The Austin Chronicle

Learning About Cuba, Having Some Vodka

By Cindy Widner, October 26, 2007, 4:20pm, Chronique

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: Last night I found myself at Design Within Reach, learning about the four tenets of hip-hop (MCs, DJs, graffiti, and b-boy ... ishness?).

I was at DWR's second Pecha Kucha ("chit-chat") night, a sort of design salon, and perhaps in a little over my head. The sparkling throngs (yes, throngs) in little black dresses and pumpkin-and-cream leather jackets telegraphed Dallas, maybe L.A. The ubiquitous tankards of Belvedere didn't help. I think I was the only one in a T-shirt.

Truth is, I dig DWR. A lot. And, despite its chain status and location in what slacktown likes to call "little Dallas" (the Second Street District), I think a lot of of us love it. Riches of mod reproduction, nonstop aspirational fantasy fodder, a rubbery gravelly floor, and the best dog beds EVAR. What's not to love?

Plus, a closer look revealed there's no way this crowd would pass Big-D muster. I spotted the guy in the silk floral doorag and relaxed. Homies Santos and B-Nice threw down with a breakdance demo while photographer Peter Tsai elucidated. Stan Haas told us all about remodeling the Long Center. Brian Dillard got us hot with his demand that design elements be "submissive to the project." There was music, there was Okay Mountain, there was Sweet Leaf Tea.

How could this not be Austin?

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