Mayor Adler sends tongue-in-cheek response to man upset over ‘Wonder Woman’ screening

Austin Mayor Steve Adler used a witty approach Wednesday in responding to an email he received last week, in which the writer voiced his opposition to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s plans to host two women-only screenings of the movie “Wonder Woman” on Tuesday.

GAL GADOT as Diana in the action adventure “WONDER WOMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

The writer called for a male boycott of the entire city of Austin.

“I hope every man will boycott Austin and do what he can to diminish Austin and to cause damage to the city’s image,” he wrote. “The theater that pandered to the sexism typical of women will, I hope, regret it’s [sic] decision. The notion of a woman hero is a fine example of women’s eagerness to accept the appearance of achievement without actual achievement.”

You can read the rest of his musings here – because Adler posted the exchange on his blog – if you’re interested in hearing the writer’s thoughts on makeup, military service, the Olympics, inventors and the “women’s movement.”

Adler decided to alert the writer “that your email account has been hacked by an unfortunate and unusually hostile individual.”

“Please remedy your account’s security right away, lest this person’s uninformed and sexist rantings give you a bad name,” Adler wrote. “After all, we men have to look out for each other!”

In response to the writer’s – possibly rhetorical – request to “name something invented by a woman,” Adler noted that “women invented medical syringes, life rafts, fire escapes, central and solar heating, a war-time communications system for radio-controlling torpedoes that laid the technological foundations for everything from Wi-Fi to GPS, and beer.”

Adler wished the writer luck in securing his email account.

“I hesitate to imagine how embarrassed you’d be if someone thought you were upset that a private business was realizing a business opportunity by reserving one screening this weekend for women to see a superhero movie,” Adler wrote.

This isn’t the first time Adler has used his blog to counteract hostile rants from members of the public. Last year, after voters defeated a referendum on ride-hailing rules that led to Uber and Lyft leaving town, Adler put up a post featuring some of the most profane tweets he had received on the topic. His spokesman said that post “speaks for itself and quite loudly.”

LOOK OUT, TOPO CHICO: Austin’s own sparkling water set to hit stores

Look out, Topo Chico. An Austin-based upstart is coming for you.

Two years after it was first announced, Rambler limestone-filtered sparkling water is set to hit store shelves late this summer. There have been a lot of challenges along the way, but the product’s backers, including several well-known Austinites such as James Moody, say they never stopped believing.

“We had to change directions a few times,” said Moody, who owns The Mohawk live music venue and the Guerilla Suit advertising agency. “We’re so sensitive to making sure we do this right.”

Rambler will be sold in six-packs of 12-ounce cans when it hits stores late this summer.

One of the biggest obstacles was finding a place to produce Rambler. As luck would have it, Austin Beerworks recently expanded and had extra capacity at its facility in North Austin.

“They initially didn’t have any interest in working with anyone outside of their own business,” Moody said. “We approached them and when they realized there was no local option out there for sparkling water, they said, ‘We wouldn’t normally do this, but we want to work with you.’”

The sparkling water – billed as a “soda alternative” – will be sold in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. A price has not yet been set.

“Our recent brewery expansion created lots of fun opportunities for us, but helping Rambler get up and running has been the most exciting,” said Austin Beerworks co-founder Michael Graham. “The Rambler team shares our company values, passion for delicious carbonated beverages and love of all things Texas.”

While the Rambler team had initially envisioned their product in bottles, like Topo Chico, Moody said canned waters – such as LaCroix – have become more popular lately, in addition to being “better for the environment and better for economics.”

“If you look at what’s happening locally and nationally, people are actually drinking way more LaCroix,” Moody said. “LaCroix is something you have in your fridge all the time, while Topo Chicos are only once in a while.”

Moody, for instance, who says he was “hooked” on Diet Coke for many years, says he goes through 12 to 14 LaCroixs a day at work, while typically downing Topo Chicos only when he’s out and about.

In addition to Moody, the team behind Rambler includes Leo Kiely, former CEO of MillerCoors; Bill Kiely, owner and director of Windowseat Entertainment; Jay Russell, chief creative officer for GSD&M; Jeff Trucksess, a partner in Solcharge; and Dave Mead, an Austin-based photographer and director.

All say they are committed to producing Rambler with sustainability in mind. To that end, they plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

“We’re pleased to partner with Rambler, a Texas-based company that is helping to promote conservation of Texas lands and waters,” said Anne Brown, the foundation’s executive director. “We applaud Rambler for their conservation-minded approach to launching this new endeavor.”

When it debuts, plans call for Rambler to initially be distributed in the Austin area, using the Austin Beerworks distribution network. That, Moody says, means the 600 or so customers – primarily bars, restaurants, convenience stores and grocers – already carrying Austin Beerworks products will be first in line to get Rambler.

Over time, the goal is to go wider, perhaps taking Rambler into other Texas cities.

