Here Are Our Top 5 ATXplained Stories Of 2019

Jan 6, 2020

This has been a big year for our ATXplained project. We answered more than 20 audience questions about Austin's people, places and culture. Here's a look back at some of the most popular stories we produced so far. 

Some of them were first told as part of our ATXplained Live show. Be the first to see some brand-new stories live on stage on Jan. 23! Details and tickets are here. 

The Families Who Lived On Rainey Street All Left. But One Man Stayed.

Credit Hazel O'Neil

For one of our first pieces of the year, Audrey McGlinchy told the story of John Contreras, one of the last people living in a single-family home on Rainey Street. John left her dozens of late-night voicemails detailing his feelings about development that was surrounding his home — and the anxiety of knowing that he might have to leave eventually.

LISTEN HERE.

P.S.: Months later, John did put his house up for sale.

How Did Texas Become The Only State With Its Own Toast?
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In May, Ben Philpott investigated how Texas became the only state with its own toast. But more than that, he took us into a unique kind of kitchen where the phrase “comfort food” has a deeper meaning. 

LISTEN HERE.

Why Does The Top Of Austin's Tallest Building Look 'Unfinished'?
Credit Richie Loria / KUT

In July, Matt Largey went to the top of the Independent — currently the tallest building in Austin — to investigate why the top of the tower looks the way it does. 

LISTEN HERE.

What's The Real Story Behind Dan's And Fran's Hamburgers?
Credit Julia Reihs / KUT

There's a longstanding urban legend about how Dan's Hamburgers and the (now-defunct) Fran's Hamburgers came to be. Claire McInerny got the definitive story in this piece from May. 

LISTEN HERE.

Who Is The Motorcycle Rider Who Does Wheelies Around Austin In Pool Floaties?
Credit Hazel O'Neil

In June, someone wrote in for our "Hi, Who Are You?" spinoff series — where we introduce everyday Austinites who make their neighborhoods a better place to live. 

Jimmy Maas went on the hunt for a guy who brings a smile to almost every face he passes.

LISTEN HERE.