photo by Joe Raedle for NBC News
New year, new books! We read quite a bit and were interested to see which titles on this list we were and were not familiar with. The heading itself is interesting as we guess it depends on what you define as “successful people.” Success rated as income, happiness, peace or contentment? Maybe fame or recognition? Respect for tasks accomplished or establishments built? We’ll leave that up to you, but in the interim these are some pretty strong reads. We ordered a few that we haven’t read yet and were surprised to see some of our favorites. Check out the list and see if you spot any familiar covers.
It’s the best when you stumble upon an unexpected café, restaurant or bar when you need it most, especially when it’s a good one. Just off I-30 in downtown Ft. Worth you’ll find Sons of Liberty Coffee at the bottom of an old historical building on Lancaster Ave. The massive open area is naturally lit by giant windows and still feels warms with large leather seating and pops of natural wood, even though the space is primarily made up of concrete and steel. They roast their own coffee and know how to make it right. We were beyond pleased with our cortados and drip coffee, and were excited to see that you can buy their beans online. Flanking their street are some amazing buildings and architecture, including the beautiful T&P Station, so if the weather permits, sitting outside is a must.
Whether or not you’ve seen the latest Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, these locations are way beyond cool. The Lars Homestead Interior on Tatooine (Luke Sywalker’s planet) is really the Sidi el Driss Hotel in Matmata, Tunisia, and you can stay there! Check out the article and explore the other locations, then decide which one to put on the to-do list. It doesn’t seem too crazy to hit the serene blue-green waters and white sand beaches of Laamu Atoll in the Maldives (aka - planet Scarif from Rogue One) or the Royal Palace of Naboo in Caserta, Italy (that was in Episode I: The Phantom Menace). They’re both definitely locations we can turn into a full vaca, and we’re going to try to visit one of them off this year - we invite you to do the same. Who knows, maybe you’ll feel the Force?
PLAY | PINBALLZ ARCADE
There is an additional location in Lake Creek now, but the original Pinballz Arcade on Research Blvd. is where we get our kicks. (Don’t get us wrong, they’re both super fun.) The music and nostalgia of the loud sounds of the arcade is what keeps bringing us back. The original arcade in Austin is the birthplace of Pinballz, and houses a massive amount of classic pinball machines as well as a plethora of modern arcade games. They have a BYOB policy and also serve drinks at their Replay Cafe, plus you can book birthdays or work events there. It’s also a solid place to take a date for a night of alternative fun, and make sure to check out their calendar of events for both locations here. DING DING DING!
Our very own hometown hero, Tyler Haney, was recently featured on How I Built This and it’s a great listen. From her time at Parsons School of Design in New York, to her envisioning a brand of athletic wear for more everyday activities, this interview takes you on the journey of how she got her two-piece "kit" (a crop top and leggings) into a few specialty boutiques and and launched Outdoor Voices. Next step was getting into J. Crew stores and from there it was kaboom! Today Outdoor Voices has raised close to $60 million from investors and has around 350 employees. Now that’s something to raise your voice about. Seems like just yesterday we were picking up our shorts and tees at the first location on West 6th Street - now look. Wow!
FOLLOW | TOM JEAN WEBB
We love this guy. He’s a phenomenal and unique artist who works as hard as any we know, and his quality and quantity of production proves it. From the paintings to the albums to the textiles, clothing and mixed media, his pallet is seemingly boundless. Almost forgot to mention the multitude of tattoos, of which you can find on his Insta. The simplicity of the lines blended with the soft, timid colors are balanced with the magnitude of the subjects themselves. In his creations you’ll find Native American influences, similar to what you might find in Santa Fe, Marfa, Joshua Tree or Tucson, just as easily as you might on another celestial planet or some mystical retreat. Birds, arrows, nature, trees, serpents, and female forms - TJW, we have a ton of admiration and respect for everything you create.