5 Lunchtime Links: Traffic and SXSW are BFFs

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RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The morning commute into Austin has slowed considerably for motorists as a lane reduction on the northbound side of Mopac Blvd (Loop 1) between Cesar Chavez and Enfield Rd. has caused backups for miles. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The morning commute into Austin has slowed considerably for motorists as a lane reduction on the northbound side of Mopac Blvd (Loop 1) between Cesar Chavez and Enfield Rd. has caused backups for miles. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

1. The traffic. It’s coming.

Have you all RSVP’d to SXSW’s special event? Traffic. Whether or not you RSVP’d, expect to attend. Austinites are generally freaking out about how they’ll get around starting this coming Friday when the interactive portion of the festival kicks off with a visit from the most well protected man in the U.S. President Barack Obama’s seven-hour visit is likely to cause quite a traffic and street closure stir. If you can’t work from home, as suggested by Mayor Steve Adler, then you’re going to need to find a way through the chaos. Although we won’t know exactly what closures to expect until the presidential motorcade is covering ground at its signature 55 m.p.h. speed, you can keep up with our roundup of expected early closures here. You can also take a look at this map of closures posted to the City of Austin’s Facebook — although we don’t suggest doing so closely.

2. What do you want to ask Michelle Obama?

If given the chance what would you ask the first lady? Michelle Obama will be answering select questions relating to the theme, “What does it mean today to find your passion and act on it?” when she serves as a keynote speaker during South by Southwest Music, the American-Statesman’s Jake Harris reports. Those submitting questions must turn them in by Thursday, March 10 at 6 p.m. to have them considered. Obama will discuss her Let Girls Learn initiative during the talk, which is open to SXSW Music, Film, Gold, and Platinum registrants.

3. New iPhone to premiere March 21.

Apple has sent out invitations for a March 21 event to announce the iPhone SE, which stands for “Special Edition,” Business Insider reports. According to several sources the new phone is expected to have many of the features iPhone 6S offers, but will be packaged in a 4-inch screen like the iPhone 5s. The iPhone SE may serve as a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 6S and is intended to entice customers still stuck on their iPhone 5S to opt for an upgrade. All sounds good, but still primarily concerned with the available color options…

4. Taco war ends in peace, tacos.

Austin and San Antonio have officially put their taco differences aside and ended the breakfast taco war with an official proclamation signed by Mayor Steve Adler, the American-Statesman’s Jackie Wang reports. What began with an Eater article claiming Austin as the breakfast taco’s originating site, and escalated following a series of snarky blog posts has ended in peace and tacos shared between Adler and San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor.

5. Austin Beerworks debuts unofficial beer of SXSW with taco emoji tallboy can.

How better to kick off your unofficial SXSW partying than with an unofficial SXSW beer? Austin Beerworks has revealed its Festbier, complete with taco and beer emoji can decor, and called it the “officially unofficial beer of March 11-20,” the American-Statesman’s Arianna Auber reports. The title of official beer sponsor for SXSW already belongs to Bud Light, so Austin Beerworks has been careful not to overstep its bounds in marketing the perfect light-bodied lager to go with “breakfast tacos, lunch tacos, dinner tacos and any music you might hear in between.” The beer will officially become available Friday and won’t be found on shelves after March 20.


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