OUT NOW: Netflix's 'Twentysomethings: Austin' follows eight navigating adulthood, love in the capital city
You can now see your favorite Austin spots, from Lady Bird Lake to Sixth Street, on Netflix's new show "Twentysomethings: Austin."
The reality show, which was previously called "Roaring Twenties, premiered Friday on Netflix with the first six episodes; the last six come out Dec. 17. It follows eight strangers living under the same roof in Austin as they seek to "(step) out of their comfort zone" and find adventure. Much like Austin itself, these up-and-coming young people are grappling with finding steady ground during the pandemic. The series is sure to be a heartwarming take on the equally-confusing time that comes just after those coming-of-age movies.
Here's a look at the eight 20-somethings featured in Roaring Twenties:
Natalie Cabo, 26
Natalie Cabo had a more sheltered upbringing than most—her parents filmed her every move in her "strict Latin household" growing up," and her father wouldn't even let her hug boys without covering her chest.
Now, she's ready to make up for lost time, get her first boyfriend and have some fun in Austin.
"She is boldly extroverted yet adorably charming, and is making it her mission to do whatever it takes to get herself boo'd up in Austin, one awkward first date at a time," her bio reads.
Raquel Daniels, 25
As "one of the few black women who works in IT," Daniels may find her happy place in booming tech town Austin.
A Florida A&M grad and model and fashion ambassador on the side, Daniels hopes to add to her resume by making the connections needed to start her tech startup.
"She loves old-fashioneds, playing the stock market and roller skating, but you'll never catch her barefoot unless she's in the pool—she has a phobia of her uncovered feet touching the ground!" her bio reads.
Bruce Stephenson, 23
A Greenville, South Carolina native, Stephenson works with his father at Stephenson Insurance, but he has dreams of working for a professional sports team (preferably baseball). This "corn-fed, responsible guy" is ready to shed his roots and try his luck at a serious relationship while in Austin.
"It's always a party when Bruce is around—he lives by the motto 'LET'S GOOO!'," his bio reads. "He's a good corn-fed, responsible guy who respects women and loves ice cream... maybe a little too much."
Abbey Humphreys, 25
At 25, Houston native Abbey Humphreys has experience beyond her years—she's already a divorcee after marrying her high school sweetheart at 20. Now a microinfluencer, Humphreys hopes to find her identity, explore her bisexuality and get wild in Austin.
"She has no idea who she is or what she wants to do with her life, but she knows she's ready to shed the 'handcuffs' of her marriage and conservative upbringing and get into some trouble in Austin," her bio reads.
Keauno Perez, 28
At 28, Perez is the oldest on the show—and he's already got the accomplishments to show for it as the Coordinator for Residence Education at the University of Arkansas.
Perez came out as gay at 25 after years of struggling with his sexuality in the conservative area where he grew up, and he's now ready to shed his Arkansas roots and find himself in Austin. He's also a second-generation American and the first in his family to graduate from college, according to his bio.
"Keauno is like a puppy everyone immediately falls in love with—but he's never been kissed!" Perez's bio reads. "Keauno is leaving Arkansas behind as he hopes to find his 'gay sensei' in the very LGBTQ+-friendly community in Austin, and maybe a boyfriend to boot!"
Isha Punja, 24
An Irvine, California native, Punja thought until recently that Miami was in Maine. But her lack of geography skills belies her education and ambition: a UC Berkeley economics graduate, Punja is now working to build Hut Mentality, her fashion brand centered on ethical clothing made by indigenous women in rural India.
"Isha is clumsy, gullible, and forgetful, but she knows it, and owns it," Punja's bio reads. "After struggling with depression, she realized she needed to follow her passion, and started designing clothes."
Kamari Bonds, 23
Bonds is one of three 23-year-olds to round out the youngest on the show. A model back in his home of North Carolina, Bonds is former creative business marketing major who hopes to find ways to focus on his entrepreneurship in Austin while continuing to prioritize fitness—and maybe finding love along the way.
"He loves Southern accents and hopes to find a fiery Texan woman to settle down with...eventually," Bonds' official bio reads. "For the next few months in Austin, he wants to play the field, hit the gym, and manifest his destiny... whatever it may be."
Michael Fractor, 23
An Austin native who's moving from Los Angeles, Fractor is attracted to the "weirdos" of his hometown, which is why he hopes Austin is where he can get his stand-up comedy career off the ground. With Joe Rogan in the house and an up-and-coming comedy scene, maybe this is the perfect place for Fractor to pursue his career "with absolutely zero training or experience." While he's "unafraid to bomb night after night," he is desperate for a girlfriend, according to his bio.
"He's chasing this dream wherever it takes him, even if it's to a place of failure and being forced to give it up and make a change," his bio reads.
Find the cast members' official bios here.
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Barton Springs Pool is on a condensed schedule while the city tries to fill out its lifeguard roster.
The popular pool is currently closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays while it navigates a lifeguard shortage. The city is offering bonuses to new applicants who can start by early June.
Austin Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Jodi Jay said there are 207 lifeguards ready to work and 100 incoming but the department needs 750 to be fully staffed.
Zoom out: The pandemic has had a lasting impact on hiring—in 2019, the city was able to hire 850 lifeguards.
Why it matters: The city needs at least 400 lifeguards, plus 30 with open water certification, to open pools on a modified schedule by June 4. Without hitting that mark, some facilities could limit hours or close.
The job pays between $16-19 an hour, anyone over 15 can get certified and there are bonuses on the table:
- $500 bonus if you get certified and start working by June 6.
- $500 bonus if you work through August 14.
- $250 bonus if you get advanced certification.
For years Austin has been one of the top 5 places to live in the U.S., according to an annual ranking from U.S. News and World Report. But this year, Austin dropped out of the top 10.
The publication ranked Austin at No. 13, down from No. 5 last year, No. 3 in 2020 and No. 1 in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Cities ranking in the top this year were No. 1 Huntsville, Alabama, No. 2 Colorado Springs and No. 3 Green Bay, Wisconsin.
So why did it rank lower this year?
The hot housing market is part of the reason. The report states "Austin offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income."
Still, Austin was the highest-ranked Texas city on the list. Adding to its desirability are its live music capital roots and the growing tech scene. The next Texas area on the list was Dallas-Fort Worth coming in at No. 32.
U.S. News says it analyzed 150 metro areas in the U.S. to make the list based on the quality of life, the job market, the value of living there and people's desire to live there.
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