We Have an Issue: Love Letters to Austin

Send us your stories about what you love and miss most about our city

cover photo by David Brendan Hall

I’m not a hoarder, except when it comes to email. As I type this, I’m looking at 69,542 emails in my inbox. Many if not most of those emails are people asking the Chronicle to cover someone or something. A struggling musician trying to get their album to our music department. A worker tipping us off to their employer doing something shady. A woman who wants us to write about a good Samaritan neighbor bringing meals to seniors. Calls for donations. Calls to volunteer. Small businesses who need a boost. New art that needs an audience. So many of those 69,542 emails represent stories that our extremely small staff will likely never get to. Deleting them feels like throwing in the towel.

Three weeks ago, reader Sandra Reynolds emailed a simple pitch: “Have readers send in short pieces about their favorite local business and why they miss/love them.” Happily, this email wasn’t destined to gather dust. Ms. Reynolds’ idea is an excellent one. (She said she wanted to write about how the North Loop restaurant Foreign & Domestic got her family through a tough time.) Who isn’t missing someplace, someone, some quintessentially Austin something right now? And what better way to tell the story than straight from the source?

So we’ve set up an online submission form to gather your stories about whatever you love or miss about Austin – a restaurant, a band, a playground, a ticket taker at a movie theatre, a time of day – truly anything you love about this city. We’ll pull together some of our favorites and put them up online for everyone to enjoy.

"I yam getting really baked": Kevin Curtin's guide to quarantine pipe making

Something I’ve missed in the past month is Chronicle staff writer Kevin Curtin’s reporting. Just a few days back from paternity leave – welcome to the world, baby Quinn! – Kevin is right back to his regular hustle, breaking news of the sad closure of Threadgill’s Old No. 1, penning a 1,000 words on becoming a dad during a pandemic, and creating a 4/20 video tutorial on how to fashion a bong and other smoking apparatus out of fruits and vegetables. These are strange days we’re living through, but Kevin Curtin whittling a pipe out of a yam – that marks, in its way, a return to blessed normal.

Also in this issue, our third-ever digital-only: Robert Faires' interview with Austin novelist Amanda Eyre Ward about her New York Times bestseller The Jetsetters, which is set on a cruise ship (remember those?); a closer look at the Tatum Report, the third-party probe into allegations of bigotry at Austin Police; a preview of Fusebox Festival’s new virtual edition, running April 24-26; David Garza’s insight into his work on Fiona Apple’s new insta-classic Fetch the Bolt Cutters; an "Intermediate’s Guide to Marijuana Edibles" (if you’re out of yams, bacon fat could be your plan B); a memorial for the woman who sculpted the beloved Philosopher’s Rock outside Barton Springs Pool; Wayne Alan Brenner’s remembrance of another well-loved Austin landmark lost, the Magnolia Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard; and more virtual events than your unreliable internet connection could possibly sustain.

See you back in print and on newsstands next week.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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What I Love About Austin, Kevin Curtin, Amanda Eyre Ward, The Jetsetters, Tatum Report, Fusebox Festival, David Garza, Fiona Apple, edibles, Philosopher’s Rock, Glenna Goodacre, Magnolia Cafe


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