If you’re in town for South by Southwest and you’re thinking, “Man, I really wish I had a photo of myself standing next to a 23-foot-tall, 30-foot-long, 6,000-pound white buffalo,” then, well, we’ve got good news for you.
Starz has installed a great white buffalo at the corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez streets as part of its promotion for “American Gods,” the new television show based on Neil Gaiman’s popular novel of the same name. According to Starz, the buffalo installment is homage to the recurring image of a buffalo in the series.
Judging by the looks of that crowd, it’s pretty popular. And yes, you can get real food there.
According to our crew at the scene, the line on Friday afternoon was long but manageable, so you’re chances of getting in and enjoying some of Gus Fring’s wares are pretty high. There’s a catch, though: There isn’t any air conditioning in the restaurant, so be ready to sweat.
Days after a Texas Senate panel approved Texas’ controversial “bathroom bill,” South by Southwest organizers are speaking out against the bill, which prohibits transgender-friendly bathrooms in schools, universities and government buildings.
SXSW organizers placed signs in bathrooms at the festival, including in the Austin Convention Center. The signs read, in part, “We oppose discriminatory legislation such as the Texas SB6 ‘bathroom bill’ and support civil rights for all persons everywhere.”
There are still options for ride-hailing services in Austin, and quite a few of them: Fare, Fasten, Get Me, Ride Austin, Wingz and zTrip are just six of the biggest options. But which one is the best? A few Statesman reporters teamed up with our 512tech team to test out those six services and we ranked them based upon wait time, trip time, cost, app ease of use and overall experience. Check out the results.
Tired of walking? Want to get in a tricked-out bus with an unknown destination? Well, here’s your chance: The VICELAND Bus will be cruising around town during South by Southwest this year, giving festivalgoers a space to take a break from the crowds (and the heat or humidity or rain, if past SXSWs are any indication).
VICELAND, the TV channel from VICE Media, has taken its bus to various cultural events like Comic Con, Outside Lands and the Women’s March on Washington, and now it’s coming to Austin from March 11-18.
Why do you care? Well, this bus has everything. Leather couches. A DJ booth. A karaoke machine. Free VICELAND swag. A chance to get a ride to an undetermined location without worrying you’re going to be kidnapped.
Fans of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” are in luck this South by Southwest: AMC is bringing a real-life version of Gus Fring’s fried chicken restaurant to the heart of downtown Austin in a few weeks.
According to Austin Towers, a permit for a private party was filed with the city last week describing “a temporary 1,400 square-foot space with an A-2 occupancy classification — indicating a restaurant — that also includes a stage space for more than 500 people.” The restaurant will be set up in a parking lot at 5th Street and Congress Avenue (to SXSW veterans, it’s just a block away from the parking lot that hosted a giant Ferris wheel for “Mr. Robot” last year).
It’s no secret that retired basketball player, famed broadcaster and unashamed Deadhead Bill Walton really, really loves tie-dye. So on Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center, it seemed only fitting that Texas head football coach Tom Herman presented Walton with a tie-dyed “Keep Austin Weird” T-shirt at the Longhorns’ game against Kansas.
You really love Whataburger, but do you love Whataburger as much as this guy?
Fred Thomas, a self-described pastor and comedian in North Texas, posted a video last week of him sitting in his car, belting an ode to the crown jewel of Whataburger breakfast: the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.
If you don’t know (and why don’t you?), the HBCB is a Whataburger delicacy. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory — flaky buttermilk biscuits, a chicken tender and the sweet golden nectar that is honey butter. It’s perfect in all ways, as Pastor Fred can attest.
“You know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for me, there’s one particular breakfast that just takes me away,” he sings.
OK, I know the Grammys already happened, but Pastor Fred’s got my vote for best new artist and best gospel performance, because he took us to the Church of Whataburger in this video. Since last week, the video has been shared more than 129,000 times on Facebook and has received nearly 4.5 million views.
He’s also got great advice for ordering an HBCB: “”Every time I get this biscuit, I get a little extra honey butter so it won’t be dry.”
Whataburger should hire Pastor Fred as a marketing consultant — he’s got some great ideas, like, “I’m just waiting on Whataburger to have buy one, get one free” and “Whataburger, I don’t care if you raise the price, I’ll pay. I don’t think the honey butter biscuit should just be breakfast, you should sell them all day.”
It’s like Pastor Fred is singing the song every Whataburger lover has had inside of them for many lifetimes, but he finally found the words.
“Every time I pass Whataburger, I hear it call my name.”
This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the death of Texas native Anna Nicole Smith, who captured the heart of America with her beautiful looks and the rags-to-riches tale of a dirt-poor small-town girl turned superstar.
“…the high-fashion look didn’t count for much in Mexia, or even in Dallas or Houston, and Vickie Lynn needed a body that would help her survive the world she lived in, and maybe even escape it.”
Born Vickie Lynn Hogan, the model’s 6-foot figure and stunning looks were too much for the small town (Mexia’s population was only about 6,000 in the 1960s, when Smith was born). So she left Mexia when she was 18, a single mother recently divorced from her allegedly abusive husband, and she headed to Houston.
“Though inescapably connected with a commodity drawn up from deep in the ground, Houston belongs to the ocean.”
The profile details a part of the Lone Star State many Texans know well: “Dry farmland” giving way to “pink skies and sudden downpours” all-too-common on the land along the Gulf Coast.
“It’s a port city, and like all port cities, it is a place of transformation: a place where the skyline can change seemingly overnight, where fortunes can be won and lost in an instant, and where the people who kept you down all your life can’t keep you down anymore, because you can become whatever you say you are — or at least whatever the city will pay you to be.”
In Houston, Smith — still going by Vickie Lynn — found jobs at Walmart and Red Lobster in the mid-1980s.
“Houston was the implant capital of America…”
Now here’s a “today I learned…” story you can tell your friends about.
Silicone breast implants were invented in 1961 by two surgeons from Baylor University, and according to Buzzfeed, they were one of Houston’s hottest commodities in the 1980s, “almost as synonymous with Texas-sized dreams and desires as the lasso was.”
However, Houston also later became “the implant-related lawsuit capital of the world” in the early 1990s, as women sued manufacturers for faulty implants.
She became Anna Nicole Smith while dancing at a Houston strip club
After realizing Walmart and Red Lobster couldn’t pay the bills, Smith took a job dancing at the Executive Suite, a strip club near Houston Intercontinental Airport.
Buzzfeed reports the businessmen who frequented the club didn’t much care for Smith’s body, as she was “both too big and too small for the business of seduction.”
So Smith saved her money to get breast implants and buy herself the body of Anna Nicole Smith, saying goodbye to Vickie Lynn and landing a job at Rick’s, the “legendary Houston strip club that some claimed had singlehandedly popularized the silicone implant,” Buzzfeed writes.
She met J. Howard Marshall while dancing at Rick’s in 1988. Marshall, an elderly man who had gotten rich on the East Texas oil boom of the early 20th century, would later become Smith’s husband.