Everyone over here at TOWERS.net was more than honored yesterday to receive the Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin 2022 award for “Best Guide to Tomorrow’s Austin” — we thought our little articles on buildings were pretty good, but it’s nice to hear it from the city’s alternative weekly of record. With that honor in mind, we thought we’d share the love for just a minute by highlighting a handful of other awards from this year’s Best of Austin lineup that we thought were particularly deserved as downtown institutions. We’re biased, of course, but who isn’t?
While the extended delay of its reopening might have rubbed a few longtime locals the wrong way for a solid decade, Waterloo Park was worth the wait and then some. That’s only becoming more clear as this downtown oasis reimagined by the folks at the Waterloo Greenway really hits its stride this year, with big-name concerts and regular park life reminding us all that a glorified flood control facility might be one of the city’s best outdoor spaces this side of Zilker.
🙂 i feel very honored again and thanks to everyone who voted to me slash my fellow nominees. It makes me proud to do what i do https://t.co/2o0zDZkhwH
— nadia chaudhury (@nadiachaudhury) May 19, 2022
Nadia covers restaurants, and we cover the new buildings those restaurants go in — between the two of us, you don’t need to read much else about downtown. Chaudhury and her intrepid associate editor Erin Russell offer daily spotlights on the city’s ever-changing food scene at Eater Austin, offering the same respect and curiosity to old favorites and promising newcomers. We’re hungry to see everything that hits the page, especially since they scoop the other guys pretty often.
Things looked a little hairy for Cap City after the closure of its original Research Boulevard location during the early pandemic era in summer 2020. But geography doesn’t determine laughter, so we’re thrilled to see its new Domain location chugging along with the same energy — plus, the clientele of the Domain probably makes for pretty easy crowd work if you’re looking for a cheap laugh.
The upgrades at Kingsbury Commons in Pease Park are stunning from front to back, but the crown jewel of the whole enterprise is absolutely the “treehouse” observation pod by Mell Lawrence Architects. Even with the picture above, it’s kind of hard to describe the experience of getting in the thing — so you ought to head down there and see it for yourself. Imagine a circular hammock, but better?
The Alliance Children’s Garden is designed by my friends at local landscape architecture firm TBG Partners for enjoyment by all ages, but you might miss some of the finer points if you’re taller than a couple of feet. I first covered the project prior to its completion as a person much too grown to really appreciate this downtown-adjacent playground, but when the grand opening rolled around by 2021, I suddenly found its purpose a bit more personal. My daughter only knows a few words at the moment, but as far as I can tell she gives the place two little thumbs up.