One of the things I've missed the most during the pandemic has been the semi-sacred tradition of weekend brunch. I love brunch because it feels like a dressed-down "anything goes" meal that can be as frilly or basic as I'm in the mood for. Not to mention a good bloody mary or her cool cousin, michelada 🌶
If you're a Sex and the City or Girls fan, you get it. When I lived in NYC I craved my own brunch crew, but it felt impossible to find one. I hung out with coworkers for happy hours during the week sometimes, but I was crew-less when the weekend rolled around. First-world problems, but the pandemic brought back those feelings of longing. And I know I'm not alone.
That's why I'm really excited for the East ATX Brunch Bash Refrosh is hosting in a couple weeks! So many people moved her right before or during the pandemic and haven't found their crew yet. This will be an opportunity for them to plug into their new community and make new friends.
The idea for this event was inspired by The Young Adult Division of Shalom Austin's Party of 8 event, which I attended was back when I first moved to Austin about 10 years ago. There, I met really great people and one of my now best friends. The event organizers paired attendees with a group of 7 other young local Jewish people who shared our interests. Afterwards, we went to a large party for everyone that participated in the event to meet more people. It was relatively simple but providing really nice social scaffolding to ease the process of getting to know new people.
On Saturday, May 15th, we're celebrating the beginnings of our return to normalcy thanks to the mass vaccine rollout. (If you haven't secured yours yet, what are you waiting for?) Taking a cue from Party of 8, we're matching participants with 3-5 other people who share their interests and "vibe" and providing ice breaker activities to get the convo flowing. Afterwards, the groups can meet each other for a larger social gathering with more activities to bond over.
The after(noon) party, as we're calling it will be held at Lustre Pearl East, which is within walking distance from all the brunch spots! I've held multiple events there, including one of my birthdays and have memories of watching She & Him play at the bar's original location on Rainey Street during SXSW wayyyy back in 2😯1😯 a month after I moved to Austin. In case you didn't know, the old bungalow structure was relocated to the east side in 2014 to make way for some of the condos that has made Rainey Street unrecognizable from the good ol' days (but still fun).
Having lived in Austin since 2010, back when the east side wasn't gentrified and the Frost Bank Tower was one city's tallest buildings, I feel strong nostalgia for the grungier more affordable Austin I once knew. I love Lustre Pearl East because it does a great job of bridging older classic Austin with newer East Austin. I'm looking forward to meeting new people there with Refrosh, making new friends and bringing along the old. All are welcome to this community-building brunch experience, so save your spot, because they're limited :)