“For us to be bringing a local, healthier option to the marketplace, I’m stoked,” Moody said.

Is Austin home to millennial ‘slackers’? Yes, but not as much as other Texas cities

The Pew Research Center found last year that the current generation of 18-to-34-year-olds (millennials) are more likely to be currently living with their parents than to be living with a spouse or significant other, or living alone or with roommates, for the first time in 130 years.

From Flickr user Elizabeth Hahn. Used with Creative Commons license.

Apartment search site Abodo took that Pew data and found that 34.1 percent of millennials across America are still living under mom and dad’s roof. To understand why, Adobo looked at 16 metropolitan statistical areas (cities with populations over 1 million people) that exceeded the national average.

The results? Austin isn’t as much of a slacker city as you might think.

Related: I’m a millennial. I don’t need your participation trophy.

The Austin-Round Rock area landed at the bottom of Adobo’s list at No. 40, with 22.3 percent of the city’s millennials still living at home. That’s 11.8 percent below the national average. And, just 8 percent of Austin’s millennials are unemployed, compared to the 10 percent national average.

Austin millennials are also raking in more money than the national average, whether they live at home or not; those living at home took in $1,314 a month, while those living on their own or with other people took in $2,329 a month. Unsurprisingly, the housing market in Austin isn’t kind to millennials. They pay almost $200 more than the national average in median rent.

More: When it comes to this list of heavyweights, San Antonio is way ahead of Austin

The area with the highest population of millennials living at home is the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla. area, with 44.8 percent of that area’s millennials living at home. The largest contingent of stay-at-home-kids in Texas is in the San Antonio-New Braunfels area, at 36.2 percent.

Surprise! The El Arroyo sign’s got Ides of March jokes

 

It’s March 15, otherwise known as the Ides of March. That’s the day Roman emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by his own senators and son-in-law Marcus Brutus in 44 B.C.

From Flickr user Hilverd Reker.

(It’s also the title of an excellent 2011 film about an idealistic presidential campaign staffer and the governor he works for starring Ryan Gosling and George Clooney.)

The phrase was popularized in William Shakespeare’s titular play about Caesar: “Beware the Ides of March.”

It was a day full of conspiracy, betrayal and knives (and indeed, bad stuff seems to continue to happen on March 15), but everyone’s favorite Austin taco restaurant sign has a lighter take on the day famous for conspiratorial bloodshed.

Et tu, El Arroyo?

More:

Austinites can alert city to dangerous roads via new crowd-sourced map

Austinites can now tell city officials on an edit-able map which areas are dangerous for drivers or pedestrians and bicyclists. Graphic courtesy of the City of Austin.

A website is now live that Austin officials say makes it quick and easy to alert the city about streets that need to be safer.

City officials said they are particularly interested in what pedestrians have to say over the next couple of weeks.

Austinites can select their mode of travel (walking, bicycling, riding a motorcycle, driving a car, or using an assistive device such as a wheelchair), choose from a drop-down list of concerns, and add additional details. They will immediately see their dot appear on the map, among the others that people have placed.

With all the notes that people have already placed, the map can be a bit daunting, but it’s fairly user-friendly once you zoom in on the streets you’re interested in.

This map is for planning efforts only, city officials said. People should call 3-1-1 to identify pressing safety concerns that need immediate attention.

Watch: Defaced ‘I love you so much’ wall is repainted

If the trials of Austin’s “I love you so much” wall serve as any proof, it seems love always makes its way back to us in the end.

The “I Love You So Much” wall at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress Ave. in Austin. DALE ROE / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

After the mural was defaced Sunday night, original artist Amy Cook took a can of red spray paint to the iconic, and oddly blank, green wall sometime last night and wrote the same words she was first driven to write years ago.

She posted video of the repainting to her Facebook:

In comments on the video, Cook said that this was the third time she has painted the phrase, confirmed that it is, in fact, trademarked, and said, “I’m just glad it makes people happy.”

Cook told the American-Statesman of the wall, “I wrote it for somebody, but it sort of became this for everybody.” Cook says she can’t remember whether she was inspired to create the mural after she and her girlfriend had gotten into a fight, or if she was “just being sweet.”

READ: Austin reacts to ‘I love you so much’ wall defacement

We want to see your most Texan picture on Texas Independence Day

Got a picture that perfectly captures how happy you are to live in the Lone Star State? This Texas Independence Day, send all photographic evidence of just how truly Texan you are to readerphotos@statesman.com or tweet us @statesman.

tex180horiz
Photo by Dave Thomas/Austin-American Statesman

If you don’t have the perfect picture in mind, we’re unopposed to taking one just for the occasion. Bust out your boots, grab a Shiner, pull up a patch of bluebonnets, and remind everyone who doesn’t know just why Texans are so proud to be just that.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TEXAS: Here’s 181 things we love about you

Ranking: Austin is No. 1 ‘super cool’ city, thanks to SXSW and food

 

Austin is weird. Austin is the best capital city to live in, according to U.S. News and World Report. Austin’s restaurants land on many year-end “best-of” lists. Austin is one of America’s most generous cities, according to GoFundMe.

rbz-city-skyline-01

And now, a new list from Expedia ranks Austin as the “coolest U.S. city.”

