Texas Monthly

Texas Monthly January 2021

Texas Monthly has been the authority on the Texas scene since 1973, covering music, arts, travel, restaurants and events with its insightful recommendations. Above all, Texas Monthly provides its readers with a magazine of the highest editorial quality, a standard that has earned it 10 National Magazine Awards, the industry’s most coveted prize.

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2 min
meanwhile, over on texasmonthly.com…

I LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I STILL GOT COVID. Kathryn Jones’s ranch is eight miles from the nearest town, with no other houses in sight. She thought it would be the perfect place to stay safe from COVID-19—until she was diagnosed with the virus. HOW AUSTIN CUT ONE THIRD OF ITS SPENDING ON THE POLICE DEPARTMENT The city council’s vote in August to reallocate about $150 million of the Austin Police Department’s budget took observers by surprise. But as Leif Reigstad reports, for local activists, it was years in the making. EMMANUEL ACHO ON HIS NEW BOOK, UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK MAN The Dallas native and former NFL linebacker speaks with Arielle Avila about the challenges and joys of writing, how his upbringing gave him the skills to facilitate tough conversations, and…

3 min
books are back

Our central mission at Texas Monthly is to craft the best storytelling about this fascinating state. We gladly deliver stories to fast-growing audiences on our website and in podcasts and videos. But I’ll admit that I and many of my colleagues retain a special affection for ink on paper, as we know many of you do. We’re pleased that amid a decline in the readership of many physical magazines, demand for print subscriptions to TM remains strong. So, surprisingly, does demand for printed books. Some experts predicted that the rise of e-books would render the classic variety obsolete. Yet sales of both digital and physical books have risen in recent years, with the latter growing by 6.4 percent in the first nine months of 2020. During the pandemic, we’ve rediscovered the…

3 min
roar of the crowd

“POLITICALLY SPEAKING, TEXAS IS STILL A RED STATE. AT LEAST TIP YOUR STETSON TO THAT EVERY SO OFTEN.” Do the Right Thing I enjoy your articles each month, until it comes to your political writing. “Elephant Tricks,” from the elections coverage in your November issue, illustrates my concerns best. The article explains how the Republicans will continue to be wrong, not what they’ve done right over the past umpteen years. It only talks about how and why they’re going to lose Texas. I see this type of product in almost every news medium I find, and that’s a shame. Be bold, and quit appeasing the left like all the other political writers do. I will keep receiving your magazine because I love Texas, but if I read another political article and you…

6 min
cold-water therapy

Before dawn on a cold January morning in 2014, Veronica Sosa, a relative newcomer to long-distance canoeing, set out with a teammate on a 62-mile paddle race down the Colorado River. ¶ The temperature hovered in the upper teens, and almost immediately after Sosa launched from beneath the Interstate 35 bridge on Austin’s Lady Bird Lake, she started shivering in her seat. She was still shaking about an hour into the race, when she and her partner sloshed through ankle-deep water and dragged their canoe up a bank and around a small dam. ¶ It felt like a selfie moment, so Sosa snapped a picture with her phone. And that’s when she noticed it. “Oh my God, is there ice in my hair?” Sosa recalls asking her teammate, who confirmed…

2 min
spread the love

The first time I made hot pepper jelly—a sumptuous and piquant blend of spicy peppers, sugar, lemon, and apple cider vinegar—I expected to feel the burn on my tongue, not on my fingers. Alas, I contracted a brutal case of “hot pepper hands,” caused when capsaicin, a chemical compound found in chiles, comes into contact with skin. But once the pain evaporated, it was all pleasure. I slathered the relish on bread, crackers (with cream cheese, of course), even ice cream. Hot pepper jelly is said to have originated in Lake Jackson in the seventies, but recipe variations (green pepper ketchup, anyone?) go back much further. Regardless, its popularity in Texas is indisputable. Adapted from a recipe by Emily Lozon, an Austin home cook who shares her culinary adventures on…

1 min
soul cycles

Though bikes are commonly used for commuting in Nao Tomii’s hometown of Niigata, Japan, it wasn’t until after the artist moved to Boston for college and later connected with the cycling community there that he was struck by how similar bike frames are to sculptures. While working for a sculpting company that produced everything from bronze statues to fiberglass dinosaurs, Tomii, now 42, started experimenting with making bikes. He founded Tomii Cycles in 2012 and, tired of the cold, moved to Austin two years later. His workshop offers a custom option as well as two stock models, all of which are handcrafted with high-end steel tubing. The process is spiritual, Tomii says, adding, “To build bikes, I have to be happy.”…