After a Fashion

You'll have to know when to hold 'em at the 10th anniversary of the fabulous VIVA! Las Vegas charity event; Remedy's love heals; and West Lynn's local indie retailers could use some of your love now that street construction has finally ended.

Whitney Johnson, the Miss Star of Texas Rodeo Queen, adds real cowgirl glamour to the launch party for artist Bob Daddy-O Wade's new book, <i>Bob Wade's Cowgirls</i>. Fans packed Ranch 616 for festivities including a cowgirl costume contest and live music. See the book and other works at <a href=http://www.bobwade.com target=blank><b>www.bobwade.com</b></a>
Whitney Johnson, the Miss Star of Texas Rodeo Queen, adds real cowgirl glamour to the launch party for artist Bob "Daddy-O" Wade's new book, Bob Wade's Cowgirls. Fans packed Ranch 616 for festivities including a cowgirl costume contest and live music. See the book and other works at www.bobwade.com (Photo By Phillip Hudson)

VIVA! LAS VEGAS Next Saturday, June 21, 8pm-midnight, more than 1,500 people will fill the Austin Music Hall for the 10th anniversary celebration of the fabulous VIVA! Las Vegas charity event ... and you should be one of them. Benefiting AIDS Services of Austin and its Capital Area AIDS Legal Project, this is a truly over-the-top affair. Like an exciting escape to the Las Vegas of your dreams, it will feature faux casino gambling, go-go dancers, live entertainment by the one-and-only Mr. Fabulous (Dino Lee) and his splashy revue, plus food from some of Austin's finest restaurants, including Mirabelle, Cafe Josie, and Roy's among others. For VIPs and high rollers who prefer an even more exclusive setting, a posh upstairs VIP lounge will feature cuisine by Jean Luc's Bistro. Even Elvis won't be able to resist the Sin City excitement; he'll join the party to officiate ceremonies in his own "Love Me Tender" wedding chapel. "Newlyweds" will be able to capture the moment with photos on the heart-shaped bed in VIVA's honeymoon suite. The event has come a long way from being held in a community church and now raises more than $70,000 for ASA and CAALP. With both live and silent auctions, this year should be amazing and a ton of fun. For tickets or further info, contact Annie Buchanan-Clary, development associate for ASA, at annie.buchanan-clary@asaustin.org, or call 406-6115. Be there or be Cher ... or Ann-Margret ... or Elvis, or whomever your little heart desires.

THE EASTERN WAY I mentioned that I had been feeling poorly recently, and I did something I'd never done before: went to a doctor of Chinese medicine. Actually, it was more like a wellness clinic, or as they themselves call it, a "center for healing arts." Whatever you call it, its name is Remedy (1211 Parkway -- just north of 12th and Lamar -- 322-9648), and it's fabulous. One of the founders of the clinic, my good friend, acupuncturist Claudia Voyles, had done amazing needlework on me before; when I was so injured as to be housebound a couple of years ago, she regularly came by and eased my discomfort tremendously. She has the kind of heart you want the person treating you to have. While she placed the needles in me, she gave me a very sincere and gentle, but firm, lecture on taking better care of myself. I listened hard. Paddy Tawada, another doctor of Chinese medicine, came and consulted with me about nutrition -- "but only if you want to hear it," she added. Nutrition was something I'd obviously had little concern for, but I did want to hear what she had to say -- I was feeling so dreadful that I was willing to listen to anything that might help. She was sympathetic yet direct in her advice, mincing no words with me. Her analogies helped me understand my position from the Chinese-medicine point of view, and it all made perfect sense to me. Then it was on to registered massage therapist Catherine Jean for some serious neck work. Specializing in neuromuscular therapy, she expertly manipulated me. For more specific treatment, I went on to MeriJayd O'Connor, RMT, who performed cranial-sacral massage -- something akin to a laying-on of the hands, with more neck massage. Though I could not avoid the fact that I still needed attention from a Western doctor, my treatment at Remedy left me feeling considerably better. After following their advice and taking Chinese medication, I continued to improve. I was given not just relief, but compassion, direction, and motivation -- an excellent prescription for healing.

CONSTRUCTION ZONE Well, I was remiss in not responding to the letter, but it stuck in my mind. It addressed the fact that the economy has hit many small, independent retailers very hard. In addition to the generally poor economy, the retailers (and residents) along West Lynn had been adversely affected by the constant road construction that has had the street either closed or one-way for well over a year. Though the street is now open, after a year of avoiding it, people are in a habit of taking a different route. Well, don't! West Lynn is a great little strip that includes Crofts Original (1101 West Lynn, 472-4028) -- one of those stores that captures Austin spirit with its fun and funky fashions. Also on that strip are T. Kennedy, El Interior, and Illuminada, all contributors to the independent spirit of Austin's retailers. So make a point of swinging by this little street -- and support your local independent retailer!

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