Eastbound & down.

It happens like this every year. 
I go to East Austin Studio Tour, hang out in a few print shops / ramshackle galleries / wooden lean-to’s with pottery inside of them, and decide: I REALLY NEED TO LIVE HERE.   (The neighborhood lust is out of control these days.)
I have very confusing feelings toward the east side.  Sort of like the way you probably aren’t 100% sure how you feel about Justin Bieber.  Oh, you think you know how you feel.  But have you actually watched him in an interview?  Just try it.  Not so sure now, are you?  Kinda appreciating his charming little personality, huh?
I used to pine for our future east side home, and laugh off the suggestion that parts of the neighborhood could be dangerous. “God, you’re so white” I’d say, every time someone worried aloud about getting their car broken into.  Then my friend’s car did.  Then my other friends got their house broken into.  Then a bad man yelled at me.  And I sheepishly had to say to those white friends, “ok ok.  So there’s a little crime.” 
Still.  Each time I’m there, knowing that I shouldn’t be naive, I just … want … to stay.  Forever.  It’s the gentrification cocktail that I am sipping, of pretty, sparkly coffee shops and boutiques and salons mixed in with the east side’s wild, warehousy environs.  I’m guilty.  But into it.  I don’t want people’s rent to go up.  But damn, that’s a really cute bar. So many feelings, all at the same time!
Anyway.  Where were we?  Ah yes: EAST.

So the reason lots of artists live / have lived on the east side is the rent, which historically, has been cheap.  That may change eventually, but for now, there are well over 100 studios over there.  My friend Amy and I visited like, six, and even so I took a billion pictures.  I’m pretty sure this is going to be Part One of a two-part post.

(Also, how adorable is Amy?

Answer: Very.)

Our first stop was Busy Being, a tiny art shop housed in the back of Domy Books.  It’s run by Amber Abramson, who just moved to Austin from LA with her son, and told me a lot of the art comes from her friends.  I recommend checking out her totally fun Tumblr with all of Busy Being’s art.

We strolled into Domy Books … where the gallery has gone temporarily monster-themed.

Then we headed to Big Red Sun, this magical plant + decor + nursery space.  The old location was already dreamy; this new spot is more modern, open, and full of curiosities. 

Like this, for example.  What is it?  I have no idea.  But I want it.

This tiny dog had an identical twin and I ran around trying to snap pictures of them both.  He is attempting to capture a leaf here.

love you, east side.