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Michael Barnes

Manos de Cristo, Salonniere 100, Best Hill Country Hikes and more

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Joel and Rhonda Cabello at Manos de Cristo party.

Joel and Rhonda Cabello at Manos de Cristo party.

CHARITY: It was one of those flawless nights. The Violet Crown above Mercury Hall. Austin Lounge Lizards on stage. Sips and samples without long lines. Sincere words about a treasured charity: Manos de Cristo, best known for its dental center, but also involved in education as well as food and clothing support. Thanks to geographer William Doolittle and Manos board director Shannon Beiberdorf, I learned a little more about the group’s origins in Presbyterian congregations. Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, new chair of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas, chatted briefly with me about ground water and river tracing. Attorney Kemper Powell and I talked about everything under the skies as the night smiled.

Felicia and Herb Gray of Charlotte are on the premiere Salonniere 100.

Felicia and Herb Gray of Charlotte are on the premiere Salonniere 100.

NIGHTLIFE: You remember the Out & Abut 500? The widely circulated list of Austin’s most social individuals and couples was fun to compile, but an incredible amount of work over the course six months each year. I gave out a huge sigh when we decided it had served its purpose. Carla McDonald‘s fabulous social blog has raised the bid astronomically by publishing the Salonnière 100. That would be the best 100 party hosts − in the country! Her team interviewed more than 1,000 folks in the know for nominations, which were then reviewed by an independent group of social authorities and the blog’s editorial team. Twenty-three cities were included. Hosts in metropolises such as New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles predictably ruled. Austin’s top picks? Julie Blakeslee along with John Hogg and David Garza. Congrats to all involved.

10429335_982812391741356_4863391319342943182_nNATURE: Hike with Fit City at REI’s Best Hill Country Hikes series. From Pam LeBlanc‘s column in the American-Statesman: “The lineup has changed for the Best Hill Country Hikes series, with Fit City (that would be me!) tagging along as a featured guest. REI Outdoor School instructors lead the monthly guided hikes at some of the best hiking spots in the Texas Hill Country. I tag along because I like to hike and want to meet other people who like outdoor adventure. The hikes start at 9 a.m. and wrap up by 11 a.m. The next one is set for Nov. 14 at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. (REI will provide transportation from its downtown store at 601 N. Lamar Blvd. at 8 a.m.) Cost is $20 for REI members; $40 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, go to rei.com.”