My SXSW 2012 experience…one month later.
Usually my SXSW experience is very selfish. I’m on my bike with a strategic schedule mapped out to see every band I want to see for the week. I don’t deal with slow pokes or debbie downers. It’s the time of year when literally every band you ever wanted to see comes to town. I always figure I’ll see my friends after SXSW if I don’t run into them at a showcase. My mindset this year completely changed since I no longer live in Austin. This time around, I sort of made a list of things I wanted to see but mostly, I only cared about hanging out with old friends. Arun also had to cover a story for the Guardian on How to do SXSW for Free. This “restriction” actually made it more of a laid back experience since you can find free everything, everywhere. You want us to walk around and listen to free music and drink free beer? I think we can handle this kinda journalism. So, though I missed Bruce Springsteen (!!!), and Lil Wayne, and Jay – Z and a million other artists, I still probably saw 100 bands and had a great time catching up with my best friends.
Pop up venues all over town.
Brooklyn Vegan party.
Yay to reunions!
Free disgusting Taco Bell that didn’t seem so disgusting after a few free cocktails.
Stubb’s Spin party.
Adventures on 6th street!
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve left Texas and now it’s time to reflect on every unhealthy but awesome dish I digested there. I ate A LOT in two weeks. Duh, that’s what you do in Texas. After this gorging period, my body really felt the need to detox. I had my salads and vegetarian meals and now I’m back to craving the usual tex-mex and steaks. So here’s a post specifically to make my current self jealous of everything my past self ate a few weeks back. If you ever visit Houston or Austin, eat at these places!
The Breakfast Klub: Pure Houston soul food. Yes, I had waffles and chicken wings at 9am, and yes it was everything I could ever ask for in a breakfast and more. The place has a nice vibe but it gets busy. By 11 am there was a line all the way around the corner. Either get this dish or the catfish with grits.
Cadillac Bar & Grill: You’re typical cheesey awesome tex-mex. I had the stacked chicken enchiladas smotherd in a suiza tomatillo sauce. Mmmmm.
Taste of Texas: You can’t go to Texas without eating a good steak. This is a solid, slightly upscale steakhouse in Houston with very good cuts of beef. They take their meat so seriously you can even go to the back and order which steak you want from the butcher! It was probably one of the best steaks I had in my life.
Asia Cafe: I’ve been coming to this random Chinese supermarket/restaurant for years. If you want authentic chinese food, go here. This place is LEGIT. Melt in your mouth dumplings, tender spicy fish, and goood mapo tofu.
Threadgill’s: The other thing you must try in Texas is chicken fried steak. It’s a steak deep fried like chicken and smothered in gravy. I love threadgill’s because they have the best side dishes. You want fried okra, sweet potato fries, broccoli casserole? They have it all when it comes to southern comfort food.
Curra’s Grill: This place offers a giant selection of interior Mexican dishes for cheap. The one negative is they make you pay for chips and salsa. But, they have a two page breakfast menu (yes!) and amazing avocado margaritas. Yes, order it for breakfast. It’s delicious.
There’s two other notable places I ate at but was so hungry I scarfed down the meal before taking pictures. Nonetheless, they need to be mentioned. Round Rock Barbeque is surprisingly the best bbq I’ve had in my life. Their brisket is melt in your mouth tender and one of their side dishes is a tamale potato salad! ahhh. The other place is BBQ Garden, a Korean joint in Houston. They had great pork belly, and didn’t skimp on the kimichi side dishes.
I love food.
Happy Easter! I passed by this bright house in Smithville, Texas. They must love Easter.
I love that Woody Allen is now making films all over Europe. I love Rome. There is something about that city I find more romantic than Paris or Barcelona. Maybe its the espresso and the wine, maybe its just the pasta. All I know is anything with Woody Allen + Alec Baldwin + Rome = A + film.
P.S. Here’s great interview with Woody Allen on Fresh Air.
I can’t believe it’s been a month since my photo trip Northern Norway, aka one of the best trips of my life. Last week I was swimming outdoors in Texas and two weeks before that, I was waddling around Norway in 459543536 layers of clothes. A lot can happen in a month. This trip surprised me. I usually hate the cold more than anything so I was a bit apprehensive at first. But when you’re in the middle of nature, nobody cares about fashion so you can really dress for cold weather. I honestly felt much warmer there than here in Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, there’s the rain and the biking and the urban environment which means you have to kinda care about what you look like. The reindeers don’t judge in Norway. I also realized that I love snow. Snow is a hassle when you live in a city, but in nature, it makes everything cleaner, and more alive. RESPECT to the snow.
Enough about the weather, everything else about this trip was also amazing. I got to hang out with huskies, camp out and drink coffee in the woods, speed on a snowmobile, and best of all, see the northern lights! Seriously, when it’s February and the weather sucks and you’re fantasizing about a sunny beach somewhere by the equator, think about all the Planet Earth type activities that’s happening in the arctic and reconsider your next vacation destination.
Image by Keri Bevan
- Everyone you meet will ask you “so how do you like London,” so prepare an answer or avoid all gatherings for approx nine months after arriving.
- No matter how excited you are, don’t move any earlier in the year than March. Surviving a new city is hard enough without battling the arctic tundra.
-You will, on and off, be horribly homesick. Moving somewhere is not the same as travelling; you do not feel “free.” You have to learn the basics all over again: customs, supermarket brands, navigating, where to buy affordable opaque tights. Be prepared.
This is not a post about the food blog (though I love her recipes), this is a dramatic post about my aching heart as it is forced to say goodbye to my friends, family, and Tex-Mex. My annual visit back home has come to an end and I’m about to board the plane back to good ol’ Amsterdam. Texas, I love you. Amsterdam, I hear you have good weather waiting for me. The plus side of spring.
I’m currently too busy eating in Texas to be bothered with hanging out on the world wide web. It’s just too darn delicious in this state.
and then I saw magic.
I just got back from the most amazing press trip to Northern Norway. Everything I experienced was unreal but witnessing the Northern Lights on the last night was the cherry on top. More pictures soon!