Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Austin (Tex)

Cities Try to Lure Factories as U.S. Pushes to Fix Chip Shortage

Technology
TAYLOR, Texas — The shortage of computer chips has zapped energy from the global economy, punishing industries as varied as automakers and medical device manufacturers and contributing to fears about high inflation.But many states and cities in America are starting to see a silver lining: the possibility that efforts to sharply increase chip production in the United States will lead to a busy chip factory in their backyard. And they are racing to get a piece of the potential boom.One of those towns is Taylor, a Texas city of about 17,000 about a 40-minute drive northeast of Austin. Leaders here are pulling out all the stops to get a $17 billion Samsung plant that the company plans to build in the United States starting early next year.The city, its school district and the county plan to of...
Will Real Estate Ever Be Normal Again?

Will Real Estate Ever Be Normal Again?

Business
Then there was a 35-year-old tech worker in Long Beach, Calif., who bought a house in Round Rock for $300,000 last October. By January 2021, it was worth roughly $400,000; in February, he bought two more. His winning bids were two of dozens that his real estate agent, a former equities trader who now works primarily with individual investors, made sight unseen, all of them for at least $40,000 over the asking price. “I’m part of the problem,” the buyer acknowledged to me, though he was not your stereotypical speculator: Despite earning six figures, he drives a 2005 Honda Civic and, when I spoke to him, was renting a room for $900 a month, preferring to save and invest. (Scarred by graduating into the Great Recession, he aligns with the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement popular ...

Aida Rodriguez Wants You to Laugh at the Pain

LifeStyle
AUSTIN, Texas — “I didn’t know I was half Dominican until I got older,” the comedian Aida Rodriguez said from the stage at the Stateside Theater. “They broke it to me like it was bad news.”The crowd laughed, but Ms. Rodriguez was serious. This is a subject close to her heart. The range of Latino identities in America often falls under the broad category of “Hispanic,” a box to check on a census chart that blurs the richness of the many cultures it encompasses. In a country where a handful of famous Latino comics come mostly from the Southwest, Ms. Rodriguez wants to bring a Caribbean perspective to the forefront.When she was 3 years old, her mother left her father and moved them to Miami from Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital. She grew up with her Puerto Rican side of the family, thinki...
The Austin Bungalow Had Charm. But It ‘Needed Everything.’

The Austin Bungalow Had Charm. But It ‘Needed Everything.’

LifeStyle
Ricardo and Daphny Ainslie happened upon the house that would become their home while strolling the North University neighborhood of Austin, Texas, in 2009 and noticing a dejected-looking man outside a compact 1920s bungalow.“There was a realtor sitting, literally with head in hand, on the front steps,” said Mr. Ainslie, 72, a psychology professor at University of Texas at Austin who is also a writer, filmmaker and musician.After striking up a conversation, the agent told them that a prospective buyer had just canceled a contract to buy the house. “The reason ended up being that they found so many problems,” Mr. Ainslie said, including issues with the foundation, plumbing and wiring.“It needed everything,” said Ms. Ainslie, 42, a forensic psychologist.Nevertheless, the couple was looking f...
Are Tesla and Texas a Perfect Match? It’s Questionable.

Are Tesla and Texas a Perfect Match? It’s Questionable.

Business
Tesla’s move from Silicon Valley to Texas makes sense in many ways: The company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, and the conservative lawmakers who run the state share a libertarian philosophy, favoring few regulations and low taxes. Texas also has room for a company with grand ambitions to grow.“There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area,” Mr. Musk said Thursday at Tesla’s annual meeting hosted at its new factory near the Texas capital. “Here in Austin, our factory’s like five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown.”But Texas may not be the natural choice that Mr. Musk makes it out to be.Tesla’s stated mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” and its customers include many people who want sporty cars that don’t spew greenhouse gases f...
The Sisters Behind Veracruz All Natural’s Breakfast Tacos in Austin

