December 2013

There are 6 blog entries for December 2013.

A recent report by Texas think tank TexPIRG states that the percentage of residents across Texas shifting away from driving for their daily commute is highest in Austin. The stated conclusion of the study was that infrastructure planning should begin shifting away from traditional road construction to more evironmentally friendly modes of travel such as public tranportation and dedicated bike lanes. Across 100 metropolises nation-wide, Austin witnessed the 3rd largest decline in vehicle use behind New York City and Washington DC.
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I guess it shouldn't come as such a huge surprise given his name is emblazoned on prominent buildings across the Austin and Round Rock, but Michael Dell was named #18 on Forbes list of America's 50 Top Givers. Dell donated $100 million in (0.6 percent of his wealth), with a total lifetime giving of $914.4 million. Half of this year's donations went towards the Dell Medical School on UT Austin's campus, expected to start enrollment for the 2016 school year. Bill Gates topped off the list giving $1.9 billion in 2012 alone. Dell's total net worth is estimated on the order of $15.9 billion and he ranks #25 on Forbes' list of richest Americans.
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It turns out that National Geographic Kids has added some credence to Austin's weirdness claims after selecting the weirdest businesses and people in the area. In a ceremony last Wednesday atop the Whole Foods Market at 6th and Lamar, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell official declared the day as Weird Wednesday alongside the Nation Geographic Kids Editor, Rachel Buchholz. Here are the winners(?):

  • Weirdest Coffee Shop — Jo's Coffee
  • Weirdest Restaurant — Gourdough's Public House
  • Weirdest Sandwich Shop — Toastie's Sub Shop and Thundercloud Subs (tie)
  • Weirdest Hotel — The Driskill Hotel
  • Weirdest Pet Store/Groomer — Dirty Dog
  • Weirdest Menu Item — Fried Milk at Uchiko
  • Weirdest Live Music Venue — Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Weirdest
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Looking for a good holiday gift idea? There is current a special offer with Austin Eats Food Tours until December 8th, offing buy 2 get 1 free on gift cards. The guided bike tour covers a selection of downtown Austin restaurants and food trucks sampling some of the city's hidden culinary gems. For more information, take a look at these features on Austin Eats in USA Today and Forbes from earlier this summer, or head over to their FAQ page.

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So you missed the lighting of the Zilker Tree last Sunday? Well wipe away those tears because tonight is the lighting ceremony of the Driskill Hotel tree! Lightings will continue thought Dec. 31. Head over tonight between 4 - 6PM!
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Oden Hughes LLC has just broken ground on A new 240-unit development covering a 22-acre site just west of the intersection of Texas Highway 71 and US Highway 290. 16 acres of the site will act as nature preserve and water retention in an effort to maintain environmentally friendly practices. Landmark Conservancy, as the project is currently named, is set to open in early 2015 featuring 1-3 bedroom apartments sized between 526 and 1,350 square feet with prices ranging from $800-$1900/month.
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