ZONING OUT Ay-yi-yi, what a nightmare it is at the corner of Riverside and Congress with major construction estimated to last seven months. We got a frightening taste of future horrors during Sunday's Sheryl Crow concert. Traffic was backed up all the way to I-35, and those of us who live on Riverside could hardly exit our buildings. Construction aside, tell me again who it is that thought that closing Riverside from Congress to Lamar on the weekends was a good idea? Certainly not the Long Center, Palmer Center, Zach Scott Theatre, and residents on Riverside. But who cares about that when the plan was railroaded through anyway? The only benefit to this that I can see is that now we can have bicycle rodeos in the middle of the street. Great.
ALLEYCATTING I know, I know I'm beginning to sound like quite the party barnacle. It's not always pretty being popular just ask Tara Reid. Last Wednesday was the Women's Symphony League Luncheon at the Hilton. I sat at the Long Center's table among such notables as Long Center CFO Dwayne Cooper, LC board member Jeri DeAngelis (she's also executive director of the Austin Chamber Music Center), the glamorous Connie Wodlinger (she just bought the former Austin Music Network and is introducing new programming this month), LC architect Stan Haas (I also met his wife, the beautiful Joan Plaster), and Cliff Redd, of course, among others. There was a faaabulous fashion show by Julian Gold whoever styled that show should get an award. I loved being introduced to the legendary Jane Sibley, chair of the Austin Symphony Orchestra I like to think of her as the Diana Vreeland of the philanthropy set Last Thursday was a series of openings and parties along the new 2nd Street District. It's sort of like our own little Rodeo Drive but with local flavor. The jewelry and accessories store Eliza Page had its grand opening owner Elizabeth Serrato has quite an eye for picking the best local jewelry (not to mention her exquisite taste in having the soon-to-be-opened P&K Grocery do the catering); Lucky Soles showed off their amazing shoe and accessories collection; Estilo had a trunk show of the great clothes by Custo Barcelona; and Home Retreat showed art, with food from Texas Culinary Institute and Whole Foods who doesn't love their food? Along the way, we visited with Selena Souders and Dylan Robertson of Big Red Sun, Vickmay Quinn of Vickmay Skin & Body Spa, and Elizabeth and John Pecore of the aforementioned P&K Grocery (open soon at 915 W. Mary at South Fifth) Then it was on to Sullivan's, where we sat across from Chicago Bears QB (and Austin resident) Jeff Blake, his stunning wife Lewanna, and their kids The next night was back to the Hilton with Cliff for the 30th anniversary celebration of the Metropolitan Community Church at Freedom Oaks. We sat with, among others, Darin Upchurch (manager of the Palmer Events Center), Ted Burton (managing director of EnviroMedia), and media consultant Melanie Fish and her husband, Dan. There were rousing speeches by Rep. Senfronia Thompson and the Rev. Troy Perry, and performances by five-time Grammy winner Judy Arnold. With all the jumping up and down and clapping we were doing, surely, that would have to be considered an aerobic workout; I felt like I should have worn a leotard and leg-warmers ("OK, ladies, and up and clap and down and clap, feel the burn"). My favorite part was seeing my dear friend Bettie Naylor and her girlfriend Libby Sykora, assistant to the county clerk.
REMINDERS Saturday, Oct. 8, 6-10pm, Jo's Coffee is producing their annual Average Jo Fashion Show, hosted by our next governor, Kinky Friedman, and held in the swinging parking lot of the Hotel San José. Admission is free Sunday, Oct. 9, 3-9pm, is the Octo Tea Dance at Cabo Loco on Lake Travis. Go to www.octopusclub.org for further info Also on Sunday at 8pm at the Hyatt Regency is the annual Style Cup, Austin's only annual hair show. Further details at www.stylecupaustin.com.
ALSO Thursday, Oct. 20, 6-9pm at the glorious Laguna Gloria (rain date Oct. 27) the Austin Museum of Art presents La Dolce Vita, a wine- and food-tasting experience with more than 50 restaurants and dozens of vineyards supporting AMOA's wonderful exhibition and education programs. Featuring the sounds of Vallejo, the event also offers a cigar and scotch lounge for an additional $20. Tickets are $75 ($85 at the door) and are available at the museum and participating Twin Liquors locations. For more info, call 495-9224 or go to www.amoa.org... On Saturday, Oct. 22, at Building 75 of Camp Mabry (the first public event to be held there) St. Thomas Boutique presents A Look for Love, benefiting the Austin Children's Shelter. The event features a gorgeous fashion show (participating designers to be announced), as well as a raffle to win a 2006 Mercedes-Benz (raffle tickets are $100 and the winner will have their choice of a CLK-Class, M-Class, or SLK-Class Mercedes). Event tickets are $500 (tables for 10 are $5,000), and necessary info can be found at www.alookforlove.org or by calling ACS at 499-0090.
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