Miles is a former high school history teacher and the owner of Walking Tours of Austin, which specializes in local history. Miles launched his Murder Walk in April 2019, using his considerable storytelling abilities to relay the gruesome story of America’s first serial killer. Known in the press as the “Midnight Assassin” or “Servant Girl Annihilator” (the latter a nickname coined by the author O. Henry, who lived in Austin at the time), the killer took the lives of four Black servant women, one of the servant’s daughters, a Black man, and two white socialites, using axes and knives to hack and stab his victims before lobotomizing most of them with a steel rod.
Pasadena resident Debbie Trainor wasn’t able to visit Italy this summer like she had planned. Even though COVID-19 made international travel unlikely this year, she still wanted to take a fun, safe trip with European flair. “There’s just so much to see in this big world,” she says. “I’ve got to do something.” That’s when she got the idea to take a trip around Texas visiting cities with European names. Among the cities she planned to visit were Moscow, Paris, Dublin, Berlin, and Vienna.
If you grew up in Texas, you’ve probably eaten at Luby’s. And if you’ve eaten at Luby’s, your feelings about the restaurant may run surprisingly deep. While it’s been decades since I stepped inside one, my nostalgia for square fish, church clothes, and green Jell-O has been in overdrive since hearing the 73-year old Houston-based cafeteria chain is closing multiple locations and heading toward liquidation.
It’s nearly impossible to escape spiked seltzers. Everyone from frat boys to their moms are devoted to brands like White Claw, Truly, and Bon & Viv, which offer low-calorie, fruity, and bubbly malt beverages in a can. It’s caused such a stir, that big beer companies like Natural Light, Corona, and Bud Light have released their own lines of spiked seltzer. Now three companies have given the trend a Texas twist with canned ranch water.
For the Peaceful ThaiBinh owner ThaiBinh Ho, having a vegan restaurant was always his plan—but he didn’t want to compete with another vegan eatery located in the same plaza. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, the other restaurant scaled down and eliminated its vegan offerings. Ho saw an opportunity to fill the gap.
From the 1920s to the ’60s, the Dallas convenience store chain made its name delivering good to customers’ cars. During COVID-19, the antiquated service as made a major comeback.
For the past 13 years, Mark Landrum has been known as the “Port Aransas Sandcastle Guy.” The sand artist teaches lessons on how to build sandcastles, but is also commissioned to create custom works for marriage proposals, businesses openings, family greeting cards, and more. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Landrum has had to face the ultimate challenge to his way of life: How do you work with sand when you have limited access to the beach?
Although the temperatures outside might be nearly equal to those of a post oak-filled pit, summer is still the preferred time of year to hone the barbecue craft—the COVID-19 pandemic has only served as encouragement to give it a shot. Hutchins BBQ, a DFW staple since the 1990s, has simple tips for the home pit master.
Seeing that orange “W” logo about a mile before the Colorado River not only meant that we were eating at Whataburger for lunch, but that my grandma was there to meet us and drive me on to South Texas. I looked forward to spending time with my grandma every summer, as our laughs usually started when we got in her truck for the second leg of my trip.
Since mid-March, theaters have been unable to book their usual slate of shows and special events resulting in lost ticket sales and lost revenue. Many theaters were expecting to reopen in June, and even put all of the necessary precautions in place to keep staff and guests safe. Then COVID-19 cases began to spike again in Texas, and reopening wasn’t feasible. Some theaters have postponed their reopenings until August, while others have canceled their seasons entirely.
Community radio was made for times like these. Not-for-profit and listener-supported public radio stations exist to provide critical information in times of emergency as well as to entertain. During the COVID-19 pandemic, two Texas stations are living up to that mission statement.
In June 2020, Texas Highways profiled chef and restauranteur Jonny Rhodes of Indigo in Houston. Shortly after the story was published, Rhodes announced on Instagram he would close Indigo for good after one more year of service. For many fans and customers, the news came as shock.