The travel company ranked 21 cities, giving points based on attributes like the availability of a Lyft ride, the amount of farmer’s markets in the city, low crime rating, music/arts/food/drink festivals and population age.

Austin was the only Texas city to make the cut. It scored a 26 out of a possible 28 points by Expedia’s scale, and the company found plenty to like about the Lone Star State’s capital city.

More: Spring break destinations? New York Times recommends Austin

“The only uncool thing about Austin can be the weather, and it takes care of that with awesome watering holes (ahem, Barton Springs), cool places to crash (hotels like Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt), and killer cold treats (Lick Ice Cream, anyone?),” Austin’s description on the list reads.

Other highlights of living in Austin, according to Expedia:

  • A crime rating of 35 out of 100, according to Sperling’s Best Places
  • A great restaurant scene
  • South By Southwest Festival, Art City Austin and the Mexican Experience
  • South Congress’ shopping district (which is growing smaller by the day)

However, some parts of Austin aren’t that “cool” to the people who live here. A recent New York Times article says that “the coolness factor” that drives many startups and hip bars to build in East Austin is what’s leading to the rapid gentrification of the city’s east side.

Plus, there’s always the traffic, which any longtime Austinite will blame on the rapid influx of Californian transplants.

 

 

Study: Austin one of America’s hardest-working cities

Jesus Gonzalez works on a frame of a new home in the Blackhawk subdivision in Pflugerville early Wednesday morning Oct. 7, 2015 during cool temperatures at sun rise. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Jesus Gonzalez works on a frame of a new home in the Blackhawk subdivision in Pflugerville early Wednesday morning Oct. 7, 2015 during cool temperatures at sun rise. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Austin might be the fabled home to the hippies and slackers, but a recent study by a personal finance website placed the Texas capital in the top 20 of “2017’s Hardest-Working Cities in America.”

The WalletHub study ranked Austin No. 17 on the list, which was topped by Anchorage, Alaska. Austin fell short of industrious Plano (No. 2), Irving (No.5) and even Corpus Christi (No. 8), but was well ahead of San Antonio (No. 44) and Lubbock (No. 93).

(Coming in last place among the 116 largest cities was Burlington, Vermont.)

RELATED: AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN TOP WORKPLACES 2016

A similar WalletHub study placed Austin at No. 22 on a list of The Best Cities for Jobs. Unsurprisingly, Detroit came in last in the study.

Single men and women can’t afford to buy a home in Austin, according to study

It’s not news that homes in Austin cost a pretty penny. In fact, we just reported on a recent study revealing Austinites have to make at least $52,578 to afford a home in the city.

Another new study from Property Shark reveals it’s even harder to buy a home in Austin if you’re buying one alone — that is, if you’re unmarried or otherwise unattached (or if you don’t have a friend or family member to go halfsies with on a new home).

The Austin skyline as seen looking northwest from the Lakeshore area showing the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake August 31, 2016. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The Austin skyline as seen looking northwest from the Lakeshore area showing the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake August 31, 2016.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The organizers of the study gathered information on home prices and rents across the 50 largest cities in the United States and compared that information to the average incomes of men and women in the city. Then the study used the housing industry “rule” of spending no more than 30 percent of income on either mortgage payments or rent to determine whether single men and women could afford a home in each city.

It resulted in what Property Shark called a “rather bleak picture of the urban housing market,” with women disproportionately affected due to the fact that women earn significantly less than men,  making it more difficult for women to afford living alone.

However, the study revealed that neither gender can afford to buy a home in Austin, one of 14 cities that have priced out single men and women completely. It’s bad news for renters, too — the study showed neither gender can afford to rent their own one-bedroom apartment in Austin either, according to the 30 percent rule (though we’re aware that many Austinites break this rule).

Image via Property Shark
Image via Property Shark

Austin was the only Texas city on the list to have completely rendered single men and women unable to buy a home, but Fort Worth and Houston were among the nine cities with the biggest difference in average income between genders, making it easier for men to buy homes than women.

So what are the best U.S. cities to find an affordable home? Atlanta, Las Vegas and the three largest cities in Arizona – Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa – are good for both genders, the study says. For women buying homes, Detroit comes in first place, with homeowners spending only 4 percent of their income on monthly payments, followed by Witchita, Kan. and Indianapolis, Ind. Arlington, Texas is sixth on the list of most affordable cities for women.

If there’s any good news in all of this, it’s that rental rates are stabilizing in Austin, providing relief for those who rent apartments. The average monthly apartment rent in Austin is about $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,300 for a two-bedroom apartment.