Commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, June is Pride Month.
Since the first Gay and Lesbian Pride Fiesta in 1989, Austin has been celebrating alongside the LGBTQ+ community. Bringing color, diversity and new perspectives to town, now is a great time to support Austin's many LGBTQ-owned businesses.
The Little Gay Shop, 828 Airport Blvd.
Spreading joy for everyone, The Little Gay Shop sells trinkets, books and art exclusively by the LGBTQ+ community, while living by the adage "By Queers for all." With specific showcases of Austin-based, Black and international artists, the shop says it exists to support, celebrate and spread the joy of the queer community. The Little Gay Shop hopes to ignite the local art scene, where they believe LGBTQ+ artists are essential, by spreading queer art and gaining exposure.
Garden Seventeen, 604 Williams St.
Dedicated to DIY and outdoor lovers, Garden Seventeen is a locally-owned queer garden center. From its unique hangar-esque building, Garden Seventeen was brought to Austin by the same minds as Native Edge Landscape with the goal of making beautifully landscaped spaces a possibility for everyone. Plants of all sizes, shapes and varieties are all available with experts on standby, plus the store has a loyalty program, so you're rewarded for shopping!
Statement jewelry designer TK Tunchez is a lover of maximalism so her Etsy Shop, Las Ofrendas, is a store for people who love color, patterns and a flair for eye-catching. Flower crowns and combs, gemstones and colorful acrylic earrings are her specialty and give off Chicana and southwestern motifs. The shop is featured at pop-ups throughout Austin, including Frida Friday ATX, which amplifies artists who are "womxn of color."
Combining two loves, Indian food and chocolate, Harshit Gupta and Elliott Curelop founded Madhu Chocolate by sourcing high-quality ingredients and lovingly packing all the bars by hand. "Madhu," which means honey or sweet in Hindi, is central to their motto, "Be Madhu to one another." Flavors like saffron milk and vanilla fennel give the chocolates a uniquely spiced flavor, plus the store sells their own brand of spiced chai, inspired by Gupta's mother's own recipe. In honor of Pride Month, Madhu chocolate is donating 52% of the proceeds to nonprofit safe space Out Youth.
Skull & Cakebones, 3991 US-290
With claims of being the Hill Country's first plant-based craft bakery, Skull & Cakebones promises that going vegan does not have to be a compromise. The bakeshop sells all kinds of vegan sweets like the "Mutha Fudga Cupcakes" or Texas-sized cinnamon rolls, as well as a plethora of clean lunch options like cauliflower wings or vegan grilled cheese. You're guaranteed to find something for everyone!
Gelateria Gemelli, 1009 East 6th St.
Gelato, Italian coffee and cocktails, oh my! Translating to Gemini, the Italian word "Gemelli" was the catalyst for the Gelateria. Andrew Sabola, with a Gemini horoscope sign, and his best friend, also a Gemini, traveled to Bologna, Italy, to learn how to make gelato from the pros. Right now you can try flavors like Earl Grey, Roasted Banana and Miso Vanilla but since Gemelli uses locally sourced ingredients, the flavors change with the seasons.
Paws on Chicon, 1301 Chicon St. and 7601 S. Congress Ave.
Even your furry friends can celebrate pride month with high-quality kibbles and premium toys and treats at Paws on Chicon. The independent store recently opened its second location on South Congress and hopes to educate Austin's pet-loving populous on how to keep their pets the healthiest they can be. The store even does an annual dog drag show to raise money for LGBTQ+ youth and animals in need.
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East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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