SXSW 2014 Day 1: Shopping Around Austin’s North Loop Neighborhood @MonkeyWrenchATX @BreakawayAustin @epochcoffee

Books, Coffee, Coffee Bars, music, Record Stores, records, Shopping, Vinyl

Going the I-10 route through Houston as I did meant that I didn’t get into Austin until 4 in the morning on Monday, so it was nearly noon when I woke up on the first day of my South By Southwest week. After a breakfast at Jim’s, I headed over to one of my favorite Austin neighborhoods to do some record and book shopping. The North Loop neighborhood is a small stretch of funky boutiques and shops with really cool things like vinyl records, vintage clothing and books. Monkeywrench Books is a cool, left-wing bookstore with a lot of books that aren’t available elsewhere, like the really cool book I found, Michael P. Jeffries’ Thug Life: Race, Gender and the Meaning of Hip-Hop. Down the street is Breakaway Records, arguably Austin’s best vinyl store, with an emphasis on 45-RPM vinyl singles, and fairly low prices. Breakaway also sells stereo equipment and accessories. In the same shopping center is Epoch Coffee, a great place to relax and chill after an hour of strenuous vinyl shopping. I’m not even sure what is in an Iced Mojo, but it is truly amazing.

The North Loop neighborhood is located along North Loop Boulevard between Lamar and Airport Boulevard in North Austin.

MonkeyWrench Books (@MonkeyWrenchATX) in Austin’s North Loop

Books, Shopping

#008 Monkeywrench Books MonkeyWrench Books is a collective that runs a left-wing bookstore in Austin’s ultra-hip North Loop neighborhood (Well, really, what Austin neighborhood ISN’T ultra-hip?). The average conservative will hate this place, but there are plenty of books on African-American and Hispanic struggle, workers’ struggles, anarchism, socialism, communism and environmentalism. Many of the books I saw here I have not seen elsewhere. They are open from 11-8 weekdays and from 12-8 on weekends at 110 E North Loop. You can call them at (512) 407-6925.