Lani: Native Austinite

Lani (right) and Benn (left) Rosales at the July 19th, 2012 #BASHH meetup

What’s your Name?
Lani Rosales

What decade you were born in?

Where is your Hometown?

How long have you Been in Austin?
Since I was conceived.

Current Austin Neighborhood: why?
Milwood because it’s across from the Domain but not so close that you can smell the overwhelming man cologne wafting from Kona Grill. The traffic isn’t bad, and there is a growing scene here, even food trucks are booking it up north. I can be anywhere in town in 15 minutes, it’s fantastic!

What do you do to pay the bills?
I am the COO of and Co-Founder of BASHH (Big Ass Social Happy Hour) which brings people online to the offline world to converse over a beer informally. My passion is writing and bringing people together, both of which I get to do every single day!

What’s do you do for fun / as a side gig?
Kayaking on town lake, curating interwebs humor, and writing. As an entrepreneur, my days are typically 18+ hours long, 7 days per week, so my job really is my fun, but the best part of my day is laying in bed at night right before going to sleep and watching tv with my husband, we still giggle and stay up late every night, even after 10 years of being together.

What’s your story – How did you end up in Austin?
I was totally born here. I’ve lived in Mexico, Dallas, and Spain, but my furniture never left Austin. Ever. This is my home. It was actually part of my vows that I would never make my husband leave Austin because he loves it so much here, having moved from Oklahoma!

What’s a memorable experience or story about you and Austin?
I have too many. I was the first to be baptised at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Buda, founded by my grandparents, I got chased by a pack of deer in the woods in Westlake when I was 10 and thought I was going to die, the very first high school debate tournament I went to was in Austin and my partner and I won the whole thing and I almost barfed in front of everyone, I graduated from UT with Kinky Friedman as my commencement speaker (which delighted half of my family and mortified the other half), I got engaged by the 360 bridge (my second favorite memorable experience), we were the first one to get married in St. David’s Episcopal Church’s new chapel, had our reception at the historic and very hoity toity Westgate Building, almost cut my finger off on Christmas Eve (bad idea in Austin, even emergency clinics are closed) at our first house, lost our first and only child at St. David’s hospital downtown, right across the street from Waterloo where in college I met Dan Rather and acted like a fool asking him to sign my hand because I didn’t think to get a napkin, I buried my only sibling and best friend at St. Thomas More Catholic, the same place I chose to become Catholic and get confirmed, and learned more about myself than any other building in the world, and at North Austin Medical Center, I was very blessed that I got to walk out of the hospital with my husband who I very very nearly lost to a series of life-threatening heart attacks (my favorite memory). Austin holds nearly every memory I have!

Do you see yourself in Austin in 3 years? 10 years?
There is a 100% chance of that!

What are 3 great things about Austin?
The lean startup community, the chill atmosphere and Southern hospitality, and the food alongside the scenery (the two are fairly intertwined).

Any favorite Austin restaurants? Food trucks?
Downtown, Frank is my favorite restaurant for its creativity and cool vibe and up north, The Park has amazing food and the best brunch in town. I’ll fight anyone who argues otherwise.

Favorite local bar or coffee shop?
Hands down, it is Spider House. We almost got married there, we have so many fond memories of sitting in rickety chairs on the hipster-before-hipsters-existed patio and loved it despite horrible service throughout the years. In high school, I would study there alone with my IBC and look forward to being a UT student, I even wore fake glasses so I’d blend in as a coed!

Favorite Austin event / festival?
Even though it’s not exactly Austin-y, I look forward to South by Southwest Interactive every year, but not for the event (which I’m not actually a fan of anymore), but for the chance to show dozens of out of town friends how amazing Austin is, and spending the week gorging with them!

What do you think Austin will be like in 5 years?
Austin will be a little bit more like Dallas in five years, just as now, it is more like Dallas than 5 years ago. I remember when Round Rock was a far away tiny little suburb that no one went to, and I remember an Austin where there was literally nothing but woods on 620 between 2222 and IH-35. Nothing.but.woods. Times change, but I accept that and welcome “foreigners,” which is what we call anyone from outside of Austin.

What do you do to deal with the Austin summers?
I accept high electric bills and keep this bad boy turned down to 70. Sorry, Mother Earth.

Fill in the blank: Austin is _________.
irreplaceable, if that’s stupid, Austin is CHILL. 😉

Any final words of wisdom for our readers?
Austin has an amazing relaxed culture that cannot be found anywhere else. There is an energy in the hills and the lakes that helps everyone observe vacation time. We hold doors open for each other, we rally when disasters strike, we help others without any expectation of being repaid. Austin is a kind place to be, a fun place to be, and caters to every type of person out there. It is an accepting city, and while of course we don’t want to grow, it is inevitable, so for those thinking of moving here, we welcome you (but we will haze you and give you hell for the first year and tell you we’re all full). 🙂

You can learn more about Lani Rosales on various social media sites.

Photos taken by Peter Tsai