The Sisters Behind Veracruz All Natural’s Breakfast Tacos in Austin

LifeStyle
AUSTIN, Texas — It was early morning in the lobby of the Line Hotel, and everyone was eating migas.The migas, from a restaurant called Veracruz All Natural, have long been a fixation for the breakfast-taco-obsessed populace of Austin: scrambled eggs flecked with pico de gallo and freshly made tortilla chips that hang onto their crunch, then topped messily with Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro and a sliver of avocado. The whole thing is nestled into a tortilla and wrapped tightly in foil like a present.“When I go out of town, that is the meal I have before I leave, and when I come back into town, that is the meal I have,” said Nadia Chaudhury, the editor of Eater Austin. “Theirs is by far the best example of Austin’s tacos.”But if the migas, sold in the hotel and five other locations, are att...
Tech Workers Swore Off the Bay Area. Now They’re Coming Back.

Tech Workers Swore Off the Bay Area. Now They’re Coming Back.

Technology
Rizal Wong, a junior associate at the tech and business communications firm Sard Verbinnen and Company, left the Bay Area in December, trading a studio apartment in Oakland for a cheaper one-bedroom in his hometown, Sacramento, close to his family. But after getting vaccinated, he moved to San Francisco in April.“I felt like I was getting back to my life,” said Mr. Wong, 22. “Meeting up with co-workers who were also vaccinated and getting drinks after work, it definitely makes it feel more normal.”Mr. Wong, like many who left the Bay Area, didn’t go very far. Of the more than 170,000 people who moved from the vicinity of San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland in 2020, the vast majority relocated elsewhere in California, according to United States Postal Service change-of-address data analyzed...
Motels Get Makeovers Across the U.S.

Motels Get Makeovers Across the U.S.

Travel
Indeed technology is helping the very self-service nature of motels. At the Capri, a 1963 property, in Ojai, Calif., renovated three years ago, check-in is via text. Its 30 rooms all open to the air and have been open — and mostly occupied weekends since September 2020 — said Marlee Rojan from the front desk. And consistently booked midweek since March. “For months, I’d just sit here by myself all day, trying to make sure people felt comfortable. We weren’t allowed to serve coffee or water, it was super weird,” she said. “I’d just say: ‘I’m here if you need me!’” No one did.On the Road 2021Like everything in our current world, the road trip, a classic American experience, has changed.It’s also vital with marketing, which as Mr. Blood said, can be “a bit of an uphill battle.” Catering to pe...
Upended by the Pandemic, Haute Chefs Move Into Hotels

Upended by the Pandemic, Haute Chefs Move Into Hotels

Travel
Yogis and nature enthusiasts have long flocked to Ojai, a verdant mountain enclave 90 minutes north of Los Angeles — gastronomes, not so much. That changed during the pandemic, when the Ojai Valley Inn turned its sprawling, indoor-outdoor farmhouse — formally a wedding venue before the coronavirus upended plans — into a stage for a revolving cast of high-end chefs.Among the marquee names: Christopher Kostow, the executive chef of California’s three-Michelin-starred paragon of fine dining, the Restaurant at Meadowood. Located more than 400 miles to the north in Napa Valley, it burned down in a September wildfire. “That, on top of Covid, gave us this feeling like, ‘God only knows what’s going to happen next,’” Mr. Kostow said.To pay his staff, Mr. Kostow would have to set up shop elsewhere. ...
The Mountain Bike Cure: Exercise, Fresh Air and Fellowship

The Mountain Bike Cure: Exercise, Fresh Air and Fellowship

Travel
And there’s no need to dive in headfirst. Hannah Finchamp, a member of the 2020 U.S. Olympic mountain biking team, recommends starting slow and working up to more challenging trails.“You don’t want to spend your whole ride afraid! Start with the fire roads and smoother trails; you can increase the difficulty as you feel comfortable.”Where to RideFinding places to ride near where you live is a good way to get into mountain biking. But once you’ve gotten a taste, it’s a great reason to travel. Moab, Utah, Crested Butte, Colo., and Whistler, Canada are beloved, highly-trafficked destinations for riders in North America. And where mountain bikers go, development follows — top biking destinations now have microbreweries, restaurants, hotels and, of course, bike shops for rentals and repairs.“Th...