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On the Street

Big, I Am

A few Saturdays back there was a Camel sponsored event at the Limelight.  Big Soy, Jester, and Sound Team performed.  I previously wrote about Sound Team and their place in the tradition of famous Alamo Heights bands, with Christopher Cross being the obvious early example.  There may have been a few words about his integral role to Yacht Rock, so there's no reason to bring that all up again.

(UPDATE: One of my instructors at school knew Cross in High School.  Whereas I thought Cross was hanging out on Lake Austin humming 'Sailin' and enjoying being popular in Japan from afar, according to my instructor he's in California racing cars.  Another bombshell: Cross was in a band with a known local car dealer.  More to come later, though probably not at all.  And why not one last nugget that no one cares about - Led Zeppelin's first concert in San Antonio was opening for Mott the Hoople, the same Matt referenced by Daniel Johnston in this song.)



Two lights.  Two musicians.  There's really no connection here between the lights and Big Soy.  I'm just in wonder that I found space where Camel wasn't advertising.  (See below)



Somewhere in this haze is the singer to Big Soy.  And what does the name of the band refer to?    



Even in this subtle cranny, Camel dominates the market.



Here is what the Big Soy looks like.  The drummer also plays keyboards at the same time which is ingenious.  A beer was spilled on the guitar amp at some point in the evening which resulted in an unintended feedback.  I don't think anyone really noticed or minded.



In this blur one can almost discern Jester on the right moving hither and thither.



And outside on the patio a Camel photographer was there to take festive group shots.  Turning the tables didn't seem like a great idea based on the reaction on his face.  As one can tell the fences were covered.  I think this was a gamble.  The band wasn't playing on the patio so nothing of real interest was really being hidden.  However, they probably have much more experience with these sort of events than me so I'll defer to their judgement, I guess.



Camel's sponsorship of the night did yield interesting results for those who traded their demographic vitals (the goods, the 'Glengary Leads' of event marketing.)  I scored two tickets to Eddy Money the upcoming Flaming Lips show, which is also a Camel sponsored event.  This arrangement suggests a perpetual motion machine of rock and cigarettes.  How long will this marriage last?

Along the Old Spanish Trail



One of the very few 'zero milestone' markers for the Old Spanish Trail.  For more info see the September 5th print copy.  But to summarize, the Old Spanish Trail was a tourist friendly proto-highway between St. Augustine, FLA and classy San Diego.  In the middle?  San Antonio in general and this rock and plaque in particular.



Here is a wider shot.  And now you know what's on that big ass rock on the lawn of the courthouse.



Up Fredericksburg Road at Vance Jackson is this commemorative bench.  Its view is almost completely hidden from the road.  Also, the "Spanish nature" of the Trail seems less at this point, so I'm curious what that part of the street was like when the bench was conceived.  A random workshirt adds a distinctive modern touch.



OST = Old Spanish Trail



The letters seem very handmade.  Perhaps a little too handmade.



Here's a copy of some forgotten newspaper with some info about the former Uptown Theater.  (From the Archives of Rolando Briseno and Angel Rodriguez-Diaz.)  The idea that the Uptown was a million dollar theater is fairly laughable but that was the claim.

On a side note notice the name "Kokernot" on the bottom left.  Any relation to Peggy Kokernot?,  the co-host of the infamous local PM Magazine television show.  The other host?  Our own Mex in Manhattan, Mario Bosquez.



From the aforementioned archive.  Here in this photo, one can more clearly see the Mayan Order sign in the background.  There was some confusion regarding how the sign was removed.  One historian thought it might have been taken down YEARS ago.  But Briseno mentioned it being removed in the last ten years because of road construction when the street was widened.  Sadly, it was never returned to its former perch.



Uptown Theater?  Or Victor Torres (supposedly the owner of the theater) as some at St. Ann's Parish believe?  According to the article above, it most likely represents Victor's Theater, as in Joe Victor, the owner of the Uptown and a few other "million dollar" theaters.



This is the grave of Rose Dawn, the star girl astrologer, at Mission Burial Park.



Koran the mentalist and also a Methodist.  But never a Muslim.



Inside at Angie's Patio.



Pronounced "fire child".



A corset on display inside.



On the wall at Garcia's.



As is this...



...and this.  I like how they're posing in front of another photograph of themselves.



At Martinez Barbacoa and Tamales.



The "vegan" tamale.

Community Garden "Weekly" Update



The blue tarp is gone.  Life seems to be forming in the planters.  A dude in the neighborhood talked to me while I took the photo.  He said the gardeners were good neighbors.  The first seed of a new community forming? (I know...)

Empty Parking Lots



This image reminds me of Oklahoma a bit too much.



The top floor.



Santa Rosa Hospital is seen in the background.



The top two floors of this building were empty, though it isn't obvious in this image.






Artpace is seen below.  



This is beginning to feel very French to me.



The top floor.  Incredible cinematic possibilities.




Random Architecture



I'm beginning to think that Summer is somehow not the season in San Antonio for fruiterias and shaved ice. The fruiteria on the OST was also closed all Summer.  Madness.



A street named Water in front of a fire station.  Good stuff.



The walls were saved but the screens were not.  Was this an aesthetic choice, or did they realize there would be better contrast against the black screens?  



A Watts like tower, at least to me when I'm not wearing my glasses.



My favorite building near downtown.  This is on Avenue B near AT&T, as one can see in the background.  There aren't many office buildings this small in downtown so perhaps that's why it caught my eye.  Or maybe I thought - I could live in a building that size...




This is underneath I-35 and 281.  Here, Downtown Highlife hoped to collaborate with Slab Cinema to screen a new film, a documentary about bicycle gangs, drug abuse, middle-class posing, and bike jousting. The police I talked to didn't seem to care about us screening the film here, nor did the owner of a surrounding business.  However, the fear of litigation from distracting traffic and causing a wreck was sadly the deal breaker.  What about that tort reform?

Rick from Slab had arranged a new venue to project.  But because of Friday's rain, the screening was canceled.  The ride was about to be canceled as well but at 8:00, an hour before the ride, I got a call from Nice Guy Tim who proclaimed the rain had ended.  The ride went on under stormy clouds.  We ended up at the Mission Drive-In which was supposed to be screening films on the weekend to guage interest for provisionally re-opening the theater.  No one was there.  We politely loitered and then headed back. Everyone assumed the rain would get us but things worked out.   Unexpectedly, the weather that night was probably the best we've seen all year.

And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio.  To be contined, as always...


Posted by Mark Jones on 9/5/2007
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