Tribeza Talk April 2017
An Insider’s Guide to Austin’s Hidden Gems
by Nicole Beckley
In the Trees
In the summer of 2010 Greg McEvilly found himself on the ground floor of a new project, and also, quite literally on the ground. After his brother introduced him to hammock camping, McEvilly took a camping trip with his wife. “Some tree straps that I was using to hang the hammock stretched so much that my hammock was on the ground when I woke up,” McEvilly says.
He set about building a better hammock—teaching himself to sew, creating prototypes, and ultimately launching his brand on Kickstarter in 2011. “What started out as a fun experience, really became the catalyst for the big vision of Kammok,” McEvilly says. Focused on creating innovative outdoor gear, in 2016 Kammok opened an office on the east side, featuring a colorful mural of Big Bend’s Santa Elena Canyon, and started partnering with Explore Austin to give back locally. A full retail store is expected this year.
Light the Fuse
Where can you expect to see a Latina motorcycle gang making sonic sensations in a parking garage, a high-wattage neon installation, and an opera about Pancho Villa? Now in its 13th year, the Fusebox Festival brings together choreographers, musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists for five days of unique art and experiences. While the festival runs April 12–16, aim to catch one of the performances of “Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance.” Composed by Graham Reynolds and with soaring vocals from tenor Paul Sanchez, it’s an epic musical experience.
In our harried, digital-driven world it can seem hard to carve out the time and space for peace and quiet. Here it helps to think small. That’s what Stacy Thrash did when she opened PeaceBox, a mobile meditation space built out of a shipping container. The 20-foot by eight-foot space holds eight people inside, and the doors can open to accommodate more on sunny days. PeaceBox offers multiple classes each week, and for those looking to dip their toe in the contemplative waters, Thrash recommends Peace 101, a 45-minute guided meditation.
Dressing the Part
When it comes to fashion, it might be most personal if you create it yourself. In March Austin designer Mallary Carroll opened Good Company, a boutique featuring her SBJ Austin clothing line. The line’s embrace of natural fibers, like cotton, silk, and cashmere, and its focus on ethical sourcing have made it a hit at shops like By George, and now it gets a space of its own.
Lake Austin Spa After Dark
Take a respite from the daily hustle and bustle and slip away for some lakeside tranquility. Lake Austin Spa Resort whisks guests away by water taxi, with pickup points at Walsh Landing and the 360 Bridge. Hotel guests can try out LakeFit classes during their stay. The general public can get a taste of the award-winning resort at the Aster After Dark events, featuring health and wellness talks.
“I grew up in northern Michigan and was in nature a lot,” filmmaker Micah Robert Barber explains. “So we were thinking we could tell a story that is set in nature and is an alternative to really technological stories or kids inside and on devices.” That concept transformed into the film “Into the Who Knows!”—an imaginative kids movie that embraces the outdoors. Encouraged by the film producer Elizabeth Avellan to base the production in Austin, Barber’s film shot in area locations, including a Girl Scout Camp on Lake Travis. “We saw so much wildlife there,” Barber says, “Turtles and foxes and eagles and just about everything you could imagine.” Barber, who did his MFA at UT Austin and currently teaches production there, takes “Into the Who Knows!” to the Dallas International Film Festival for its world premiere this month.
Read more from the Outdoors Issue | April 2017