Magnolia Micro Park Adds Neighborhood Family Flair

The Near Southside has been seriously buzzing since we moved here three years ago. With highly-anticipated restaurant openings like Heim BBQ and a variety of neighborhood happenings like Friday on the Green, there’s never a dull moment in this reviving neighborhood.

Even more than the fantastic openings from 44 Bootlegger and Bentley’s, what I’ve most enjoyed lately, are the creative spaces that line Magnolia and give it that funky, hometown vibe. I’m obsessed with this new mural outside of Brewed. It’s such a clever piece of word art and such a sweet offering to the city.
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One of the latest little hot spots is the new Magnolia Micro Park, the first of its kind in Fort Worth. This experimental public space created by Leadership Fort Worth & the Near Southside Inc. offers the perfect kid-friendly, outdoor environment with hands-on interactive displays like the xylophones and creative crate formations. On Saturdays, you’ll find artists painting, kid-friendly activities and some cool arts and crafts for sale.

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This could have easily been a wasted space. Fortunately, the Near Southside and Leadership Fort Worth realize the importance of public space and its impact on sense of community. Next time you’re taking a stroll in the neighborhood, be sure to check it out. Louie sure enjoyed it.

Details:1201 W. Magnolia Avenue | NearSouthsideFW.orgIMG_2998

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ArtsGoggle in the Neighborhood

This weekend, I was finally able to check out ArtsGoggle, the highly anticipated bi-annual arts & entertainment festival happening all over Fort Worth’s Near Southside, and it was even more amazing to be right smack in the middle of all the fun. Fall ArtsGoggle presented 200 artists, 50 bands and 60 venues throughout three urban villages along Magnolia Avenue, South Main and 8th Avenue; the only complaint I have was that 4-10pm just wasn’t enough time for me to capture all the happenings.

The Near Southside is famous for its eclectic renaissance of culinary and visual arts, and ArtsGoggle is no exception. Everywhere you go, you’ll meet brilliant people and encounter so many different kinds of art: live music, jewelry, paintings, glass blowing to name a few. One of the best parts? Foodie heaven. I simply recommend eating and drinking your way through each village as you stumble upon one great setup to the next. We nibbled on gourmet corn dogs at Bearded Lady, cheese plates at Magnolia Cheese Company and Mexican goodies from the Holy Frijoles food truck.

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One of my favorite parts of ArtsGoggle was discovering all the little nooks and crannies that make up this area around Magnolia Ave. Local businesses opened their doors, providing a chance for the public to see what’s really behind the photography studio, hair salon, boutique, and so on – and to meet the incredibly talented people behind them. The Words on Wheels bus, aka the WOW bus was one of my favorites. A relaxed and chic mobile library that will be posted up in and around Magnolia for you to pick up a book, sit down and read a book, or share your own books. So cool.

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The festival is completely free, and I loved seeing all the sweet families and lively pups taking advantage of the beautiful fall day. It rained a little bit, but I didn’t mind it. In fact, it was almost on cue as we were watching a live opera performance of Opera Shots on the Live Oak patio. [Opera shots is a free 4x a year event the Fort Worth Opera puts on at local pubs and wine bars to make opera more accessible to everyone.] Although free, I recommend bringing some dough (most vendors take credit cards) because so much of the art is too beautiful to pass up. I took advantage of the funky jewelry finds along Magnolia including the glam jewelry vendor, Chicks and Stones, offering up some incredible precious stones; naturally, I chose a purple stone necklace.

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Alive in Portland

Portland Bridge

It’s true, but it wasn’t until the Portlandia song, “Dream of the 90s” was completely stuck in my head while exploring the city of Portland as I have done many summers before and it just clicked. Everything that I love about the city is a flashback to the 90s, and in such a good way. It’s a casual city, where you’re not expected to dress up, but encouraged to be as eccentric as possible. The city is alive with culture, local artists and always something fun happening. You’ll see tatted up hippies, retro hipsters and adorable outdoorsy families.

Keep Portland Weird

Cool neighborhoods like the Pearl District and Mississippi Avenue make the city even more interesting. With a stellar transportation system (check out the MAX) and short, walkable blocks throughout the city center, Portland is easy to get around and bonus: everywhere you go is beautiful.

Places like Voodoo Doughnuts, Powell’s Booksstreet fairs and weekly markets make Portland, Oregon weird and in the best way possible. I always say I could live there one day. I love the rain, I love the outdoors, the proximity to the beach and the smell in the Oregon air. Best of all, the people are so great: very chill and friendly. It’s the best of the 90s wrapped into one great place.

FRED ARMISEN (as “Jason”):  Do you remember the 90s?
CARRIE BROWNSTEIN (as “Melanie”):  Yeah?
FRED:  You know how people were talking about getting piercings and getting tribal tattoos?
CARRIE:  Yeah?
F:  And people were singing about saving the planet and forming bands?
C:  Yeah?
F:  There’s a place where that idea still exists as a reality.  And I’ve been there.
C:  Where is it?
F:  Portland.
C:  Oregon?
F:  Yeah.

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PDX Resources: @TravelPortland|www.travelportland.com @TravelOregon|traveloregon.com

What – Yoga on a Paddleboard?

I thought it seemed crazy too. For some reason, the idea of yoga – on a paddle board – on a beautiful body of water – seemed so unreal to me, and completely out of my reach; little did I know that Lake Worth Marina Park is a simple short 15-minute drive from downtown Fort Worth and is a beautiful, refreshing oasis. Earlier this summer, a group of the Sumits crew went to try it out, and we had so much a great time. We all walked away feeling accomplished for trying something new, but also refreshed as we took the yoga we are so used to practicing inside (in a controlled, heated environment) to the great Texas outdoors where there are so many fun and delightful distractions. SUP Yoga on Lake Worth

The first yoga class we did on the water was incredible, and I found the stand-up paddle part to be surprisingly more fun and easy than I imagined. Although I definitely fell a few good times, I impressed myself in some poses, too, particularly Tree which is 1,000x harder on water. SUP and SUP Yoga offer a great core workout, but it’s a lot more natural of a movement than you might think. The board is  a wider, longer and more stable version of a surfboard, and standing up, paddling on the calm, glassy lake is one of the most relaxing and freeing experiences. We paddled to a quiet spot along the shoreline and dropped our anchors [to stay afloat as a group] in about six feet of water. When we started the yoga class, I experienced so many of the poses I do daily in such a different way. In down dog, you really have to use your abs to distribute your weight and stay up, whereas on land it’s more of a resting position. We went through a class just like normal, with splashes along the way as people fell into the water, and it was so fun and refreshing to eventually let go of the feat of falling out of poses, when it’s such a sweet treat to have the cool water break your fall.

After that class, I realized that I needed to be a part of sharing this amazing activity with each of you, and so I am so excited to be teaching Saturday mornings through October at the Lake Worth location.

SUP Yoga in Fort Worth

SUP Yoga is a chance for yogis to expand their practice, and it’s a fun challenge for those that may be first time yogis as well. After a class on the board, you will not only appreciate the gift of balance so much more, but you’ll learn how to paddle, you’ll explore your poses in a way you’ve never experienced, and after an incredible savasana to close out class, you’ll feel renewed and at one with nature.

Fort Worth SUP Yoga 

Visit Lakeside Paddle online to book a class.  Equipment is provided and class includes an intro to paddle session.  Have a question about SUP Yoga? Comment below!