Upon arriving at the scene of a fire, the non-profit organization assesses the damage, offers emotional support, and ensures basic needs are met—these services are provided free of charge. Though the American Red Cross relies on a large army of volunteers, resources are needed to train and equip these volunteers with the tools they need to respond to local disasters.
The Austin Park and Recreation department oversees the operation and upkeep of a diverse array of facilities serving the local community, including parks, swimming pools, golf courses, playgrounds, and tennis courts. Visitors can engage in outdoor activities to nurture an appreciation for natural surroundings and add to a burgeoning stick collection, or join artistic programs such as community theater and arts education. The department attained national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, one of just 89 nationwide to receive the honor.
The history of the four municipal golf courses that make up Austin Public Links spans a good portion of the history of the city itself. The story begins with the Hancock Golf Course, a short nine-holer founded in 1899 and named for former Austin mayor Lewis Hancock, Jr. The links-style Roy Kizer Golf Course, meanwhile, was named in honor of the longtime superintendent of the Lions Municipal Golf Course, which played host to the likes of Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. In addition, the Morris Williams Golf Course has been newly reopened after heavy renovations.
Taken together, the courses cover a wide range of styles?from the hilly 9 holes of Hancock to the 7,023-yard endurance test at Morris Williams. Lions features traditional tree-lined fairways, whereas Roy Kizer has a links-style layout with 22 acres of wetlands and 37 acres of lakes.
At Dharma Yoga?s recently erected, 2,400-square-foot studio, flickering candlelight gives the earth-tone hues and gleaming hardwood floors an inviting glow. Like stumbling into a lounge-singer convention, the studio?s comforting vibes relax the mind with calming music as the band of certified instructors gently guides students of all experience levels through a series of healing physical postures. Though classes vary in style?ranging from vigorous early-bird Vinyasa flow to relaxing end-of-day Dharma nightcaps?each session explores traditional Indian yoga and Buddhist practices, referring to itself as an "awareness-based mindfulness and relaxation practice." Between the original Dharma Yoga and the new Dharma Yoga East Side, students can choose from 50 weekly classes, held throughout the day.
In the course of more than a decade of teaching and practicing yoga, Dharma Yoga founder Keith Kachtick, an Austin native, has served as the senior instructor with the Lineage Project, a nonprofit that offers meditation and yoga practice to prisoners in the New York City area. Keith has also contributed his yogic philosophies to publications such as Yoga Journal, Newsweek, and the New York Times. His codirector, Camilla, has a master?s degree in social work and a background as a clinical therapist. These experiences fuel her nurturing teaching style, especially in yoga-therapy sessions, which are designed to help to release physical, emotional, and mental tension.
When Roger Diaz puts together a meal in his kitchen at Vivo Tex Mex, he’s not just tossing fresh ingredients into handmade tortillas. He draws on three generations of family cooking, taught to him by his mother and grandmother before he could even reach the stovetop. These family recipes include tricks to puff up a tortilla by lightly frying it, as well as the ingredients to make the tortilla itself from scratch. Roger’s colorful dining room and patio celebrate his heritage as well. Huge, colorful canvases bedeck the interiors, bright lanterns hang from the ceiling, and a portrait of Frida Kahlo surreptitiously tries to steal sips of frosty margaritas. Al fresco, the constant burble of fountains chatters beneath diners' conversations while ample potted plants and flowers create a fresh bouquet of scents to complement meals.