Austin is unlike any city in Texas (or the world, really). It's eclectic and brimming with music, rich with culinary delights and sights worthy of the city's tagline: Keep Austin Weird. However, every SXSW, the crowd seems to congregate around the same watering holes, where what was once weird becomes weird but commonplace. So, we set out to find some of the city's hidden treasures this year and brought a few of our favorite musicians along for the adventure. So, c'mon and explore the eccentricities Texas' creative hub has to offer in our new series, Keeping Austin Weird.
Nostalgia is everywhere. It's a marketing tool, an aesthetic, and a way of thinking and being. Our longing for prior happier times propels us forward in search of ways to make that longing a reality. Have you been to a toy store recently? It's a real trip, to say the least. It's overwhelming to see the sheer number of toys and gadgets there are for children (of all ages) to play with, but it's also comforting to see that our childhood favorites have a lasting legacy, and will bring joy to others for years to come.
Austin's Toy Joy captures that nostalgic spirit perfectly. It's bursting with color and though it's tiny, getting lost inside is an easy feat. Just ask Charlotte Cardin, who explored Toy Joy with us while at SXSW where she brought her 2016 EP Big Boy to life and previewed a few songs off of her upcoming album. "I feel like it's really important to remember your young self," she tells us, citing going to toy stores as a source of inspiration for her. Both the kid and adult in us couldn't agree more.
Charlotte Cardin's Big Boy EP is available here. Watch out for her new album, due out later this year, and see the video above.
Toy Joy is located at 403 W 2nd St, Austin, Texas.