Archive for February 12th, 2012

Top 5 things I’m thinking about doing tomorrow in Austin, TX

1- Visit Mellow Johnny’s – owned by Lance Armstrong.  Cool hub for fitness and social activity

2- Check out the Whole Food’s flagship store

3- Grab a bite from one of the city’s famous Food Trailers

4- Stroll along the renowed South Congress Ave

5- Eat some BBQ

Any other suggestions?  Just let me know…

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Baltimore’s Harbor East Delivers the Upscale Goods

Harbor East As I wandered South down President St. from Power Plant Live!, I found what I heard is the newer hotspot in Baltimore: Harbor East.  As you can see, this area of the city oozes modern-style.  The place is mostly made up of restaurants, but these range in cuisine and price range.  And, if you feel so inclined, you can swing by and pick up that new Audi that you forgot to grab when you last ran errands at the corner Audi dealership.

A cool little place for me was the James Joyce Irish Pub.  I fully admit this is my English Instructor side nerding out to an unbearable degree, but I thought it was cool that the city threw a shout out to ol’ Jimmy J.  I stopped in here for an obligatory Irish Whisky on the rocks to warm my frost-bitten soul.

My final destination was to my dinner spot for the evening, Chazz: A Bronx Original.  This is a coal-oven, Italian food restaurant co-founded by actor Chazz Palminteri.  I’ll have to say, I thought this place had all the makings of an …

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Power Plant Live! It’s not what it sounds like…

Power plant live 1Power plant live 2LeinehugelsBeer paddle Despite the name sounding like a warning, Power Plant Live! is a local hotspot in Baltimore that is right in between the Inner Harbor (site of my hotel, the InterContinental) and Harbor East.  It is a collection of bars and restaurants like J Squared, the Baltimore Comedy Factory, and Leinehugel’s Beer Garden.  I hear PP Live is a real hot spot, especially on weekends and especially when it is not 20 degrees outside!

The Comedy Factory was closed tonight and J Squared was a pizza joint (I was already heading to a pizza place later), so I plopped down at the bar in Leinehugel’s.  There the general manager, Jesse, took me on a tour of their beers.  Btw, I heart beer, so I was ready to put his knowledge to the test.  Jesse went above and beyond with his brew knowledge and made this paddle of beers for me.  In order from left to right I had the Big Eddy stout, New Belgium’s Snow Day winter seasonal, Maryland’s own Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch IPA (that’s its name, I swear!), …

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Fireball – The ultimate pinball machine

I love this game!  Notice how there is a rotating disk in the middle of the board that messes your timing all up.  Also, the flippers randomly move back in forth!!  How awesome is this?

Fireball – National Pinball Museum

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A visit to the National Pinball Museum in Baltimore

Baltimore has a gem in the National Pinball Museum, the love labor of curator and pinball enthusiast, David Silverman.  The concept is simple: have a museum for the history of the pinball machine.  However, the brilliance of the place is its floor of playable pinball machines from the 1950s to the present.  When you buy your pass to the museum, you actually buy a play card too, loaded with coinage to flipper some balls around to your hearts content.

First up is the History of Pinball exhibit.  I had no idea that pinball actually started with the French game Bagatelle, a version of billiards.  Then, at pinball’s height of popularity in the 30’s, there were such things as pinball arcades that were almost like a bar/casino.

Then I took the elevator to the second floor.  Here was the heart of the museum, the arcade.  I played a pinball machine from every decade starting at the 50’s.  First, I …

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The Omni Austin Hotel Downtown… Simple Elegance… “Swag-goo”

Welcome Fruit Bowl & H20

This was waiting for me when I got back from Iron Cactus restaurant.  S/O to the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown for the “Luv”.  Also… Biggups to Steve Alberts and The Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau for the great recommendation!

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Southwest Airlines-AJC Reality TV! (Video)

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“Celebrity” guests and more! Watch now!

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Welcome to Austin, Tx… Live Music Capital of the World

Welcome to Austin Tx

Howdy y’all!  Translation… hello, hey, and/or whassup  to everyone.  ;-)

My bag and I arrived safely in Austin Tx – home of the University of Texas (Hook ‘em Horns), great BBQ and live music.  I’m staying at the Omni Hotel Downtown.  If the 1st impression rings true, then I will definitely be back.  Think of a combo of down home Texas charm with the elegance of a Omni property.

After getting some posts up after an eventful, inaugural day for Southwest Airlines in Atlanta, I headed to a spot on Trinity Street called the Iron Cactus 6th Street.  I ordered the lobster tacos and chicken nachos to go.  Yum man… yum!  Don’t tell my trainer.  Shhhh.  It’s my cheat day.  Later tonite I’ll head to a jazz spot to enjoy some of the famous live music that Austin is known for and watch the Grammy’s.  BTW… RIP Whitney Houston.

Lata lata… More to come!

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Live with the Southwest Airlines Ground Crew (VIDEO)

Live with the Ground Crew

Really cool of the Southwest Airlines’ ground crew for giving me access to provide you with some footage that many don’t get a chance to see.  It was really cold this morning, but gave me a really cool perspective on how things work behind the scenes.  The ramp experience was dope.

I hope you’ll enjoy this fun clip.

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Coffee, Peanuts, Water, or Tea? All with no need to watch your Knees

Even the plane seats have "Luv"

Here’s just a small tidbit that I noticed during my flight that made a big impression on me.  While I didn’t have a flight attendant rap or sing the safety features, I did have a flight crew that was just as cool.  They had a levity about them that can be hit or miss on other flights I’ve been on.  After we reached our cruising altitude, the flight attendants took our drink order.  Once they took the orders, they came back with the drinks in trays.  So guess what that meant?  You got it.  No busted knees or elbows from the dreaded cart coming down the aisle, or being interrupting from your power nap by the usually, “Watch your knees and elbows please”.  It’s a small pleasure but one I appreciated!  It won’t be physically possible for the flight attendants to do this once SWA incorporates larger planes into their flight; but for now, and on the smaller planes, you can look forward to one less knee brace to buy.  Ha!

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