually a sin. If you do something great it never feels like work. If you do something lousy like passing around silly papers in an office you will suffer and suffering is against my religion. Unless we are talking about bdsm but that another story. Any-way, the singer Jerm Pollet wrote that Austin is a retiree city for 30 something year olds. I agree, at some point it began to feel like I'm taking a vacation from a vacation. On Saturday I did more things than a young spirited grandma at a busy home would do.

First we went to the Hope Farmers Market, ate some yummy things, listened to some good southern music and met some nice ppl.

A beautiful family serving healthy african food

The cactus lady

The cigar-box guitar musician

I don;t know what they are for, but they are shiny

Trust me, you don't want to eat the green beans

Cactus lady art

Seeing and getting jealous of all the art at the farmers market put me in the right mood to visit Stafanie Distefano at her FlamingO ranch. Stafanie is a ceramics fairy; her house is like Austin's wonderland and her workshop is a melting pot and a heating stove for artists coming around to play with clay.I haven't played with clay since I was 10 so I just grabbed that material and made some awesome clay work. I still believe that me early work, 17 years ago was better, but we will judge again after I glaze those kick ass figures.

FlamongO Ranch patio
The ceramics fairy's work
Clay Party!
Stafanie Distefano
This is Darshan Jani, he is an artist
This is Drashan Jani's work

After all that hard clay work we needed a retreat so we headed towards Barton Springs, the best city-spring-pool in the world.  This IS a slacker's paradise. The pool lies in the middle of the city and it's a habitat of a holy salamander so the evil city real estate ppl can not touch it. The pool was made with surrounding concrete walls and a dam that made the natural spring into a very long natural freezing swimming pool, real pretty and all.  I tried looking for the holy salamanders but apparently they are tiny and stick to the bottom. If I was holy I would probably do the same.

While resting on the grassy slopes I heard a Cuban band playing on across the fence.  The fellas I was with did not want to dance so I ended up teaching rumba steps to two retirees, one was an ex ballet dancer from Bulgaria and the other had golden teeth and crazy hip moves. A nice girl came by and taught me some Cuban salsa steps, apparently you do the same just in circles.  I think you should do a Cuban circle version to every dance. All those hip swings heated me up so I needed to take another long cool swim.

Pool side slackers

Claying, swimming and dancing , that's what I call a hard day's work. Luckily tonyromano took me to his friends BBQ in Cedar Park so I could be revived with some food and company. The dishes were good but Cedar Park sucks. Never live in Cedar Park, never live in a suburb of an interesting city, this is also against my religion.

That was the end of the day but definitely not the end of the Slackerville. This is not a name I invented, this guy Mike Poulson that rents studios to slacker artists in South 1st Street gave his compound that name. I hereby declare Slackerville as a name to the whole of Austin.

When they are not lying around, drinking or making art, Austin's slackers eat trailer food . The city is loaded with trailer food trucks eateries. Put a bunch of food trailers together, through in some picnic benches, and there you go, you have an Austin style food court. The reason for the food trailers up rise in recent years is that the city has so many rules and regulations  for opening a restaurant, that slackers prefer to open an easy-on-the-regulations food truck. Some trailer were so successful they became a local chain.

so you see, slackerism can lead greatness.  

Keep on slacking and bumming around. Being lazy is a birth right not a privilege. Use it well.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lost in Austin

I arrived in Austin Texas after spending some time in the desert. Before that I was living in Tel Aviv for eight years, somewhere in between I spent some time In LA. I hate LA the way you would hate an old love, one you were never in love with but you savor a nostalgic flavor for. but that is for another post, Austin is the issue here. I have only been here three days but It feels like a week, that what great cities do well- dysmorph time, make you feel like you are living 10 lives but losing 11 every day. My friend in NY told me that if he stayed there he'd be dead by forty because time there is so dense. But that is for another post as austin is the city we are talking about.

Yesterday I went to an art opening. The artist was a friend of my host. A wonderful host who created a great shortcut to Austin. we'll talk about him later. His name is Ethan Azarian, the artist I mean. He paints great colorful murals all around Austin. Yesterday he presented his paintings in an art space he rented, I really like the DIY art shows with no curating and puffy stuffy gallery owners. Next to each image was a short text written on (band tape). On the invitation it said-"his work is so colorful and cute"Artist's mother- now that's art appreciation.
I didn't take any picture of the art but here is the artist. I remember cows, houses and red shoes. maybe some chairs.

Ethan Azarian

One thing I learned in austin is that when you go to a burlesque crowd house party unexpected things will happen. Here is the list of the unexpected from last night: I cut my ankle closing a door; A woman with a long golden glittery dress, red wig, 7 inch fabulous heels and long shiny blue eye lashes went inside the pool disco dancing; some people got naked, the last part was my fault, Tony said that someone always gets naked in those parties and after a while I demanded that it happen. Two guys in the pool took off their underwear. That's an anti climax, I know. I won't tell you about all the unexpected things that transpired cause my parents will probably read this and I don't kiss and tell.

Disco queen

The great thing about traveling is that everything is unexpected, like E 6st street bars. They all ( and by all I mean the 3 that i've seen) have a front cover of a normal semi empty nothing special bar but when you walk outside to the the back yard you discover dozens of people sitting on picnic tables enjoying the nice May breeze and eating ridiculously good trailer food cooked by punk folks.  East side King is responsible for the food trucks at the Liberty and Grackel bars. at the latter you'll find a vegetarian dish with eggplant that tastes like incredibly tasty scallops, I kid you not, any friend of mine will know I do not joke about eggplants. I also found out that there are some pretty good local beers around, I especially liked the porter at Lovejoys.

Lovejoys, what a cheerful name for a punk/bike/badass place. It's such a nice shitty dive bar. When they don't have a loud live show it's a great place to start your evening or play some pool. Tony Romano took me to lovejoys, in fact he took me to all the places above, and below. He is also an artist and a carpenter  and a landlord, super landlord. I'm lucky to have the chance to stay at his house, and I got lucky because I'm a couchsurfer. If you are not a couch surfer yet, become one. One day I will write the couchsurfer guide to the galaxy but until then just take my word on it and go the website:


Tonyromano has been building the incredible house for the past 11 years, Its spacious, full of light and air, beautifully furnished and full of spirit. I got here a week after his open studio and his art was still on the walls and shelves. It's hard to capture the whole space so I'll try to show it in the details.

Here is some other things I liked in Austin so far: