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Old 06-08-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: North Central S.A.
1,221 posts, read 2,317,749 times
Reputation: 956

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xsa210tx View Post
DISLIKE the over abundance of Catholicism, overly conservative Latinos and bible thumpers! ugggh!
Darn Catholics and their great architecture. Who needs the cathedrals of the world? Hmrp.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:52 AM
 
580 posts, read 1,275,601 times
Reputation: 936
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksan View Post
I moved from San Francisco to San Antonio almost a year ago. I have been fortunate enough to live in wonderful interesting cities all my life and have spent a significant amount of time visiting and staying in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Tokyo, and a small town in Spain near Seville. I have always been attracted to major metropolitan centers for their art and culture scenes, for street life, for good food, for music, for festivals, for above all a strong sense of character.

I say all of this to establish that I am not unaware of what's out there; my points of reference are not Waco and Kerville. I have lived a pretty cosmopolitan life. And in the context of all that, I can say gladly and without reservations that I love San Antonio.

Why?

San Antonio has character. Like New Orleans, San Francisco, and Boston, it has something about it unlike anywhere else in the states. It mixes old and new, funky and fine, with a tremendous sense of fun, passion, strangeness, and love.

I love that people are from here. Don't get me wrong, I loved living in San Francisco, and I love reconnecting to the people I left behind when I go back to visit. But most people I knew from San Francisco were from other places, and it gave the whole city the feeling of a temporary, tourist sensibility. San Antonio has generations of family that leave their marks all over the city. The history is remembered in heirlooms and old homes. My brother in law's Mexican grandfather built the building I work in 50 years ago.

I love that San Antonio is down to earth. In San Francisco, New York, London, and a bunch of other places it is never enough for a lot of its denizens to eat or drink at a laid back, enjoyable place. You must find the finest wine, the stinkiest cheese, the best of everything. Give me a break. I love how San Antonio has wonderful food and wine and beer and music and art but doesn't get so snooty about it.

I love that San Antonio has a vibrant festival life. Fiesta and the dozens of other gatherings give the city a feeling of passion, of life, of community.

I love the art here. The Tobin Gallery of the McNay Art Museum houses one of the best collections of European Theatre Design in the country. The AtticRep does top notch performances that blast plenty of more established companies in major cities out of the water in their intensity, relevance, and quality. The Museo Alameda Smithsonian is out of control cool. SAMA is cool and striking and fascinating. The new Riverwalk museum reach extension looks gorgeous. The whole River is beautiful and old and fantastic.

I LOVE the food. Breakfast tacos at Cafe Regio or Taco Taco, enchiladas at the Blanco Cafe or Picante, fish tacos at the Cove, burgers at Chris Madrid's or the Broadway 50/50, sandwiches at the Sandwich Garden, amazing Jamaican Jerk Barbecue at Willard's, good healthy fare at the Liberty Bar and anything imagineable available at Central Market: there's always something good to eat.

I LOVE the laid-back bars with outdoor seating, live music, and an open funky vibe. Some favorites: The Cove, La Tuna, Candlelight, the Web House, Beethoven Maennechor, and Blue Star Brewery.

I love that this is a beer town.

I love that there are funky neighborhoods radically different from each other, like King William, Monte Vista, St Mary's strip, Alamo Heights, Tobin Hill, downtown.

I love that there are a thousand shades of green and a tropical rainforest enmeshed with the old neighborhoods.

I love that people disagree. I love that there is a vibrant gay community as well as conservative gun-toting cowboys. I love that it's Mexican and German and Texan all at once. I love that you can meet a philosophy professor and a construction worker at the same blues bar. I love that people can't remain insulated from those with different backgrounds. In San Francisco, everyone's progressive, green, and totally in agreement about major political views. I happen to be quite liberal myself, so I felt at home -- but I also felt insulated, living in a bubble. It's not healthy for thought and debate.

San Antonio has the funky warehouse artists of Berlin, the mystical stone side streets of Paris, the debauchery and festivity of New Orleans, the quirky flamboyance of San Francisco, and the heat of Mexico City. And yet in San Antonio all these aspects feel more real, less fairy tale, more grounded and even a little crappy. Everything is duller, filled with contradictions, and uglier. It's too hot, too sprawling, too conflicted, and too gritty to attain the kind of cosmopolitan je ne sais quoi that the overhyped, overpriced tourist-laden capitals of culture have. But I even like that.

I love that San Antonio bumper stickers, in answer to the corporate "Keep Austin Weird" campaign, say "Keep San Antonio Lame." San Antonio is lame. There are crumbling 1920s mansions with people still living in them. There are potholes that can swallow your car. There is a sense of inertia that balks at anything pretentious.

Good for San Antonio. I love that it's lame. I'm pretty lame. If you're kind of lame, and you like funky, spicy, gritty, strange, lively, festive, laid-back, unpretentious, artistic life, you might like it too.

But I should also say what I hate:

I do hate the urban sprawl outside the loop that eats up what was once the Hill Country. I do hate the constant construction and the cookie cutter exurbs.

But more than any of that, I hate the impulse among so many San Antonio transplants and natives alike to turn a snobby nose up at what is a truly striking, unique city unlike any other. You don't need to praise it, but if you can't recognize something quite special here, you're not looking hard enough. If you can say San Antonio has nothing to offer, you could find the dark side of the sun.
Great post. There are probably some on here who will accuse me of having ghost written it. (Although I don't write that well! And I don't eat fish!) I especially like this:

"And yet in San Antonio all these aspects feel more real, less fairy tale, more grounded and even a little crappy. Everything is duller, filled with contradictions, and uglier. It's too hot, too sprawling, too conflicted, and too gritty to attain the kind of cosmopolitan je ne sais quoi that the overhyped, overpriced tourist-laden capitals of culture have. But I even like that."

Very true! But I prefer "dilapidated" to "crappy."
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
29 posts, read 61,430 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuneOf48 View Post
"And yet in San Antonio all these aspects feel more real, less fairy tale, more grounded and even a little crappy. Everything is duller, filled with contradictions, and uglier. It's too hot, too sprawling, too conflicted, and too gritty to attain the kind of cosmopolitan je ne sais quoi that the overhyped, overpriced tourist-laden capitals of culture have. But I even like that."

Very true! But I prefer "dilapidated" to "crappy."
The charm of San Antonio that i have always loved.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:23 AM
 
9 posts, read 18,323 times
Reputation: 55
"Very true! But I prefer "dilapidated" to "crappy.""

Yes, dilapidated is a better word for it; that's exactly what I mean. I love how the old houses on Woodlawn lean, how piles of rubble stay around for months, and how the city has tolerance for entropy. It makes it feel much more real and alive, like an old woman with a faded peasant blouse and lines in her face that map a life of great joys and sadness. That's the feeling - dilapidated, falling apart, bearing witness to mortality, to time; not, as in so many American cities, obsessed with the sheen of newness, the polished chrome of progress, the denial of death.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: North Central S.A.
1,221 posts, read 2,317,749 times
Reputation: 956
Ksan, I drove down Woodlawn today and kept thinking about your post. I saw a large, wonderful oooold stately home with overgrown bushes. I darted the potholes thinking about my dilapidated city and it's charm. I wouldn't mind having those potholes fixed...

Thank you for the wonderful post!
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:39 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,323 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffyfan View Post
Darn Catholics and their great architecture. Who needs the cathedrals of the world? Hmrp.
Right - the blights of Notre Dame, the Sistine Chapel, and our own San Fernando Cathedral! Whatever your religious views, the Catholics have certainly brought gorgeous architecture and mystery to San Antonio.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:44 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,323 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffyfan View Post
Ksan, I drove down Woodlawn today and kept thinking about your post. I saw a large, wonderful oooold stately home with overgrown bushes. I darted the potholes thinking about my dilapidated city and it's charm. I wouldn't mind having those potholes fixed...

Thank you for the wonderful post!
Yeah Buffyfan, the potholes aren't as much fun to fall in as they are to think about. But I think someone could do a gorgeous panoramic photo book all the way down Woodlawn of those old stately manors you refer to. For beautiful pictures of the whole Monte Vista area with some great architectural history, take a look at San Antonio's Monte Vista: Architecture and Society in a Gilded Age by Donald E. Everett.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:26 PM
 
499 posts, read 677,286 times
Reputation: 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksan View Post
I moved from San Francisco to San Antonio almost a year ago. I have been fortunate enough to live in wonderful interesting cities all my life and have spent a significant amount of time visiting and staying in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Tokyo, and a small town in Spain near Seville. I have always been attracted to major metropolitan centers for their art and culture scenes, for street life, for good food, for music, for festivals, for above all a strong sense of character.

I say all of this to establish that I am not unaware of what's out there; my points of reference are not Waco and Kerville. I have lived a pretty cosmopolitan life. And in the context of all that, I can say gladly and without reservations that I love San Antonio.

Why?

San Antonio has character. Like New Orleans, San Francisco, and Boston, it has something about it unlike anywhere else in the states. It mixes old and new, funky and fine, with a tremendous sense of fun, passion, strangeness, and love.

I love that people are from here. Don't get me wrong, I loved living in San Francisco, and I love reconnecting to the people I left behind when I go back to visit. But most people I knew from San Francisco were from other places, and it gave the whole city the feeling of a temporary, tourist sensibility. San Antonio has generations of family that leave their marks all over the city. The history is remembered in heirlooms and old homes. My brother in law's Mexican grandfather built the building I work in 50 years ago.

I love that San Antonio is down to earth. In San Francisco, New York, London, and a bunch of other places it is never enough for a lot of its denizens to eat or drink at a laid back, enjoyable place. You must find the finest wine, the stinkiest cheese, the best of everything. Give me a break. I love how San Antonio has wonderful food and wine and beer and music and art but doesn't get so snooty about it.

I love that San Antonio has a vibrant festival life. Fiesta and the dozens of other gatherings give the city a feeling of passion, of life, of community.

I love the art here. The Tobin Gallery of the McNay Art Museum houses one of the best collections of European Theatre Design in the country. The AtticRep does top notch performances that blast plenty of more established companies in major cities out of the water in their intensity, relevance, and quality. The Museo Alameda Smithsonian is out of control cool. SAMA is cool and striking and fascinating. The new Riverwalk museum reach extension looks gorgeous. The whole River is beautiful and old and fantastic.

I LOVE the food. Breakfast tacos at Cafe Regio or Taco Taco, enchiladas at the Blanco Cafe or Picante, fish tacos at the Cove, burgers at Chris Madrid's or the Broadway 50/50, sandwiches at the Sandwich Garden, amazing Jamaican Jerk Barbecue at Willard's, good healthy fare at the Liberty Bar and anything imagineable available at Central Market: there's always something good to eat.

I LOVE the laid-back bars with outdoor seating, live music, and an open funky vibe. Some favorites: The Cove, La Tuna, Candlelight, the Web House, Beethoven Maennechor, and Blue Star Brewery.

I love that this is a beer town.

I love that there are funky neighborhoods radically different from each other, like King William, Monte Vista, St Mary's strip, Alamo Heights, Tobin Hill, downtown.

I love that there are a thousand shades of green and a tropical rainforest enmeshed with the old neighborhoods.

I love that people disagree. I love that there is a vibrant gay community as well as conservative gun-toting cowboys. I love that it's Mexican and German and Texan all at once. I love that you can meet a philosophy professor and a construction worker at the same blues bar. I love that people can't remain insulated from those with different backgrounds. In San Francisco, everyone's progressive, green, and totally in agreement about major political views. I happen to be quite liberal myself, so I felt at home -- but I also felt insulated, living in a bubble. It's not healthy for thought and debate.

San Antonio has the funky warehouse artists of Berlin, the mystical stone side streets of Paris, the debauchery and festivity of New Orleans, the quirky flamboyance of San Francisco, and the heat of Mexico City. And yet in San Antonio all these aspects feel more real, less fairy tale, more grounded and even a little crappy. Everything is duller, filled with contradictions, and uglier. It's too hot, too sprawling, too conflicted, and too gritty to attain the kind of cosmopolitan je ne sais quoi that the overhyped, overpriced tourist-laden capitals of culture have. But I even like that.

I love that San Antonio bumper stickers, in answer to the corporate "Keep Austin Weird" campaign, say "Keep San Antonio Lame." San Antonio is lame. There are crumbling 1920s mansions with people still living in them. There are potholes that can swallow your car. There is a sense of inertia that balks at anything pretentious.

Good for San Antonio. I love that it's lame. I'm pretty lame. If you're kind of lame, and you like funky, spicy, gritty, strange, lively, festive, laid-back, unpretentious, artistic life, you might like it too.

But I should also say what I hate:

I do hate the urban sprawl outside the loop that eats up what was once the Hill Country. I do hate the constant construction and the cookie cutter exurbs.

But more than any of that, I hate the impulse among so many San Antonio transplants and natives alike to turn a snobby nose up at what is a truly striking, unique city unlike any other. You don't need to praise it, but if you can't recognize something quite special here, you're not looking hard enough. If you can say San Antonio has nothing to offer, you could find the dark side of the sun.
Fantastic post! Well I have never been accused of being artsy but I am crazy about some of the old architecture found in neighborhoods inside Loop 410. My kids are always saying Dad would you just drive and quit looking at the houses! I may live in loop land but I do like those old neighborhoods.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:08 PM
 
348 posts, read 1,424,043 times
Reputation: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler guy View Post
You mean Randy's Ballroom on Bandera Rd.
GnR DID play here. They opened for The Cult in I believe 1991 at Sunken Gardens.

What I love: All of the Rock Concerts.

crazedchef

Last edited by crazedchef; 06-08-2009 at 09:09 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:58 PM
 
592 posts, read 1,831,004 times
Reputation: 133
hate the heat love the culture
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