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Michael Barnes

History of Montopolis, Bob Armstrong Dip, Scary Austin Bouncers and Newspaper Food Sections

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PICA 30407HISTORY: Older than Austin, Montopolis opens up its history. Taken from my story in the Statesman: “Established in 1830, Montopolis predates Austin by nine years. For a short time, it competed vigorously with Austin’s predecessor, Waterloo, for predominance on this stretch of the Colorado River. One might not guess at this past glory, zooming past the Southeast Austin rustic enclave on the way to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport or beyond. Yet a systematic tour of the old neighborhood — bigger than downtown Austin — confirms why its founder, Jesse Cornelius Tannehill, thought Montopolis could compete with other Central Texas upstarts.” http://shar.es/1ocUkM

FOOD 1: History of Bob Armstrong dip at Matt’s El Rancho. Taken from a story Meghan McCarron in the Eater: “Whenever Bob Armstrong dines at classic Tex Mex restaurant Matt’s El Rancho, he gets up from his table and circles the room. If he spots a group gathered around a bowl of queso heaped with taco meat and guacamole, the former Texas Land Commissioner leans in and asks, “Are you enjoying that?” They usually are. The appetizer is the restaurant’s most popular dish; Matt’s chef estimates they sell at least four hundred a week. Most patrons order it by asking for “a small Bob” or “a large Bob.” Its full name is Bob Armstrong Dip.” http://bit.ly/1zMqN60

FOOD 2: History of newspaper food sections. Taken from Addie Broyle‘s extremely well researched story in the Statesman: “Kimberly Wilmot Voss admits that her 2014 book “The Food Section” was motivated in part by spite. The University of Central Florida associate professor had long studied journalism history with a focus on women’s pages, whose coverage of the four F’s — family, food, fashion and finishing, called “soft news” — has long been dismissed among most journalism historians as unimportant or irrelevant. Voss saw the lavish praise heaped upon food writers James Beard and Craig Clairborne while the legacy of the journalists who laid the foundation of the foodie movement of today, including founding New York Times food editor Jane Nickerson and Associated Press food editor Clementine Paddleford, languished like a forgotten can of beans in the back of the pantry. She set out to rewrite history.” http://shar.es/1ocQHs

NIGHTLIFE: Investigative report into Austin nightclub bouncers. Taken from Tony Plohetski‘s story in the Statesman: “Nearly three months ago, 24-year-old Joey O’Hare was at Kung Fu Saloon on Rio Grande Street on a relatively slow Sunday night when police say bouncer Robert Giovanni Camillone grabbed the back of the San Antonio resident’s neck, choking him into unconsciousness before dropping him face-first at the front door. In just an instant, everything changed dramatically,” said O’Hare, whose injuries required emergency brain surgery that night. The case against Camillone, charged with assault, is pending. Yet the incident highlights a legally gray area of Austin’s entertainment district that raises public safety questions as the city’s entertainment district has become ever-busier.” http://shar.es/1ocQYc