AUSTIN, Texas — Remember when you were a kid and in school – there was always those two kids who the teachers wouldn’t let sit next to each other, remember? From flipping pencils into the ceiling to building rubber band paper clip launchers. Each school had a pair of these menaces.
What You Need To Know
- A native Texan.
- BIG Dog person.
- A true emo girl at heart that only dabbles in EDM. (Skrillex)
- Always down to get spontaneous tattoos.
I didn’t know our next guest when we were kids, but my intuition says we would have been those two trouble makers terrorizing our teachers all throughout middle school.
Please meet our next guest, Danielle ‘Dani’ Horowitz.
This story starts a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – and by far away, I mean 2021. Dani and I went on a first date before we knew our mutual friend groups. The best thing about this date was it ended with Dani saying “hey, let’s go get tattoos” (reference the menace comment above).
We did not get tattoos that night, and though there was never a second date – we seemed to find our way back to each other through some mutual friends we both had here in Austin about a year or so later.
Let’s dive into Dani’s story.
Dani and I met up for drinks on a random Wednesday to catch up and to do this interview. The troublemakers in us decided it would be best for us to see how many speakeasy’s we could hit in a three hour period.
We started at El Cockfight, the new Mezcal joint next to Floppy Disk.
“I moved to Austin in 2017 – I had gone to Texas State and loved Austin so decided I would move here after graduation and initially – I worked random jobs as I got to know the city” Dani said. “Austin just always felt like home to me – it was big, but had that small town feel where you would see the same people time and again going out – which can be both good and bad!” She says with a smile.
We move to Diner Bar, not a speak easy – but we don’t care. I ask her how she has seen the city change.
“Well, I’m not a big fan of rent being driven up, but change in other areas is a good thing. Austin will benefit from more unique people coming here and the diversity that comes with it” She says. “One the best parts of Austin is being able to go out and about and hop from place to place – so having new types of places with more diversity is exciting”
Dani also spent two weeks in Israel cultivating her Jewish heritage.
“It was very eye opening traveling there – It was the first time I went oversees and to the middle east. But, it was the most culture that I had ever experienced. It made me want to connect more with my religion”
We move to Eden, a speakeasy in a ally. They are playing some M83, Lane 8 vibey tracks – speaking of vibey, let’s talk music.
“I’m just an emo kid at heart!” She says with excitement. “When I was 14 I went to the Vans Warped Tour – jumped in a mosh pit and the rest was history” she explains. “It wasn’t till later that I got into electronic music – I guess like many others I started with Skrillex and evolved from there”
We move to Firehouse Lounge – and close by talking about her core group of homies, especially her little homies
“I’m a BIG animal person” she says with a massive smile. “I have two dogs, Penny who is a German Shepherd mix who I rescued from the Houston SPCA about four years ago. Then I recently adopted Baby, a four-pound Chihuahua mix which originally, I just planned on fostering but I fell in love fast and couldn’t let her go- I also rescued her from a local shelter called ay-chihuahua” she explains.
But her obsession with dogs runs deeper. “Honestly the dogs have helped me so much with my overall mental healthy and they are the sweetest in the world.”
According to a psychiatry.org statistic, 86% of pet owners say their animal has had positive impacts on their mental health – let’s foster some more dog’s people!
Okay but what about people homies, right?
“Honestly, it wasn’t until I met this group of friends that I have now that I felt like I had a solid core group of people here in Austin” She explains. “Everyone is so welcoming and open; I never experienced this type of community anywhere before. Everyone is so genuine and such a great group of people who like to have fun”
As we both wabble our respective ways home – one clear thought is in my head. It doesn’t matter if it’s pets or people, connecting with others is essential to our mental health and wellbeing. We never really know what is going on with someone and the battles they may be fighting internally. Sometimes it’s just best to reach out to that friend or loved one and say – “Hey, let’s get tattoos!”