How to Keep It “Austintatious”

Priyunka Maheshwari, News Editor

It’s a new week— and another chance to do almost nothing and sit at home. All your friends are busy and you’re lounging on the couch watching repeats of your favorite show when you have no homework. Fabulous. However, there are more ways to enjoy Austin than staying on the phone for hours, frantically eating before a big test, sleeping in till twelve on the weekends and then repeating the cycle. That’s a lot of time that you could be using to do something you’ve always wanted to try—or even be productive.

“There’s so much cool stuff in Austin to do that people don’t take advantage of,” sophomore Collier Skinn said.

To start off simple on the weekdays, check out Alamo Drafthouse—known for its themed movie marathons throughout the week. Music Monday, Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday bring movies like Pumpkinhead on the 21st and High Crime on the 22nd at the Ritz. If you’re a fan of classics, try seeing Gone with the Wind at the Village on the 13th. While you’re there snack on their dips and fries, which are bound to keep you satisfied for a least a whole movie.

If you have no class first period or it’s one of those glorious weekends, try waking up to a new breakfast spot. Hit East Village Café with a book or Purple Bean Café, which is known for its breakfast sandwiches. On Saturdays, stay productive and get all your work done at Faulk Library in downtown, where you can study in peace until you finish. Because honestly, you don’t want to realize on Sunday evening that you have a stack of papers due. Once done, take a walk downtown, and if you feel adventurous, go into one of the many museums that offer a variety of art. With cheap admission for students—who often don’t take advantage of these institutions—the Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria is free and the Blanton Museum is $5. If art isn’t your thing, take a walk around Zilker Park or bring a book and read in the shade.

Take advantage of Friday evenings and listen to live bands without worrying about the fact that if you get home at two in the morning, you still have to go to class the next day. Head over to one of the many music venues in downtown that allow underage patrons for an opportunity to enjoy what Austin is known for. Emo’s and Stubb’s are great options—just be sure to look at the schedule beforehand. If music isn’t your thing, you have free time on Tuesday and the nerve, try the 5:30pm poetry open mic night at Ruta Maya or the 7:30pm Austin Poetry Slam at Spider House. Ruta Maya’s is free, and Austin Poetry Slam is $5, with the chance to win a prize if you have what it takes. Be sure to check the websites for rules and inspiration.

Keeping up with the adventurous spirit, Kick Butt Coffee off Guadalupe is great for Wednesday evening, where they offer an open mic night from 7pm to 10pm. Budding musicians can work on their performance skills in a slightly kitschy, open atmosphere. Before this though, try to check out the Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market at the Triangle. From 4pm to 8pm, it offers organic grown food and healthier options—an easy way to feel happier after a rough day at school. If you haven’t been to a farmers’ market before, now is the time to start. Seeing homegrown food is much more appetizing than the picked-at vegetables at H-E-B.

Don’t forget about classic rainy day activities too—see one of the new movies out, including dramas Chronicle and The Descendants. If you want to save your money for something slightly more tangible than a film, you can always check out the Round Rock Movies 8, which plays movies that stopped playing at the box office. On Wednesday, tickets are $1.25 for older movies like Part I of Breaking Dawn, Anonymous and New Year’s Eve. Afterward, you can visit Round Rock Premium Outlets to see if you can score a really great deal. If you just want to relax, walk around downtown for the unique shops. Stop at a vintage store like Cream, where you can sometimes find never-worn yet classically beautiful clothes. Uncommon Goods is another random place to stop buy, even if just to see the most interesting objects people sell back.

“I love walking around SoCo. There are so many cute stores and it’s fun to get food there,” freshman Kristina Nguyen said.

Whether you take advantage of it or not, Austin is bursting with amusing activities and exuberant entertainment. Leaving the comfort of your personal “zone” (everyone has one), especially with all the amazing bakeries, music venues and restaurants around town, can provide for an enjoyable evening or weekend without the stress of academics. Enjoy the feeling of being free on the days you get a reprieve from work, and take advantage of the emptiness to work out your thoughts. There’s plenty to do—much of which doesn’t involve sitting at home on the couch.