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People are flocking by the hundreds to newly-opened grocery stores around the city after stores limited their hours due to the winter storm.
H-E-B, which adjusted its hours noon-5 p.m. on Tuesday, among other grocery stores saw lines out the doors at most locations. On its website, H-E-B said store hours are subject to change at any time.
Check out the line at HEB Hancock Center, kinda crazy if you ask me #HEB #AustinTX pic.twitter.com/Mas8LSy1J8
— 𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄𝐋 𝐑𝐀𝐘 💫 (@angelfknray) February 16, 2021
People are lining up in the below-freezing temperatures to stock up on food, firewood and other goods with Austin Energy reporting residents may well be without power through Tuesday night, or later.
Hundreds of people in line at the grocery store right now in south Austin @HEB pic.twitter.com/0fnDAfnfDS
— Alex Pritchett (@alexpritchett) February 16, 2021
Later into the day, lines and waits became significantly shorter. At Central Market on 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., around 3 p.m. there were 105 people in line and wait times to get in the store were down to just 15-20 minutes.
Chris Turner and Natasha Szuja had been without power for several hours when they decided to walk to the store to avoid driving on slippery roads. They only waited in line for 15 minutes. The pair said they used up all their food the day before since they hadn't been able to prepare for the outage.
"We're a little chilly—we weren't planning on losing power," Szuja said. "We're just a little nervous about how much longer this is going to go on."
However, those who got to grocery stores later after opening are likely to get a much worse selection of goods with shelves emptying quickly, harkening back to almost a year ago at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Waited an hour in line to get into the grocery store and this lovely sight greeted me...no fruit or vegetables at all. They did have beer, some meat, cheese and cookies, so it's all good. pic.twitter.com/S1L4jNsN1H
— JD Speer (@jdspeer) February 16, 2021
Most grocery stores have not set their hours for the week due to uncertain weather. Updates on H-E-B store hours can be found here.
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After a long, long year without live music, Austin has waited patiently for a return that has finally come. Festivals are planning returns and even venues that adhered strictly to safety protocols during the pandemic are feeling safe enough to gather again in person.
Starting in just a few short days, you can finally enjoy what makes Austin, well, Austin again. Here are a few of the live shows to look forward to.
Stubb's Waller Creek
For the first time since the pandemic shut the iconic venue down forcing canceled and rescheduled shows, Stubb's BBQ is reopening its amphitheater to the public for concerts starting with a series of five sold-out Black Pumas shows, each with different openers, from May 26-30. It may be too late to catch Black Pumas this time around but Stubb's already has a host of other shows scheduled up through December. You can catch Surfaces, a College Station-based jazz-pop-hip-hop and vocals heavy duo known best for their song "Sunday Best," on Stubb's Stage on June 25 while tickets go on sale this Friday.
Next at Stubb's is electronic duo Louis the Child on July 28 and 29 on their "Euphoria Tour," followed by Umphrey's McGee on Sept. 9.
Likewise, Mohawk Austin has remained closed for more than a year since the onset of COVID-19, even tweeting "Thanks bro but we ain't gonna do it till it's safe," in response to Gov. Greg Abbott lifting all safety restrictions back in March. Starting May 27, Mohawk is officially back with Heartless Bastards and opener The Tender Things.
From there, Mohawk has an exciting lineup—Jukebox the Ghost will play on Sept. 10, Bully and opener Lightning Bug on Sept. 17, Big Freedia and Too Many Zooz on Oct. 4 and Beach Bunny on Dec. 14, with several talented artists in-between. Keep checking back though, Mohawk will continue to add shows and is currently planning on operating at 50%.
Frank Erwin Center
Though it is making a later comeback than Stubb's or Mohawk, the Frank Erwin Center will make a huge return on Aug. 14 featuring Tame Impala. If you missed their highly popular set at Austin City Limits Festival in 2019 or you want to relive it, this is the chance to do so. Plus, you get the added benefit of being able to see the stage, though you will still be watching with around 16,000 other spectators. Michael Bublé will have you swooning when he comes to perform on Sept. 20 and Chris Stapleton is taking his "All American Road Show" live on Nov. 4.
Nutty Brown Amphitheatre
Holding some socially distanced concerts earlier this year, the Nutty Brown Amphitheatre isn't stopping there with rap artist Ginger Billy playing two sets on May 7. Nutty Brown has a star-studded lineup ahead: Austin-based Bob Schneider on May 8 and other Austin favorite Shinyribs will grace the stage May 29. A little further down the line, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts will take over on Aug. 21 followed by Styx on Oct. 23.
Texas Performing Arts Center
If you prefer a little bit more visual appeal to go with your music, the Texas Performing Arts Center is reopening in-person after consistent online events. First up is Cody Ko and Noel Miller, a multi-hyphenated YouTuber-podcaster-comedian duo, who will perform their "Tiny Meat Gang – Global Domination," on July 31. Of course you can't miss The Beach Boys, coming to the theater on Oct. 24, or a two-week long production of Hamilton from Dec. 7-19. For all the young ones that have missed going out in-person, "Disney Princess—The Concert" is coming to the Texas Performing Arts Center on Feb. 6, 2022, performing timeless gems like "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast and featuring all their other favorite princesses. Tickets go on sale this Friday.
Remember to jump on those tickets–Austinites have been missing their live music!
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Austin is on a rollercoaster that only goes up, according to the new U.S. Census Bureau data that says the city has been the fastest-growing large metropolitan area in the U.S. for a full 10 years.
The data, which was released on Tuesday, said the population between the five counties in the Austin metro area—Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell—increased by 3% since 2019 and 34% since 2010.
Austin still isn't the largest metro area but it does have the fastest population growth compared to other U.S. metro areas with over a million people. In the past decade, the metro population has gone from around 1.7 million to 2.3 million people.
The huge increase in Travis County alone is enough to bring the city closer to the leagues of other big cities, jumping above San Francisco and San Jose, California and Jacksonville, Florida in the ranks of most populous.
An increase of more than half a million people in the metro area puts it as the 29th largest, an increase of one spot from last year.
However, in terms of just population growth compared to last July, Austin was beaten by a few other Texas cities: Dallas ranked first in the U.S. with an increase of 119,748 and Houston took third, gaining 91,078. Austin ranked fourth with a growth spurt of 67,197, averaging out to 184 new people per day including natural increase, or the difference caused by births and deaths.
Overall, Texas gained the most residents out of all other U.S. states.
With companies like Tesla, which has promised to hire 10,000 people at the new Gigafactory, Oracle, Samsung and Google putting down roots in Austin and Texas tax breaks and lack of personal income tax, it's no surprise companies and people are flocking to the Lone Star State.
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